Ruin and Rising is the third and final book in the Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo. I will try and keep my review as spoiler-free as possible, so everyone can enjoy it. I will link my reviews of both Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, if you want to know my opinions of them.
Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Audience: Young Adult
Taken from Goodreads
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.
I’m glad that I have finally finished the Shadow and Bone series, and while I have given Ruin and Rising 3 stars, I did enjoy this book the most. Ruin and Rising did improve on some of the problems I had with the first two books, but I still had some issues that detracted from my enjoyment.
Ruin and Rising did allow me to feel much more connected to the characters, and as I am a character driven reader, this really helped my enjoyment. I found out more about them, and what motivates them to make their decisions, making them more enjoyable. It also helped finding out more about the supporting characters, as it felt like they had a purpose rather than just being there to move the plot along. My only issue was that I didn’t get enough from my favourite character Nikolai, which would have improved the book even more for me.
One of my issues within Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm was that I wanted to see more of the outside world, rather than focusing on one spot. And Ruin and Rising did give me what I wanted, but I still wanted more. While it was nice to see the different areas, I wanted to learn more about them. It felt as if everything could have gone a more in-depth, and given a bit of background, which would have kept me more interested.
As I have mentioned within all three of my reviews, I would have loved more information about Grisha and their powers. I think there was so much that could have been explained, and because I love a rigid magic system if just fell a little bit short for me.
I wasn’t expecting the ending in Ruin and Rising, so it was nice to see a deviation from traditional ya endings. But it felt as if it was over too quickly. All the groundwork that had been laid about an epic showdown, but it didn’t happen, so it let me down. I wanted to read a lot more about the final battle, yet it was over within 10 pages. I think if the book had been another 50 pages longer, it would have given the series the ending that it deserved.
Overall, I enjoyed Ruin and Rising and definitely think that it is my favourite of the series. There are still some things that I think were missing, but it was still a solid read for me.
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