Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Page Count: 422
Publication Date: 2014
Category/Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic, Young Adult, Romance
Good Reads Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.05)
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.0)
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.
Despite my feelings that Shadow and Bone was medicore at best and the second book of the trilogy Siege and Storm was definitely better, I decided that I should at least complete the trilogy and bring it all to an end.
I’m not quite so sure that I really needed to.
I still had so many issues with the overall lack of depth and overall plot to the
story trilogy. There was a lot of interesting points in the book but I felt like they were loosely tied together and more than anything it felt like we just touched down on them instead of really exploring or taking them to the next level. And some really did deserve to have more time spent there.
My favorite scenes were the ones with the Darkling. This book gives him more depth which I was pleased with, but again Bardugo really steered clear of getting too dark — to my disappointment.
He was ancient, I knew that. But in this moment he was just a boy – brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by eternity.
The dynamic between Alina and the Darkling reminded me of Rey and Kylo Ren, even to the point of the whole vision connection to each other. But again, Bardugo keeps things much more shallow than they deserved to be. Especially with the relationship between Darkling and Baghra. There was a gut-wrenching scene that brought me to tears and when Baghra spilled out her secrets my love for her increased. These were the best points of the trilogy by far.
But, if I have to say what my biggest disappointment was in the book or the series was, it was the ending. Without giving specific spoilers, I will just say the Disney-esque ending was a knife in the chest to finish me off.