Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy (Book #3)
Published: June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
Format: 427 pages; Paperback; Ebook
I have been avoiding this book… as I tend to avoid most end-of-series books. What if the ending is just plain horrible? What if it’s horrible but… right? Not finishing a series leaves the ending full of possibilities, and sometimes I’d rather it stay that way — the story ongoing, forever. However, Heather has issues with this viewpoint and because I love her (and because she can’t talk to me about these books I avoid, and I too know the pain of being unable to share bookish feels), I’ve tried to finish up a few books I’ve been leaving in limbo.
Ruin and Rising was one of these books.
So how was it? Well, I found the ending bittersweet. In some ways, I had hoped it would end slightly differently. In the end, I think it concluded just as it should have.
I’ve loved Alina’s progression throughout the series from an incredibly insecure girl who needed the affirmation of others and craved a place to belong, to a pragmatic, world-worn, self-sacrificing leader trying to save her nation. A little worse for wear, a little broken, but stronger than before with a new-found self-assuredness. Her struggles in this book with her power, her worries about her capacity for darkness, and her stylized role as saint, are fantastic.
While most of Siege and Storm took place in and around the Little Palace, Ruin and Rising is a book and a story on the move, and I really liked that. Leigh takes the reader on a journey all over Ravka and a bit beyond. It’s fast-paced as Alina searches for the elusive firebird, and the climax is satisfying and, as I said before, bittersweet. There were definitely a few tears upon finishing this one. Darn you, Leigh Bardugo.
As for Mal, Nikolai and the Darkling, they are all fabulous in their own ways. I loved the changes and growth in Mal and Nikolai. And of course, the Darkling with his twisted connection to Alina, his history, and his agenda, continues to be the most seductive, compelling figure of this series. I won’t say much beyond that, seeing as how all of these characters’ fates are so tied in with Alina’s.
Overall, finishing this book broke me a little for a few days, but I’m so glad I finally read it. It’s a series that will remain a favorite for a long time to come.