Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
(Amazon|Book Depository|Goodreads)

Pages: 422
Source: Purchased
Series: The Grisha #3
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton, Indigo
Pubilcation Date: June 17th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Love Triangle, Magic, Romance, Young Adult

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 The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo Book Review

I wrote this review a couple of months ago after I finished binge reading the Grisha trilogy, but only just wanted to post it haha.

I SURVIVED, and gosh, that was one hell of a ride! I’ve finished my Grisha trilogy binge read, and although I’m still suffering from a major book hangover, I’m now back to functioning normally. Almost. You can check out my review for book one here and book two hereThe second half of this review contains some spoilers, but they are safely put in spoiler tags so they aren’t visible UNLESS you’re reading this post in email format. 🙂

“You are on your knees… We are not negotiating.”

I was terrified to read this. I would read one chapter, put it down, look sideways at the book, then slowly pick it up again. This happened every 5 chapters – no joke. I didn’t want the Grisha series to come to an end, but all good things must so I braced myself for it. I WAS STRONG.

Yuyeh sesh. Despise your heart. Ni weh sash. I have no heart.”

I was also extremely nervous because I didn’t know who would end up dying – THERE ARE ALWAYS DEATHS, and if there weren’t I wouldn’t be happy either. BUT, if a certain someone died I don’t think there would be enough chocolate in the world to comfort me (perhaps it would require a combination of savoury and sweet: pizza, burgers, chocolate, and cake). Okay, I’m getting off topic here.

nervous anxious gif

“Baghra,” Nikolai said, “how are you this evening?”
“Still old and blind,” she snarled.
“And charming,” Nikolai drawled. “Never forget charming.”
“What do you want, pest?”

I’m going to start this review off by saying the same thing: THE WORLD BUILDING IS TO DIE FOR. I loved the Spinning Wheel, I was in imagination heaven during those chapters (I talk about my imagination like it’s some kind of external part of me). The humour is also so incredibly on point. Leigh Bardugo, I don’t know how you do it. 

“There’s not much to do underground besides train.”
“I can think of a few more interesting ways to spend one’s time.”
“Is that supposed to be innuendo?”
“What a filthy mind you have. I was referring to puzzles and the perusal of edifying texts.”

A lot of things change in this book, and many things happen; both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. The ending is a happy ending, thank Saints (check me and my my Grisha lingo out). I do have some qualms about the ending, but not big stuff.


I’m going to break my character ramblings down and general thoughts, so it’s easier and clearly I have a LOT to say (what’s new, right?).

I’m keeping them in spoiler tags incase there are people who haven’t read the first two books – so open at your own caution, my fellow booklings.

  • The Darkling: View Spoiler »
  • Nikolai: View Spoiler »
  • Mal: View Spoiler »
  • Alina: View Spoiler »
  • All of the other characters: View Spoiler »
  • My thoughts on who Alina ended up with: View Spoiler »

I’m pretty sure this has just ended up as me analysing love interests and relationships, and hardly talking about the plot but I NEEDED TO GET IT OUT. It’s part of my book hangover recovery process.

“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.”

You know what the worst part now is? No more Grishaverse. I mean, not until Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2), but what about after that? Heh… I will survive, somehow.

joey thinking

All in all, this was a fantastic series and I will basically read every thing Leigh Bardugo writes because she is a goddess.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.3 / 5

About Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

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  • Reply
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books
    February 21, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I liked the very end and resolution of Ruin and Rising, but I felt so darn depressed while reading most of this book. Looking back I still loved Bardugo’s writing, world-building, and artfully weaved Grishaverse, but I just didn’t really enjoy the plot in book 3. I spent the entire book being nervous too! I am happy with the way the characters evolved through the story, and I too think Alina ended up with the right guy. Great review!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:36 am

      It actually was pretty depressing reading it – you’re totally right on that. Bardugo is incredibly talented, and yes, NERVES! Thank you so much, Rachel! 🙂 <3

  • Reply
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing
    February 22, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I felt THE SAME about Nikolai! He was the best. Not many Grisha series readers would pick him as their number 1 love interest /shame on them/ but we are bookish sister so of course we love the same guy 😀
    Anyway, I completely agree about world-building in this series, it is phenomenal. I sort o f hope Mrs. Bardugo will never stop writing stories from Grisha world.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:44 am

      LOL Lucia you crack me up. NIKOLAI IS THE BEST! Me too, I absolutely love the Grishaverse. <3

  • Reply
    Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess
    February 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I’m so scared of reading this! I read the first book last year and I really enjoyed it, but I have heard mixed things about the ending, so I have not picked up book 2 and 3. After reading your review, I think I will continue with the series. Great review!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:46 am

      The last book is pretty intense mostly because you’re just so nervous about what’s going to happen, and it is kind of sad but I always find the last book in a series kind of sad, especially if I really loved it. xD I hope you do pick them up, and please link me your reviews of them incase I miss them! 😀

  • Reply
    Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout
    February 23, 2016 at 6:36 am

    I confess I didn’t read the review because I haven’t read RnR (I did read Shadow of Bone, though!) but just wanted to drop you a line saying how lovely your selfie is!!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:48 am

      You are so sweet, Alyssa! Thank you so much! I shall have to hunt for your review of Shadow and Bone! ;D

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I personally wish that Alina would end with someone else, but you’re right. No matter who Alina ends up with I’d still be sad for the other guy. I never see Nikolai as a love interest though 😀 And that quote about Harshaw and Genya is definitely my favorite<3 I love how the epilouge wraps it all up, even though it feels kind of bitter sweet because they kind of go their own separate ways in life *sobs*

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:49 am

      It was such a nerve wrecking read! It wrapped up kind of sad, but also happy and eeep, I don’t know. Series endings are always kind of sad, even if it’s all happy! xD Glad you liked that quote too, it’s so great!

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I was totally thrilled that Alina and Mal ended up together so that Nikolai and I could get married and live happily ever after! ;D I was also extremely nervous while reading this book because I was terrified that Bardugo would kill or seriously hurt one of my babies, but thankfully everything turned out well. And YAASSSS, I was so happy about the sexy time hahaha. Aside from the fact that it was one of those “I’m going to die tomorrow so we need to make love ASAP” things, but given the happy ending, Mal and Alina have plenty of time for that XD Amazing review! <3

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:50 am

      LOL, Brit, you crack me up! <3 THIS BOOK ALMOST DESTROYED MY NERVES. Even though it was all happy, I was still sad it was over. AND YES, SEXY TIME omg. <3 Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2016 at 6:25 am

    I’ve only read Shadow and Bone and it ended up being more like an ‘okay’ read for me. I, admittedly, never fangirl over it. It’s so nice to know though that you really LOVE the series. Maybe I should give it a reread and see how it goes (especially since I’m starting to finally get into fantasy lately).

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:55 am

      That’s totally understandable, I know some people felt quite ‘meh’ about this book. Oh wow, haha, I fangirl so easily. Sometimes I even fangirl ships I haven’t read xD

  • Reply
    Bec @ Readers in Wonderland
    February 25, 2016 at 8:27 am


    I’m glad you liked this! It was a really good ending to a really good series. It took so many interesting turns.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:56 am

      YAAAAS. NIKOLAI THE PRECIOUS! It was such a great finale, and I loved this series too!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Leigh Bardugo is an amazing author. I’ve loved everything she’s written. I’ve read two books and counting (Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone). I’m currently on Siege and Storm. Many have said that it’s their favorite book of the three. Regardless, I am looking forward to many happy hours of reading.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:59 am

      She is so fantastic, isn’t she?! I can’t wait until the second instalment of Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, comes out! 😀

  • Reply
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence
    February 28, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Oooh, I need to read book 2 & 3 of the series still but I’m looking forward to picking it up! I CANT WAIT UNTIL CROOKED KINGDOM omg. I need it now. Great review lovely!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2016 at 12:59 am

      YAAAS, SO EXCITED FOR CROOKED KINGDOM!!! 😀 Thank you so much!

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