Review: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy, #3) by Leigh Bardugo

14061957The 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.

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Woohoo! I have finally finished The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Can I get a “Woot, Woot!”?

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Thank-you, Max.

There is no doubt in my mind that Leigh Bardugo is a truly fantastic writer. She has constructed such an amazing world and I cannot wait to finally delve into Six of Crows sometime soon. Now, onto the review!

The world-building continues to amaze me in this series. The world that Leigh Bardugo has created is absolutely mind-blowing. Seriously, amazing. I love how she has drawn from a variety of different cultures, constructing one that feels so real. The world possesses different religions, hierarchies and celebrations, and I can definitely say that this world’s culture affects the ways that the characters interact with one another or influences a certain character’s actions.

And the main character, Alina, continues to annoy me no matter what. I wrote about this in my review of Siege and Storm, and I really thought that Alina would develop in order to change my opinion. Unfortunately, this did not happen. In fact, Alina continued to be quite an annoying protagonist. Bardugo wants us to believe that Alina is the saviour of the world, that she is strong and in control. However, Alina did not come across this way in her actions. Instead, she spent a lot of the time worrying about her relationship with Mal. I like to think that this was an attempt to humanise Alina, to demonstrate that she was a normal person beneath everything, but it really bugged me.

Additionally, what annoyed me further, was the fact that Alina had these moments of weakness (like vomiting over a dead body) — perhaps another attempt at showing that she was normal? — only for her to have moments of real, heroic strength that kind of came across as out-of-the-blue or even out of character. What do other people think about this?

I still firmly believe that the Darkling could have been developed more. (Please don’t hate me!) There are so many people that seem to be in love with The Darkling, but I honestly don’t really see the appeal. I understand that he is meant to be this dark, mysterious and handsome individual that possesses a lot of power, and whilst he does, sometimes he comes across a little two-dimensional. (Though, I will admit that he sometimes freaks me out, and we did learn a little bit more about him in this book, which was interesting.) I just feel as though he could have been developed a little bit more, so he didn’t come across as too flat.

The writing is great, giving a vivid description of the world, the characters and the overall plot. I actually really enjoy Leigh Bardugo’s writing style, because the style is straightforward and simple, yet very detailed. She manages to describe the world so wonderfully, possessing such beautiful descriptions of each of the characters’s appearances and the settings that they explore. Furthermore, her writing style makes the story flow quite pleasantly.

The ending was a little anti-climatic. Despite my very unfortunate dislike for the protagonist, I really do love this story. And I was really looking forward to seeing how the events played out. However, the ending was not what I was expecting and actually felt a little anti-climatic. Everything just seemed to work out and didn’t have major consequences that were touched on — plus, everything seemed to work out for the protagonist quite unrealistically. <ending spoilers>The Darkling was successfully killed, resulting in the loss of her powers, which allowed her to go back to a normal life. Nikolai becomes the King. Mal dies in order to save everyone, only to be brought back without any explanation of how, meaning that Alina and Mal have their happy ending.</ending spoilers>

It could have ended better, in my opinion, but this book was still a pleasant read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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