Ruin and Rising. Book Review #29

Hey everyone,

I am back after that brief and busy two week interlude.

This week I want to give a follow up review for the final book in the Grisha Trilogy.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo is the last instalment in her widely acclaimed Grisha trilogy. The book follows Alina Starkov, a peasant who became a saint who became an exile. In this final adventure Starkov must save the lives of her nation and her world from the Darkling, an ancient and devilishly handsome ruler who has taken control of Ravka and now wants to take control of Alina. This is Bardugo’s tying of ends and farewell to the world she created for some of her most beloved characters.

Firstly I’d like to comment on how proud I am of myself for actually finishing a trilogy. This task never used to be such a rare occurrence but recently i’ve been finding myself unable to care about a story long enough to stick with it across books. So bravo me!

Now I always find it difficult to review end books because endings to me are such a personal thing. The role of an author is an impossible one that always ends in heartbreak and saltiness from the fandom and so this review has to, to some degree, remain subjective.

Bardugo has always been good with worlds. In Ruin and Rising her talent is no less prevalent. Ravka in this final production is even more gorgeous. We certainly see much less of the urban areas that the authoress is so skilful in creating however the countryside and landscape that the crew of characters explore is described so carefully that the pages I was reading felt like a memory I had lived.

The setting was a big win for me and so with all big wins that has to be some losses too. I did feel as though the amount of characters introduced into the main plot were not relevant at this stage. It felt forced- like the writer was trying to inject something fresh by adding new people despite there being no actual logistical need for them. Sometimes the blur of names being mentioned did take away from the thrilling plot which was a shame.

I will not give any spoilers regarding the romance because it is always one of my favourite parts and I’m pretty sure that it’s probably one of your favourites too. What I will say is that the romance just became plain confusing and unnecessarily ambiguous at this stage. There was a lot of umming and arring that I didn’t care for. Quite frankly it was the situation of me staring at the page and wanting to scream: just be in love!

Alina continued to be a powerful and intelligent lead but there was some unneeded immaturity and whining that I felt was only put in to make her feel more real. Don’t get me wrong- as I’ve said many times before – the best books are realistic but Alina just annoyed me at parts which I felt was a let down.

The ending itself was very satisfactory (in my opinion). I always believe that in fiction there never should be a true happily ever after because it simply makes for a boring and un-provoking plot. Bardugo did not let me down in this department because the trade off between wins and losses was so balanced.

Would I recommend this book/trilogy? Yes if not to fill in the gaps in Six of Crows or simply show allegiance to the queen that is Leigh Bardugo then just because it is a good read. Was this book a sensational life changing experience? No- I would say that that was book one. The Grisha trilogy, like many things in life, just went gradually down hill. But thats ok.

I give this book a 3.6 out of 5 stars.

Keep on reading!

And thanks again Beth.

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