Monday, September 7, 2015

Book Review: Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy Series, #3)

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy Series, #3): Leigh Bardugo 

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.

This book series has been such an amazing and wild ride, and I am so sad it's now over. Ruin and Rising had so many emotional twists and turns, not to mention deaths *side eyes Leigh Bardugo* that I may truly never recover from. I remember looking at Shadow and Bone in Barnes & Noble when it first came out and thinking "wow what a beautiful book cover" but reading it was about monsters and not wanting to read it. I don't know what made me pick this series up, but I can't tell you how glad I am. This series is now one of my all time favorite series. It is AMAZING! It is my favorite fantasy series I've read so far. And I've read a lot of fantasy … so let me just thank Leigh Bardugo for writing his masterpiece and begin with my review of the last book of the Grisha series. 

"I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but mine."

This series has one of the best cast of characters. I literally don't think I'd be able to pick between this cast and the cast of my favorite all time series, The Southern Vampire Mystery Series (AKA Sookie Stackhouse). From the start of Shadow and Bone, I knew Alina was different from every other MC I was used to. Sure, she was love sick for a time in the very beginning, but after she met The Darkling she just flourished into someone else. Alina embraced her power instead of ran from it, she really welcomed the darkness into her and that's what made her so different. She was selfish, bossy, powerful, and passionate. And she wanted to be the girl from before she could summon light. But at the same time, she knew that girl was gone and everything was different. Mal made the most transformation for me in this book. He wasn't a slut like in book 1, and he wasn't a moody brat like in book 2; he really trusted Alina and truly believed in her power instead of feared it. We also see a deeper side to The Darkling in this book as well. What was his past like? How did he become this cruel? And most importantly, what is his true name? 

"We all die. Not everyone dies for a reason."

The romance in this book destroyed me. I seriously wanted every character to end up with each other on a really big swingers island. Because that would have been pretty practical, right? Up until this point I would say I was pretty undecided on who I shipped Alina with. The first book I was definitely team Darkling. Then when I found out he was bad (If you don't know he's bad - you're reading my review for book three, where have you been?), well I still shipped him anyway because I felt like Alina could redeem him. Well I definitely didn't ship Mal in book one, mostly because he slept around with other girls not giving any shits while Alina would have done anything for him. Then second book in walks Nikolai and BOOM another ship. I still shipped The Darkling and I still didn't ship Mal. It wasn't until this book that I started to really, really like Mal. Don't get me wrong, I still liked them all. But I definitely understand why Leigh made that decision for Alina to choose who she chose after that pivotal ending that would change Alina's life forever. 

"He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he'll never have enough of her. 
Like he's trying to capture what he can before she's gone."

Basically a part of my heart belongs to this book series. I would be fine if nobody else read it so I can keep it all to myself and at the same time I shudder to think of the popularity it will gain when it becomes a movie because it obviously will - it's just THAT good. Leigh Bardugo created an empire with this series - I am very curious to see what she will create with Six of Crows. Because obviously that's going to also be a bomb of feels … 

- Jocelyn

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