review + discussion: ruin and rising by leigh bardugo

14061957Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy
Published June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Company
Genre: fantasy, young adult, romance, magic

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

rating: 4.5/5★

Goodreads summary:

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.

I went into Ruin and Rising without much expectations, but I found myself liking it much more than the previous two books. It was different from reading Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm; my heart clenched at every painful moment, constricted at every revelation, mourned at every death. The direction of events were unpredictable and I had a spectacular time reading.

I came to enjoy reading Mal scenes. While he was whiny and a little immature in the previous books, he was steadfast with his decisions and still consistently loyal to Alina in the third book. He’s willing to let Alina go whenever he needs to but still protect and cherish her from afar. He may not be as charismatic as Nikolai and he may not be as powerful as the Darkling, but he will always Alina’s best friend and partner-in-crime. (I know I just friend-zoned Mal, but yeah.sorz)

The Darkling.. He’s still manipulative, and his actions are horrible and unforgivable but he’s a villain whom I can’t seem to hate. But, I didn’t find myself loving him. I wanted to see more of him than just glimpses however, I loved his background story. (i accidentally spoiled myself by wikipedia-ing, please don’t do that to yourself. cry)

Alina grew so much. She has her moments when I found her irritating but she really took control of the situation this time and it was amazing to see her step up and knock down people who dared to cross her path.

The girl power is amazing, it showed that the females aren’t weaklings in time of war and chaos. Not only that, they rise above the mayhem with style and tenacity.

The ending.. guys.. I’m still confused about my actual feelings and thoughts about it. It was a good conclusion for the trilogy but I was hoping for more and a much different ending, but that will all be talked about in the spoiler section.



it scared me for a moment when alina couldn’t summon her powers in the first few chapters. i thought it would take ages for her to gain her powers back but i was relieved when the problem was solved quickly.

the thing with nikolai was horrible. ugh. it was so messed up. it was 2am when i was reading that part and i was mentally yelling ‘NO’!!!! it was when thetumblr_nowlhwjidu1tq4of6o1_500 shadow flew into nikolai’s mouth and he started sprouting wings and all that shit. to say the least, i was so scared for him. he was one of my favourite people in the trilogy and i really didn’t want to die. he’s too precious to die or even get hurt. i enjoyed reading his scenes so much, he’s funny and witty and charming. he’s always trying to do the right things even though he has to make hard choices ,and he loves his country and his people. my mind was sent into an overdrive when he took the emerald ring and slid it into alina’s finger when he was a nichevo’ya. q8mlg

i sobbed.

and he has one of the best lines ever. he has a way to make bad times feel a tiny bit better.

i LOLed when mal told alina that he had inappropriate thoughts of her when they were younger because i didn’t see that coming at all. but i wasn’t fond of them being endgame. i rather they stay as best friends and continue their playful banter. i don’t dislike mal even though he has his immature moments but he’s not a bad person, probably a little underdeveloped. i kinda like that mal held an important role than him being an expert tracker. can someone sketch the scene when the firebird stopped in front of mal because he’s the third amplifier??? i wanna see it!!

the darkling’s death hit me harder than i expected. OH MY HEART. i know i know, the darkling is the villain and all that but the way he wanted alina to mourn for him and he just became a boy again. and the part where baghra died, i couldn’t handle it. tissue-oi was quite disappointed when he didn’t come back to life like mal did. but to be honest, he lived his life long enough and he witness the death of his mother and his actions are outrageous and his death would mean some sort of closure to many.

i found the side characters like tolya, zoya and some times adrik, so freaking hilarious! their comebacks are always on point.and i love every single moment of it. their banter are so playful and it was something ordinary out of all the chaos that was brewing.


David frowned disapprovingly. “Too much weight.”
“Don’t look at me,” said Tolya.

and also this:

Adruptly, Adrik snarled, “I’m glad Sergei’s dead. I’m just sorry I didn’t get to wring his neck myself.”
“You’d need two hands for that,” said Zoya.
There was a brief, terrible silence, then Adrik scowled and said, “Okay, stab him.”

the ending kind of confused me a little. alina’s powers are gone and it was transferred to some people. so.. are those people now sun summoners now? do they have grisha powers? what are their powers?

genya was beautiful. she was strong despite her scars, and she was so much more knowledgeable and powerful than what the darkling or the queen or the king saw her as. AND DAVID KISSED HER!! jonah-hill-squealsahhhhh!! i couldn’t stop the excitement when i read it. and every time genya just stares at david with heart-shaped eyes when he rambles about his materialki stuffs were adorable.

oh, and i hate sergei. he spoiled a meteor shower. what a horrible person.



“He’s a warrior,” she’d said. “If you make him believe he’s less now, he’ll never know he can be more.”


(my aesthetic for ruin and rising)

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