Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

[This review contains spoilers]

“I am not ruined. I am ruination.” Alright, I am a complete emotional wreck after finishing Ruin and Rising – the final book of the Grisha Trilogy – so here’s to me writing an review fresh with the feels (if that’s even a thing). There are spoilers so read only if you want to!!!


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 Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What an incredible end of the Grisha Trilogy! I guess I should start off by praising how vividly all these characters are presented throughout the book! From their little facial expressions, gestures, intriguing dialogues, to the way each and every move changes the entire direction of the plot. Such strong drives are what I love about a great book – I couldn’t put this book down simply due to how driven the story was and how everything connects to everything. The book was so cleverly written and it’s the best of the three in my opinion. So if you’ve read the first two books and thought “eh it’s not for me” – READ THE THIRD BOOK!

The story starts off where it was a little while after Alina Starkov and the Darkling’s epic encounter in the final scenes of Siege and Storm. It was so good to see the crew – still training, fighting and holding on. Although it was heartbreaking to see how weak Alina was at the beginning of the plot, the chapters onwards were much more enjoyable right after the crew had made a clever plan and Alina got her power back better than ever.

The plot revolves around the team’s goal to seek the legendary Firebird, Morozova’s third and final amplifier. After the twists and turns in their journey, we are once again blessed with the entry of the almighty Prince of Ravka – Nikolai Lantsov *inserts heart eyes emoji*. I absolutely adore Nikolai. He is a kind, funny, gentle and caring gentlemen and a born leader. There were many times in the book where I just wanted Alina and Nikolai to be together – because it just seemed so right and like HELLO GIRL WHAT YO DOING!!! But I do understand that Mal is the one Alina has always truly loved. That’s just my own opinion anyways. [Skip to next paragraph if you have not read Crooked Kingdom] But now I understand why everyone was thrilled to see Nikolai and the others in Ketterdam. (I sense a re-read of SoC and CK coming very soon in the future.)

I especially love all the scenes in which the Darkling is with Alina. Like honestly, he is such a mistaken cinnamon roll with a wounded heart and I just want to hug him and tell him it’s okay to be angry and wanting to be whole and not be alone in this world. He has lost too much already – it’s just not fair. He only wants an equal who would not be afraid of his power and may love him for who he is and it makes me so so sad (more like depressed) to see him like this. (Imma go cry now bye.) I guess fate has caught up in the end with all the things that he did – but I love the Darkling and I don’t think it’ll change anytime soon.(*cry more*)

Alina did what she had to because it was the right thing to do. I get it. And I was glad she found happiness in the end. But deep down I know that a very important part of her was destroyed as the story concludes along with the other. At times I did not enjoy reading her perspective as much as I wanted to – but some parts were so amazing and made me held onto my breath.

Sorry this is a long review (more like a release of my overwhelming emotions and thoughts so the quality might be a bit on the low side), thanks for bearing with me I truly appreciate it. The improvement of Leigh’s writing is clearly seen as she progressed through the trilogy so I’m glad I finished it. The Grishaverse is a great World and fandom that I got the chance to explore in this year. I now want more of it!

Thank you for reading this! Comment, Like and All that Jazz! Till next time! x


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