Review: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3)
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.
My rating: 5 stars
What an explosive ending to an amazing series! I am so happy I finally picked up these books and read them. I loved the conclusion to the Grisha trilogy more than I thought possible since the first two were only four stars for me. I have to say that Leigh Bardugo is a very gifted writer who crafts characters you can't help but fall in love with or hate with every part of your being. When I started the series, I liked The Darkling. I thought everyone would see him as the bad guy and then we'd find out that he wasn't as bad as we all thought. I did not care for Mal at all. There just wasn't anything there for me. By the second book, I'd given up hope on The Darkling and my dislike for Mal grew so much. I cannot believe now I can say that I like Mal and he was one of my favorite characters by the end of the third book. I loved seeing the growth he displayed in Ruin and Rising; I loved that he finally started caring about what would happen to Ravka and was willing to sacrafice anything for it. I never got back on The Darkling's side by the end but that was okay. He was the villain who had a tragic past that you could sympathize with. I won't go into too much detail because I do not want to spoil these books for anyone.
I grew to love Alina even more in the third book. I felt like she just continued to grow and embrace who she was and stopped apologizing all the time for what she was feeling. She knew her fate was tied to that of Ravka and it was up to her to save them. I was happy to see that she was willing to sacrifice anything for her country and it's citizens. Her power grew and her love grew as well. She became a strong female lead that I could get behind and root for. Nikolai is still my absolute favorite character from this series. The scene with him and Baghra is one of the funniest I've read in a long time and seriously cracked me up. I liked who he was and how clever he could be. I cannot wait for King of Scars so that I can see his story in more detail. I have to say that I also enjoyed Zoya who was so straight-forward and blunt that it was comedic most of the times. I liked Nadia, Adrik, Harshaw, and Misha. I still loved the twins, Tolya and Tamar. This band of characters made the third book that much richer and it was nice to see more characters and to see Alina interact with others. I also loved Genya and David and their romance was so amazing to watch grow. Genya was such a strong character in her own right who had to learn some hard lessons. The characters are what makes Leigh Bardugo's books and what makes me become so engrossed in them.
Bardugo is one of my auto-buy authors now and I cannot wait to see what more she comes out with. I've read five of her novels and I have fallen in love with the world she's created and the characters she has crafted. Ruin and Rising was well done and did not leave me wanting more. I loved how Alina's story ended and cannot wait to read Nikolai's duology, the first coming in January 2019. If you haven't tried the Grisha series or the Six of Crows duology, I highly recommend that you do. You will not regret giving this author a chance.