Ashley's Reviews > Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
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Quotes Ashley 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
“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
“I hope you weren't looking to me to be the voice of reason. I keep to a strict diet of ill-advised enthusiasm and heartfelt regret.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo
“I never wanted him to feel the way I had as a child," said Baghra. "So I taught him that he had no equal, that he was destined to bow to no man. I wanted him to be hard, to be strong. I taught him the lesson my mother and father taught me: to rely on no one. That love - fragile and fickle and raw - was nothing compared to power. He was a brilliant boy. He learned too well.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising


Reading Progress

July 5, 2013 – Shelved
July 5, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
June 15, 2014 – Started Reading
June 15, 2014 –
0.0% "Finally! So scared for this though. Team Darkling!"
June 15, 2014 –
page 102
24.17% "I keep waiting for the chamber of secrets to open and Izumrud to come out and someone to shout "Alaskan Bull Worm" and then all He'll breaks lose."
June 15, 2014 –
page 168
39.81% "Are Alina and Mal finally donzo??? Watch, it's going to be Nikolai or no one. \n DONDE ESTA The Darkling??? He's barely been in the book."
June 16, 2014 –
page 205
48.58% "Ohmygosh his name!!! I knew it! Despite it all, I am still rooting for Alarkling."
June 16, 2014 –
page 284
67.3%
June 17, 2014 –
page 312
73.93% "PLOT TWiST!!!!!! Freaking the freak out! \n So des this make so and so cousins then???Oh How funny."
June 17, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 18, 2014 – Shelved as: i-wanted-to-like-it
December 8, 2015 – Shelved as: never-going-to-get-over-it
December 8, 2015 – Shelved as: what-kind-of-ending-was-that

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)


Natalia And the whole Mal survives after he died? Wow, what a bunch of unrealistic crap. I would've been okay if stayed dead, I mean it would've shown some character depth...

Character depth? ROFL.


message 2: by Annie (new)

Annie That's too bad....it sounded like an interesting book


Belinda (TheBookBuddies) I'm so mad at the ending. Mal's revival is unbelievably ridiculous. Two lives, what bullshit. He's not Harry fucking Potter.


Natalia Everything in this book's plot was bent to justify the ending that almost nobody really wanted. It doesn't agree well with the rest of the series.


Liz* Fashionably Late I can feel and understand your anger, Ashley but just a spoiler warning would have been great. I haven't read your entire review but a little heads up in the beginning would have been enough :/


message 6: by Bipasha (new) - added it

Bipasha Feels seconded.

On another thought, I had no idea that Toby Regbo was fancasted as Nikolai(or The Darkling. Which character is that?).


❅ (t.c) (hiatus: school) Ashley wrote: "When I was watching Reign, I always though Francis looked vaguely similar to the Nikolai in my head. I'm not sure if that's who other people have fancasted though. And the guy for the Darkling is S..."

Haha, they better not have that movie in mind.... because it's going to end like a train wreck T_T Like Allegiant D:


Pauline i completely agree. it felt like such a letdown!


Pauline Natalia wrote: "Everything in this book's plot was bent to justify the ending that almost nobody really wanted. It doesn't agree well with the rest of the series."

YES. the book was a cop-out. i expected so much more.


message 10: by Sara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sara Same for me!


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

Sara Same for me!


message 12: by Keri (new) - rated it 2 stars

Keri Ugh, bless this review and all its truth. The ending was HORRIFIC. Mal survives but the Darkling, alive for centuries and extremely powerful, dies just like that? No revival? Mal was literally a whiny, immature prat the entire series and don't even get me started on Alina's character reversal. I have so many feelings because I liked the first two so much. Just so disappointed.


Ashley It's The end of August and I am still not over the ending at all. I miss the Darkling so much, I can't find another character that's similar to him because he is so unique. But I've read about many Mals...life isn't fair.


Rozus NIKOLAI AND ALINA - perfect end , king and queen, but Allegiant has really good ending, in R&R everyone died besides main characters, lets heroines pay themselves


message 15: by WinterRose (new)

WinterRose It's September and I'm still pissed about the ending. So much NOOO that I can't even.


Ariel Su maybe tomorrow leigh will pop up and say she was just kidding and she'll write us a new ending


Madeleine I personally liked the ending, (The Darkling was not my favorite character) Mal and Alina were friends ever since they were in an orphanage together, and to see them get married and run an orphanage made my eyes explode with happy tears that now Alina, Mal and the rest of Ravka can live in peace. People seem to forget that The Darkling wanted to rule Ravka, wanted to use Alina as a slave to expand the Fold further, tortured Alina's friends to try and get her to change her mind. The Darkling is a bad person, no matter how handsome he may be.


Sarah For real, the relationships between Alina and the Darkling and Alina and Nikolai had so much more depth than her and Mal.


Madeleine Ashley wrote: "@Madeleine good for you that you enjoyed the ending, I just hated the way she ended everything so Mal and Alina could be together. I think Nikolai deserved a better ending than what he got.

I almost forgot about Nikolai at the end. That part was confusing to me, (like is he now normal? or.. what is he) but I still enjoyed it, it was overall a happy ending.


Madeleine Ashley wrote: "@Madeleine yeah "happy" for some people;) Yeah, I hope Leigh does write more books soley centered on Nikolai because I think there is still so much more to learn about him, same with the Darkling, ..."
She has a prequel story for the Darkling, I don't know what it's called though, but I know it comes with the special edition of Ruin and Rising, and I thing it should be available somewhere online.


message 21: by Anna (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna Talk about it. Even though I wanted her to be happy with Mal, or for Mal to die, so she could end with Nikolai, I still prayed everyone would just die so she and the Darkling could be together, even after all he's done I still love the man. Because he's just so.. The Darkling who could resist that kind of sexiness, that kind of handsomeness. Plus I was double pissed off Alina lost her powers was it really the only way for her to be with Mal and not be power hungry? Ugh!!!!


message 22: by Book (new) - rated it 2 stars

Book Worm I was so pissed Mal didn't stay dead, and I was even more pissed when the Darkling died. He is the definition of hot and I just really wished he and Alina got together. I would even be happy if she got together with Nikolai.


message 23: by Ash (new)

Ash Luckily...........I already spoiled this book for myself, or some of these comments revealing major things would be upsetting..........anyway, KNOWING what happens, I am actually not sure I want to read this book...I bought it, but I haven't opened it yet. Good Review Ashley. I'm sorry it didnt work out! I had high hopes for this trilogy after book 1.....but....you know, Mal kind of sucks... :)


Sarah YES. Thank you. I feel the EXACT same way. I cannot believe how disappointed I am. I DESPISE Mal. Never has there been a weaker character (I'm exaggerating I know, I had to sift through a lot of rubbish before finding what I thought was a gem but alas this ending..) I wish I had never come across this. The ending - so generic so fairy tale, happy ever after, so mundane it makes my blood boil with rage. The high expectations are what did this. Where will I ever find an antagonist as complex as Aleksander? A protagonist as refreshing as Alina (before she reverted into the stupid little sh** she was at the begining)? And who's to say that author won't stab us in the back, push us off a cliff of anticipation like Bardugo did? =/


message 25: by Christine (new)

Christine Lacdo-o Oh my God. I thought i was alone in this one. I wanted to slap Alina and kill Mal myself.


Vanessa Yeazel Same!! I thought I was the only one who thought that! Honestly, I wanted Mal to stay dead. It just didn't make any sense to throw all Alina's character development away!


message 27: by Ana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ana Elena I FEEL YOU ON A SPIRITUAL LEVEL


Sarah Ashley wrote: "Sarah wrote: "YES. Thank you. I feel the EXACT same way. I cannot believe how disappointed I am. I DESPISE Mal. Never has there been a weaker character (I'm exaggerating I know, I had to sift throu..."

The frustration does last.
I've been going through books like at an alarming rate trying to find a worthy anti-hero (the real villain was obvioulsly Mal destroying the plot), shamefully neglecting real life. Looks like you're right. The Darkling was one of a kind, and I guess I'll never get to see him again or be satisfied. Six of Crows just isn't going to cut it after that.


Kiarasheba Late to the party, as usual..
Just recently discovered The Grisha series and I may never get over the disappointment of the last book.
I would also like to get it bout of the way that The Darkling carried this whole series and is the best anti-hero type person I have ever encountered and I doubt I will ever forgive Leigh Bardugo for callously (casually?) killing him off.
The series had so much potential and it was all blown away by Alina's appalling taste in men. Throughout the whole series, the author tried to get us to buy into Mal's alleged irresistibility, to justify Alina throwing away EVERYTHING for him.
Ugh. The only reason I soldiered on with these books was because I hoped (against all odds) that Alina would FINALLY get her head straight and get together with The Darkling. I mean, c'mon..this was a no brainer. I would even have been appeased if she had picked Nikolai. But, noooo....
Aaaarrrrrghhhhhhhhhh! I can't even..


message 30: by Kaat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kaat Smeyers Yes! I'm so happy some people think the same! I really disliked Mal and Alina, their relationship was whining and that's it. But the Darkling and Alina would have been great! They would have balanced each other out (like some kind of yin-yang or what's it called like). Or Nikolai and Alina would have been fine as well. This was really disappointing!


Pinkribons I read this book about a year ago. Although as I was scrolling through my tumblr I couldn't help but to get pissed all over again! The Darkling was supposed to find redemption! Like omg I still can't believe it. It's like I'm still waiting for the punch line to this twisted joke.

I think I'm going to cry.


whateverlittleluce Amen to everything you wrote. Just finished this series and am beyond disappointed. Ending was mediocre and downright pathetic. This book makes me wary and reluctant to ship characters in other books now x


ℛ a ℂ ℎ ℯ ℓ ♥️ I am glad I read this. I have not read this series because i am terrified of love triangles. And from what I can tell it is one. Also I love love love dark characters and I know before even diving into this book I would want the darkling and her to end up together. Now i know not to get my hopes up for this series


ℛ a ℂ ℎ ℯ ℓ ♥️ but i am still going to read it =)


Raella YESSSSSSSSSSS!
Finally someone who agrees!


ℛ a ℂ ℎ ℯ ℓ ♥️ Fanny wrote: "YESSSSSSSSSSS!
Finally someone who agrees!"


Lol yeps I always like the darker characters =) They need some love too!


ℛ a ℂ ℎ ℯ ℓ ♥️ Fanny wrote: "YESSSSSSSSSSS!
Finally someone who agrees!"


Lol yeps I always like the darker characters =) They need some love too!


Grace I feel you. (view spoiler)


Maria Therese Who has read the Demon in the Wood? I've read it, and I doubt the Darkling is an actual villain. It all matters in perspective. Alina sort of realizes this when she realizes the Darkling tricked her into believing he could be a ruthless monster, when he's actually not. "Make me your villain." The Darkling didn't have to be a villain, but Alina made him one, so we see all see him as such. Though to be honest the Darkling had more depth than Mal and Alina. All the best quotes in the series came from him! I agree with a lot of your opinions. The ending killed it this book for me. Some parts were messy. And Mal just got resurrected, which would have required merzost, which Tolya and Tamar didn't know of. Alina completely regressed at the end. "She would rise". Pft. Such wasted potential. Honestly. If not the Darkling (what kind of death was that?!) why not Nikolai? With Mal, Alina regressed, but with Nikolai, she would have been a queen.


LittleSophie My feelings exactly... I just sat there saying 'ugh' increasing in volume the closer I got to the end. One of the worst plot conclusions I've ever read.


Valentina I could have wrote this myself, i mean like, WHY IS THE ENDING LIKE THAT? Are you serious? All of Alina's character development and understanding and she's STILL blind? Like SERIOUSLY?


Valentina If I'd wanted to kill myself EFFORTLESSLY, I would have jumped from Mal's stupidity and ego to Alina's IQ. seriously.


Lindsay Pearson I was somewhat okay with the ending since it's what I expected to happen. I didn't like it though. I always wanted Alina to end up with Nikolai as queen, and I wanted the Darkling to live and have a redemption arc.


message 44: by Jen (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jen Pissed doesn't even describe how I felt about the ending of this book. Honestly, Mal was about as bland as bread and I didn't want Alina to end up with him. I predicted and wanted Alina to end up with Nikolai. Also, I was super disappointed with the fact that Alina lost her powers. Majorly underwhelmed


message 45: by Meg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Meg Totally agree, Mal is a tool. I was so rooting for Nikolai!!


Julia Dugaesescu I feel the exact same way...I can't believe it ended like this like I'm actually so pissed what even are words anymore...I don't know how to express how dissatisfied I am with this ending especially since this was one of my favorite series. And I mean I can see why she wouldn't have ended with the Darkling by the end and I would have even been ok with his death if Mal stayed the fuck dead too. I had honestly thought she would end up Nikolai by the middle of the book but nope guess not.....


Persassyizdabest Ughhh agree so much. Mal is such a boring and bland character. And Alina just had to give everything up to lead an equally bland life with him when she could have been Queen instead like why 😒😒


Danielle Ok I literally don’t understand? Not the book, but these comments. I’ve read so many reviews that Mal was controlling, whiny, boring, etc. I was team Mal + Alina from book 1 and here’s why the other matches didn’t compare:

Darkling - He did have a sort of twisted appeal and the things he said to Alina at times were achingly tender, you pitied him and wanted him to make a change for the better. And when he dies, a part of your heart breaks for the sweet, beautiful boy and man that could have been. BUT all those centuries of living turned him into a complete demented sociopath. He literally murdered THOUSANDS of men, women, and children (some who were surely innocent) to further his power. He even shamelessly kills and tortures people close to Alina. His kind, humane moments in no way made up for the crimes he committed. While he may have cared for Alina in his own sick way, the main factor in his affection for her was loneliness. If Alina had not been the sun summoner, she would have had no appeal to him at all! Even his own mother admitted that he was beyond redemption.

Nikolai - this pairing was a little more understandable. Nikolai was funny, charming, and honestly a good person and great King. He and Alina had a very satisfying friendship. But just like the Darkling, he was only truly interested in a match with Alina bc she was a powerful icon and it would benefit his country. He really only wanted Alina for what she could offer him and he makes no qualms about his ambition in the books.

Mal - not only is Mal her childhood best friend but unlike the other two contenders, he literally gives up EVERYTHING willingly for Alina. He’s happy with his life as a tracker and content with his life as a soldier with his friends in the First Army, and he deserts them to find Alina and helps her find the stag. Even when her power terrifies him and he’s afraid for her and doesn’t agree with her decisions, he still follows her wherever he needs to protect her and attempts to put his own feelings aside. His is unfailingly loyal to her and her desires. He even sacrifices his life to a cause that’s important to her! He proves that he loves Alina with or without her powers and even when it’s not convenient for him. And then I see people saying he’s a jerk for “tumbling” with other girls. He admits that he had feelings for Alina when they were younger but was embarrassed due to their friendship and how was he supposed to know that Alina felt the same? Mal is literally the opposite of controlling and boring. He’s selfless and loyal and honestly just as conflicted and broken as Alina (she’s not the only orphan to have killed, lost people she loved, and been forced to make tough decisions.) Are people really so hung up on the “bad boy” cliche that they would discount the hero figure off right and want the character to be with a mass murderer?!


message 49: by Anna (last edited Mar 22, 2018 08:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna Haha i love this review above: its honest, it true, and absolutely unarguable. I never really like Mal from the beginning bc he was so average, he had nothing to give her, no significance or comparison when it came to Alina. But one thing I did admire about him was his loyalty and his ability to love even when her power ran out (being honest I almost ran out) and i was at an odd state of happiness and anger. Anger: she chose Mal instead... EVERYTHING. power, Nikolai, the Darkling, power, a CROWN, the Darkling! UGH!! But happy because.... HE stayed. when her powers withered, when she was nothing but an orphan girl who had no embers of light except those that danced on her fingers in the sunlight. He stayed. And that's something that can't be said for most. Both fictional and nonfictional people alike.


Kallie (The Book Binge) HEHEHEHE this was the best! Completely agree with how you are feeling.


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