Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink's Reviews > Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
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Holy shit. This was brilliant and terrible and I have so many feels I can't even begin to describe.

Ok ok, listen. I know there are so many conflicting reviews on this book. But as for me? I literally could not choose how I wanted it to end.

I know, I might be a terrible person but I was totally OK with all three ending scenarios. At the beginning of this book, I was literally rooting for Alina to save the Darkling (or turn dark herself), Alina with Nikolai, and Alina and Mal. Ugh, I need all three endings. I need them. I really, really need them.

First of all, I freaking adore Alina. She was far from the perfect heroine, and by golly, I love her for it. She grew up and had an amazing character arc - yet still fought through so many weaknesses. Her arc is one of the most satisfying ones I've read in YA literature.

But back to the ending - I gotta say I think Leigh Bardugo did the right thing, even though I so badly wanted to see the outcome of the other two. I don't want to give away spoilers and I get why somewhere upset but I can't help but think that there was no other truly appropriate endgame here. (Though I am still sad about the others...)

So here it goes ... my little rants.

*****SPOILERS AHEAD.*****

First and foremost, if you want a thread to sum up my Grisha feels, here it is.
https://twitter.com/glitzandshadows/status/1084075636786896896


MAL.
Poor Mal. He gets shit from everyone. Dude messed up, I agree. Maybe he isn't as alluring or entertaining as the other gents in this book, true. But the guy gave up his life for Alina in the end. Give him some credit. And no, for the record, I don't agree with those who claim he's abusive. He was jealous in S&S and a bit of a poo head at times, and it got the best of him, but in the end, he did e v e r y t h i n g in his power to help her, whether that meant finding the stag to make her more powerful, or fighting to make sure she ends up a queen - he always fought for her. Always. Regardless of his feelings. And ya'll ... he ended up dying for her.

The Darkling's ...ending
YES OK. I'm grieving, and I'll never get over him. Never. BUT. Guys, he was a mass murderer and kinda deserved his end. Does that mean he is any less appealing? Lord save me, but nope. I love him. Best villain I've ever met. He'll always be one of my favorite characters but I refuse to rate this book just based off of those last few pages even though I shipped the hell out of him and Alina. I still do.

In simple terms, he so badly wanted for her to be the one he could relate to, but before that, he wanted her for her power. Yes, they had so much chemistry, which totally altered his feelings if you ask me - but it doesn't change what he did to achieve his goals.

(Also sign me up for any cat and mouse book because it's like... my favorite trope.)

Alina losing her powers
Yeah, I'm super sad about this too but I think it was the only way for Leigh to write her a happy ending. Do I wish it had been different? Totally. But from the beginning, Alina never wanted her powers. She was seduced by them later on, sure, but if you pay close attention to her narrative, she didn't want this burden. (But she became a badass either way.)

Nikolai
I literally cannot fit my feelings about Nikolai in a single review. Thank goodness he's getting his own series (after me begging for it since 2014).

Also I read King of Scars. And I am dead bye.

Anyway, I still can't rave enough about this series as a whole.
All. Time. Favorite.

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Quotes Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Liked

Leigh Bardugo
“He leaned against the window, and the gilded frame came into sharp focus. “Do you think it would be any different with your tracker beside you? With that Lantsov pup?”
“Yes,” I said simply.
“Because you would be the strong one?”
“Because they’re better men than you.”
“You might make me a better man.”
“And you might make me a monster.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising


Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 12, 2015 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

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Luke Taylor So glad you loved it! I thought it was perfect! A great inspiration to a writer, no? :D


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Luke wrote: "So glad you loved it! I thought it was perfect! A great inspiration to a writer, no? :D"

Absolutely! I actually finished this series back in December... and I think it was the trigger that gave me the courage to actually start full force on actually writing! (Getting past the world building stage.)


Luke Taylor Yes, it's a special trilogy, no matter what people say. I'm so excited for you and I look forward to reading your work! :D


Laura Great review, Brittney! I absolutely agree with you on everything! Especially on the part about The Darkling. I love him as a character, but the way the story ended for him felt true to me. And a spin-off about Nikolai would be a dream come true *___*


Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ MAL.
Poor Mal. He gets shit from everyone. Dude messed up, I agree. Maybe he isn't as "sexy" or entertaining as the other gents in this book, true. BUT. The guy gave up his life for Alina in the end. Give him some credit.

The Darkling's ...ending
YES OK. I'm grieving. I already said above that I wanted Alina to save him. BUT. Guys, he was a mass murderer. He literally killed thousands. And you know what? Quite frankly, I'm a little tired of people giving this series all 5 stars until this book- and then giving it 1 star because they didn't like his end. Before you judge me on that statement though- hear me out. If you didn't like this book for other reasons... I totally get it and I respect your opinion. I'm only talking to those fan girls who think the Darkling is "hot" and trash this book only because of that.


I was JUST LIKE YOU!! I loved everyone! I didn't care how it ended, but I bawled all the same...for everyone. Mal. Darkling. EVERYONE.

So...I was just okay with it. I LOVED everyone...but what needed to happen happened. *shrugs* Is what it is...I'm okay with it, but it was still sad.

GREAT REVIEW! Our opinion is a rare one.



Jenn I agree with you 100%. I loved loved loved the Darkling but this ending was really the only one that fit for him after all that he had done. And Nicolai, him & and the Darkling were my absolute faves of this series. Nikolai broke me in this one though. And I would definitely not complain about seeing more of him ;)


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ (of BADGER and Snake) wrote: "MAL.
Poor Mal. He gets shit from everyone. Dude messed up, I agree. Maybe he isn't as "sexy" or entertaining as the other gents in this book, true. BUT. The guy gave up his life for Alina in the en..."


YES x1000! There was no truly satisfying ending... but every ending would have been great. But you're so right... the way it ended was the only *right* way it could have. I'm just going to cry forever and reread this series way too much because I'll never get over it.


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Jenn wrote: "I agree with you 100%. I loved loved loved the Darkling but this ending was really the only one that fit for him after all that he had done. And Nicolai, him & and the Darkling were my absolute fav..."

Right?? I was TERRIFIED of what would happen to Nikolai. And I'm still sad the way he ended... he's just.. like can he be real and come be president?? Hahah.. But for real, I just loved all the characters so much.


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Laura wrote: "Great review, Brittney! I absolutely agree with you on everything! Especially on the part about The Darkling. I love him as a character, but the way the story ended for him felt true to me. And a s..."

There are rumors of him making an appearance in the 6oC series but IDK how legit that is. We just need more of him :( Maybe I'll start a petition!


ashleylee Oh, I love the way you wrote this review. You helped me feel way better about the ending - less bitter. You are completely right, I was torn between all 3 possibilities, even though I was the odd-person-out who didn't like The Darkling - like at all - but I was still curious. I still wish it would have been more dramatic and less boring at the end. Sooooo sad it's over!!!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink ashleylee wrote: "Oh, I love the way you wrote this review. You helped me feel way better about the ending - less bitter. You are completely right, I was torn between all 3 possibilities, even though I was the odd-p..."

Haha yeah I just loved all three scenarios! I was so sad for it to be over too- but Leigh Bardugo is just an evil genious. I've never felt this way about a series before!!


Meghan Now that I've finished this, I have to say that I think the Darkling's ending made sense - no matter how much I loved his character, he was so evil! But my only regret is that there wasn't more of him, because he was so interesting and I feel we only got to see a tiny fraction of who he really is!

I'll have to read Six of Crows now. If there's any chance Nikolai might turn up somewhere in that series, I'm there!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Meghan wrote: "Now that I've finished this, I have to say that I think the Darkling's ending made sense - no matter how much I loved his character, he was so evil! But my only regret is that there wasn't more of ..."

UGH YES I agree though it pains me so greatly to say so. He was so interesting and devious and honestly the best villain I've ever read... and I did want so many more scenes - but he was a mass murderer :( I FEEL YOU


Muse-ic ♬ I am absoutely in love with the Darkling but I still gave this book the five stars it deserved.....even though I am utterly and completely broken inside!!!
Awesome review, Brittney! So glad you enjoyed this!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Muse-ic wrote: "I am absoutely in love with the Darkling but I still gave this book the five stars it deserved.....even though I am utterly and completely broken inside!!!
Awesome review, Brittney! So glad you enj..."


I'm so glad you liked it! And same- He'll always be one of my all time favorite characters!!


Muse-ic ♬ Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things wrote: "Muse-ic wrote: "I am absoutely in love with the Darkling but I still gave this book the five stars it deserved.....even though I am utterly and completely broken inside!!!
Awesome review, Brittney!..."


I don't know about favorite character because I have so many. But definitely one of my favorite villains ;)


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Muse-ic wrote: "Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things wrote: "Muse-ic wrote: "I am absoutely in love with the Darkling but I still gave this book the five stars it deserved.....even though I am utterly and completely brok..."

YES he was so fantastic. Definitely the best villain I've ever encountered!!


Eliza Rapsodia I LOVE THIS REVIEW.


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Nina wrote: "I LOVE THIS REVIEW."

Haha yay I'm glad someone can relate ;)


Fables&Wren I agree with you 100% girl. Mal doesn't deserve the crap he gets just because he's human, the Darkling needs a happy ending and this story is the best thing to ever happen to readers everywhere. PREACH it.


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink WrensReads wrote: "I agree with you 100% girl. Mal doesn't deserve the crap he gets just because he's human, the Darkling needs a happy ending and this story is the best thing to ever happen to readers everywhere. PR..."

I liked that he was so flawed- it made the story much more emotional for me! I shipped her more with the Darkling because, well, I'm evil. But I loved loved the ending, I just need 3 alternate universes!


Alexa I may be in the minority here, but I didn't get all the swooning around the Darkling when I read this series! He creeped me out, and like you said, he murdered MILLION of people. I'm sorry, but I could never be on the side of a killer. Great review!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Alexa wrote: "I may be in the minority here, but I didn't get all the swooning around the Darkling when I read this series! He creeped me out, and like you said, he murdered MILLION of people. I'm sorry, but I c..."

Haha I think its more the fascination with his character- but you're not the only one. I had a few friends that felt that way!


Lexie Have you read Leigh's other series Six of Crows? If you loved this guarantee you'll love it! Even more maybe ;)


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Lexie wrote: "Have you read Leigh's other series Six of Crows? If you loved this guarantee you'll love it! Even more maybe ;)"

Yes I've read them :) I did love them, though I still love this series a tiny bit more because lets face it, The Darkling.

Leigh is amazing though. Everything she writes is pure gold.


Lina~Blackbird Queen I'm coming late to the comment party, I know, but let me say that I absolutly LOVE this review. I'm overjoyed to know that I'm not the only person who loves this series and not the only person who looks at Mal like something pulled out of the garbage can.


Carlie Schadler You summed up all of my thoughts perfectly! I had sooo many mixed feelings about how I wanted it to turn out but I honestly love that everything came full circle.


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Mira Mizuno wrote: "I'm coming late to the comment party, I know, but let me say that I absolutly LOVE this review. I'm overjoyed to know that I'm not the only person who loves this series and not the only person who ..."

I'm late replying to this - but I'm glad you liked the review! I have to disagree with you though - I don't love Mal, but I don't think he's trash.


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Carlie wrote: "You summed up all of my thoughts perfectly! I had sooo many mixed feelings about how I wanted it to turn out but I honestly love that everything came full circle."

I'm so glad you can relate!! I loved every minute <33


Skye ~ Court of Binge Reading I totally agree with you! I think Leigh chose the best ending for this series. I love that we started the trilogy with Alina and Mal and we ended it with them.


message 31: by RosesInBloom (new) - added it

RosesInBloom I loved this series so much! I always shipped Alina and Mal and/or Alina and Nikolai. I’m in the minority here, but I’m not really a fan of villains, so I didn’t like the Darkling. Yes, he played the perfect villain but he was so evil and hurt so many, that I couldn’t be a fan of his. Like I said, I loved this series so much!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Skye wrote: "I totally agree with you! I think Leigh chose the best ending for this series. I love that we started the trilogy with Alina and Mal and we ended it with them."

Yesss I'm glad someone feels the same!!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Rose (_rosesinbloom_) wrote: "I loved this series so much! I always shipped Alina and Mal and/or Alina and Nikolai. I’m in the minority here, but I’m not really a fan of villains, so I didn’t like the Darkling. Yes, he played t..."

Totally understandable! Whether or not you like him, he's an excellent character, and I don't blame you for shipping Mal and Alina! I do think Mal really loved her and he grew so much as a character in this book.


Jordan D I was having trouble making sense of my emotions at how this ended and how I was feeling about the 3 guys and Alina’s powers. But you have summed it up perfectly! I think Leigh did do the right thing and I’m so happy Alina got what she needed in the end!!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Jordan wrote: "I was having trouble making sense of my emotions at how this ended and how I was feeling about the 3 guys and Alina’s powers. But you have summed it up perfectly! I think Leigh did do the right thi..."

I'm glad I could help! I was heartbroken but also happy for her!


Jamie I think this was the PERFECT ending! I loved The Darkling and wanted him and Alina together, but it honestly didn't make sense. Alina would never just accept what he did and be with him. And while the ending with him was sad, it showed his humanity and gave him a proper ending that Aleksander (sp?) deserved. I love Nikolai, but honestly I couldn't really see Alina being with him and being queen. It just wasn't a life she'd be happy in. I think Leigh ended it perfectly and I think it's sad that so many people hated it. I waited a year after Siege and Storm to read it because I had heard so many negative things and I'm so sad I did because it was amazing!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Jamie wrote: "I think this was the PERFECT ending! I loved The Darkling and wanted him and Alina together, but it honestly didn't make sense. Alina would never just accept what he did and be with him. And while ..."

I'm so glad you ended up loving it! I felt the same. Also, Nikolai is getting his own book (I'm sure you've already heard) so I think he'll get his match very soon :)


ღ Ruqs ღ IM READING IT NOW AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink ღ Ruqs ღ wrote: "IM READING IT NOW AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!"

Yayyy!


Melanie YES! Someone who also rated this book 5 stars and doesn't hate Mal left and right! Seriously, unfortunately that's rare.
I don't love Mal but I also don't hate him. I simply like him enough.
I love the Darkling as a villain but I personally never shipped him with Alina.
And Nikolai is like one of the best characters ever! Love him to death, and I'm super excited that he has his own series now. I also never shipped him with Alina (which many people seem to do) because why would I? Everytime I see someone say that I'm like "Did we read the same book? There was no chemistry between them in that way!" or at least I didn't see it.
Honestly if Alina had ended up alone in the end I wouldn't be disappointed either. Sad, yes, but not disappointed, but in the end she did deserve her happy ending and I'm happy she got it (:


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Melanie wrote: "YES! Someone who also rated this book 5 stars and doesn't hate Mal left and right! Seriously, unfortunately that's rare.
I don't love Mal but I also don't hate him. I simply like him enough.
I love..."


I feel the same towards Mal! Fairly neutral, though I definitely care for him. But I did happen to ship everyone, which is a frequent problem I have ;)

So glad you loved this book!


Kelly Thank goodness there is another person in the world who doesn't hate Mal. I'm going to reread all of the books after the Netflix announcement, but I certainly remember being satisfied with the ending- it hurt a bit, sure, but I think it was probably the best ending that could have happened too. Also yes, for Nikolai and his series, it's so soon now! :D


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Kelly wrote: "Thank goodness there is another person in the world who doesn't hate Mal. I'm going to reread all of the books after the Netflix announcement, but I certainly remember being satisfied with the endi..."

Yes, same! It was painful, but also SO good. I love the series as a whole so so much


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