Book Review: ‘Ruin and Rising’

I finally finished the series! ‘Ruin and Rising’ by Leigh Bardugo is the final in her first Grishaverse series, and actually I liked the third book the most out of all of them.


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..


Ok, so like I said before, I preferred this book to the other two. I felt there was more going on certainly in the first part of the book, and of course – Nikolai comes back! So I was happy about that.

The main thing I enjoyed about the books is the readability. You get pulled into the story very quickly, and also get a sense of Alina’s character throughout. I didn’t feel this book’s plot plodded along at any point, rather moving along at a good speed. 

I felt Mal’s character was much better in this book – he became a stronger character, less whiny, and almost leader-like. Alina still felt a little flat at times, even though she was a little better here in the third book. There were mentions of her character based in the past, but I honestly couldn’t grasp the idea of her being a naughty kid in comparison to her adult self. But at least she felt a little stronger in this final part of the trilogy.

There were some great cliffhangers here, and I was a bit open-mouthed at the plot around Nikolai. No spoilers, but I suppose this part I really enjoyed, even if it was shocking.

What I didn’t like… 

That ending for one. It just felt too quick, too anticlimactic. I expected something more to be honest. Yes, it tied up everything nicely, but I just felt a bit cheated. I’d spent the whole book wondering what was going to happen, and then, well – that happened. Yes. If you’ve read the book, you probably know what I mean.

That isn’t to say it was a bad ending, it just felt like it needed more. Suddenly they’d found the Darkling and it all ended. So yes, maybe I just wanted more.

Having said that, I’m still keen to read the other books in the Grishaverse and maybe I’ll get my ‘more’.

Overall I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn’t say it’s up for another reread. I’ll keep it on my kindle though just in case. And I’m still keen to watch the tv adaptation, hoping they’ll do the story justice and maybe expand on a few things that weren’t done in the books.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x


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