Review: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo | (semi-) Spoiler Free

Ruin and RisingTitle: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Company

Pages: 422

This is the third book of the Grisha trilogy and while the review doesn’t contain spoilers for Ruin and Rising, there will be some for  the first two books of the series! (There’s also a mini-spoiler for R&R but I give you a warning so don’t worry!)

(via Goodreads): “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.”

“Don’t let me be alone.”

(I just thought I’d add that quote because it had me shook and crying for days!)

Wow, what an ending to the series! This was definitely the most emotional read for me, I literally cried 7 (!!!) times, no joke! Don’t ask me why I genuinely have no idea why Ruin and Rising made me so emotional.

Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. I loved this book SO much, it might be my favourite out of the three? Or maybe it’s Siege and Storm? Or Shadow and Bone? God, I don’t know, I really can’t choose.

What I like about Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy is that there’s almost never a dull moment and never a filler chapter. Something is always happening whether it is an action scene or a fight or an angsty scene between two characters, it’s never boring. Leigh Bardugo made sure that in all three of the Grisha books something always happens at the end of the very first chapter. It was never just an introductory chapter but there was always that little something that introduced some kind of action and made it exciting from the start. It immediately captured you and made you want to read on!

I very much liked the group and their dynamic throughout Ruin and Rising. Sure, we lose some characters along the way but the remaining people always stick together. They’re loyal, they defend each other and they are always ready to protect each other no matter what. They probably wouldn’t admit it but they’ve all developed a good friendship with each other and they share a certain trust.

There are one or two scenes where it’s just the girls all gathered together that I really loved! In Shadow and Bone we have this typical girl-against-girl fight between Alina and Zoya (a trope that we are all tired of). But their relationship with each other as well as with the other girls developed quite nicely. Even though they’ve had their differences before, they have really become good friends who like tease each other and stick together!


The scene where they’re all gathered in Alina’s room and try on the dresses Nikolai had delivered to her room and they tease Alina about Nikolai and the ring was so great ahhhh I loved that!


Nikolai is still my favourite character of the entire Grisha trilogy. God, I can’t even tell you how much I love him. Obivously, he’s not perfect but, like, UGH, I need someone like him in my life. He is so charming, kind, sarcastic and funny (and very handsome, obviously), he always says the right thing, he loves when Alina quotes him (*swoons*) and he’s always scheming. He loves his country and would do anything to keep Ravka and its people safe. Nikolai is so brilliant, like, he is an actual mastermind. And the king of my heart ♥

And, well, I still like the idea of Nikolai and Alina together. He has respected her since they first met and he never forces her into anything. He respects who she is and what she wants, he trusts her and he truly cares about her.

Mal has really evolved in the third book. He despised the court, took every chance to get away from it, he treated Alina like crap a lot of the time and undermined her and her strength and power. But he took matters into his own hands and he turned out to be a good leader of the group that everyone learned to respect and follow. I still think he is a meh character, there’s just something about him that throws me off.

By the way, can I just say that the Darkling deserved better.

Yes, he was evil and killed a lot of people but he was a good villain. He was so complex and in the end he had good intentions and he was basically just a boy who scared of being alone.

I won’t say too much about the ending of the book but I did love it. It was sweet and realistic and kind of perfect. It made me feel very nostalgic. I cried so much while reading like the last 2 chapters because I thought it was just so beautiful :’)

There were one or two things that kind of irritated me, I guess? I don’t want to spoil anything but if you’re interested I think I mentioned them in my first-reaction goodreads review.

ALSO, can we talk about that one scene like in the middle of the book for a second??? I won’t say too much but the one with the Darkling and Alina and Nikolai and Baghra, you know the one? It had me SHOOK. Literally shocked but also shaken like… wow. It was so incredibly unexpected. And great in a sense because it was so unexpected. It hurt and it was painful but I loved it? If you know what I mean? I love that Leigh Bardugo always manages to catch you off guard. You think everything is fine and BOOM she surprises you! Anyway that scene made me cry A LOT!

Yeah, a lot of crying done in this book. Thanks, Leigh Bardugo 🙂

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I think it is a perfect ending to the Grisha trilogy! Now I can’t wait to read the Six of Crows duology, woooo!

⭐⭐⭐⭐  (4 out of 5 stars)

Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble

Don’t forget to check out my review of Shadow and Bone as well as Siege and Storm. And follow me on twitter if you’d like!

Jackie x

12 thoughts on “Review: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo | (semi-) Spoiler Free

  1. So I LOVE Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom??? But I haven’t read the Grisha trilogy. I know. #shame I want to, but I sort of don’t, because I’ve heard lots of negative reviews on it??? Honestly, I’ll just keep pushing it down my TBR list until I finally have to face it. (Which, tbh, is never going to happen because WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY BOOKS ON MY TBR??? *cries*)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I can’t wait to read SoC and CK! And I know what you mean, there’s some books on my TBR list that I keep avoiding and I’ll probably never get to them anyway! Some of my friends told me that they loved the Grisha trilogy (and thankfully I did too) but I’ve seen loads of people not liking sooo it really depends I guess!

      Liked by 1 person

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