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.
Ruin and Rising is the third and final book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. As with the two previous instalments (Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm) we are thrust into the world of The Grisha – individuals with unique abilities based on the Small Sciences – which is in turmoil following the clash between Alina and The Darkling in the previous book.
I really love this series – the characters continue to be engaging and relatable, in spite the fantastical setting and elements. Alina remains a strong, female lead who needs to navigate a world and position that she never imagined she would be in. She is learning to control her abilities and then learning to use them without fear. The Darkling is one of my favourite characters of the series, but he is a truly terrifying villain. Both Alina and The Darkling spend this book trying to identify the weaknesses of the other so as to afford them the best chance of a favourable outcome in their inevitable clash.
Two character elements disappointed me in this book: the first being the absence of Nikolai for the majority of the book. He is undoubtably my favourite character, and he brings a lightness to a very dark world with his humour (which is hilarious). While he is in the book, there are elements – which were for his own character development, I know – that took him out of the bulk of the narrative, which was unfortunate. The second character was Mal, who in this book blew hot and cold for me the whole way through. His relationship with Alina continues to puzzle me, all the way through to the ending.
The book itself has a very satisfactory conclusion – there are elements that undoubtably frustrate big fans of the book, but nothing about it struck me as being a [i]bad choice[/i]. The ending felt natural, and the consequences felt real, and in a fantasy book, that’s a very good outcome. There’s room for Leigh Bardugo to return to this world (through Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, and potentially other books) but all the threads of this trilogy have been wrapped up for readers.
Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I’m so glad I read this series, and I look forward to concluding Crooked Kingdom to see out Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha world.
title // The Grisha Trilogy #3 – Ruin and Rising
author // Leigh Bardugo
publisher // Hachette Australia
genre // Young Adult, Fantasy
publication date // July 2015
format // Paperback