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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo


Ruin and Rising

by Leigh Bardugo

Published by Henry Holy and Company

Book 3 in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy

Book 3 in the Grishaverse


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.


RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:

Violence Young Adult Interesting

High-Fantasy

Romance

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo is the third, and final book in her Shadow and Bone Trilogy. It focuses on Alina, the Sun Summoner, and her friends, and their efforts in the war against the Darkling. As Alina slowly learns the Darkling's secrets, and the truth behind the amplifiers, Alina is forced to make decisions that go against everything she has fought for.


Ruin and Rising was a decent conclusion. I won't lie and say I loved this series. I enjoyed it, but it isn't one of my favorites. There were times the plot seemed to stall, and it took me out of Alina's story. The parts of this book that were action heavy were interesting though. The truth about the amplifiers, and the story of the Darklings past were fascinating. I give Leigh Bardugo credit - she did a good job making me sympathize with the enemy, while not (spoiler) --------> redeeming him. There was no epic conclusion, no celebration with our main characters over his death, and despite the truly awful things he did - I still choked up at bit when Alina whispered his name when his body was burned. Someone to mourn him. <-------- One of the best parts of the book, for me, was the epilogue. It was very sweet.


Another thing I appreciate about this book, was even after time passes after the war, its still bittersweet. They all have physical, and most of all, emotional scars, that may fade with time, but never go away completely. Many books in this genre are very "Happily Ever After", and that's great, but it's not realistic. Every character - Alina, Mal, Nikolai, Genya, all of them - are irrevocably changed from the events of this book, but are able to live the lives they carved our for themselves.


This trilogy wasn't my favorite. In defense of these books though, I think if I read these 10 years ago, I would have loved them. These are truly written for teenagers, and as a woman in my thirties, I like my fantasy novels a little darker, and my romances a lot steamier. While the plot is sometimes dragged down with filler, the story itself is unique, unpredictable, and interesting, and I think if you enjoy the YA genre, you will enjoy this trilogy.