Rating: ***** Suggested Age: 13
Summary: “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.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
I loved the first two books, but Ruin and Rising blows the rest of the series out of the water. There was constant action and I could hardly put it down. Everything about this book was exciting, never failing to keep me on the edge of my seat. Leigh Bardugo has a way with pulling you in and not spitting you out until at least a day after finishing. At one point, particularly a sad one, I actually starting crying. However, said sad part was resolved in the end and I quite like the way everything worked out. Can I just say how TALENTED Bardugo is with literally everything? She can rip out your heart and put it back in its place right at the end. Gah, I love her. This is on the list of reasons why I so desperately need to read Six of Crows.
Furthermore, I started the book out hating Mal and ended it only disliking him a tad bit. He’s not my favorite, but I have more respect for him now. My love of The Darkling completely faded though, especially because he started acting even creepier toward Alina than he already was. My favorite guy, you ask? Oh, that’s Nikolai, hands down. Another thing Bardugo does that I love? She created Nikolai, one of my book boyfriends and favorite characters ever. He’s so hilarious and sarcastic and I love it. Whenever he said, “I love it when you quote me”, I swooned, quite literally. Personally, I’m Team Nikolai. It’s a really unpopular opinion, but I have no shame or regrets.
I’m still not completely fond of Alina, especially given her pathetic description of herself (apparently petite and brunette means weak and plain?? BUT THAT’S ME AND I DON’T THINK I’M WEAK OR PLAIN, OKAY??). However, I am trying to see her in a better light because when it comes down to it, she is a pretty realistic character and reacts as most human beings would in the same situations.
If you can’t tell, I highly recommend this series. I would try to throw it in everyone’s face if that wasn’t rude…or creepy…or a combination of the two. BUT GO READ THIS SERIES. YOU WON’T REGRET IT.