Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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Dear Bookworms,

Ahhhh, the finale, always a bittersweet time when finishing up a trilogy. It’s the build up and anticipation, the mad dash to find out what happens, then the hole in your heart when it’s all over, book in hand wondering what you’re supposed to do with your life after such an intense run with an imaginary world. 

Dramatic, I know. ‘Tis the life of a bookworm. 

Alina and Mal have barely escaped from the battle with the Darkling at the Little Palace and find themselves at the mercy of The Apparat, below ground in the confines of the White Chapel. Alina has been unable to summon light since the battle. Unnerved by her ever growing flock of fervent followers, and The Apparats iron gripped control over her life, Alina feels she has merely traded one captor for another. With a show of force and some careful negotiations, her ability to summon once more under her control, Alina and her crew manage to strike a deal with the Apparat and trek out above ground in search of the third amplifier, The Firebird, the only hope of defeating the Darkling who rules Ravka from the throne of the King. Their journeys lead them to the lost Prince Nikolai and throughout the kingdom of Ravka in search of the amplifier, which is found in the unlikeliest of places. The group must make their final stand against the Darkling in the Fold, but who will come out victorious, and at what price? 

I am so heartbroken to come to the end of this series. I enjoyed this amazingly detailed and intricate world that Bardugo has built, and come to love each and every character (yes, even The Darkling). They were each so memorable with such defined quirks and mannerisms I really felt like I knew them. The development within Alinas character alone was so layered and rich, as was her evolving and developing relationship with Mal. I even grew to love Zoya, that haughty, snobby mean girl that she is, by the end of the book. The entire plot was so well thought out, intensity building up until the final battle on the Fold. There were plenty of surprises along the way that I was not expecting which kept me on my toes and the wheels in my brain constantly turning. The ending was perfect, gut wrenching and redeeming, everything that I had hoped that it would be. I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed at least one tear while reading this book. The follow up chapters after the battle on the Fold gave me closure with the entire story, it was perfect….perfect I tell you! 

Leigh Bardugo has gained a fan for life, I am only upset I didn’t hear about her and her amazing trilogy sooner! This is definitely a story I plan to revisit and reenter for years to come. 

See ya next week friends!




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Real-life bookworm with a taste for adventure. Coco enjoys reading as much as she enjoys good coffee. Coco is an experienced book reader, and expert book reviewer. If you need a book reviewed, you are in good hands.

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