Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Love of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

This book took me far too long to get my hands on and finally read. I reread Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm earlier this summer in preparation (Recaptains summaries for those who don’t like rereading), but only got around to reading Ruin and Rising a few weeks ago. But boy am I glad I didn’t wait any longer. Ruin and Rising is a fantastic ending to a wonderful series, and while it is undoubtably better than Siege and Storm, I might even have enjoyed it more than Shadow and Bone! 


Series: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 3

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5 stars! (actually about 4.78, but I’ll round up)


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.


This book took me far too long to get my hands on and finally read. I reread Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm earlier this summer in preparation (Recaptains summaries for those who don’t like rereading), but only got around to reading Ruin and Rising a few weeks ago. But boy am I glad I didn’t wait any longer. Ruin and Rising is a fantastic ending to a wonderful series, and while it is undoubtably better than Siege and Storm, I might even have enjoyed it more than Shadow and Bone!

Although this book didn’t feel like it had much of a beginning, I honestly didn’t mind. Shadow and Bone takes care of the boring beginning factor entirely, and I was glad to be able to jump right into the plot in Ruin and Rising.

Ruin and Rising is full of new characters and beautiful new relationships in the minor characters. (Semi-spoilers for the truly oblivious) However, as I complained in my review of Siege and Storm, I am still not sold on the Alina & Mal relationship (not saying this is how it ends up–but really? you can’t see that coming?–just their *possible* relationship in general). Their romance was improved in this final installment, but it is not one I will ever “ship.” I do however understand that no other relationship would work for Alina — although I don’t approve, I understand her reasoning. The other relationships in this book (including a gay couple in a fantasy book!) are lovely, and made me squirm with joy!

Nikolai! Have I mentioned that Nikolai reminds me of a combination between two TV show characters: Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time and Varrick in The Legend of Korra? Can anyone else see it? He is dashing (and he knows it) and calculating!

This book is packed with plot twists! Luckily, Leigh Bardugo did a job job at not making me feel too dizzy by the end, by making it not as confusing as it could have been. Oh, it’s so hard to keep my lips (well, fingers) glued shut, so I’ll have to leave the plot twists at that.

Finally, I loved the ending that Leigh indulged us in, which we most certainly didn’t get in the past two books. It really felt like a treat to get a full summary of everyone’s ending (whether happy or not), when many others would have left it up to you to decide. Thanks Leigh!

I’m glad that although this series has come to an end, I at least have something else to look forward to: Six of Crows, the first in a new series in the Grisha world but with a new cast of characters, releasing in 2015.

What did you think of this book? Worth the wait?


2 comments on “Gwen’s Love of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Molly Mortensen
    November 7, 2014

    Spoilers in this comment!!

    I wasn’t a fan of Alena and Mal either, but I expected them to get together. I loved Nikolai too! The Darkling was such a great villain, his downfall was a bit anticlimactic, and I could even live with the whole power loss thing, but I really didn’t like the now lots of people have these super rare and really strong powers. I just think that’s a recipe for disaster. I did really like this series, but I wasn’t fond of the ending.

    • gwenkate
      November 7, 2014

      I completely agree! Thanks for the comment — I can’t say all that without having spoilers in the review, but I love talking about it! I definitely did not enjoy that “lots of people with super rare powers thing” — it was one of those twists I hate so much that is quite unexpected but not in a good way. ~Gwen

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This entry was posted on November 6, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , , .
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