Friday, July 25, 2014 18:24

Review 275. Leigh Bardugo – Ruin and Rising.

14061957Title: Ruin and rising.
Author: Leigh Bardugo.
Pages: 417.
Published: June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
Sort: The Grisha, Part #3.
Part #1. Shadow and bone.
Part #2. Siege and storm.
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.
Rating:

How am I supposed to write a review about this book? This story gave me so many emotions, but most of all it left me confused. I still have mixed feelings and right after finishing I felt the need to cry. I think it’s because it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be. Instead of the great ending I expected, I got something clichéd and it lost the creativity Bardugo showed me several times throughout the series. 

But at the same time, I got a lot of sassiness from one of my favorite characters, Sturmhond, background story from two fascinating characters, adorable romantic moments and a kick-ass Alina. The one thing that didn’t surprise me was my growing hate for Mal.

From here on, there are spoilers for the entire series. Don't continue if you haven't read all 3 books.

First of, Nikolai, my love! His sentences make me giggle out loud and I simply adore him. Bardugo should write a book about him, because I don't think I would ever get tired of his humor. The things that happened freaked me out and I'm sad how he didn't get the happy ending I had in mind.

The romance between Genya/David (his speech!) and Tamar/Natalie were awesome. I never thought about shipping those last two and I was surprised at how natural it felt. I only wish they got more story. Genya also shows what a strong character she is. How she stood up against the king, amazing.

Now on to my most hated character, Mal. The moment he left her alone in Siege and Storm showed me that his pretty words are nothing but bullshit. Saying you are always there for a person and that you care about them – and acting like it, are two separate things. He continues this despicable behaviour with pride in Ruin and rising. There were so many times where I wanted Alina to Cut him, the Darkling to rip him apart with his shadows or any other way to just get him out of the way. He is incredibly selfish, not only towards Alina, but also for Ravka. Multiple times he claims how he wishes Alina to lose her powers, because now she is so strong she doesn’t need him. Because yes, that is what Mal needs. A vulnerable, weak Alina he can protect to make him feel manly. I didn’t like the extra role he was given and how he has ties with The Darkling. It felt.. convenient and unnecessarily.

I’m happy that Alina accepts her powers. I loved her battle against the dark side of her powers and how she is able to understand the Darkling in a way no one else can. She is a wonderful character, despite her horrible taste in man. The thing about the ending is, that it brings her back to the person she was when we started this adventure. I have the idea it was all a bit for nothing and it left a hole in the story. I even wrote my own ending and I will forever keep it that way, because it’s the only way I can deal with this disappointing feeling I have.

Alina kills Mal, chops of his hand to have his amplifyer power, gets into a fight with the Darkling aka Harry Potter clashes with Voldemort in the last book. She defeats him and after that, the Fold disappears and she loses the amplifyers. Mal stays dead of course, Alina keeps her powers but it’s normal like any other Grisha and she marries Sturmhond to help him dealing with the darkness that is left after the shadows. They rule Ravka honest and live happily ever after with their two children: a boy called Mal (because okay, he is part of her past) and a girl called Baghra.

Her moments with The Darkling were my favorite parts. So intense and I like him as a character. His death made an impact on me and while I get that he had to die, I still missed him in the end. He reminds me so much of Voldemort; I think he did all the things because he really believed in it.

There you have it. I’ve re-written this review three times now and I'm still not happy with it. It's more a rant than a glowing fangirl moment – which I was hoping for. Nonetheless, one of the best fantasy series and it will keep it’s place on my favorite shelf.
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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

33 comments:

  1. awh.. I'm sad to hear that it was a cliche ending! I still have this one to read.. and I hope I atleast enjoy it more than you do :P Great review, Mel!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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    1. I hope so too! I seem to be in the minority.

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  2. I felt the same way about basically everything you said! I've been hoping for a book on Nikolai since we met him in Siege and Storm. I detest Mal. I wish there had been more Darkling & Alina scenes because those scenes were so intense. I'm sad about what happened to Baghra... Overall I was a bit disappointed with this book as well. Great review!!

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    1. It's comforting to hear I'm not the only one who felt disappointed by it. Mal is just.. ugh!

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  3. I kinda skimmed through your review since I haven't read the second book. I was kinda bored…well…I forgot the story, but I do remember swooning over the darkling HAHA I really wished it wasn't a cliche :( This book has so much potential! I hope I'll love it :( Thank you for the review.

    www.lite-rate-ture.com

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    1. I thought the second book was amazing, but this.. not so much :(

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  4. I could only read the first half of the review because I have yet to read Siege and storm. I'm still excited to continue reading on with this series. I'm sorry that the ending wasn't all that you wanted! I hate when that happens, especially from a series that almost everyone loves.I'm excited to come back and read the full review once I have read all 3 books <3

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    1. Yes, it's sad that I couldn't enjoy it as much as everyone else.

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  5. ONLY THREE STARS?!

    Whyyyy. :(

    Lol, just kidding. I did skim through your review, though, because I'm hoping to re-read the Grisha trilogy soon and read Ruin & Rising for the first time -- ASDJKFL; -- and I don't want my mind to be influenced by other reviews, positive or negative. :P So all I can say right now is that I'm sorry this turned out to be less than awesome for you, Mel. I think yours must be the first three-star review I've seen for this book so far; the others have all been SO positive. It's just such a horrible feeling when a finale turns out less than amazing...

    Anyway, I'm still hoping that I'll enjoy this more than you did, because I've been waiting so long for this book and it would be awful if I disliked it.

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    1. When I finished it, I was even thinking about 2.5.. It IS a horrible feeling indeed. I really wish I could have loved it.

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  6. Even though you say it took forever for you to write this review, I loved it! I still haven't read it, honestly I'm terrified, but Mal was wearing on my feelings already so I'm ready to cut the strings loose. He was great in the first, less so in the second, and I think I'll despise him in the third. Everything else sounds great, especially the Darkling and Nikolai :)

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    1. Exactly. I saw a potential in him in the first book, but it went downhill fast..

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  7. 3 stars only! D: Oh nooo! I had just decided to continue the series :P But it's okay, I can see that the main problem you had lay with Mal, isn't it? :) That sucks! But I've been hearing so many great things about Nikolai (is he also called Sturmhond? :O) and the Darkling, I just have to pick it back up! :) Though have to be wary about that Mal though! ><
    I'm glad you enjoyed this one though, Mel! But I'm sorry it wasn't as epic as you were hoping it to be :(

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  8. Okay, I skimmed through your review and accidentally spoiled myself... I should have listened to your warning. :( Anyways, I've only read book one and I liked Mal... so now I'm pretty scared to see how his character turns out. I'll have to continue this series soon. Sorry it wasn't up to your expectations, Mel!

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    1. Oh nooo. That's why I was so firm about not reading it, shame :(

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  9. I had to skim your review to avoid spoilers, thanks for the big bold warning hehe! I've read the first book and I guess it takes a while to develop into one that people really ship. While I was curious about Darkling, Alina seemed kind of bland and like she needed more development. I think I may change my mind in Siege and Storm though.

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    1. No problem, I would feel horrible if someone would read these spoilers without a warning!

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  10. I agree completely. This one just felt like a cop-out! The first two were full of twists and surprises and Bardugo went against the grain, but Ruin and Rising feels like she was pressured to write the typical YA ending, which is so not true to the series. So disappointing. :(

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    1. *high five* although it's sad we both didn't enjoy this one :(

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  11. You know... you make a really good point about Mal. I didn't pay much attention to him because that wasn't my focus on the story, so I didn't even notice those little parts you're mentioning. But... wow yeah you're totally right.

    And I for one would totally read that alternate ending - so many feels <3

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  12. Ahh Mal... whatever should be done with him :/
    I really just tolerate him. I still don't really like him after finishing Ruin and Rising and I really did try to like him. I was kind of saddened by the ending too. Overall though I still loved the story and enjoyed reading this book (and your alternative ending ;)).

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  13. While I agree with you about the ending, I feel that it was justified but maybe not what I wanted. I was soooo sad when she lost her powers because they made her who she was and they were a part of her; at the same time, Morozova wanted power to be shared so that no one would know the lonely burden that was such great power (which was happening between Mal and Alina).

    I have never really hated Mal as a character because I realized that he was the best guy for Alina, but I had never really thought of him as you pointed out here! It is true that it is selfish of him to keep wishing Alina had no power, and maybe even too macho. But taking gender out of the equation, it's difficult for a relationship to thrive with so much inequality and so little time time spent together. I felt for Mal, because just as he realized that it was Alina that he wanted, he also realized that they probably couldn't be together. But because he loved her, he seemed constantly at war with himself about what to do. So I cut him some slack. :/

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    1. I know. Somewhere, I get why it had to end this way, but I'm just so sad she fell back into the 'cliche' type of ending instead of going all in with something unique.

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  14. yay! I'm not alone! Like you, I had some issues with this ending. I mean, I loved the writing and Sturmhond but that ending. It just seemed random to me, and I didn't like Mal's role. Oh well....I do love your ending though! Let's just change it to that and forget we ever had any issues! Lol lovely review, Mel!

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    1. Haha, let's pretend together that's how it ended!

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  15. If you hate Mal, I can totally understand being disappointed in this ending. Maybe if I had read Siege & Storm again before picking up Ruin & Rising I wouldn't have been as smitten by his behavior in this book. But I thought this ended as well as it could have. As much as I love Sturmhond (and wish he had more of a presence in this book) I didn't think Alina loved him and wouldn't have expected them to end up together. As an aside, I've been (slowly) planning a new feature "How It Should Have Ended" and your alternate ending for this book would be perfect. Maybe if I ever get it up and running you could participate? :)

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  16. Aw. Great review Mel. <3 I'm sorry you didn't love this :( I'm not going to explain to you why you are wrong about Mal, though, lol. Because I just don't agree AT ALL. But I'm not in the mood to argue about it :p <3 Thank you for sharing. <3

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  17. Bummer, Mel! I'm sorry this one let you down. I loved it and I loved the bittersweetness of it all. I do see what you meant about Mal and his connection to The Darkling. It could have been left out, but I think she was trying to tie that whole story together too. I didn't like Mal in the first two books, but he redeemed himself for me in this one. Glad you're still a fan of the series. I'm hoping to love her next book and I'm glad she's not leaving this storybook world yet. I'm not ready. :)

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    1. I get what she was trying to achieve, but I felt she went for the 'normal easy' way instead of full-out using the potential.

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  18. Your ending is SO MUCH better than the original one. I finished the book yesterday....no words. I hate Mal so much!

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