I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: Ruin and Rising

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3)
by Leigh Bardugo
YA Fantasy
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot 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.


The ending of Siege and Storm was dark and terrifying, and that tone is carried through to the beginning of this book.  Alina is damaged and broken and slowly gains the resolve and strength to find a way to defeating the Darkling.  Her journey as a character is beautifully brought to completion in this book, and I found her arc so satisfying.  Alina has always been a prickly person, and she has had to make decisions she never wanted to make, so I was so happy that she found a way to be true to herself and her noble heart.  She's the reason I loved reading this book so much, and I feel that Leigh Bardugo has done complete justice to her main character.

When it comes to how other character arcs are played out, I feel that the author took the same care to bringing them to full potential.  I don't want to say too much though about them in case of spoilers, but it was wonderful how so many little scenes and moments really brought out the personalities of these characters, and how easy it was to feel for each one of them.

The story has many twists and turns that made it suspenseful and surprising, especially when some very important reveals are made.  It was a difficult and dangerous journey throughout, and the author was not afraid to make some really difficult choices in the story.  But I was very satisfied with that (even if I was biting my nails with worry!) because the stakes are very high in this book, and it would not be fair to the reader to back away from the danger.  But even with all the gloom hanging over the characters' heads the wit in the writing and the humor in the characters helped lighten the mood and bring even more realism to the story - for it is understandable for these characters to need a moment to laugh when they have gone through so much.  Nikolai in particular is just a joy of a character to read about.

This is a completely satisfying conclusion to the series - because all the characters' paths are true to what has been set up in the previous two books, loose ends are tied up and all the questions are answered.  The story left me feeling complete.  Ruin and Rising was a fantastic reading experience!

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  1. I 100% agree.. it is rare that I leave a book feeling that happy with how everything concluded and each character really get there moment in this book! I am sad it is over but look forward to reading her next book or series!

  2. Yes, I think Leigh gave us enough closure with the main characters but left so much open for the next series! I kinda want it to center on new Ravka and how they coped with everything but I'm sure whatever it will be about will be awesome!

  3. Yes, it's excellent! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  4. I just put this book on hold at the library and am sooooo excited!!!

  5. Oh awesome! Hopefully there aren't too many people ahead of you in line!

  6. I'm so glad that this one is one of your exceptions - it is very deserving of the distinction! :) I look forward to reading your review!

  7. Oh yay! I haven't gotten a chance to pick this up yet, but I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm definitely worried, since this is one of my favorite series. So long as it stays true to the characters, as you say it does, I think I'll be happy. :) Great review Charlene! Can't wait for the new series, too! :D

  8. I hope you get to read it soon! I want to know every thought you have on it! :) It's a great end to the series and worth the whole journey! The new series is so intriguing - although I was hoping to see *some* characters from the Grisha trilogy make their way to the new one, but Leigh is making it seem like it will be very fleeting. Oh well. I still can't wait to read it!

  9. I totally agree!! I finally made time to read this (after rereading S&B and S&S) and it made for a fantastic weekend! I find that I can't say much because I don't want to drop spoilers in your comments. but yes, so much love for how completely she resolved the whole story and the further development of all the characters and how much sense those resolutions made.

    I love your point about how the wit and the humor lightened what could have been a much darker story without that. I think the humor shined even stronger because of the surrounding darkness. I don't know how anyone could resist adoring Nikolai.

    I'm still on a book high from finishing this yesterday :)

  10. Oh I'm so glad you loved this Annie! It's so easy to be disappointed by the last book in a series with so much expectation. But Leigh did such a great job wrapping everything up. I'm so glad I am happy with this series as a whole!

  11. I've been waiting to finish the book to read this review, even though I knew you probably wouldn't spoil it! I agree that it was definitely a book full of surprises and dark twists, and ultimately very satisfying! Great review!

  12. Oh yay, I'm glad you finished reading it and enjoyed it! I look forward to reading your review!

  13. I'm not a big fantasy fan, but I love these books. Don't know what it is, but they are great fun. Can't wait to get my hands on this one. Thanks for the great review.

  14. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on this one! I am so glad you loved it!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings