Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Published by: Indigo Books
Series: Shadow and Bone (#1), Siege and Storm (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon
P L O T
In the final book of the Grisha Trilogy, Alina and Mal must hunt for the final amplifier in hopes of destroying the Darkling and his power once of for all. Full of action, tragedy and the occasion sweet kiss, Ruin and Rising is one of the best series finales I’ve ever read.
The characters have reached their climatic peril. It’s all go for the gang. How many other ‘this is it!’ quotes can I put in a plot summary? Basically, we’re in for a wild ride. (Woohoo, cliche counter cracked!)
C H A R A C T E R S
There’s something about this book that sets it apart from the rest of the series and that is character development. Everything that’s stressed Alina out from the beginning rests on her shoulders as the Sun Summoner. She can be with her beloved Mal, but to what extent? Throughout the series, Alina’s had a lot of capability to end up like the Darkling, and be corrupted by her power and responsibility. As I was reading Ruin and Rising, I seriously didn’t know which way she would turn. Of course, we have your classic self sacrifice necessary in any series ending to really add to the tension.
As far as the Darkling goes, his backstory was amazing. Normally, when authors give a backstory to a villain, it can go one of two way: sympathy or continued hatred. Unfortunately, Fairest failed to achieve where Ruin and Rising succeeded. I felt like I understood the Darkling, his past and his motives. As much as I hate the guy, I sympathised, and to draw out that kind of emotion from a reader is what makes Leigh Bardugo such a brilliant writer.
R O M A N C E
(*Spoiler Warning!*) Although romance has never been a primary theme in these books, there’s still an undercurrent. I’ve always shipped Alina with Mal, that’s, like, how it’s supposed to be. The Darkling and Alina would have made a power couple, but in the end, I didn’t see him as a plausible love interest either. Nikolai on the other hand…
In Siege and Storm, Nikolai came into his own. I seriously had no idea which way the romance was going to go. Either way would have pleased me, but Mal was top of my list. What happened to Nikolai was heart breaking. I mean, come on, turning into a demon? My little heart broke. Would he be OK? I’m still not sure, and I know what happens at the end!
But Mal and Alina, or Malina as I like to call them, well, they were just meant to be, right?
C O N C L U S I O N
Shadow and Bone was my first introduction into high fantasy, by Bee’s recommendation and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have read this amazing trilogy. I can’t wait to read Six of Crows and after meeting Leigh Bardugo, I can conclude there isn’t a more charming human being on the planet. I fell in love with the series, slowly but surely, and will now do my bit to chuck it on to anyone wanting to start reading fantasy. Read it, you won’t be disappointed!