My Review is SPOILER FREE for this last installment of the series.
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.
I’m going to make this review spoiler free for Ruin and Rising since I know that most people haven’t read it yet. Due to that I’ll not provide plot points or go into a lot of depth about details but instead will share generalized feelings and writing style. You can see from my rating that I loved this book. The entire series was beautifully done and I felt that Bardugo provided the best ending possible in this last book.
Due to my immense excitement to dive into Ruin and Rising I did not reread the series. Because of this, the first third of the book was a bit slowly paced and I spent a good amount of time trying to recall secondary characters and get all the events from Siege and Storm clear in my head. If you’ve got the will power I’d say reread or at least skim the last book to get you back up to date on all that happened. As you read it’ll come back but I think you’ll enjoy the first section of the book more if you are better prepared.
As always Bardugo delivers on her characters-especially the central cast including Alina, Mal, The Darkling and Sturmhond. The Darkling wasn’t as present as I expected though each scene he was in was impactful and meaningful. Alina continued to struggle with her power and its impact. I have absolutely loved seeing how much her character has changed and grown over the course of the three novels.
I love Bardugo’s ability to describe her world and its people. With each novel we learn more about the Fold and the events that led up to the current state of Alina’s world. I felt that the questions I had from the first two novels were addressed and answered in this last installment. Nothing felt forgotten or pushed aside. I felt that it was evident that Bardugo had a plan of action from the start of the series; I loved that nothing felt accidental or unimportant.
As with the prior books I loved the writing in this book. The style was elegant with vivid descriptions and lively dialog. There is something to be said about an author capable of creating such different characters that they have a rapport with one another. The subject matter was heavy but the humorous dialog helped to liven up some of the darker scenes. Bardugo knows how to create relationships between characters and have them feel real to the reader.
What a bitter sweet feeling to have upon finishing Ruin and Rising; on one hand I’m completely thrilled with the choices Bardugo made in her story but at the same time I’m distraught that we have to say goodbye to these characters we’ve grown to know and love. I felt that though I struggled in the beginning to refresh my memory of the world, events and characters this novel was beautifully constructed and executed. Of course I’ll be on edge waiting for Bardugo’s next book, The Dregs which will be set in the same universe as the Grisha series.