After finishing Siege and Storm, one of my favorite fantasy reads of 2013, I was more than ready to see how Bardugo was going to end the series...and despite other reviewers' not-so-favorable thoughts, I loved Ruin and Rising.
Frankly, I don't understand why so many people who loved Siege and Storm found Ruin and Rising to be a disappointment.
Sure, there was the occasional over-chattiness...and some strange/confusing relationship stuff...but compared to the brilliance of the plot; the mysteries behind Morozova and the Darkling; and Alina's character arc (BRILLIANT!), those things seem beyond paltry to me. *baffled shrug*
In Ruin and Rising, we get to see the aftermath of devastation through Alina. She's changed tremendously since Shadow and Bone—flipping from pale to dark beauty in a relatively short, albeit believable, period of time. I loved the rawness and realism behind this transformation, and I rooted for her as she struggled to find herself amidst this change.
The horror she witnessed/witnesses (and, in part, caused), the blame and scorn she carries, the internal conflict she faces in the realization that she is 'that orphan girl' no longer (yet, what does it mean to be a Saint? A Summoner?)—all of these things have shaped, and continue to shape, Alina throughout the final installment of the Grisha trilogy.
Tension is executed superbly through the eyes of the young woman seeking to save the world from further devastation at the hands of the Darkling, and the plot twist(s) will keep you guessing throughout. I had my theories about what was going to happen with which characters, who Alina really is/was, what the connection between Mal/Alina/the Darkling/Firebird was...but I missed a lot of stuff >.>!
Ruin and Rising is an incredible ride. And honestly, I couldn't have come up with a more suitable title. This one's a tearjerker T_T. It's full of ruin and grief...yet brimming with triumph and hope in the midst of despair. The ending was perfect: satisfying, glorious, and tragically beautiful. Everything has its time.
You don't want to miss out on this stunning conclusion to the Grisha trilogy!
I can't wait for more from Bardugo!
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