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Final Grisha Triology Book | Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising is pretty much the best way you can end an epic fantasy series. EVER.

Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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ruin and rising by leigh bardugo book review

Title & Author: Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone)) by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Magic, High Fantasy

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Series: The Grisha #3 (Final book)

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

Pure Fantasy Perfection

Ruin and Rising was a book I had to mentally prepare for. Not only had been awhile since I’d read Siege and Storm and needed a refresher, BUT I also had to emotionally prepare for the end.

This series has been so amazing to read – Shadow and Bone was one of my top reads of 2012. It’s so hard seeing one of the best YA series EVER end.

But, the story of Ruin and Rising made that goodbye a bit more bearable….because the story freaking rocked. It is practically perfect.


Because Bardugo seems to do what very few authors can: surprise, delight and stir emotions. I feel so emotionally invested in this story, it’s embarrassing. And, it’s beautiful because Bardugo wrote such a well-rounded, incredibly imagined story that I felt its realness through the pages.

Without any spoilers, I’ll say that the end is stunning. It leaves readers with a conclusion, it breaks your heart in all the right ways and it is so very satisfying.

I can’t imagine a better ending to this book or a better ending to the series.

Uh, not to mention, this book is hilarious. There’s so much darkness and death and horror, but the mood is lightened at all the right moments, and Alina offers her characteristic snark with a smile.

Seriously, I could go on forever about how I loved Nickolai and Mal and the Darkling (has there every been a more smoldery villain ever? I think not) even more than before or how the ending was so stinkin brilliant that I wanted to weep from its genius or how this is what fantasy should be…but we’d be here all day. So, I’ll quite while I’m ahead.

Bardugo is a master storyteller, and I CANNOT wait to hear what you think about Ruin and Rising, too.


A series like The Grisha is rare. It started out very strong, stayed strong in the middle and ended with an absolute bang (with tears included). This book is everything you want in a series finale. Ruin and Rising was exciting, surprising and – as all the books – exceptionally written. I’ll be carefully watching Leigh Bardugo’s future works, while I look mournfully at my bookshelf every time I remember Ruin and Rising is over.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Anne from Pintesting

    I just finished it… Wow. Just Wow!

  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    All of the above! I concur with every single point 😀 I’m posting my review on the 21st, and I’m pretty sure it says all of the same things as you did.

  • Kati Junge

    I only finished the series just now … and I can totally agree to your review – what a stunning end and how many unexpected turns on the way! Of all3 books Ruin and Rising was definetely the best one .. and I am going to miss not reading about Alina and Mal …

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