Andreea Pop's Reviews > Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
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Actual rating: 3.5 Stars


So. I am conflicted. I initially gave Ruin And Rising 4 stars. After like half an hour of deliberating and second-guessing my rating, I switched it to 3 stars. If you'll ask me in a week, I'll probably say it was a 4 star read. So to be honest, I think it's a 3.5 from me. There are several reasons why I did this to the last book of one of my favorite series EVER and I'm gonna complain about every one of them, so if I start writing in CAPS, please understand that I'm about to combust from overwhelming feelings.

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

I don't know why I gave it 4 stars in the beginning. I guess I'm loyal that way and I couldn't stand dishonoring this beloved series of mine, one I relentlessly recommended over and over. But I had to be honest with myself and admit there were things that bugged the hell out of me. Alina's missed big destiny she could've truly had. The lack of Darkling scenes. Mal's predictable role. And then there were things that balanced it out a bit. Baghra's and the Darkling's backstory -- finally!! The side characters, all awesome and, honestly, the only ones that developed in this installment. And, of course, Nikolai Lantsov, the prince of sass and strategy.

Alina sparked in Ruin & Rising and showed me that she could be kick-ass, strong, manipulative and the no-bullshit-type. But this side of her vanished quickly and fizzled out altogether in the end. I expected her to be powerful, to have the destiny she deserved -- no, that she earned-- not just a happy-ending in the white-fence picket style. She could've been one of the major heroines in fantasy, but she settled for plain and ordinary and I know that for her it's enough. I understand her choices. I even somewhat respect them. But that doesn't mean I like them.



“It’s true,” I said softly. “You are stronger, wiser, infinite in experience.” I leaned forward and whispered, my lips brushing the shell of his ear. “But I am an apt pupil.”

I want to gush over Baghra. I loved that woman! And I loved how she truly loved her son. There was a gut-wrenching scene that brought me to tears in which you could see the dynamic between her and The Darkling, how like calls to like and how you have to start taking action for making the changes you wish to obtain. Baghra also spilled out her secrets and I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't 100% what we (Grisha hardcore fans) previously guessed. And her story only increased my love for her, because she could be cruel, frustrating, sarcastic to no end, but she never tried to hide her flaws and mistakes. Just imagining living in such regret for hundreds of years, no one to share the burden with, made me question my own happiness and how... vain I felt in that moment.



“You want a love story too? There's none to be had.”

Now onto the complicated things. The guys. The Darkling was definitely my favorite character from The Grisha Trilogy. He's so multi-layered and complex, compelling and brilliant, dedicated and conflicting. His allure is always shocking, because his ruthlessness should make me scream "The hell with him!". But no. The fact that he manages to make me teary eyed, although he's basically a killer spokes volumes of Bardugo's writing mojo. He's the best antagonist I've ever had the pleasure to encounter. You want to love him, to protect him, to hate him, to find out his every thought and secret and cheer him up once in a while. Yet the most gut-wrenching thing about him is how utterly alone he is. How he craves an equal. How he needs assurance that the world won't be just an empty vessel. And this whole revelation, along with his unraveled backstory, makes him so lovable in my eyes.



“He was ancient, I knew that. But in this moment he was just a boy -brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by eternity.”

I liked Mal in this book far more than I did in the first two installments. You see, if I were to describe him in a few words, it would probably be determined, easygoing and a huge ungrateful ass. But my opinion about Mal changed quite a bit in this last book. For once, he finally realized how Alina's power is a part of her and that she doesn't need changing. She's special for who she really is and her talents bring out exactly that. He definitely became the main brick of support for Alina. And his stubborn determination and selflessness to help her in her war against The Darkling truly amazed me. Yeah, he might be a bit boring and a stuck-up prick whenever he wants to be, but he's also that cute, loyal and funny best friend that knows exactly what you want, need or fear.



Nikolai was awesome and won major points in my overall appreciation for this book. His quick wit, his arrogance and love for clothes, his clever mind -- the Prince was a stand-up guy, not judgemental, always thinking about what's best for everyone. But guys, he had to endure some pretty sick stuff in this book and it made me proud to see him rise again afterwards, because if there's anyone who deserves to rule Ravka, it's him. There's also a scene in the first half of the book where he basically tells the King to go shove something up his ass and shut the eff up, or otherwise he'll charge him with rape. I don't think I've ever wanted to cheer and clap and yell "hell yes" so hard.

“Please tell me you plan to dress up as a volcra and jump out of a cake.”

The secondary characters were incredible! Genya, oh how much I loved her! She is awesome and she is fully appreciated in R&R. I liked how strong she managed to remain through her tragic life story, with the same "I rock" demeanor, but the best thing of all? Her relationship with David. To see him finally stand up for Genya was simply clap-worthy. You're the man, David.

“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing.”

Is it impossible to believe I really liked Zoya? She's such a strong, sassy and unpredictable character! I think the biggest surprise was how much I constantly awaited the scenes with her. Plus, her one-liners were bazinga.

“Maybe you’re hungry,” said Zoya. “I always get mean when I’m hungry.”
“Are you hungry all the time?” asked Harshaw.”


In addition to them, the twins were badass and compelling. They offered some funny release while staying loyal to Alina and being a very important asset to their goal. Harshaw was an okay character, but I felt we barely scratched the surface of his personality. Nadia and Adrik were interesting enough and Adrik's crush on Zoya was so sweet!

You know my biggest regret about R&R? No, sorry, make it the second. No, the third. Errr, maybe the fifth. Anyway -- The Apparat's ass wasn't handed over to him. Really, someone needed to show him who the real boss was so he'd lose the whole diva attitude.

About the ending... It broke my heart. I might've even shed a few tears. I refused to believe it was happening. Some will say it was perfect. Some will hate it with every fiber of their being. For me? It was bittersweet. Good things happened, bad things happened, but that's life so I don't have the right to complain.



The romance might prove tricky to explain. Since we have quite a love, um, square, there was never a solid chance that we'll know who Alina would end up with. But I also wanted a different love story. One enchanting, complicated, defying and different. But I guess I have to look somewhere else for something that isn't prone to the same style of happy-endings. Le sigh. I don't want to spoil anyone, but I'm sure you can see I'm not quite happy about the endgame pair. And don't get me wrong -- I don't hate who Alina ends up with, I just thought that she'd be at her best with someone else.



“It was something no other Grisha understood, and in the end, it was what bound the Darkling and me most closely—not our powers, not the strangeness of them, not that we were both aberrations, if not abominations. It was our knowledge of the forbidden, our desire for more.”

Anyway, I appreciate and respect that Alina finally got the happy-ending she wanted. She's content, she has friends that she can call family and she's surrounded by everything she's ever loved. *squishes her in a hug*



“A lesser Saint,” he said. “But perhaps a better queen.”

This book was good, but I expected it to be grand. I don't know -- maybe I was way too involved and my expectations were way above the clouds, but there's no way I can be objective when it comes to the ending of one of my favorite series. Yeah, it gave closure and it tied loose ends narratively speaking, but after reading R&R I felt disappointed, sad and, to be honest, bitter. Because the fans' theories were better than the path Bardugo chose. Because this had so much potential for awesomeness and while it was still well written and interesting, it sort of failed to deliver the shock and amazement I've expected. Because R&R ended up being quite a cliche-ish finale. Because it was somewhat predictable (good guesses, Grisha fans).



Maybe I could've overlooked how it ended and maybe I wouldn't be willing to pay someone to re-write it to my peculiar tastes (joking... I think) if it weren't for a slight issue. I was bored. Seriously. I found myself taking breaks from reading so I can avoid continuing it. But the need to know how it all clicked together won and I caved in to my greedy heart.

I'll still read anything Leigh Bardugo writes. She's awesome like that and has killer writing skills, although I don't particularly agree with some of her decisions in this story. I can't wait for the other series entitled The Dregs and set in the Grishaverse! I loved this world and I can't sulk and pout about Ruin And Rising forever 'cause I'd miss all the awesomesauce that those books would surely prove to be!



For now, I'm gonna cry and rock back and forth in a corner to express my temporary unpleasure and disappointment. I'll throw a bookish tantrum. I'll drown myself in Grisha fanfics. I'll forget that this was the actual ending. I'll delete everythinggg from my brain -- except maybe the Darkling scenes that were the best, I'm telling you. I'm sad this journey is over and a bit wowed about how it all went down, but The Grisha Trilogy will forever hold a piece of my heart, no matter that it crushed it a bit in the end. So please go read it, because it’s still one of the best YA Fantasy stories out there.

ENJOY!<3

You can also find this review here: http://raftul-cartilor-vampiresti.blo...

BEFORE READING:

Um. No. Simply NO.

A WHOLE BLOODY YEAR??? 2014?!?!
Leigh Bardugo has got to be kidding me!


Why the hell did I read the first two books before the finale is published? #stupid #stupid #stupid



After S&S I’m dying. That ending? She would rise?? You seriously cannot end it like that.



Oh. And Team Darkling. Always. <3 I need him with Alina! Also, I hope he doesn't end up dead.



P.S. The author said she had started to call book 3 Ruin and Racy. Hot moments ahead? Please God, let it be so. Alarkling ones.
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Quotes Andreea Liked

Leigh Bardugo
“Why waste my anger on you when the fault is mine? I should have anticipated another betrayal from you, one more mad grasp at some kind of childish ideal. But I seem to be a victim of my own wishes where you are concerned.” His expression hardened. “What have you come here for, Alina?”

I answered him honestly. “I wanted to see you.”

I caught the briefest glimpse of surprise before his face shuttered again. “There are two thrones on that dais. You could see me any time you liked.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“You want a love story too? There's none to be had.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but mine.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“It’s a vow that if I can’t be anything else to you, at least I can be a weapon in your hand.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“I wanted to believe anything so that I wouldn’t have to face the future alone. The problem with wanting is that it makes us weak.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“I saw the prince when I was in Os Alta,” said Ekaterina. “He’s not bad looking.”
“Not bad looking?” said another voice. “He’s damnably handsome.”
Luchenko scowled. “Since when—”
“Brave in battle, smart as a whip.” Now the voice seemed to be coming from above us. Luchenko craned his neck, peering into the trees. “An excellent dancer,” said the voice. “Oh, and an even better shot.”
“Who—” Luchenko never got to finish. A blast rang out, and a tiny black hole appeared between his eyes.
I gasped. “Imposs—”
“Don’t say it,” muttered Mal.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

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

Leigh Bardugo
“I’ve never understood this taste for otkazat’sya. Is it because you thought you were one of them for so long?”
“I had a taste for you, once.” His head snapped up. He hadn’t expected that. Saints, it was satisfying.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“It’s true,” I said softly. “You are stronger, wiser, infinite in experience.” I leaned forward and whispered, my lips brushing the shell of his ear. “But I am an apt pupil.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“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.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising


Reading Progress

March 14, 2013 – Shelved
June 22, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
June 17, 2014 – Started Reading
June 17, 2014 –
25.0% "Do not disturb. I plan on devouring every word of this."
June 18, 2014 –
69.0%
June 18, 2014 –
69.0%
June 18, 2014 –
85.0% "Ugh. Not happy about this."
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: annoying-man-lead
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: awesome-romance
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: creepy-abilities
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: epic-battles
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: shocking-betrayals
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: in-curand-in-romania
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: swoon-worthy-characters
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: immortals
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: read-in-2014
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: good-vs-bad
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: dark-atmosphere
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: badass-heroine
June 18, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 30, 2014 – Shelved (Other Hardcover Edition)
June 30, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read (Other Hardcover Edition)
August 1, 2014 – Shelved as: editura-trei
March 7, 2015 – Shelved as: cover-love

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Meg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meg I feel you!! #stupid all the way *tears*


message 2: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop I know, right? I need this book like yesterday :(


message 3: by KP (new) - rated it 2 stars

KP IKR!Team Darkling...please!!


message 4: by Kendra (new) - added it

Kendra I know what you mean. I read the first one and then said "NO." now I have S&S and R&R on a list of books I'll buy when they are all out. It's killing me slowly though... I do love the Darkling.


Toni Wittenmyer so, anyone know the exact date when this will be out this year?


Lois Team Alarkling!!!!!!


message 7: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop Toni wrote: "so, anyone know the exact date when this will be out this year?"

It's 17th of June :)


message 8: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop Lois wrote: "Team Alarkling!!!!!!"

Hi5! ;)


Holly I too was conflicted with her choice in romantic partner.. I was hoping that her destiny would be more grand than it was. I wanted more nikolai scenes and more darkling scenes because those parts of all three books were the most entertaining. It was good but I wanted more!


message 10: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop That's exactly how I felt, Holly! There was so much missed potential for awesomeness!


message 11: by KP (new) - rated it 2 stars

KP Holly wrote: "I too was conflicted with her choice in romantic partner.. I was hoping that her destiny would be more grand than it was. I wanted more nikolai scenes and more darkling scenes because those parts ..."

So damn True...! I was craving for more Darklina scenes, I think he is the first villain I've loved so much! LOL


message 12: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Ou-Young Thoroughly agree with your thoughts! The first half was fantastic, the second half... seemed to go nowhere. (And I would have preferred her to end up with Nikolai!! :p)


message 13: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop Stephanie wrote: "Thoroughly agree with your thoughts! The first half was fantastic, the second half... seemed to go nowhere. (And I would have preferred her to end up with Nikolai!! :p)"

Nikolai, The Darkling... They are better than Mal any time ;)


message 14: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop KP wrote: "Holly wrote: "I too was conflicted with her choice in romantic partner.. I was hoping that her destiny would be more grand than it was. I wanted more nikolai scenes and more darkling scenes becaus..."

It was the same for me! I mean, Warner from Shatter Me series was the antagonist only in the first book, but the Darkling managed to be one until the very end! Yet you still wanted to hug him and promise him a better world. I have a thing for baddies.

And don't mention the Darklina scenes... They were the biggest reason I kept reading, lol. And that thing with Ruin&Racy? I felt that was the biggest trick Bardugo sold us, cause the book is nowhere near "Racy".


message 15: by WinterRose (new)

WinterRose Good review. And I agree. (view spoiler)


Jayde Meng Awesome review. I completely agree with what you said.


Farshyn YES! YES! I thought so too that it would be more grand than what happened. I feel kinda bitter about having the ending settled for less.


message 18: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop BookwormJayde wrote: "Awesome review. I completely agree with what you said."

Thank you! And I'm soooo sorry for not replying sooner, your comm must've slipped my grasp :(


message 19: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop Farshyn wrote: "YES! YES! I thought so too that it would be more grand than what happened. I feel kinda bitter about having the ending settled for less."

Tell me about it... But I see you've rated it with 5 stars so at least you liked it more :)


message 20: by Lia (new) - added it

Lia Im not donna finish the first book now bec my heart is broken i think my ship wont happen crying


ashleylee Ugh, tell me about it!! I think the ending really is what ruined it for me - I was hoping for something more tragic and compelling and fantastic! But it was boring and too sweet for the whole series. However, I have to agree, The Grisha Series holds a special place in my heart (:


message 22: by Joan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joan Great review! I just finished this series since I read the Six of Crows. I really fell for this entire Grisha universe and just felt the ending did not live up to the series. It could have been Epic, but instead ended safe and boring..


Tanya I loved your review! I also thought that the ending was disappointing and I actually needed to start over the first book just to read again some scenes with the darkling. You wrote about Alina's choices in the end, I feel the same, although I can understand that they are logical, still, I look for inspiration in my favorite characters and I was so disappointed that she didn't want something bigger for her self. Anyway, I still really enjoyed the books and I wait to read her other books.


message 24: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop Joan wrote: "Great review! I just finished this series since I read the Six of Crows. I really fell for this entire Grisha universe and just felt the ending did not live up to the series. It could have been Epi..."

Yep, pretty much sums it up.


message 25: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop Tanya wrote: "I loved your review! I also thought that the ending was disappointing and I actually needed to start over the first book just to read again some scenes with the darkling. You wrote about Alina's ch..."

I wanted something grander for Alina and I guess it bugged me that she settled for anything less than what she deserved... But Bardugo kicks ass with her writing!


message 26: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Jugănaru Am vazut eu ca ai nume de romanca, dar am zis ca e putin probabil :))) Apoi am observat site ul si mi am dat seama ca faci parte din STAFF ul Carti cu colti <3, aveti o pagina super!!
Cat despre review, mi a uns sufletul!!! Poate cineva judeca mai corect??!??! De ce nu ti a dat absolut toata comunitatea Goodreads like???
DE CE FINALUL ALA??? CUM AI SPUS SI TU, A LUPTAT DE CAND A AFLAT CA E GRISHA SI SI A RISCAT VIATA DE NENUMARATE ORI, CHIAR SI CAND SANSELE CA EA SA SE INTOARCA VIE ERAU APROAPE NULE, SI A SALVAT NU DOAR RAVKA, CI TOATA LUMEA, CA SA CE???? SA ISI FALSIFICE MOARTEA SI SA TRAIASCA CA UN OM NORMAL??? CA TOATA LUMEA SA O PRIVEASCA DREPT O CIUDATA???? OK, II RESPECT DECIZIA, DAR NU MA PREA SATISFACE... AR FI PUTUT AJUNGE, NU REGINA, CA NU VOIA SA SE CASATOREASCA CU NIKOLAI, DAR MACAR CONDUCATOAREA ARMATELOR..
SI STII CE NU M A MAI SATISFACUT ABSOLUT DELOC?!?! (nu pot sa zic Mal, pentru ca a crescut oarecum in ochii mei) DE CE NU A AJUNS, DUMNEZEULE, DARKLING????? DE CE?? AJUNGEAU AMANDOI REGI, EA IL FACEA MAI BUN.. OK, RENUNTAU LA VOLCRE SI INCEPEAU TOTUL DE LA ZERO... TOATA LUMEA S A GRABIT SA L JUDECE PE ALEKSANDER(POT SA I ZIC ASA?? :'( ) SI NU SI AU DAT SEAMA CA PE EL NU IL SPRIJINEA NIMENI.. NIMENI NU IL SFATUIA... ERA COMPLET SINGUR (AS FI SCRIS ASTA CU CAPS, DAR IL AVEAM DEJA PORNIT BCS FEELS), FARA FAMILIE, FARA ALINA... PE CARE O IUBEA... DE CE I S A INTAMPLAT LUI ASTA????
SI NIKOLAI.. OMUL SEDUCERII... FARA NIMENI??? A AJUNS FARA NIMENI??? DE CE NU CU ZOYA??? STAI PUTIN, VREAU CA EA SA FIE CU ADRIK :))
GENYA SI DAVID AU FOST SINGURII DE CARE MI A PALCUT DEPLIN.. IUBIRE ADEVARATA..
STIU CA ASTA SUNA CAT DE CAT BANAL, DAR CEL MAI MULT AM PLANS, DUPA CEA A LUI DARKLING, LA MOARTEA LUI HARSHAW(CARE, APROPO, A FOST INTR O SINGURA PROPOZITIE :'( , SI AIA NICI DIN TIMPUL LUPTEI, CI "SI AU MURIT MAI MULTI SI DIN ARMATA ALINEI, INCLUSIV HARSHAW.") IMI PLACEA ATAT DE MULT DE EL SI DE ONCAT :'(
BUN, EU INCA SUFAR (CU TOATE CA AM CITIT CARTEA ACUM MULT MULT MULT TIMP), SI NU STII CAT DE FERICITA SUNT CA AI SCRIS ASTA...

Oricum, dupa toate astea, cartea nu este de 5 stele, dar clar nu este nici de una.. Eu raman la 3 sau 4, cred...




DARKLINA FOREVER
(trebuia sa scriu asta)

P.S.
Sper c am nimerit o si esti romanca, ca altfel nu stiu ce fac :))) Merci mult inca o data :)


message 27: by Andreea (new) - added it

Andreea Pop Sara wrote: "Am vazut eu ca ai nume de romanca, dar am zis ca e putin probabil :))) Apoi am observat site ul si mi am dat seama ca faci parte din STAFF ul Carti cu colti <3, aveti o pagina super!!
Cat despre re..."


SUNT ROMANCA YAAAY. Vai, mor de ras in fata calculatorului! De acord cu absolut tot ce ai zis; consider cartea asta o experienta foarte amara, sincer iti zic ca grupurile de cititori si forumurile aveau o desfasurare mai buna a povestii decat Bardugo. Ma rog, multi sunt foarte fericiti cu cartea, altii (in special Darklina fans), not really. Niciodata nu ii poti satisface pe toti. Am luat asta ca pe karma; de prea multe ori deznodamantul unor povesti preferate a fost asa cum mi-am dorit, trebuia si ceva care sa ma dezamageasca un pic.

Multumesc pentru cuvintele frumoase! :)


Marnie This is an excellent review! 👌I was wondering, do you know any other books that have a character like the Darkling in them? If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them 😊


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I HIGHLY Recommend Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake

I Am 14 Chapters into The Book and Am LOVING it. it is Giving Me Frozen/Snow Queen and The Grisha Trilogy Vibes


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