Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Young Adult // Magic // High Fantasy // Romance
Format: Physical Copy
The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for (goodreads).
Ruin and Rising is such a difficult book for me to review, because I had so many feelings, both good and bad!
Plot: Ruin and Rising picks up right after the cliffhanger in Siege and Storm. The Darkling has even more power now and Alina has finally come to terms with her attraction to her three gentlemen suitors (we can call them that, can't we?). Ruin and Rising was nonstop action that had me at the edge of my seat in hopes that everything ended well for these characters I have come to love. While Bardugo's writing was solid and kept me glued to the pages, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the ending for some of the characters (and out of fear of spoiling it, I'll leave it at that).
Characters: I have never been so torn about the love interest in a series as I have for The Grisha Trilogy. In Shadow and Bone, The Darkling was such an attractive and seductive character and I couldn't help but fall in love with him. As the series progressed, he was portrayed more and more as our villain and it overwhelmed me. Did I still love the Darkling? Would he ever be redeemed? How am I supposed to feel?? Because I was so attached to him from Book 1 (hell, probably more attached than Alina), I didn't love the third book as much. The other characters were memorable and often brought a smile to my face or made me worry about their general safety. Alina's transformation is beautiful and it's what I want from all my female MCs from here on out.
World Building: The world of the Grisha is one of my favorite worlds to be transported to and I felt that this world was even more enhanced with Bardugo's novellas that gave background to the culture and folktales.
Short N Sweet: The Grisha Trilogy is one of my favorites stories of all time, while I wasn't completely sold on the ending, this is a world that I will never forget!