Title: Ruing and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha
Blurb from Goodreads:
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
I really enjoyed this series and I was a little more than anxious to get my hands on this book so it kind of pains me to say that this ending has left me a little bummed out. Don’t get me wrong I did like the ending and everything came together perfectly and I understand that for Alina it was the perfect happy ending that she always wanted. But for me? I wanted more for her. I wanted her to own her powers and be the invincible girl that I always knew she could be. She was happy and that's all that matters to me. It just makes me a little sad what resulted from the amplifiers. But it was still cute and I was happy with how things ended. I loved that everyone stayed together or kept in touch. It was so bittersweet.
“You might make me a better man.”
“And you might make me a monster.”
The only thing that really honestly bothered me about this book was that we didn’t get to see the Darkling as much! I mean COME ON! Every scene that we had with him just left me crying for more! It was nearly not enough and I missed all his interactions with Alina because they were what made these books so intriguing. He is such a complex character and it is sad to not see his character more because he was finally starting to show more of his “human” side. He just didn’t want to be alone. He wanted to have someone who was just like him and he believed that was Alina. He wanted it desperately and I just wished we’d see more of him. It came to a point where I was a little upset that Alina wouldn’t “go to him” to see him. I loved those scenes!
That aside, I loved reading about Baghra’s story! Oh my gosh I didn’t see that coming at all. It was so interesting to learn more about Morozova and how that connected to the Darkling. I really liked Baghra’s character in this book more as well. She was less evasive and more willing to give Alina the answers she needed. FINALLY! No more just telling her to “run” or “give up” let’s have a chat and I’ll finally explain to you why you need to run! Why this situation can’t possibly go well the way you are thinking.
Speaking of which...let’s talk about their “plan.” When I first read their first idea of a plan of attack I thought we were just bouncing ideas off our heads because no way that could possibly work right? No, wrong! That’s the master plan? That’s all you plan to do? Ok.. let’s do this, I guess see how it works because it can’t possibly be that easy, but whatever. and surprise surprise, it wasn’t that easy.
Which brings us to the amplifiers! I feel like this was a little silly when we find out what the third amplifier was. I mean it makes sense and goes well with the story of Morozova, but seriously? So we were around it the entire time and didn’t need to go put our lives in danger looking for another creature? Don’t get me wrong I thought it fit into the story pretty interesting and I was like WHAAAAAAT?!!? When I read this part but at the same time I was like? UGH!!!! STOP BLOWING HOLES IN MY SHIP, BARDUGO!!!
and I am not even going to go completely into the love interests in this book because honestly, I have never read a book where I shipped the main character with THREE DIFFERENT GUYS! Two, sure...but three?! Seriously? A Prince, a tracker, and the “bad boy” Oh Lord, save me now. I LOVE Nikolai….I love Mal...I love the Darkling. How is a girl to choose?
“You were meant to be my balance, Alina. You are the only person in the world who might rule with me, who might keep my power in check.”
The Darkling was just so…..sigh. When we found how human he was in his final moments it truly broke my heart. We find out his true name and he has never gone by the name in a very, very long time. The fact that he opened up and shared that part of him with Alina was beyond touching. He just kept wanting to hear his name on her lips until the very end. I just….I can’t. It was so heartbreaking and I was CRYING so much. I had to set my book down and calm myself down.
Plus, the prequel about him was truly unbelievable! I felt so terrible for him because he had to constantly hide who and what he was because anyone who found out he was an amplifier immediately wanted to use his power for their own greed. It made a lot of sense why he turned into the troubled character we know and love.
“You are no Lantsov,” snarled the King.
Nikolai merely bowed. “I find I can live with that fact.”
The Privateer Prince. Nikolai? Well he’s just perfect. He’s cocky, sarcastic, charming, funny, and just *swoon* The fact that it was pretty much obvious that he didn’t stand a stand with Alina was a little unbelievable to me. I mean come on..he’s the Prince and he’s perfect! What more do you want, Alina?
“I would have been different too, without you. Afraid of the dark. But no matter who or what I was, I would have been yours.”
But Mal? Yes I have always loved Mal. I loved him in the beginning of Shadow and Bone and I loved him until the end. But God was he infuriating! He kind of reminded me of Eddie Castile from the Bloodlines series where he’s in love with someone he feels he is unworthy of and instead of just talking to her to see how she feels and trying to make it work he just tries to stay away and frustrates the hell out of you. I get it, he sees Alina destined for greatness, she is going to save Ravka and destroy the Darkling and the Fold blah blah blah but damn homie, just talk to her! Stop sulking like a little baby and talk to the girl you love! All this aside I really liked Mal’s development over the series. You see him go from protective of Alina to scared of and confused of Alina’s power to accepting of Alina’s power. Which I think I enjoyed most. The fact that he finally accepted her powers and was no longer apprehensive of them or fearful really was the icing on the cake. I can’t lie, I teared up when Alina saw his tattoo.
Now Alina really grew so much more in this book. She became so strong and powerful. I loved seeing how she stood up for her friends and how forgiving she was even to those who potentially wronged her. And I couldn’t help cheering for her when she finally put that Apparat in his place!
“A man so obsessed with holy fire should pay more attention to the smoke.” YOU GO GIRL!
Overall, I did really enjoy this book. I think it was paced perfectly and mirrored the other two books in the trilogy. We didn’t get too much thrown at us at once considering it was a conclusion book and it was just really good. I enjoyed myself. I was scared, surprised, happy, shocked, terrified, anxious and everything in between. I laughed. I cried. I wanted to rip my hair out, but it was a fun ride. I love this series and definitely will be entering a book hangover!