Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: what just happened?


Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Source: Library

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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.


First Off:


Seriously, though. What just happened there?

I loved Shadow and Bone.

I liked Siege and Storm (mainly because of Nikolai. He rocks).

And now I’m just confused. 

Ruin and Rising started out good. The Apparat was evil, the Darkling wants to destroy things, there’s a ragtag group of amazingness out to save Ravka. All’s good, right?

But then Nikolai turned into an I-forget-what-they’re-called and the Darkling went poof and things happened. I was very confused.

Let me just tell you something: I LOVE Nikolai. He’s my favorite character, and probably one of the few reasons I liked Siege and Storm.

And then he goes and turns into a volcra and then like, disappears, by the end of the book and I’m thinking NOOOOOOOOO.

Why was Mal the firebird?

I still don’t really understand this. Things are crazy. Mal dies, comes back to life (honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if he stayed dead).

I don’t like Mal.

Please don’t kill me. He’s kinda boring. I like the Darkling and Nikolai much better.

The Darkling:

This…was complicated. So Alina is now able to travel and see the Darkling and all that, and then the ending.

When Mal dies.

And Alina’s powers go “fwoosh” and everybody’s a Grisha.

And then you see the Darkling for what he really is, just a kinda lonely guy. He wants someone else in the world like him. And then HE GOES AND GETS STABBED IN THE HEART.


What? Again, what?

And then everything is happy again because Mal’s alive and they go and live together at the orphanage.

Seriously. This book ruined the trilogy. But there were still things I liked.

  • Nikolai
  • The Darkling
  • Mal dying
  • Sometimes Alina

And then there’s the things I disliked:

  • Mal in general
  • Alina in general
  • The Darkling dying
  • Awful ending
  • Mal coming back to life
  • Nikolai turning into a volcra


And on that note, I’m back! My tablet (aka my primary source for everything) broke, so it got sent off and reassembled and all that fun stuff. So, yeah.




8 thoughts on “Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: what just happened?

  1. Yay! RETURN! (I use my tablet for everything, too. :-P)
    I didn’t dislike it as much as you, but I thought it was…a let-down. And kind of confusing. I mean, Mal and the firebird and stuff? And then NIKOLAI?! Nikolai is amazing. Nikolai is better than Mal.

    And also BLOOD OF OLYMPUS! *flails* I have it reserved at my library, but I’m getting kind of impatient so I might have to buy it on Kindle…
    (Sorry for the extensive use of capital letters in this comment. I got kind of excited.)


    1. Tablets rock. *nods*
      It was a major disappointment for me compared to the rest of the books. And very confusing. Nikolai is AWESOME. Way better than Mal. I even like the Darkling more than Mal!
      BLOOD OF OLYMPUS!!! I can’t wait till you’ve read it, I finished it and GAH. (My friend actually woke up at 2 in the morning on the 7th to get it on Kindle and start reading it). WHO CARES? CAPITAL LETTERS ROCK!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was gonna do that with a different book, Heir of Fire, but then it turns out that they got it early at my local bookshop and I cancelled my pre-order. Said bookshop also got BoO a day early, but it’s kind of expensive… (I have a spending problem. An anti-spending problem. 😉 )



  2. Oh man, I totally agree. I read Ruin and Rising over the summer, and I was super excited for it, but I found it to be a major let down in some respects. Namely, Mal. He gradually annoyed me more and more throughout the series, and by book 3, I was all ready for him to die. (And then I was super excited when he did!…and then came back. le sigh.) I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that he is just so much more boring compared with Nikolai and the Darkling. He’s the safe love option/best friend figure, and I feel like he’s a bit restricting for Alina. They honestly don’t have that much in common except for the orphanage, so their romantic relationship fell flat for me (they’re pretty fun/great as friends, though!).

    I think Alina’s character really shone whenever she interacted with Nikolai and the Darkling, so I was really disappointed that those meetings were few and far between. I was kind of hoping the Darkling could be redeemed in some way, but nope, she just had to stab him, didn’t she. Mal being the firebird also felt like a copout, as did the whole, oops, you now no longer have magical powers and everyone else seems to! What was with that? I feel like the ending could have been a lot better overall.

    On another note, I heard that Bardugo is writing another series in that world, though I don’t think it’s in Ravka. I’m super excited! Are you planning on reading it?

    Also, ahhhh, Blood of Olympus! I really, really want to read that soon, but I have to catch up and read House of Hades first! So many books to read and too much school work in the way. >.<


    1. That… is the longest comment I’ve ever had. 😛 So thanks!
      YES. Mal was annoying. So annoying. Grrr. They were really cool friends though. I was so hoping for more Alina/Darkling interaction and there wasn’t a lot! He’s my fave character. 🙂 It would’ve been awesome if Nikolai had been in it more too. And the whole firebird-not-a-firebird was weird! It didn’t make much sense to me. She’s writing another series? Awesome! I will definitely read it!
      BoO was kind of a letdown for me, but I won’t spoil it. >.<


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