Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Ruin and Rising

As my review earlier this week said, Leigh Bardugo has done the impossible. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen so immediately in love with an author’s entire body of work. It took me years to get to them, but they are some of the best books I’ve ever read.

The Summary

Once again on the run from the Darkling, Alina and Mal have a new goal in mind: find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. Only then will Alina have the power to stand against the Darkling.

The Analysis

In another book, the big reveals within this title might not have made an impact. Without being spoilerly–though I probably could be since this book was published several years ago–there is a review that is, in short, too convenient. Despite the convenience, I find myself loving the reveal anyways. We had three books to build up emotional character beats, and Bardugo did it so successfully I didn’t mind the bizarre convenience of it all.

This book is back to the speed of Shadow & Bone. It feels weird to say this about a series that is largely about two characters, Alina and Mal, on the run from something (usually the Darkling). It just works.

The ending of this series is something I’ve seen as a bit of controversy over the years. I too am a fan of Alina’s relationship with the Darkling, which is often where the controversy comes from. Fans of the series didn’t like how their relationship ended. Despite being a big shipper who enjoyed every bit of their interaction throughout the series, I was content with the ending. It seemed like the only way the book could end.

(Spoilers….) My only qualm is this: I buy into the fan theory about the Darkling’s end. I don’t think he is dead. I kind of hope he is dead, but I don’t think he is. He’ll find his way back.

I don’t usually get into fan theory when reviewing, but it seems impossible to do that for this series, since it has been out for so many years. The Grishaverse is an amazing feat in writing, and if you also have passed them by since 2012, you need to correct that wrong and start reading the books today.

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