This week, I put everything on hold to read Ruin And Rising. The other book I’m reading sat idly by as if it knew it was my second choice prom date. The book I’m writing seemed content with the 45 minutes I gave it during lunch breaks. My husband just rolled his eyes and made himself scarce around the house so my ignoring him wasn’t so blatant. But I’ve been waiting on this book for a year (well, ever since I read Shadow and Bone a few years ago if you want to be technical) and it demanded to be the top of my priority list. For good reason.
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’ve read the finales to a few trilogies in the last year and to say I was underwhelmed is an understatement. So, I was terrified that the end of the Grisha Trilogy would leave me feeling the same. I should have known better than to think Leigh Bardugo (and the Darkling) would disappoint me.
It’s hard to talk about Ruin And Rising without giving anything away. There are SO many things I want to let spill onto the screen here. Things I loved, theories I’d had that turned out to be close to correct, scenes that made me laugh and cry and sit there in shock, my complete and utter devotion to the Darkling despite his evil, evil ways (don’t judge me). But this is one of those books I don’t want to spoil too much. Like the other two books, this one was gorgeously written. The tension, whether romantic or worry for the lives of Alina, Mal, Nikolai, et al, was so high I couldn’t put the book down. I know there will be fans who are very unhappy with certain things at the end of this book, and to them I say, “Did you really think I could end any other way?” Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want these things to happen, but it’s what the story (and character arcs) required and it would’ve been a shame to force it into something it wasn’t supposed to be.
After a respectable amount of time, I will probably do a full-on fangirl review of this book, but for now, let me just say that I LOVED this book, even the parts that hurt me.
Now, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the book (not attributed because, spoilers).
“Please tell me you plan to dress up as a volcra and jump out of a cake.”
“For all my talk of vows and honor, what I really want is to push you up against that wall and kiss you until you forget you ever knew another man’s name.”
“Claimed me? Like a peninsula?”
“Are you going to start wearing black now?”
“Know that I loved you…Know that it was not enough.”