Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Hi! Welcome to my review for Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo!

The Spoiler-Free Review:

In this book we follow Alina as she continues to fight the Darkling. She has been rescued by the Apparat and is now more or less controlled by him. She preaches for the people and shows them the saint they want to see. We also follow Alina as she searches for the third and last amplifier, the firebird.

Out of all three books, this was probably my favorite.

I’ve come to love Alina even more and she is probably one of the few characters I have actually sympathised with. She tries so hard to do the best she can but with the Darkling as your enemy, there is only so much you can do.

The characters were wonderful in this book and I enjoyed reading about them so much. Mal even started grating less on my nerves than in the previous books – and that’s an impressive achievement.

The ending was beautiful and I honestly could not have asked for anything better for Alina.

The Review Full Of Spoilers:

You have been warned.

Good underlying themes/ messages:

  • You don’t have to be what others want you to be; you need to follow your path.
  • It’s all right to make mistakes.
  • There is always something new to learn.
  • Don’t be afraid to test your limits.

A whole star for this catagory!

Realistic characters and growth:

Alina became so relatable in this book. Everyone was pressuring her to be this untouchable saint while she’s just trying to do her best.

I think we all feel the same sometimes; not about being an untouchable saint but being perfect. We feel like we need to be perfect and whenever we’re not, we occasionally feel a little pathetic. But Alina shows us that we don’t need to be perfect all the time, that mistakes are unavoidable, and that we don’t need to live up to others’ expectations of us – as long as we make ourselves happy.

I honestly loved Alina in this book!

I also liked how there were more layers to the Darkling and we even found out what his name was. Aleksander Morozova feels fitting, in a strange way. Maybe its because his name is quite close to mine and I’m biased but whatever. And the way he had killed those Grisha and told Alina that he had killed the children as well…

Like, whoa, just calm down please. Luckily he was bluffing, but he reminded me of Kaz when he told Pekka that he had buried his son alive. That scene still sent shivers down my back.

Nikolai was as perfect as ever. His transformation from when the Darkling put that weird shadow things in him, and then turning back human but leaving him scarred was super tense and scary. It makes me so excited for King of Scars, though! His friendship with Alina was just perfecly written, too.

Baghra really surprised me in this book. I felt like she had been away for a long time and came back only to sacrifice herself for Alina. I never really liked her but her ending slightly redeemed her. Poor Misha grew on me, too.

I think as many saw on my updates while reading the Grisha Trilogy, I’m not Mal’s biggest fan but he grew on me, too. Only a little, though. I still think Alina deserves better.

A whole star for this catagory!

Interesting story:

Siege and Storm wasn’t that exciting for me, storyline-wise. It just felt like they traveled around a lot and plotted against the Darkling.

However, this book was so much more exciting than the previous ones. It was darker, gritttier, and at times it felt like it blurred the lines between good and evil (which I love). The violence was turned up, which I surprisingly enjoyed, and added to the stakes.

And Mal turning out to be the third amplifier?

I knew there was something different about Mal, and at first I had thought that maybe he was a Grisha and his powers were just really subtle but I was so wrong. I really liked that twist 😏.

The end was my favorite part, though. With Alina faking her death and going to live quietly with Mal at the orphanage, and Nikolai and all her Grisha friends sending her the occasional gift or treat.

I actually cried when the Darkling died. I don’t really know why and it’s bothering me. Maybe it was his parting words but my heart went out to him.

A whole star for this catagory!

Fantastic worldbuilding:

I’ve mentioned in probably every review I’ve done about Leigh Bardugo’s books but her worldbuilding is so unique and beautiful. Russian-inspired Ravka just sounds aesthetically perfect. The names are gorgeous, the religion is well-thought out, the weird habits people have like selling bones for amplifiers, the land’s history – everything just builds up to such a beautiful country and outstanding worldbuilding.

It’s my dream to write about a world as beautiful as the one Leigh Bardugo has created! 🙌

A whole star for this catagory!

Writing style is beautiful/ easy to read:

Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.

With quotes like the one I mentioned, how can this writing not be beautiful? It flows and the banter between the characters are perfect.

A whole star for this catagory!

Overall:

5 stars out of 5!

I’m so glad it got 5 stars! This book was such a perfect ending to this series and already makes me feel nostalgic!

Have you read Ruin and Rising yet? What did you think?

He did not see the moment the girl ceased to bear her weakness as a burden and began to wear it as a guise.

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2 thoughts on “Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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