top of page

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.


Violence Young Adult Interesting




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.

Favorite Moments

  1. Alina's friends and her getting out of the caves

  2. Nikolai "dropping in"

  3. Genya getting the last word on the king

  4. David telling Genya that on the inside she is steel, and she doesn't need fixing

  5. The Darkling telling Alina his name

  6. Mal and Alina's night together

  7. Alina whispering the Darkling's name as he dies

  8. Nikolai insisting Alina keeps the engagement ring

  9. Alina honoring Aleksander

Where to Buy

Favorite Quotes

Alina: "You are on your knees. We are not negotiating."

Alina: "How did you know I'd be able to summon?"

Mal: "Faith."

Apparet: "War is the price of change."

Alina: "And it's ordinary people who pay it, peasants like me. Never men like you."

Darkling: "Do you think it would be any different with your tracker beside you? With that Lantsov pup?"

Alina: "Yes."

Darkling: "Because you would be the strong one?"

Alina: "Because they're better men than you."

Darkling: "You might make me a better man."

Alina: "And you might make me a monster."

He dipped his hand in, then yelped and drew back

Mal: "They bite."

Alina: "Serves you right. 'Oh, look, a dark lake full of something shiny. Let me put my hand in it.' "

Mal: "I can't help being delicious."

Alina: "Eventually, you're going to have to talk to me."

Mal: "I'm talking to you right now."

Alina: "See? Is this so terrible?"

Mal: "It wouldn't be, if all I wanted to do was talk."

Ekaterina: "I saw the prince when I was in Os Alta. He's not bad looking."

Person: "Not bad looking? He's damnably handsome."

Luchenko scowled

Luchenko: "Since when -"

Person: "Brave in battle, smart as a whip."

Now the voice seemed to be coming from above us. Luchenko craned his neck, peering into the trees.

Person: "An excellent dancer. Oh, and an even better shot."

He tossed Mal a rifle

Nikolai: "Shall we?"

Alina: "I can't tell who's who!"

Nikolai: "We're the side that's hopelessly outnumbered."

Nikolai: "First vomit, then tears. Don't tell me I've lost my touch."

Alina: "I'm just happy you're alive. Though I'm sure you can talk me out of it."

Nikolai: "Saints, Alina. I hope you weren't looking to me to be the voice of reason. I keep to a strict diet of ill-advised enthusiasm and heartfelt regret."

Alina: "Saints. I forgot how often I want to stab you."

Nikolai: "So I haven't lost my touch."

Baghra: "Come in and shut the door, girl. You're letting the heat out. And you,"

she spat in Nikolai's direction.

Baghra: "Go somewhere you're wanted."

Nikolai: "That's hardly limiting. Alina, I'll be back to fetch you for dinner, but should you grow restless, do feel free to run screaming from the room or take a dagger to her. Whatever seems most fitting at the time."

Baghra: "Are you still here?"

Nikolai: "I go but hope to remain in your heart."

Genya: "Remember me when you board that ship, moi tsar. Remember me when you take your last look at Ravka as it slips beneath the horizon. I hope the taste of me was worth it."

Genya: "Don't you dare. You never looked at me twice before I was like this, before I was broken. Now I'm just something for you to fix."

David: "I know metal."

Genya: "What does that have to do with anything?"

David: "I ... I don't understand half of what goes on around me. I don't get jokes or sunsets or poetry, but I know metal. Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing."

Alina: "What did you whisper? To the King."

Genya: "Na razrushy'ya. E'ya razrushost." I am not ruined. I am ruination."

Mal: "The firebird won't change who you are. You'll still be the girl who took a beating for me when I was the one who broke Ana Kuya's ormolu clock."

I groaned, pointing an accusatory finger at him.

Alina: "And you let me."

He laughed

Mal: "Of course I did. That woman is terrifying."

Mal: "For all my talk of vows and honor, what I really want is to put you up against that wall and kiss you until you forget you ever knew another man's name."

Nikolai: "I don't want lies between us, Alina."

Alina: "How many lies have you told me, Sturmhond? How many secrets have you kept until you were ready to share them?"

Nikolai: "Prince's prerogative?"

Alina: "If a mere prince gets a pass, so does a living Saint."

Nikolai: "Are you going to make a habit of winning arguments? It's very unbecoming."

Alina: "Was this an argument?"

Nikolai: "Obviously not. I don't lose arguments."

Darkling: "You were meant to be my balance, Alina. You are the only person in the world who might rule with me, who might keep my power in check."

Alina: "And who will balance me?"

Nikolai: "Good luck, Oretsev. Find the firebird, and when this is over, I

will see you well rewarded. A farmhouse in Udova. A dacha near the city. Whatever you want."

Mal: I don't need any of that. Just ... Deserve her."

Baghra: "Know that I loved you. Know that it was not enough."

Alina: "That was just ... really well done."

Mal: "Same way Ana Kuya got me to stop begging her to keep a lantern lit at night."

Alina: "Really?"

Mal: "Yes. Told me I had to be brave for you, that if I was scared, you'd be scared."

Alina: "Well, she told me I had to eat my parsnips to set a good example for you, but I still refused to do it."

Mal: "And you wonder why you were always getting the switch."

Alina: "Sorry."

Zoya: "Maybe you're hungry. I always get mean when I'm hungry."

Harshaw: "Are you hungry all the time?"

Zoya: "You haven't seen me mean. When you do, you'll require a very big hanky."

Her snorted

Harshaw: 'To dry my tears?"

Zoya: "To stanch the bleeding."

Zoya: "It's funny. I understand why the Darkling and Nikolai want your power. But Mal looks at you like you're ... well, like you're me."

Tolya: "No he doesn't. He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he'll never have enough of her. Like he's trying to capture what he can before she's gone."

Alina: "I shouldn't have said that."

Mal: "You once put goose droppings in my shoes, Alina. A bad mood I can handle."

Alina: "Did you ever notice me at Keramzin?"

He was silent for a long moment, and when I glanced at him, he was looking up at the glass ceiling. He'd gone red as a beet.

Alina: "Mal?"

He cleared his throat, crossed his arms.

Mal: "As a matter of fact, I did. I had some very ... distracting thoughts about you."

Alina: "You did?"

Mal: "And I felt guilty for every one of them. You were supposed to be my best friend, not ..."

He shrugged and turned even redder.

Alina: "Idiot."

Mal: "That fact is well established and adds nothing to the plot."

Mal: "I wanted more for you. A white veil in your hair. Vows we could keep."

Alina: "A proper wedding night? Just tell me this isn't goodbye. That's the only vow I need."

Mal: "I love you, Alina."

Mal: "Do you think you could be happy? With a used-up tracker?"

Alina: "If you can be happy with someone who stuck a knife in your chest."

Mal: "I helped. And I told you I can handle a bad mood."

Mal: "I don't intend to waste my days in holy pursuits."

Alina: "No?"

Mal: "No. I have to spend the rest of my life finding ways to deserve a certain white-haired girl. She's very prickly, occasionally puts goose droppings in my shoes or tries to kill me."

Alina: "Sounds fatiguing."

Mal: "She's worth it."

Mal: "I did tell Ana Kuya I would marry you."

I laughed

Alina: "You remember that?"

Mal: "Alina. I remember everything."

Alina: "I'd only be a liability. Power is alliance."

Mal: "I do love it when you quote me."

He sighed.

Alina: "If only I weren't so damnably wise."

Nikolai: "Keep it."

I stared at him.

Alina: "How much of that kvas have you drunk?"

Nikolai: "None. Keep it. Please."

Alina: "Nikolai, I can't."

Nikolai: "I owe you, Alina. Ravka owes you. This and more. Do good works or commission an opera house or just take it out and gaze at it longingly when you think of the handsome prince you might have made your own. For the record, I favor the latter option, preferably paired with copious tears and the recitation of bad poetry."

They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things - if love can ever be called that.


Check out the rest of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy

1,006 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page