July 25, 2014

Review of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Page Count: 417
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Fantasy
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.

Ruin and  Rising is the final book in its trilogy and a book that I dove into with extremely high expectations after the previous two. From beginning to end Ruin and Rising was an amazing journey that surpassed my expectations. From the plot to the settings to the characters I loved every single aspect of it and wouldn't mind reading it another hundred or thousand times.

Since Ruin and Rising was the final book in its trilogy there weren't that many new settings or world building, the majority of that happened in the first two books. However, the small amount of new settings that were introduced were as vividly written as the ones before. From Nikolai's mountain hideout to Dva Solta they were all interesting and kept me glued to its pages. The plot was truly spectacular with multiple twists and turns, changing the whole story each time. Especially the third talisman and Sankt Ilya, I was extremely intrigued and held my breath each time some new information was about to be revealed. The ending of Ruin & Rising was in my opinion near perfect but I felt like the Darkling's death was premature and the epilogue should have been longer. That being said, I'm just grateful most of the characters I liked survived although I was saddened by one particular Inferni who died. Alina once again went through an extreme amount of things, including death and fear. She had to search for the third talisman, kill her best friend, and face the Darkling multiple times. There were definitely times when she faltered or became hurt but in the end she trudged through it and defeated her obstacles. While in the end she ends up with Mal I wish she had gone with Nikolai a.k.a Sturmhond, my favorite character. Each and every character was amazing to read about and I wanted more of them, yes, even the Darkling. There's a reason that Leigh Bardugo is a New York Times-Bestselling Author and that reason manifests itself in the wonderful creation that is Ruin and Rising.

If this review has not convinced you to read Ruin and Rising then maybe what Lauren DeStefano wrote will:

"Some people will tell you this book is good. This is a lie. This book is not good. One night, Good was sitting at home in his recliner, listening to Bach and having a nice cool chardonnay. The doorbell rang, and as soon as Good answered the door, in his red velvet robe, this book punched Good in the face. This book kicked Good's ass. Good begged for his life as this book's shadow covered his quavering body. This book just laughed and persisted with its merciless annihilation. Good died from this book's injuries and was buried in an unmarked grave. Beside Good's unmarked grave, there is an empty plot, waiting for your heart, which will be ripped from your chest and buried there once you have finished this book.

To put it mildly."


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