Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Grisha Trilogy Book #3
Pages: 417
Related Words: grisha, the darkling, summoner, light, dark, good, evil
Rating: 4/5


The capital has fallen and the Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nations’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 than an outlaw prince still survives. 

Aline will have to force 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 would cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for. 

Overall Review (Without Spoilers)

I was so excited to read the conclusion to the Grisha Trilogy. With how the last book ended and the dangers that were surrounding the whole plot of the story, I was curious to see how Bardugo would finish off the series. And, in my opinion, she didn’t disappoint.

I loved how she wrote the characters and we got to explore each and every one of them. The characters were also further developed and I felt we really got to know who they were. The atmosphere of the book was also amazingly written, and there were many parts where I myself felt a part of the story. I was completely satisfied with how it ended and it is definitely an amazing ending to an amazing trilogy. Though it wasn’t perfect– no book it– it definitely made a lasting impression on me.

Full Review (*With Spoilers*)


The book starts off a few months after the last events of Siege and Storm. With the Darkling surviving Alina’s last attack, he is situated on the throne, ruling Ravka and pursuing Alina in order to use her power. While Alina, Mal, and the surviving Grisha go underground to escape and find the Apparat who will provide them safety, at least for some time. We find that Alina regains her power after being in the sunlight and the team plans to head out in order to search for Nikolai and stop the Darkling’s forces.

I really enjoyed this book and I was really satisfied with the conclusion. There were some parts where I felt Bardugo could have amped up the story a bit, but overall, I felt that it was a fitting end to the heroes (and villain) of the book. I absolutely loved the side characters, such as David, and how we got to know them more as we read through since they weren’t focused on in the first two books. David’s nerdiness and Nikolai’s humour was undoubtly one of the best parts of the entire book, and it lightened up the atmosphere when things got really tough for the characters.

Speaking of tough times, there were many parts of the book where I have to admit, I didn’t think they would win the fight. Alina only had a couple of people fighting for her, and everyone else was on the Darkling’s side. I felt that there was in no way that they would be able to win, and I have to give Bardugo a round of applause for her excellent writing skills for making me feel this way.

The plot twist with Mal being the third amplifier was quite a shock as well. I never expected it to happen and when it did, I was still very confused but amazed nonetheless. However, I felt the way he came back to life at the end of the story was just too good to be true. Of course, I wouldn’t want Alina to be alone forever, but I felt that his resurrection just made his death less awesome. 

The Darkling’s twisted character was also a great part to contemplate about. He is evil to the core, there isn’t a doubt, but the fact that he had Ravka’s best intentions with him, really made him get on my good side. I understand, he destroyed a whole village, slaughtered many without hesitation, but I also can’t ignore the fact that he couldn’t kill his own mother and that he had been alone for all of his life and all he wanted was to protect, though it was in an amoral way.

The Darkling’s character was one of my favourite things in this whole series as it really gave you something to thing about. His complexity can very well reflect us. I felt this whole trilogy really had a lot of meaning behind it. It confronts the darkness, the light, and doesn’t see things in just black and white. And that is what I loved about this series. 

Though the ending was a bit too quick, I felt it was executed fairly and I don’t think it could have ended any other way. The Darkling was already past redemption, Alina’s greed already led to her destruction– there was no stopping it.

“What is infinite? The universe and greed of men.”



4/5 stars! This conclusion was amazingly written and Leigh Bardugo has earned her spot in my favourite authors list. I cannot wait to get my hands on her other series Six of Crows and plunge my way back in the Grishaverse again.

What were your thoughts on Ruin and Rising? 


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