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Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, 3) Hardcover – June 17, 2014
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See the Grishaverse come to life on screen with Shadow and Bone, now a Netflix original series.
Enter the Grishaverse with Book Three of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
Soldier. Summoner. Saint.The nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
The Darkling rules from his shadow throne while a weakened Alina Starkov recovers from their battle under the dubious protection of the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Now her hopes lie with the magic of a long-vanished ancient creature and the chance that an outlaw prince still survives.
As her allies and enemies race toward war, only Alina stands between her country and a rising tide of darkness that could destroy the world. To win this fight, she must seize a legend’s power―but claiming the firebird may be her ruin.
A New York Times Bestselling Series
A USA Today Bestseller
This title has Common Core connections.
Read all the books in the Grishaverse!
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy
(previously published as The Grisha Trilogy)
Shadow and Bone
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising
The Six of Crows Duology
Six of Crows
The King of Scars Duology
King of Scars
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic
Praise for the Grishaverse
“A master of fantasy.” ―The Huffington Post
“Utterly, extremely bewitching.” ―The Guardian
“This is what fantasy is for.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“[A] world that feels real enough to have its own passport stamp.” ―NPR
“The darker it gets for the good guys, the better.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Sultry, sweeping and picturesque. . . . Impossible to put down.” ―USA Today
“There’s a level of emotional and historical sophistication within Bardugo’s original epic fantasy that sets it apart.” ―Vanity Fair
“Unlike anything I’ve ever read.” ―Veronica Roth, bestselling author of Divergent
“Bardugo crafts a first-rate adventure, a poignant romance, and an intriguing mystery!” ―Rick Riordan, bestselling author of the Percy Jackson series
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From School Library Journal
- Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First edition (June 17, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 080509461X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0805094619
- Reading age : 12 - 18 years
- Lexile measure : HL720L
- Grade level : 7 - 12
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.81 x 1.48 x 8.6 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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You guys… I am sooooo disappointed… because a lot of my thoughts are spoilers not only for the previous books but also for this one, I will share as much of it as I can without many details and then we shall dive into all the spoilery parts :) unfortunately after a pretty good start with that first book… at least I thought it was decent, with a lot of potential, the second one was mostly boring… unevenly paced, with interesting scenes happening inbetween a long stretches of blah… this third one was worse… it suffered from the same pacing problem and even though there were some surprising twists and turns that saved it a bit from it being an utterly miserable experience for me (more about that in the spoilery part) it still was only 2,5 stars for me… there was a lot of build up to what I was expecting to be an epic battle at the end and it just… fizzled out :/ I never really liked Alina as the main character… I sort of liked / tolerated her in that first book, but I was not a fan of how her journey unfurled in the sequels… she was very whiny and undecided, changing her mind all the time… I never quite understood why all those guys couldn’t resist her, but ultimately I think the one she ended up with was the best choice for her (again, more about that below, in the spoilery section) the ending felt rushed and even though I liked the direction it went, the details could have been handled much better… ok, that’s all I can say without spoilers, so now let’s dive into the more interesting parts…
SPOILERS ABOUT THE WOLE SERIES, INCLUDING HOW IT ENDS
Because I have a lot of thoughts and they are all quite chaotic, I will try my best to at least put them in points of some sort… ;)
#1 the writing style - there is a lot of potential here, and I am hoping that the Six of crows duology will be better… especially when it comes to secondary characters and some witty dialogue parts, I am crossing my fingers I will enjoy her later books more… I also wished that we could saw some other perspectives besides just Alina’s… especially since she wasn’t the best main character… I would have loved to be able to see inside the minds of some other people…
#2 Alina - like I said, I wasn’t her biggest fan as the main character… she’s whiny and undecided, going back and forth between “I just want to be a normal girl” and “I am a powerful Sun Summonner and I want more power, give me the amplifiers” not to mention her indecision between “I love Mal and only him, let’s just be together” and “the Darkling is the only one who can understand me, because we are alike with our powers” AND “I should agree to Nikolai’s proposal and rule as a queen by his side because it’s best for Ravka” GAH!!! just make up your damn mind and stick to it… she constantly changed her mind and it grew old pretty quickly… the same thing goes with her powers… she couldn’t summon her powers on her own at the beginning (only with Darkling’s help) until she realized that it was her who supressed it when she was a young girl so she wouldn’t have to leave Mal in the orphanage and after she remembered that it was magically unblocked just like that *snaps fingers* her powers in general are just weird, as in the way she handles it… because it’s either she struggles for weeks or months to learn to do something or she just does it at the first try :/ the more I got into the story, the more annoyed I was by her…
#3 Mal - out of the three guys that were interested in her, I’m glad she ended up with Mal… I didn’t have that many problems with him as some other readers appeared to have had… I don’t think he wanted to see her powerless, but I hated that he suffered, although not as much as Alina, with the case of “I want to be with you but it will be better for our country if we won’t be together, cause you are destined for better things” ugh… and don’t even get me started on him being the third and final amplifier… it was an interesting idea, but not really executed very well, at least in my opinion… not to mention him being brought back to life after Alina killed him to access bigger powers to defeat the Darkling… I thought that bringing people back from the dead was almost impossible and not really possible to access by all Grisha, but maybe I misunderstood stuff :/
#4 the Darkling - he was a really good villain, mostly because you could not only understand his motivation but also agree with his point of view… don’t get me wrong, he was still brutal and ruthless, killing without hesitation or remorse, for what he believed to be necessary reasons to achieve his goal… and mostly because of that, I really would have loved to get his perspective in the books… he feels this connection to Alina and sees her as his opposite and equal, someone to balance him out… at least I’m assuming that’s why he’s so obsessed with her and convincing her to join him… the ending of his story is very disappointing, but I will get into more about that a bit further down…
#5 Nikolai - hands down my favourite character in the whole trilogy, the bastard prince of Ravka, originally introduced to us as a pirate captain :) he’s very smart, utterly charming and clever :) I loved him and will probably at some point pick up the duology all about him… mostly because I am very interested how he will deal with what he experienced with being changed by the Darkling into sort of a monster… he’s left with scars and darkness inside him… alongside Darkling he’s the most interesting character in the whole trilogy and again, I would have loved to get his perspective… especially because he’s so charming but also calculated and always thinking of how to best use all that is available for him, including people and their powers… I could understand why he wanted to seek an alliance with Alina because of her powers, but couldn’t really understand why he liked her as a person… I’m hearing some opinions that apparently Zoya is a potential love interest for him in his own story and I can understand that one so much better… I’m not sure if it’s true so don’t quote me on that, but I would love to see those interactions… ;)
#6 the ending - like I already mentioned, the whole series had a start full of potential that never really went anywhere… the sequels were uneven and disappointing, but not as much as the every ending of the third one… I assumed we were building towards this epic finale / battle and what we got was… *sighs* Alina, Mal and a very small group of Grisha and not very experienced soldiers facing the Darkling and his Grisha soldiers in the Fold… and don’t even get me started on how magically and out of the blue some Grisha came up with how they can hide themselves with some trick with the sound that I still don’t understand… not only they could hide from the Volcra but they were also able to communicate with each other even if they weren’t close to one another… I was rolling my eyes so hard at this… not to mention that just like Alina and some of her tricks, they were able to pick it up very quickly… I liked how the Darkling was connected to Morozova and the idea that Mal is the actual third amplifier was interesting, if it would have been handled better… but Alina killing him to defeat the Darkling and then being slammed with additional power for it to immediately disappear was… weird… it goes to other regular people, all across the land as we later find out, and lots of people get the power of summoning light… what’s even more weird, all of them know immediately how to use it :/ regular people without any Grisha training right away know how to wield this new and completely unpredictable power and they can vanquish the Fold… there was some serious eye rolling at this point… and then Alina picks up a Grisha dagger and just kills the Darkling… I was just as surprised as he was that this is how his story ends :/ he deserved a much better ending, and I don’t mean by that, that he should have lived, but this… this whole ending was like watching a firework going up in the sky, when you follow how it ascends and you are waiting for the big boom and then… it just never happens… *sighs* the official word is Alina died during the battle when in fact she and Mal, now both of them without powers, go back to their home to open up an orphanage… it was all very disappointing and blah and I wanted and expected more from the big finale of the trilogy…
Like I mentioned, this was a series with a good start and lots of potential that unfortunately fizzled out along the way… I am hoping that since these were her first books, that the future ones are better… I expect to pick up Six of crows within the next few months, so I will let you know what I think then ;) although as much as I saw mixed reviews about this one, I’ve heard nothing but praises about the sequel duology… fingers crossed I will love it :)
The beginning is slow. Alina is hiding. She’s lost the strength of character she developed over the first two books, never to fully regain her inner strength. The Apparat is hiding them and trying to control Alina. He’s a weak antagonist. The Darkling and the world outside the caves is worse than ever, but that’s off stage. Alina is going to hunt the firebird, but that adventure doesn’t begin right away. When Nikolai returns to help her, the story begins in earnest, and he’s charming, witty, and injected action back into the story. The later half of the book works better than the first half.
For me, and I realize that many readers will find Mel a heartthrob, he doesn’t live up to the potential I saw in the first book. The Darkling still has power over Alina, which ads some tension to the story. Alina’s choices seem more like the middle book of a trilogy.
The romance gets settled; however, there’s a Deus ex Machina wrap up that left me unsatisfied. I felt Alina took the easy way out.
In YA fantasy, romance is mandatory. I usually ignore that part of the YA genre because the outcome is always predictable with little variation. There’s a pattern to these romances, and Ruin and Rising follows the safe path, which is a shame because the ending could have been much more powerful.
The finale book moved quickly and action packed yes but still anticlimactic? Between all books there was a great build up just for nothing.
I really didn’t like how it ended in my opinion. I had such high hopes for certain characters but throughout all three books you knew who she was gonna choose. I also truly believe that the Darkling deserved better then what he got.
My soul and heart were tore to shreds throughout the last book. I even cried a few times. Overall I love the misfit gang they formed in this trilogy. As well as the character growth for some.
My rating for the 3rd book is ⭐️⭐️⭐️ but overall as a trilogy in whole ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
I’m excited to start the Six of Crows dulogy but really I’m only excited to finish it so I can read King of Scars. I think I love Nikolia more then I should.
Top reviews from other countries
The narrative is so wrapped up in Alina's boy trouble that the real issues are left to one side. The political plots could have made this really interesting and given a real look at what is at stake. Instead it's a monologue of a bratty teen who is more interested in who fancies her.
The last chapter signposted that this whole story was about "love". I never got that. Alina's relationships are all so flawed that I couldn't really root for any of them.
There is a lot of love out there for all the male characters and every one has their favourite. But each use Alina for their own gain, the plot twist about the amplifier just made it even more problematic and the end made me so angry. Can a female character not have power that is all her own? Why is it always somehow given or made greater or even suppressed and taken away by a man?
Another issue I have is that the characters never really get fleshed out. The first book got me excited about the villain who seemed like a great character, the second book made me think he was the only thing that made this book interesting as there was a real attempt to question Alina's feelings and his motives and he was a strong baddie. The third turned the ancient powerful and initially very menacing figure in to a spoilt child. Maybe that was the point?
Books like these live and die by the quality of the heroes and the aura of the baddies.
The heroes were too wrapped up in eachother to see the big picture had no real conviction and simply react to situations. The baddie was turned from a seriously creepy and charismatic villain to a pantomime figure.
The series flops down dead.
The world-building is yet again fabulous. Leigh Bardugo has created amazing imagery that enthrals the reader and she vividly portrays every scene with architectural details, local legends and stories, meticulous descriptions of landscapes and fantastic, creepy and deadly creatures. All these details give a special charm to the story.
After her last confrontation with the Darkling, Alina has transformed a lot. She is no longer the vulnerable girl from the previous volumes; she has become a skilled strategist, a fighter/a leader/ a saint who arouses admiration and fear in allies and enemies alike. The road ahead is not an easy one, but with Mal, Nikolai and her Grisha friends by her side, she always pushes on. I appreciate Mal for his devotion to Alina, though I still can't see them as lovers. He becomes the hero who sacrifices himself out of love and loyalty, driven by honour and duty. He puts Alina before anyone else, above his own life, without a second thought. As for the Darkling, he will forever be my favourite in this story. He remains true to his nature until the end. A veritable foe who does not seek redemption and won't apologize for his actions (I wouldn't imagine him in any other way). And that ending was a genuine surprise.
Magical, seductive, surprising and devastating, Ruin and Rising has definitely surpassed all my expectations. I am looking forward to reading the other books set in the Grishaverse.
The Apparat has painted Alina as a new Saint. Alina is not interested in being a saint. Her ambition lies in finding the third amplifier and defeating The Darkling.
This book is better than the first but nowhere near as good as the second. Whilst I did enjoy a lot of the journey, Nikolai was missing for most of the book. There was so much more that could have been done with his character. I also hated the ending.
Believe me, I’m just as surprised as you are that I gave this book 4 stars considering how much of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm got on my nerves. There’s still a lot I don’t get about this series; we do learn a little more about him here and he did become a more interesting villain, but I still don’t get the obsession with The Darkling and I really don’t think he and Alina make sense as a romantic couple. That’s more of a discrepancy within the fandom than with this book, however, so I’m not going to hold it against the book; Bardugo is very clear that The Darkling is the villain here.
I also still don’t feel like I got to know Alina and Mal as much as I wanted to considering they’re our heroes, and their relationship drama is still boring. I do like the two of them together – I know a lot of other fans would rather see her with The Darkling, Nikolai or Genya (personally I kept hoping Genya and Zoya might be a thing) – but Alina and Mal are the same level of ordinary to suit each other. As much as Alina’s power might have thrust her into greatness, she was never going to be more at home in the Ravkan court, at either The Darkling or Nikolai’s side, than she is when she’s with Mal.
All that aside, from the very first page this book didn’t stop moving and I really appreciated that. Honestly I feel like this entire trilogy could have been condensed into one, epic beast of a novel rather than a trilogy in which the first two books had to be padded out with boy drama. All the action finally happened in this book.
Even better, Alina has gumption!
From the first page Alina was finally making decisions and biting back at people and she finally started feeling like a person rather than a character filling a role. That doesn’t make up for how ‘meh’ she was in the first two books but it certainly made this book far more enjoyable to read.
And, credit where credit’s due, Ravka is in the middle of a war and Bardugo isn’t afraid to kill off a lot of people. In fact I really liked where she took the plot in this book; there’s a twist regarding the third amplifier that I didn’t see coming, and when The Darkling finally got his comeuppance it was in such an ordinary way that I almost pitied him. Almost. I mean, the guy did gouge his own mother’s eyes out. And I loved Baghra.
Zoya continued to be one of my favourite characters in this series – I know she’s mean, but she’s unapologetically, honestly mean and there’s something about her that I’m drawn to – and I loved the inclusion of a very small side f/f romance between Tamar and Nadia. I would have liked a little more of them, but I loved what we did see of them and considering I’ll gobble up anything f/f fantasy I was thrilled to see their relationship there. It didn’t feel like they’d been thrown together for no reason, either; the two of them suited one another.
My poor, sweet Nikolai goes through hell in this book, too, but I’m glad I made myself read this series before King of Scars so I could understand the whole history behind what his experiences during this war were. I loved having his sense of humour in this book again, and I actually liked his and Alina’s friendship in this book a lot. Again, I don’t think the two of them would have worked romantically, but I still enjoyed their relationship in this book. Alina and Mal end up with a fairly large friendship group and I love well-written friendships in any book, particularly fantasy, and I enjoyed how this odd group was juxtaposed against The Darkling’s loneliness.
While I thought this book didn’t quite feel as huge as I thought it should – though I loved the idea of the religious following growing around ‘Sankta Alina’ and the various towns and villages the main characters visited, it didn’t quite feel like the fate of Ravka was at stake, just the fate of Alina and those closest to her – for me this was a huge improvement on the first two books. I think my opinion is in the minority, most reviews I’ve seen praise Siege and Storm as the best book in the series and call Ruin and Rising a disappointing finale, but I thought this was the most satisfying book in the series. I loved how Bardugo brought Alina’s story to an end, and I can’t wait to read King of Scars.