‘Ruin and Rising’ Review

What a brilliant ending to a brilliant series! After having started this series back last January, I finally got around to finishing it. The previous novel, ‘Siege and Storm’ left us wondering if Alina would be able to overthrow the Darkling once and for all. Bardugo started this section of Alina’s story in the perfect place, with Alina having to break free from the Apparat’s prison.

The plot was spot on – I was so happy to see Nikolai and his wonderful dialogue again, and left gaping at the page at plot twist after plot twist as Bardugo fleshed out Alina’s story to build towards that thunderous conclusion. After having left it a while before writing this review and having read the second and third novels back to back, they are starting to blend all into one in some respects.

I think Bardugo’s characters really shine throughout this story. I love Alina, and can really identify with her as a protagonist. I love how her and Mal are intertwined, and I really love how their romance wasn’t in your face all the time. It gave a more sweet aspect to their love story, because it wasn’t irritating that Bardugo was making the whole story about that. Plus I thought Bardugo was going to break my heart when it came to this at one point, and I was sobbing as I read the latter half of the book. Aargh, the feeeeels! I loved reading about Baghra, and all of the Grisha characters… Bardugo just makes them all so likeable and you want a happy ending for all of them!

God, that ending though… It was so heartbreaking, but I was happy that Bardugo included it. Not like Maggie Stiefvater’s incredibly disappointing conclusion to the Raven Boys with that massive cop out of “nope no one dies here!” That wonderful epilogue had such a sense of nostalgia to it, and was definitely the perfect way to end the series. You even couldn’t help feeling sorry for the Darkling and his need to not feel alone any more. It was so well done! I can’t wait to start Bardugo’s other series at some point, as I’ve also heard good things about that, too.

Overall, I would give it a 4/5 because it was so damn good!





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