Saturday, February 21, 2015

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: June 17, 2014

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.

Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

This series was certainly an interesting read.  I truly enjoyed over the three books seeing more of the fantastical world Bardugo created.  And seeing Alina grow into her role as the Sun Summoner.  I did have a few issues with the entire series from the start.

First off, from the very first book I did not like Mal.  If he were Alina's true love he would have noticed her before she disappeared from his life.  Second, my favorite character in all of these books was the Darkling.  Okay, yes sometimes I do love a bad boy.  But he was supposed to be the villain.  Am I supposed to hate him?  Am I supposed to love him?  I found myself wanting him to win...

All that aside, the other main issue I had with this book was the ending.  Mainly because of the characters.  So, Christina's perfect ending for this book goes: Alina realizes Mal will never understand her and dumps him.  She goes back to the Darkling and convinces him to abdicate his power to the Grisha to rule themselves.  They balance each other with their powers of light and dark.  They cannot destroy the fold, but they can keep it in check for centuries to come.  The End.  

I am cheesy, yes?  Well, wishing gets you nothing so I won't say I wish that was the ending.

What I did like particularly about this book was the intricate backstory of the Darkling, his mother, and finally of Mal.  I also really enjoyed how Zoya became a true ally.  

What did I think? Well, the world building was completed and definitely beautiful.  But some parts of the story didn't completely make sense, or just didn't seem to have a reason to be there.  And I don't agree with the ending Bardugo chose (even though it wasn't a terrible one).  I enjoyed the book a good amount.  Recommended to fantasy fans.

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