The Time A Book Was Spoiled For Me And It Took Me A Year And A Half To Read It - Ruin And Rising (review)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ruin And Rising by Leigh Bardugo

TITLE: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo
RELEASE DATE: June 17th, 2014
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt and Co - Macmillan
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“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.”

RELATED : Shadow and Bone // Finishing Series Discussion // Six of Crows 

In case you couldn't tell by the image, I was so excited for Ruin and Rising that I preordered the special edition that had The Darkling's prequel novella in it.

Perhaps you have also noticed that I am finishing this book about a year and a half after it's publication.


Because something major was spoiled for me, and it killed my desire to read this book.

To say Ruin and Rising started slow would be vastly understating things. 

I may never love Alina's character but in Siege and Storm she was becoming a powerful, kickass chick, and you couldn't help but cheer her on. 

But this Alina?

If The Darkling killed her, I wouldn't have shed a tear.

Not only did we spend the first hundred or so pages moping, walking around in a daze, and then finally (but still way too slowly) start moving towards stopping The Darkling, but that powerful female figure disappeared. And she never returned. 

That Alina seemed to care about bigger and more important things, this Alina just wanted Mal.

And Mal is one of the biggest jerks I've met. 

I hate him. 

In the first book he was all "I'm going to sleep with this random girl when I supposedly have feeling for my best friend and a blind toad could see how she gets jealous and hurt when I do this." But later he's all "you're the only one for me Alina, it's always been you." 

Did he forget how he treated her in book two? 

And just how many girls had he went through since then? I'm surprise Alina didn't kill him every time some brought up his slutty ways.

At this point in the series, I only liked one character. 

I adored Nikolai. 

He was fun, snarky, had principles, and charisma. I would have followed him anywhere. Maybe it was just me, but I think his entire story line in this book happened for one reason. Not to make him a better person or challenge him while he struggled towards his goals. Nope, he was in the way of Alina + Mal. 

Make that two, The Darkling was great.

He was still as interesting as he was in the past two books. I liked finding out a bit more about him. Somethings I guessed two books ago, and somethings took me by surprise. I would spend years in his head over one minute in Alina's. At least he had noble goals, twisted as they might be.

I love a well written villain, and I love it when they manage to make me feel for them. My heart was breaking for you Darkling, but I'm not suicidal enough to reach out and hug you.

After about three hundred pages or so, the story really got moving. 

It became more interesting, less filled with side character stuff I didn't care about, and I read more than I skimmed. But it was still predictable. One thing did take me a bit by surprise, mainly because I lacked the background knowledge necessary to make that leap. 

The ending was tragic.

And I don't mean the fight between Alina's forces and The Darkling's. (I rooted for you my man until the very end of the book.) But because of how Alina ends up and what happens to her and her "true love." It was too convenient, too easy. I don't buy it. 

The sacrifices she made, the things she lost, were simply patched up and she moved on. The strong girl she could have become....poof....gone. 

It felt like the story went full circle and dropped me off where we started, only now there were more kisses involved.


This book was a huge letdown. Maybe I would have enjoyed this novel more I shipped that particular duo, but this romance killed this story for me.

"Na razrusha'ya. I am not ruined.
E'ya razrushost. I am ruination."

"Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay."

"Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing."


  1. Great review! I completely agree with you on this. For the whole series, the only character I remember liking was Nikolai; Alina was simply tragic, and I found Mal sort of dangerous - he was controlling, but in a way that still made people like him, which is really scary. I probably would've been the same if I'd been spoiled for the book, so I'm glad I read it ASAP.
    I hope this hasn't put you off Leigh's books though. Six of Crows was wonderful, even though I was apprehensive to read it because of my dislike of the original trilogy.

    Sophie @ Sophie Reads YA

    1. My poor Nikolai whose potential went unfulfilled. :( My problem with this series definitely stems from how horrible Mal was but the rest was all interesting. So I'm looking forward to reading Six, which happens to be on my TBR plan two books from now.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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