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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My rating: 

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.

“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay. I tilted my head back. The stars looked like they were close together, when really they were millions of miles apart. In the end, maybe love just meant longing for something impossibly bright and forever out of reach.”

The ending. FUCK THAT SHIT
I still couldn't believe that is how this amazing series ended.
It was too easy.
I hated the ending.
There I said it.
This book could have ended better.
The last few chapters were anti-climactic
But despite all of that, I would give this book a good rating.
Well because a book or a book series, is not all about the ending. It is never just about the ending, no matter how stupid, or disappointing it may be. It is about the journey that it took you.
It's about all the new places, new people, new experiences you've had as you have been reading this. That to me is more important than a fucked up ending, which sadly, this one had.

I would still have to say though, that this series is one of the best series that I have ever read. The world-buidling had been incredible from beginning to end. The writing didn't fail to wow me. The characters didn't fail to surprise and draw me closer to them. I just love this series and would always be a favorite. I love you Leigh Bardugo.

I won't be talking about the gist here because I have no idea how to summarize this book... I really could not. There's just too many things that happpened and wouldn't want to miss anything... I'll go straight to the characters.

WARNING: If you have not read this book yet, please STOP right here. This part might contain minor, or major spoilers... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

There were old wants too, to be loved for who I was, not what I could do, to lie in the meadows with a boy's arm around me and watch the wind move the clouds. But those dreams belong to a girl, not the Sun Summoner, not to a Saint.

Alina officially just became a member of my top 5 favorite heroines of all time, if not my favorite. This girl has done some pretty heavy decision making. I felt her struggle on what was more important to her.

Was it love or was it her responsibility to Ravka?

If I was in her position, I probably would make the easier choice. I would probably be more selfish with my decisions, but she didn't. She choose the one that would benefit her country. Her people. She was willing to give up the one person she loved, the one thing she knew she had, to give her people freedom. She was willing to give all of that up. Oh how I love you Alina.

She also had her moments of weakness, especially towards the end when she had to make the decision of killing Mal. I was never a fan of MALINA, but at that point, I was almost in tears. I wanted to hug them both and fucking kill off my beloved Darkling so that they could be together, even if I am totally against it. They did end up together, but the ending still sucked for me. I will be explaining this more later as I go along why I disliked the ending.

I'm glad she had her happy ending, but I knew she wasn't completely happy. There would still be a part of her that wanted the power she had, but also had to giveaway..

I have never been a fan of Mal. But oh boy, did he swoon me so bad in this book. There were times that I felt he was a bit too cheesy, but it was fine. I was fine with it. I felt his love for Alina, and how much he respect whatever her decision maybe, even if it would mean he could lose her. I get teary-eyed whenever there is a Mal-Alina scene.

"I wanted more for you," he said. "A white veil in your hair. Vows we could keep."

"A proper wedding night? Just tell me this isn't goodbye. That's the only vow I need"

"I love you, Alina."

Oh boy. I broke to tears right there. Those simple words. I felt how much it means. It drove me insane. I reread these lines a lot of times. It made me think of the depth of Mal's love for Alina. Made me realize how fucking wrong I was about him on the first two books. I love Mal now too.

"Deep breaths," Nikolai said. "I could be overwhelming at first.

I think I won't be able to stress enough, how much I LOVE THIS GUY! On the second book, he was the one that made the difficult times light, he was... like a burst of sunshine. He was funny. He was smart. He was good-looking. He was cocky. He was a prince. I mean come on? What more could you ask for?

But here... The Darkling was a man of his word... He took revenge on Nikolai and what he did on book two. I was distraught. I was scared that Nikolia would die and would not get what was rightfully his. I was really scared for him. I was like fuck Alina, fuck Mal, fuck the Darkling... I want to know what happened to my Nikolai. I am obsessed. I know I may have said that with other book boyfriends of mine but it's different with this guy.. I really, sincerely like him. His personality. His humor. His wisdom. His courage. His ambition. If he was a real person, we would be perfect for each other. Plus he's a prince... a would be king... so that would make me... the would be princess I think you could see that now on my username.. Hehe.

Although I already knew, Nikolai had to chance with Alina, I was already happy that he was a part of this book. He's an amazing character and he is mine.

Before I move to the Darkling, I just saw this picture...


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

I feel bad that the Darkling didn't get a good ending. I felt that he deserve more than a stab in the heart. It was too easy. All of that build up from the first book to the last... that was the ending he got. Disappointing.

Also, the reason why I feel really bad was because... You see what he really is. And he is not purely evil. I think he was blinded by ambition. He reminded me of Jay Gatsby. He was blinded by his ambition to see that the Grisha's rule the world, just like Jay Gatsby's blinded by his love for Daisy. Jay did whatever he could to gain more money to take Daisy away. In the end, his love for Daisy got him killed. The Darkling's love for acceptance is what got him killed. For me, the Darkling didn't really want the power, what he seeks is for the Grisha's to be accepted in society. Power is just a prerequisite for the Grisha to have a proper place in society. I learned of this when Baghra was telling the story of Morozova and his family.

Also, the burden of being the only one who has power like his is enough to make you want a companion, which is why he continually seeks out Alina.


From book one, I already felt that Alina and Mal would end up together. The prologues and the epilogues are enough to actually prove that. And if you have read my previous reviews, you'll know that I am not a fan of them. I don't like Mal and Alina to end up together. Although I love Mal now, I still felt that them ending up together was a bit.. dull.


So there are some things I need to point in why I couldn't give this book 5 stars like the first two.

1. While the first two books gave me all the info that I need at the time, I felt that this book lacked explaining a couple of details. One being, if Mal was a decentant of Morozova and somehow related to the Darkling (hence why he was the amplifier), how did Alina get hers? It was never explained where Alina came from and why she was the Sun Summoner. No mention of it at all, if there was... Please point me to the right direction, I might have missed it somehow.

2. The ending. that stupid mo-fo ending was a big let down! Mal should have died. I would have cried happy tears if Mal died, not because I hate him, No... but because I felt it was necessary. Mal lived, but the Darkling died... i mean really? just a glowy dagger to the heart and that's it? but didn't she stab Mal too? but somehow Tamar and Tolya revived him??? No. Just no. Mal and the Darkling should have died together. If Alina doesn't become queen, I don't really have a problem with that... But I felt Mal dying was necessary... But no that didn't happen... so... fuck that.

So there was just two main reasons why I couldn't give this 5 stars..

here are the reasons why I loved it.

1. The characters. They were so three-dimensional that it felt like I have known them for a long time. All of them were familiar. And I'm not only talking about the main characters herer. There's Genya, David, Tolya, Tamar, Zoya, Misha, even the Apparat had their own characteristics that you'll know and either love or hate.

2. The unexpected twists I'm talking about the entire series in general. The unexpected encounters that I was never really expecting from book 2. Then there's the relationship between Mal and the Darkling. And also the punishment that Nikolai had to go through and Alina losing her powers. I like those.

3. The whole Grisha world. If you've read this you'll know what I mean.

4. The romance. I liked that the author remained consistent about who she wants her character to end up with. Although, I wish Mal dead, I liked that Mal and Alina's love endured despite all the trials and struggles they had to go through. Sigh. True love.

I guess that's all for me and my review of Ruin and Rising. Again, I didn't make notes so these are just random ramblings from what I remembered from the book and the entire series as this is the last book.

If you haven't read this series, I would suggest picking it up because it's extremely addicting. I love this series so much. And hope you guys would do too.

If you've read it and loved it, please comment below.. I would like to chat with you guys about it. Most especially Nikolai Hehe.


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