Book Review

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

ruin and rising by leigh bardugo

Published: June 17, 2014

Number of pages: 417

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Henry Holt Company

Genre: fantasy, mythology, adventure, romance, dark magic

Audience: YA

Rating: 5 owl hoots out of 5


The Capital has fallen and the Darkling now rules Ravka from his throne. The Sun Summoner, a tracker, and the remaining of their army are hiding underground in the network of tunnels. Alina is under protection of the Apparat and her zealous worshippers. But she plans to capture the firebird and find the prince to bring Ravka back to its rightful place. Alina will build new alliances and put aside her rivalries as she and Mal continue their quest to obtain all three amplifiers and unravel the Darkling’s power. Alina is Ravka’s only hope…

My Review: 

An exciting trilogy and a grand finale that wrapped up the story with a flourish! After finishing the book I felt a mixture of sadness, relief, happiness, awe and all kinds of emotions that I only reacted with one word to describe my feelings: WOW. As in “wow that was some ending!”

This book had it all. A plot that built up with intensity in the beginning mixed with backstabbing betrayals, and heart-pounding battle scenes. What I loved most about this book is that we’re finally introduced to more of the Darkling’s backstory! It was hard for me to feel sorry for him unlike most readers who admitted that they felt pity towards him. I honestly didn’t see it, for what was there to feel sorry for? The guy is evil, cruel, and power hungry. I get how he had a hard childhood with a mother fueling his desire for power but after his dark secrets were unraveled which by the way, include total domination over the kingdom it was hard for me to feel sympathetic towards him.

Alina and Mal, Alina and Mal…Malina? Yes! Let the shipping begin! I was glad that the author expanded on the relationship between these two. After the sequel all I could think about was what is going to happen between these kids? Will their relationship last or will it fall apart? It was pretty clear that Alina was trying to keep things together for everyone and that’s one aspect of her that I admire: putting herself first before anyone else. As she and her friends are looking for the firebird, Mal and Alina went through obstacles that later questioned the future for them. But I was glad that things turned out well for both of our heroes as they found a way to tie some loose ends.

The story takes awhile to build up with a momentary gasps as we’re introduced to character backstories and unexpected family ties. I love how every character shares a connection and plays a significant role as the war for Ravka intensifies, especially Mal and Baghra. This book met my expectations and surprised with sudden twists and turns that once I got everyone all figured out, my arm gets twisted and I’m immediately thrown off the track! This was a great ending to an exciting series. I’m really glad I read this trilogy.


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