Ruin and Rising was impressive and fascinating finale of Shadow and Bone trilogy. It wasn’t as bad as most readers were making. Sure, some might not like pacing and romantic aspect but for me it was amazing.
Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Publication Date : June 17th 2014
Publisher : Orion
Genre : Fantasy / YA
Pages : 387
*** I own this book. ***
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.
Previous Books in Series
Ruin and Rising was strong final book in The Shadow and Bone trilogy. It revolved around Alina and Mal once again finding a way to leave their underground prison, looking for prince and third amplifier. Story was about trust, faith, friendship, loss, grief, betrayal, love, greed and its price, power, sacrifice, and making tough decision.
Writing was fabulous, spell binding and super fast paced. I might have finished book in single day, if I didn’t have other chores to do. It was first person narrative from Alina’s POV. Plot was interesting and there were some amazing surprises.
I’m not going to summarise how it started (I wrote it but then I wanted to give that space to secondary characters so deleted it later). It was interesting to see how Alina and surviving Grisha would deal with Apparat, what would they encounter once they were above ground, how they would find prince, could they find third amplifier or would it turn out hopeless, what Darkling was planning, who was going to win the final game.
There were some parallel events between first and third (Mal and Alina again going to find amplifier but this time they were not alone) and second and third book (I’m not saying what, it would be spoiler for both books, but it was pretty obvious if you read both books).
Characters were much better. I loved secondary characters. It was amazing to see improvement in few characters. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I loved Zoya in this. I didn’t know if I trusted her or not in second book but in this, she surprised me. She still had that mean girl edge but I loved her for her loyalty. She was smart, strong, fierce, and witty. David was fun to read. Genya was amazing. I cried for her at the end of the second book but I loved how she came out of what she went through and the way she faced the king. She was bravest and strongest of all and terrifyingly smart. I so loved Baghra, being her usual self in this was something I missed in previous book. Did I ever say I loved Tolya and Tamar? Dark humour, loyalty, fierceness, and dangerous, loved each other and did whatever they had to do to protect and survive. They were best twins I have ever read after Fred and George (no comparison, I’m talking about best twins list).
Mal was surprisingly great. Not at all frustrating and I’m so happy to see he finally understood what’s it like to be special and then losing it. I loved Mal for pointing out Alina wasn’t like Darkling and supporting her throughout the book.
Alina was not bad. I couldn’t understand her mind when it came to deciding who she really wanted but I get her self-doubt and dilemma about power and what she wants and if would she sacrifice what she loves when time came. She was complicated but that made her more realistic, so normal. She came far from in first book. She became smart, determined, and feisty from that meek, invisible, girl who felt there was nothing special about her.
Nikolai was amazing. I loved every single word in book related to him. He was so witty and boyish yet wise and great leader. I loved him even more for standing up for Genya. He made me smile, laugh, sad, and cry. I love his new name at the end, King of Scar.
I enjoyed reading from where exactly Darkling learned merzost. His history and childhood made me understand him even more. And no matter how ruthless, cruel and heartless he was, I have to agree with Alina, he loved Ravka, his dream of giving Grisha safe place was great, and his real name, his feelings for Baghra, what happened at the end made him so human. He truly was best villain.
As always world was best part. I enjoyed exploring Ravka, underground tunnels, Nikolai’s secret place- Spinning Wheel, and Mal and Alina’s journey of finding amplifier, knowing more about Morozova and his life, and how he created amplifiers, theories and science behind Grisha powers, Nikolai’s aircrafts, and mystery of Mal’s skill of finding any living creature.
Romance wasn’t my favourite part. Author made it so complicated with all the proposals Alina was getting in this and she stupidly was thinking about them all. I enjoyed moments between Alina -Nikolai and Alina-Mal. They were lovely heart-warming moments no matter how many times I wanted to shake Alina and tell her ‘make up your mind girl’. It’s the reason rated it 4.5 but at the end it pales in comparison to overall enjoyment of the book.
Action scenes were great. Climax was surprising. I have to say I didn’t see that coming and I couldn’t have figured out things about third amplifier. I enjoyed all events from climax till end. How third amplifier worked was shocking in the end. Unlike most readers I actually liked the end. I wouldn’t change it. And I have to agree with author Alina sure deserved to have peaceful and happy life and I don’t think that’s possible with different possible ends.
Overall, Ruin and Rising was best book in this trilogy. It was impressive, fascinating, entertaining and perfectly written. It wasn’t as bad as most readers were making. Sure, some might not like pacing and romantic aspect but for me it was amazing.
If you love author’s writing, fabulous world building with answers to all questions you had in previous books, more myth and stories, and witty characters, I highly recommend this book.
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