Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo


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.


Now I know what you’re thinking, everyone and their dog have read Ruin and Rising by now, but I’ve only just finished it. Also for some reason, I thought I had reviewed this entire series on this blog, but apparently not. Anyway, I wanted to review Ruin and Rising because I’ve decided to review basically everything I’ve been reading. So sorry if you don’t like reviews of older books.

This started out ridiculously slow for me. I found it so difficult to get into the story, them same problem I had with Siege and Storm and honestly at times I felt like putting this down and never looking at it again. Part of that is definitely because this was spoiled for me quite some time ago, which I’m not mad about it’s my own fault for waiting so long to finish the series. However, it did ruin (mind the pun) the experience for me a little. 

You’re probably wondering why I’ve rated a book four stars if I have thoughts of DNF’ing it. Well the latter half of the book definitely saved it. The action was intense, everything finally started coming together and the angst was off the charts. Now Mal is 100% not my favourite character (neither is Alina) but he did redeem himself slightly in Ruin and Rising. I really was not a fan of him in the other two books as it seemed like he was constantly stringing Alina along and was completely blind to his feelings, but he nipped that in the bud just in time for me to like him before the series ended. Please don’t get me started on ‘I am become a blade’ though, I will literally sit laughing for ten minutes straight. 

I did enjoy the Shadow and Bone series as a whole, the first book was my favourite, but I’m not sure it will be making my best of YA series list any time soon. A potential re-read of the series back-to-back may be needed as it has been literal years since I read the first two. Maybe this will change my mind and will make me love Shadow and Bone as much as I love Six of Crows. Probably not worth it if I’m being honest. The Crows will always be top tier in my eyes.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Like this post? Why not read this one too: Book Review: Ruthless Fae by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

One comment

Leave a Reply