Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3) by Leigh Bardugo – 3 Star Review


Read: March 20, 2017

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

I just… I don’t want to review this okay? I don’t. The disappointment that I feel is just so overwhelming. This read was actually a 2.5, but I rounded it up because I love the author that much. Sorry, but I’m going to express my feelings with a whole lot of gifs. You were warned…

Let me start off by saying three things.
1. I love Leigh Bardugo’s work, especially Siege and Storm & Six of Crows. I’m reading the second book of the Six of Crow series, Crooked Kingdom, and it is turning out to be just as amazing.
2. I love Nikolai. I just… love him! Sure the Darkling is an extremely interesting character, but I’ve always seen him as the antagonist. But marry me Nikolai! I’ll get a divorce for you!
3. I have a high appreciate for this world that Leigh Bardugo has created.

So I thought I had it all down. I thought I knew where this was going to go. I just KNEW that Alina would end up killing the Darkling, somehow Mal would die, and she would marry Nikolai. Yes! PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN! Did it? No. I’m pissed. I know it’s her story, but COME’ON!

Okay so for the first half of the book, this was me:
Slow start…

Yes! It’s going to get good!

Well, maybe not…

And then it happened. Shit got real!

I lost some sleep over the second half of the book, mainly because I read it really slowly. Why? I have no friggin’ clue. I do that with every book if it’s the last of the series. It’s just my thing, mmkay? The first half I read from sheer boredom though, as I’ve said. It just fell flat.


So my favorite character turns into a monster. WOOT! Yes I’m cheering, because it brings more emphasis on HIM! I know he won’t be a monster at the end of the book, and I know it will change him a bit, but it will deepen my love for him I’m sure.

Oh and did I mention the engagement?! Well… kind of. Nikolai gave Alina a ring and I’m like, “Bitch! He’s mine!” But of course she’s the protagonist so I’m rooting for her to say yes. She doesn’t, not exactly, of course because she loves douchbag over in the corner, brooding because he’s not good enough.

It’s okay, Mal. You’ll die anyway and get your wish. Alina will be with someone much better than you. #SorryNotSorry.

And then, it happens. The worst ending that could possibly happen. No, Alina doesn’t die. Mal dies. I know I was rooting for it but let me finish. He dies and comes back to life.


But that’s not the worst part. No. After all of this shit where she’s really getting to know her powers, she fails. SHE FAILS. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY. She killed Mal for his power. She killed the Darkling. But she still failed. How?

Because she didn’t follow through with her bad-ass self.

This is how it happened, summed up:
1. Blow up a mountain.

2. Find the firebird. It’s not the amplifier. Mal is! He must die. YES! Sorry.
3. Make everyone invisible. Pretty cool, eh?
4. Find the Darkling.
5. Run. Seriously?! You blew the mountain top off! You can’t handle the Darkling? If he were THAT powerful, he would kill you all with a swipe of his hands, or at least everyone BUT Alina. But he doesn’t. Why? Because he’s obviously not that good. BUT YOU ARE YOU STUPID F’N GIRL! USE YOUR G’D POWERS!

6. Mal has to die. *maniacal laugh*

7. All her power is gone and dispersed uselessly among hundreds. Damn it!
8. She kills the Darkling in a mundane sort of way.

9. Mal is brought back to life.
10. Mal and Alina live happily ever after.

This is how it should have went down:
1. Blow up a mountain. That shit was bad-ass!

2. Find the firebird. It’s not the amplifier. Mal is! He must die.
3. Make everyone invisible.
4. Find the Darkling.
5. He puts up a good fight. I mean shit gets destroyed. Lots of people die, even her friends. Most of her friends, mmkay? She doesn’t think she’s strong enough.

6. Nikolai, in his monster form, shows up and attacks the Darkling. The Darkling hurts Nikolai. She is outraged.
7. Alina realizes that she has more power than she knows. She remembers Baghra’s teachings. She centers herself, reaches from the true power within. And then, she blows him to pieces. Yes, to pieces. She can do that. She’s the sun-summoner. She can blow up a mountain. Don’t show me that shit and then have her to run. She should be fearless of everything but losing those she loves.

8. Nikolai is turned back into his original form & healed. Mal is gravely injured. She wants to save him, but he wants to die a hero. Of course, she has none of that.
9. Alina’s friends heal Mal. He insists on staying her tracker. That’s what he does. It’s in his blood. He cannot be settled down as a husband. He lets her go. I will not add a Frozen gif. I will NOT add a Frozen gif.

10. Alina warms up to the idea of being queen beside Nikolai. They get married. They live happily ever after. The end.

So… yeah… that’s it I guess. And yet… I want more!

PLEASE Leigh Bardugo! Please make another series following Nikolai! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! Give him the queen he deserves.

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