Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo


The Grisha #3
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 17th, 2014
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Purchase
Pages: 422

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Okay, I think that this was easily my favorite of the three books in this trilogy. It was so good and mostly satisfying! Also, I'm not even going to pretend there aren't spoilers in this, if you're one who is late to the Grisha party.

The beginning of this book takes place about three months after the battle at Os Alta where most of the Second Army was slaughtered by the Darkling and his shadow army! Alina is weak and the Apparat has her under lock and key, deep underground, trying to advance his little sun summoner cult. She won't let her near her friends or basically anyone but him and his weird guards. Then her friends come up with an elaborate plan to get her strength and power back and she basically puts the Apparat in his place. Which is good because he needed to be knocked down a few pegs, creep. I hate that guy. I was angry for the whole beginning of this book because of him and his creepiness. So they break out of the Apparat's clutches and go back on the hunt for the final amplifier, the firebird. 

I loooove Alina still! She handles being forced into Sainthood a lot better than I would because I'd pry whoop that Apparat's ass. I couldn't handle all those people being all grabby hands at me all the time. She definitely has the patience of a Saint, if anything. Anyway, I don't really know what to say about Alina that I haven't already said in my reviews for the other two books. She learns to hone her powers in new ways, perfecting more of the things that the Darkling had previously only been able to do. She has to make the ULTIMATE hard decision in this book and she somehow manages to do it. She is just really kick ass. She's smarter, she's braver, she's just a little bit better than she was before. I love her. Possibly she could be my new favorite YA heroine. I don't know. Top three, definitely.

The romance in this book made me both happy and sad. Sad because for most of this book Alina and Mal just basically glance longingly at each other and avoid contact and conversation. And Alina is being pushed in other directions by everyone around her. Pushed to possibly marry Nikolai and become the Queen of Ravka, even though I don't think she ever really acts like she wants it. It's just what could be best for Ravka. But throughout it all, she only ever wants Mal. It's always been Mal, it will always be Mal. I did appreciate that, while the romance was kinda just cold for a lot of this book,  Mal wasn't just absent through the whole book til he was needed. I really liked that he was present throughout the whole book. And I really love, love, love their happily ever after!

I decided in this book that I really like David. He really reminds me of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory because he's insanely smart and he doesn't seem to understand sarcasm. I really liked his relationship with Genya. They're so cute together! His little speech about how he understands metal and she's made of steel was SO CUTE! I still love Genya, too. She surprised me because she's totally got a nerdy side too! She is such a good friend to Alina, I'm glad that she didn't really get made out to be a bad guy in this series like I thought she was going to for awhile.

And as for the Darkling, I just really liked him as a character. Definitely still not as a love interest. I was sad at the ending that he got, even though it was necessary. He was never going to give up his cause and if he kept using his power, it didn't seem he ever had plans to die, so something had to be done. I don't think that he actually had bad intentions, I think that his methods of getting what he wanted were what was wrong with him. I liked that you got to see his more human side in this book. He wasn't always so perfectly put together. Alina surprised him and threw him off guard. He was actually capable of real human feelings! I love that Alina thought she needed the aid of all three amplifiers to face him, but in the end, Alina faced him and defeated him without anything to help her. I wish he could have been redeemed and gotten a happy ending, but not with Alina.

The one and only thing that I can think of that I didn't love about this book was Harshaw's death! Maybe it's the crazy cat lady in me talking, but I was SO SAD that he and Oncat didn't get to be reunited after the battle in the Fold. I loved the relationship between him and his feline friend. I also loved his semi craziness and I was sad to see him go. I definitely saw it coming though.

What else can I even say about this book? The plot sped right along. The writing was fantastic. I really don't think that my brain is caught up enough yet to even be writing this review, but if I wait, I'll definitely forget things. More than I'm sure I've already forgotten. This was just an overall really excellent series and I would highly recommend this book to basically anyone. So glad this series was pushed at me and I am only a little bit sad that I cancelled my preorder of The Rose Society to buy these instead. But definitely no regrets!

4 comments:

  1. Awesome review, Cyra! I haven't started this series yet so I really couldn't relate yet. Hopefully I could read it soon so I would be able to join the bandwagon and know what the rave is all about. I'm seriously glad that you loved it. :) xx

    ps. I'm a new follower on Bloglovin! (:

    Fiona | A Girl Between the Pages

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    1. I hope you get to read it soon! It is seriously so good! I highly recommend it! I can't wait to get to six of crows! Thanks for the comment and the follow!! :)

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  2. I didn't LOVE this conclusion - I liked it, but it didn't impress me. My favorite of the series was definitely Shadow and Bone. Soooo glad that you loved the series, Cyra! Did you read Six of Crows? *nudges* ;)

    P.S. I personally think you are missing out on The Rose Society! Comparing the two (Ruin and Rising, and The Rose Society), The Rose Society was MUCH better! :D

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I haven't read Six of Crows yet, but it is coming up VERY shortly on my TBR! I was really sad to have to cancel my preorder for the Rose Society, but I made my boyfriend buy it for me for my birthday so I have it again and it is also coming up very shortly on my TBR! I can't wait to read it! :)

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