Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

ruin and risingFrom 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.


If I had to summarize the final book in The Grisha Series it would be this:


Ruin and Rising did not disappoint and all the little twists and turns did surprise me, like a lot.  Like I didn’t even see the major plot twists coming and there are a few.  I was a complete mess by the time I was done reading and felt like this:


As always I won’t give any spoilers away in this pseudo review, I will keep it super vague and reflect on how this book messed me up.

will ferrell

Some people really hated Alina. Personally, I liked her because she’s been born with a gift that she had no control over.  All she wanted out of life is to be loved, to be noticed but she’s not really a natural-born leader until she’s forced to and she evolves as a heroine throughout this series and that’s something I totally enjoyed.  There were plenty of moments that I wanted to slap her repeatedly but overall I really liked Alina.

Mal also wiggled his way back into my heart because in book 2, he was so incredibly whiny and had the poor me syndrome.  But in this book he did things that needed to be done and he didn’t cry about it.  He put his vagina in a land far, far away. *sigh of relief*

“It’s a promise to be better than I was. It’s a vow that if I can’t be anything else to you, at least I can be a weapon in your hand.”

And don’t even get me started on Nikolai. OHMIGOD…I never saw that coming and I won’t say what that is BUT it’s kinda major.  My heart was hurting and I actually think it still does but that’s nothing that a little therapy and xanax won’t cure! *wink*

“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.”

I didn’t realize that there were so many Darkling fans.  Granted, there were moments when I loved him and absolutely hated him but I mostly felt sorry the Darkling and I blame his mother.  Despite my love/hate relationship with him, I thought he was the most complex character and would have enjoyed more about him.  Leigh Bardugo could have included at least one chapter in his POV.  Normally I hate alternating POV’s but in this instance, one chapter would have been crucial to understanding how he truly came to be.

“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but mine.”

Leigh Bardugo delivered a final book that I thought was absolutely fantastic and heart-wrenching.  Excellent writing and I don’t think the story could have ended any other way.  If you are a fan of this series and haven’t read the final book, trust me, you’ll want to because it’s good.  Good, as in FANTASTIC but brace yourself for the emotional rollercoaster ride. ;)



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    • Cristina says

      Thanks Jeann! I thought it was a fantastic final book. You’ll either love it or hate but you’ll definitely enjoy it! ;)

    • Cristina says

      I thought the Darkling was interesting but I felt so bad for him, like really bad for him in the 3rd book. I wasn’t expecting this book to be emotional but that’s what made it so fantastic. :)

    • Cristina says

      You will absolutely enjoy it and the third book will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride! LOL…happy reading Amir! ;)

    • Cristina says

      Dre…it’s really good and it’s one of my favorites of this year. I loved it and hey, the series is complete which is a plus! *wink* :)

  1. says

    I always liked Alina too, and you know I’ve been Team Mal since the beginning. Yeah, he definitely got on my nerves in book 2, but when it was important, he stepped up, and that’s what matters ;) The Darkling . . . I kind of loved to hate him. And Bahgra . . . I just hurt for her. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child that you, of course, love unconditionally, and have to watch him become . . . the Darkling.

    Oh, oh! The Barnes & Noble version of this book has an exclusive Darkling POV prequel. Not the same as having part of the actual book from his POV, but definitely better than nothing ;)

    Spectacular review, my friend. Maybe I’ll be able to write my own review some time soon.
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Mini Reviews: For a Few Demons More & The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim HarrisonMy Profile

    • Cristina says

      Mal…just won me over this book! There were so many moments when my heart broke a thousand times over because he was being so selfless and brave. And Bahgra! Oy…maybe the Darkling wouldn’t have been so damn dark if she reeled it in a bit! LOL! But you are right, in the end I felt bad for her too. But what about Nikolai! He was never really the same that poor bastard! *reaches for a tissue*

      I had no idea about B&N! I’ve been dying for something in his POV.

      This book made my heart hurt! ;)

  2. says

    Oh I keep hearing many wonderful things about this series, and I’m glad you had a great time with this third one. I really need to try it! great review!

  3. says

    Ah I loved this review because your GIFS were spot on! I for one loved this series and while I agree it could have ended on a different note I was completely satisfied with this ending and the way everything wrapped up! My heart went through several mini heart attacks reading this book and I’m surprised I made it through my reading experience alive! Haha
    Lily recently posted…The Truth About Alice:ReviewMy Profile

    • Cristina says

      Gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl…I was a hot mess throughout the entire book. I’m not sure that the book could have ended any other way but it worked and I’m glad I wasn’t alone in feeling like a complete basket case when I was done reading. ;)

  4. says

    YEAH! It’s always awesome when a series ends on such a strong note like this! So glad you enjoyed it – even if it destroyed your feels a bit! ;) Definitely going to have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…More Than ThisMy Profile

  5. says

    This series really has many guys! As for me, when I read book 1, I didn’t really “hate” Alina per se… she was annoying sometimes, but I didn’t think she was TSTL, although her back-and-forth-ing between the Darkling and Mal got on my nerves in a few instances :P I really need to read this and the second book, but I think I need a major refresher >.> I’m glad to know it at least ended satiscfactorily!!
    Faye D’Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: Midnight Thief by Livia BlackburneMy Profile

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