Erika’s POV: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo


Title: Ruin and Rising

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: The Grisha #3

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Format: Published June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co

Source: Own copy; bought in National Bookstore

“He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he’ll never have enough of her. Like he’s trying to capture what he can before she’s gone.”

The Summary:

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.

My Thoughts:

“You move forward, and when you falter, you get up. And when you can’t, you let us carry you. You let me carry you.”

Alina is alive (barely) and with the Apparat, who is extremely crazy. His trapping Alina underground thinking that it’s to keep her safe. Seriously?! She is the Sun Summoner hence she needs the SUN but what does he do? Hides her underground. Yeah, I get that there is chaos and people are out to get her but you’re already seeing that she’s becoming weak and not able to wield her powers yet you keep her imprisoned. If this is what caring means, I would run from it as fast as I can.

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The only positive thing is the people trapped with her. She has her fellow Grisha and Mal. But thanks to Mal, something happens that makes it possible for her to summon again. No one knew if it was still possible but Mal had faith. Faith is such a powerful, mysterious and beautiful thing.

“You were meant for more than me, and I’ll die fighting to give it to you. But please don’t ask me to pretend it’s easy.”

This book might have converted me. For all my talk about the Darkling, I didn’t realize Mal was slowly creeping into my heart. It’s his gestures, both small and grand that made me love him and not just like him anymore.

“You are all I’ve ever wanted,” he said. “You are the whole of my heart.”

The moment one of the greatest bomb was released, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t breath. I didn’t want it to happen. But Mal, his love for Alina just gets stronger and stronger. I know that it will not falter no matter what. And when you read those kinds of things, it just makes you fall in love with him. It makes you want a man to love you that much. It seems impossible. Mal knows that Alina is meant for so much more and he is willing to let her go even though it will break him. After reading that, how can you not be converted?!

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But, I still love the Darkling. Finally, I understand him. It was how he was raised. It was how Baghra was raised. She was neglected/feared by her own parents because of her powers so she taught her son not to be weak not to let anyone control him. It was instilled in him. It was his foundation. Is what he did wrong? Yes, absolutely but can I blame him 100 percent. I don’t think so.

“In this moment he was just a boy -brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by eternity.”

I know that there is a moment in our lives when we can’t blame our parents anymore especially when we know what’s right or wrong but power is a scary thing. Once you have it and you don’t know what to do with it, you’ll go mad. Like I said, I ended up kind of not wanting them to be together. I woke up and realized he was just doing such evil things and that he can’t be changed but of course I’m totally not abandoning him and I was absolutely devastated at what his fate turned out to be…

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There is the moment when the Darkling says his true name, and he makes Alina repeat it to him. These are the moments that I feel like he is just a boy. He just wants to be loved and maybe there’s a chance for him too. But some people just never change.

“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but mine.”

My Prince Nikolai… what happened to him was so uncalled for and I felt really really really bad. Though I kinda figured that from the start, he really didn’t have a chance with Alina solely for the reason that she already had Mal and the Darkling but still so much love for him.

“And you,” she spat in Nikolai’s direction. “Go somewhere you’re wanted.”

“That’s hardly limiting,” he said.”

He’s cute, smart, arrogant (in a totally charming way if that’s at all possible) and extremely witty. I’d just like to say to Prince Nikolai, “My door is always open for you. When you need someone, I’m here. Please need me.” He deserves a happy ending too.

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Genya’s character development is amazing. After the torture of the Darkling leaving her missing one eye and having scars all over her body, she doesn’t let it break her. (Not without the help of the awesome people around her. That is why it’s important to surround yourself with people that brings you up) She says,

“I am not ruined. I am ruination.

Reading these words made me hold my breath. I was so moved. I felt the strength of the words. I read it over and over again. One of the best lines in the whole book. Also, we get some David and Genya action. Love the two of them!!!!!

After reading this book, I felt like a victim of an attack. Every revelation felt like a punch and kick all over my body. I don’t understand myself and my feelings.

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Some of the people hated the ending but it’s the total opposite for me. It took me three books to realize who Alina would truly be happy with and I know she is. I’m sad about the other things…. but ultimately I love how it ended. I love who she ended up with.

“But no matter who or what I was, I would have been yours.”

Special mention to Tamar and Tolya’s badassery! This siblings are the freaking best!

I love this series! If you haven’t read it, go now!!!

Happy reading!!!


9 thoughts on “Erika’s POV: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

  1. ravenblake99 says:

    It’s one of my favorite trilogy. The ending was truly heart breaking and I’d wish there was a alternate ending to this.Nikolai is a great character too and I wouldn’t mind if Alina ended up with him cause Mal seemed really boring to me. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    I really enjoyed the Grisha books. I read them pretty much one after the other, which I haven’t done with a series in a long time. Ship-wise, I will always be #teamnikolai. I always go for arrogant funny over dark and brooding.

    I’m so excited to see where Leigh Bardugo is going to take the mythology next in Six of Crows!

    Great review 🙂


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