Ruin and Rising Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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. Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 57 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 17, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #611 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#4 in Teen & Young Adult Fairy Tales & Folklore
#19 in Fantasy for Teens
#21 in Literature & Fiction for Teens
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021
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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.
‘”Beauty was your armour. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.”’
‘Ruin And Rising’ is definitely a book that will keep most readers on their toes. If you’ve read the previous books in the series then, like me, surely you’ll find yourself uncertain over exactly how things will end. Although I adore YA fantasy in general when you reach a final book as a reader you have a sense that certain characters will triumph and whatever big bad is at play will find themselves vanquished. With this book I honestly wasn’t sure whether that would be the case. ‘Siege And Storm’ left everyone in pretty intense danger and had the sort of ending that left me immensely glad that I didn’t have to wait for book three.
Everything that I loved in the previous books continued to thrill me in this final book in the trilogy. The characters are just divine and Leigh Bardugo certainly doesn’t shy away from making them suffer. Everybody is so complex and well crafted; everybody has their own faults and weaknesses. There were so many events that caught me off guard; so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. From the very first page the sense of danger was strong and it never really let up.
There were some moments in this novel that absolutely blew me away. One of my personal highlights was Baghara sharing her story at last. For a grouchy old woman she’s one hell of a fascinating individual. You uncover more of the Darkling’s backstory too; although surely I’m not alone in wanting his whole story in print? Even with everything that you learn I still feel that there’s more of his tale to be told; his history is one that I’m desperate to read.
Danger is present throughout this book and it’s depictions of war are certainly brutally realistic ones. Suffering is everywhere and no one is safe. As a reader it feels risky to find yourself caring for characters because you honestly don’t know whether or not they’ll survive. There are some chilling moments that I doubt will shift from my mind anytime soon yet some truly heart warming ones that made me melt also. I definitely adore Leigh Bardugo’s writing and can’t wait to devour more of it.
Truthfully the only reason that I’ve made this 4.5 stars rather than a full 5 is because there was a moment that, perhaps, felt a little too easy. There was so much that I loved that I want to stick to five stars but I can’t get past my questions over this one, vital moment. And yes it pains me to say that! Regardless of that fact I still whole heartedly recommend this series and know that I’ll also be picking up the rest of the Grisha verse books over the course of the year. I can’t wait to learn more of this lands’ glorious tales and meet more of the author’s incredible characters.