Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., 417 pages
Publication 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 an amazing, epic, and heartbreaking end to this brilliant series. I absolutely loved every single moment of it. I devoured it. I couldn't stop reading it. It had it all. At different points in the book, my heart was pounding, I was smiling, tears were flowing, I was screaming "Noooooooo!" At one point, I couldn't take it any more and I almost couldn't finish it. It. Is. That. Good.
The world-building is rich and imaginative, Leigh Bardugo is just a genius. I have a hard time visualizing things in books sometimes, but I never had that problem here. The characters are multi-layered and real, I felt like I know each and every one of them. I got so attached to them, I have to say. The Darkling…"How could he be so cruel and still so human?" That pretty much sums him up. Alina…she has come so far in this series. She has so much riding on her shoulders and no matter what, she rises to the occasion. She's not perfect, she makes mistakes, but she always does what she believes is right. Nikolai…loved him. His witty one-liners, his strength, his charm. And Mal…I know a lot of people thought he was whiny in the second book (I didn't), but what he does in this book…if you don't love him by the end, I just don't know what to say. The relationship between Mal and Alina is beautiful.
And the secondary characters are AMAZING!! Zoya is just one example. Here's why I love her:
"Maybe you're hungry," said Zoya. "I always get mean when I'm hungry."
"Are you hungry all the time?" asked Harshaw.
"You haven't seen me mean. When I do, you'll require a very big hanky."
He snorted. "To dry my tears?"
"To staunch the bleeding."
All of them go through so much in this book. It's dark, there's pain, there's death, there's betrayal. There are so many twists and turns in this book, I was constantly being surprised. Gasping, shocked, mouth hanging open. And the ending…it was perfect, although somewhat bittersweet.
If you haven't read this series, READ IT!! You won't be disappointed. And I'm so excited that the author's next book is set in this world.
Posted by: Pam