Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review


  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
  • Release date: June 17, 2014
  • Series/stand-alone: The Grisha, Book 3
  • Number of pages: 417
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Bought
  • Rating: 4.5 cookies
  • Swoon spoon: Scoop of I-scream (50-75%)

  • Summary
     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. 

  • Thoughts

The final installment of the Grisha series blew me away! There were a lot of twists and turns and I'm amazed with how Leigh left a lot of clues all throughout the series and then tied it all up at the end. That. Was. Amazing. It's like Harry Potter, only not. The fact that I've been hooked from the start of the series took me by surprise. I usually lean towards the romantic kind of stories. I know. Like herring, vile, as Genya would say. But this. This wasn't just your typical romantic shizz. It focuses more on the story about power-play and the way it's been brought to life, not in the usual modern or dystopian setting that authors seem to lean towards nowadays, is like a breath of fresh air. 

There was a lot of traveling that took place, and some may say that it was a waste of time having the characters move from one place to another so many times in one book. Personally, I think it just lets us know how huge the Grishaverse is. In my mind, big place equates to bigger story.

I've been going on and on about the Darkling since I've first started reading the trilogy. I have never, ever lost my heart to a villain before him. Despite him being a couple--or a few hundred--years older than Alina, I found it incredibly cute that he hasn't mastered hiding what he really thought and felt. He's still human. Just with a lot of power. The little things, the unexpected hints of emotion, the bits of surprise he showed, were what made me fall in love. 
"I took another step. He stilled. Our bodies were almost touching now. I reached up and cupped his cheek with my hand. This time the flash of confusion on his face was impossible to miss. He held himself frozen, his only movement the steady rise and fall of his chest. Then, as if in concession, his eyes close. A line appeared between his brows."
Leigh didn't ever outright slap shipping stickers and stamps on him and Alina, and it's so ingenius how she only worked them with minimal actions. It's just so refreshing to encounter an antagonist who you couldn't really hate. Despite his crimes, he comes across as so boy. My heart cries out to him.

Diversity and character development actually lives! A lot of characters were introduced in the series and it was very refreshing that they weren't like all these robot prototypes with flat personalities. The others actually had LIVES OF THEIR OWN. They weren't superficial characters who were there in one second then gone the next. I'd know who was speaking in a conversation without even having the name mentioned. The dialogues were well-written and Leigh just proves again and again her brilliance in writing.

The struggles of each character were what made the story realistic. Every person had problems of their own. Everybody had to make their own decisions. It shows a sense of independence and responsibility that people should adapt. That no matter what you decide, you should bear whatever consequence or outcome that brings. (Applause for the moral of the story, please).

I would have given this book 5 delicious cookies, but the ending just killed me. There was a moment in the book where I imagined my heart as a piece of paper savagely being torn to shreds. It's worse than being eaten by volcras. I just have one thing to say: Redemption is for everyone. 

Oh, and another thing: Nikolai.



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