Thursday, 14 August 2014

RUIN AND RISING by LEIGH BARDUGO

Ruin and Rising
by Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 2014
Publisher: Indigo
Genre: YA, Fantasy
*contains spoilers*

"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." -taken from Goodreads

This is the final book in the Grisha trilogy, the epic conclusion, although probably not quite so epic. There was something about this instalment that just fell flat for me, I did find myself becoming bored and pushing myself to finish, which I didn't have to do with the other two books. However, before I start with the negatives, there were some very obvious positives, mainly to do with the characters. 

If I am being totally honest the side characters made this book rather than the protagonists, Alina and Mal and even the Darkling. Zoya, Genya, David and the Twins were all hilarious, witty and strong. They all had totally different personalities but worked well together and offering quick one-liners that brought some comic relief in an otherwise dark book. Baghra, proved to me even more that she is badass and can look after herself far better than anyone else, she is strong, rude and independent and I really appreciated her and thought that she couldn't have had a better ending, she would have wanted to go down fighting and she did. 

The world building was pretty good although not a patch on the previous two books, but in fairness at this point you should be pretty accustomed to the world without Bardugo having to spell everything out for you.  

Now, lets discuss Alina. Alina was such a let down, I really thought that she would have come out of her shell and become a fighter that the previous two books had set her up to become. But she just didn't, it seemed as though as soon as she had a spark of being strong and manipulative, towards the end this side of her became non-existent again, which is just disappointing. 

Mal is a character who I have to tolerate because I understand that he has his positives but to be honest I just think of him as a drain to Alina. Although he does start to accept Alina's power and the fact that she can do nothing about it, he just has been a character that I just have taken a dislike to for no real reason other than I just cant really see any positive attributions towards him. 

The enemy, The Darkling, whilst always being a constant threat, had very little show time in this book. Sometimes you almost forgot that he was a thing and the whole reason for the upset as I felt like this book mostly just seemed like a quest to find the amplifiers.

Finally, the ending. The ending was insufficient in making me feel like it was a good conclusion, I felt like it was all for nothing, it was too happy, too perfect and I just felt like Alina should have had a different ending. Granted it would have been the ending she would have liked but it was just so flat and well, displeasing, she was destined for great things but settled for the ordinary with a man that never saw her potential when she was at her strongest.

However, this is me being totally critical because I just wanted another ending. The book in terms of writing, character development (other than Alina), and general plot is fantastic and I would still recommend this series if you are looking for a good fantasy YA read.


3/5 STARS

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