Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Book Review

Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

14061957Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
4/5 Stars


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.


This is a bittersweet review for me. Over the past year Leigh Bardugo has quickly become my favorite author. This was the only book by Leigh Bardugo that I had not read yet. I’m sad because that means I have to wait for another book to be released. But, I really enjoyed this conclusion to the Grisha trilogy.

I love the Grisha world. Seriously, I find it equally fantastical, intriguing, and dark. Those are all adjectives that I really look for in my books. There is something comforting about this world. I’ve been in it for 5 complete books. Yet, I keep discovering new facets of it that I never knew before.

So, as a conclusion this book was okay. It was not my favorite book of the series. But, I was happy with it. I was very happy to get to see more of my favorite characters. I seriously don’t think that Bardugo has written a character that I truly do not like. She makes even some of the worst villains someone that is human and you root for them.

Ultimately the reason I gave this book a 4 instead of a 5 is because of the ending. It was a good ending. However, I would have liked to have a stronger and more devastating ending. That is just a preference for me. I really want the author to make decisions that will upset me as the reader as much as possible.

Also, I’m not a fan of the main ship in this book. Mal and Alina were not endgame for me. I felt as though they really outgrew each other. It felt as though the entire series was building to separate them yet the opposite occurred at the end. I was not a fan of the ultimate resolution of Mal’s story. But, again that’s just my preference.

What I really loved about this series is that there were so many ways the story could have gone. With Bardugo I find myself being unable to predict what will happen next. I really appreciate that about her books. She’s also a queen at creating characters. They are all distinct yet personable. I enjoy every interaction and conversation, which is very rare for me when reading books.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I can’t wait to read more by Leigh Bardugo. Seriously, Leigh. I. CAN’T. WAIT.

6 thoughts on “Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Book Review

  1. I was always rooting for Mal and Alina to get together, even though most people, like you, didn’t think of them as endgame. So I was really pleased with the trilogy’s conclusion.
    The Grisha world is one of my favorites as well. There’s just something so wonderful and magical about it. Bardugo is an absolute genius.
    Great review!


  2. Ah no, I’m the opposite, I think Mal and Alina really grew together into a couple and liked the ending. But yes, I agree about the Grisha world, it’s so good!


  3. I still need to read this book, and for me, Alina and Mal are NOT my end game, in the first book I shipped the romance, but I feel like in book two Alina would have been better paired with someone else…. if you get who I mean ;).

    I can’t wait to read this book, as I NEED FORE LEIGH BARDUGO in my life,,,, but I’m currently reading three books… so maybe not yet! it’s great to hear that you liked this book!!

    Great review 🙂


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