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!

LIL SPOILER ALERT:

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!

END OF SPOILER!

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)


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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

Review: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo | (semi-)Spoiler Free

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siege-and-stormTitle: Siege and Strom (The Grisha #2)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: June 4th 2013 by Henry Holt and Company

Pages: 435

This is the second book of the Grisha trilogy and while the review doesn’t contain spoilers for Siege and Storm, there will be some for  the first book of the series!

Siege and Storm continues where Shadow and Bone left off. Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling. After crossing the True Sea, they try to make a new life for themselves on foreign land while keeping their identities hidden. Things take an unexpected turn and Alina will have to pick between her power, her country and her very first love.

Damn, Leigh Bardugo really knows how to write her books, they keep leaving me speechless and gaping. Her writing is so vivid but also so simple, it made it very easy to envision the world and the events that happened throughout the book, especially the fight scenes! They played in front of my eyes like a movie! She does it so well and effortlessly, I genuinely love reading what she writes.

I do have to say the beginning was just a teeny tiny bit slow for my liking but once the action picked up I forgot all about it! It ended up being really fast-paced, one thing happened after the other and you never knew what to expect! Just like the first book, Siege and Storm was full of action, suspense and unexpected twists and turns.

I love that everything about these books is so unpredictable. I didn’t know what to expect from this book, sometimes the second book of a trilogy doesn’t turn out so well and they’re boring and labelled as “fillers” but this one did not disappoint! I can’t decide if I liked it more than the first one or not!

Now, let’s talk about the characters, shall we?

A lot of new characters were introduced in this books that I really liked. The twins Tamar and Toyla (whose names I keep mixing up, oops!) were quite enjoyable and I liked them from the start. They’re both very loyal, always keep their word and do what is asked of them. And they’re strong as hell, I bet they could tear anyone in half! Even without Grisha powers!

We were also introduced to Nikolai, the new love of my life. I don’t know how he did it but I fell in love with him so deeply, I’d probably die for him if he asked me to. I’m not going to say too much about him because that would spoil some surprises but he is just a genuinely great person. He is witty and humorous, very handsome, unpredictable and even a little mad sometimes. He’s so very charming, he’s ambitious and driven, smart and innovative and he needs to be protected at all costs! God, I really do love him. I really liked what Alina said about him in the book and thought I’d share the quote: “He’d transitioned effortlessly from the role of a glib adventurer to arrogant prince, and now he became a beloved commander, a soldier who laughed easily with his companions and knew each commoner’s name.”

Alina went through some more character development in this book. She keeps growing and changing, for the better and sometimes even for worse. I like that she is a lot more sure of herself and her powers. But sometimes she says/thinks/does things that I’m not a fan of and I don’t know if it’s her power and greed for the next amplifier or the Darkling’s influence.

I don’t really have any opinions on the Darkling if I’m honest? He was barely in this book and I can’t decide if he has good or bad intentions and what he really wants from Alina. A lot of people seem to love him but I just can’t form and opinion yet.

The same applies for Mal. I liked him in Shadow and Bone and I was happy that Mal and Alina ended up getting together in the end! But in Siege and Storm both of them have changed. Mal doesn’t like Alina’s power and who she has become, he isn’t there for her when she needs him and he keeps distancing himself from her. And Alina is getting hurt in the process, over and over again. I get that they have been best friends since they were little kids and she has been in love with Mal for a long time but she deserves better! Someone who treats her right and supports her! But the both of them want the other to be someone they’re not and it’s taking its toll on their relationship.

A concept I would very much like though? Alina and Nikolai. Though they’re very much platonic in Siege and Storm I think they’d be good together! But, I mean, if Alina doesn’t want him I’ll gladly take him!!! My precious prince ♥♥♥

All in all I can say it was a thoroughly enjoyable book and I have become a big fan of the Grisha universe! I’m very excited to read the last book of this trilogy!

⭐⭐⭐⭐  (4 out of 5 stars)


Goodreads / Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Barnes & Noble


Also, check out my review of Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) if you haven’t already.

Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo | Spoiler Free

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shadow-and-bone-cover

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Company

Pages: 358

This review is spoiler-free!

Wow, I know I am super late to the party but I finally got around to starting the Grisha series! (Also, I’ve wanted to read the Six of Crows duology so badly and while I know it’s not required to read the Grisha trilogy to understand SoC, I wanted to read it to be familiar with the whole Grisha universe)

Shadow and Bone is a high fantasy novel and the first book in the Grisha Trilogy written by Leigh Bardugo. It takes place in Ravka, a fictional place which is inspired by Russia (and not actually Russia!). The nation is separated

ravka-map
Ravka and the Shadow Fold, Credit

by the so-called Shadow Fold, a place of darkness in the middle of Ravka filled with creatures hungry for humans. Our main protagonist Alina Starkov and her regiment are on a mission through the Fold but things go wrong and in a moment of panic Alina reveals a “magical” power she didn’t know she had that saves her troop. Word gets out to the Darkling, leader of the Grisha, who takes her to the king’s court to help her control her power and possibly change the fate of the whole kingdom.

I thoroughly enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s writing style. It’s very simple and flows nicely which makes it very easy to get through the book. In fact, I finished the whole thing in a day. (I probably would have managed to be done in one sitting but I had to take pauses for lunch and dinner breaks with my family. #Priorities)

One thing I do have to say though is that the beginning of the book could use some more detailed descriptions of the Grisha world. I was unsure what some of the newly introduced terms meant and how I should imagine the world. As you read on and things get brought into context you can obviously make the connection and identify the meaning but I would have liked a little more world building in the first few chapters.

Though I do have to say the plot and storyline had me hooked from the start. It is very fast-paced and has a lot of action and suspense which just makes you want to know more and more! A lot of events that happen are unpredictable and unexpected and some people may not be who they seem to be. There are some exciting plot twists which made me want to laugh and cry and scream!

I also loved the characters a lot, they were all very round and complex. The main protagonist is Alina who goes through a major character development. An insecure damsel in distress turned into a strong kickass boss ass bitch! Very inspiring. Her best friend Mal has been there for her since they were little kids but for him there has never been more to it than friendship, in contrast to Alina who’s had a crush on him for quite a while. I am a sucker for the best friends turned lovers trope so I kind of like the idea of the two of them together!

We also have the Darkling who is the leader of the Grisha. He is very intriguing because he is so mysterious and you don’t find out a lot about him at first. He is very good at seducing Alina and making her feel all tingly and warm 😉 I can’t make my mind up about him yet. I might like him but I might also despise him, we’ll see!

I really liked Baghra, too, she is a bitter old lady who hides in her little hut, avoiding people as much as she can and I could really relate to her on a very personal level lmao. I’d hide in my room all day and not talk to anyone for a week or so if I could! And she doesn’t take crap from anyone which is always a good character trait.

Genya is the queen’s personal servant but she also acts as Alina’s tailor and makes her look all pretty and dressed up. She has been a good friend to Alina; gossiping with her, making her laugh and making her feel like she belonged among the other Grisha and the unfamiliar environment of it all.

I’m very excited to read on and hopefully learn a lot more about the characters!

I truly enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to continue with the Grisha series!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars)


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