Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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The finale to the Grisha trilogy finds Alina the head of a shattered Grisha army and virtual prisoner of the Apparat. Hidden in a deep underground chapel, Alina must hide from the Darkling, who has gained control of the capital and crowned himself king. Though aware of the potential dangers, Alina yearns for the firebird — the final amplifier — and the power it would wield. Somehow she, Mal, and the remaining Grisha must emerge from their underground hiding, find the firebird, and endure one final battle with the Darkling and his forces.

My heart is crying because this series is over. If you’ve read my other reviews (for Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm) you know how much I love me some Darkling. So, of course, I want this series to go on forever with more Darkling scenes for me to read and tell myself how bad he is. Sigh. If it did have to end, I felt this book was a strong finish. I enjoyed seeing a less selfish/jealous Mal, a stronger Alina (kind of), and, of course, every scene with Nikolai was a gem. As with the other books, there’s plenty of action, adventure, some surprising plot twists, and romance. I’m really sad this is the last book in this series, but very happy it did not go the way of other series (ahem, Hunger Games) and have a weird, unsatisfying final book. Bardugo also apparently has a companion series going now — so if you need more Grisha in your life, check it out.

Rating: 5/5

*YALSA Teen’s Top Ten Fiction, 2014

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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