Ruin & Rising | Book Review


By: Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3 | 422 Pages | Pub. 2014

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Ruin & Rising at a Glance

  • Overall Rating: ★★★★
  • Heroine: Why is she in charge of anything?
  • Dude: He deserves better. #teammal
  • Steaminess: The glass windows fogged a touch
  • Brutality: Ripped apart by bird-things

Pairs Well With



I am finally done with this series and can read Six of Crows!!! This was one hell of a journey for me. Overall, I really liked the series, but it also frustrated me more than any other in a long time. I can’t do a series ender without spoilers so this will be riddled with them.


If you have read SOC and not Grisha, then YOU DO NOT KNOW THE WHOLE ENDING.

So stop here.


So we pick up with Mal and Alina on the outs again, but ever the faithful soldier, Mal is willing to just let her marry Nikolai IF she can save the world. Nikolai is MIA and Alina is doing a weird mind-meld thing with the Darkling and secretly hanging out with him as a hologram… Because Alina does whatever she wants and doesn’t ever stop to think about the consequences of her idiotic actions.

Okay. I hate on Alina a lot, but she was better in this book. She did get her head together more than the last and at least tried to be smart. She put down the Apparat which NEEDED to happen. That guy is crazy religious fanatic about a saint that HE MADE UP. Pure insanity.

The little squad escapes the Apparat finally. Thanks to MAL by the way. He is actually really useful and saves their asses a bunch of times. I did love Alina’s little squad that developed. Zoya is hilarious, Genya and David are adorable and the twins are badass. Also loving the Tamar/Nadia relationship happening. They are a perfect balance for each other.

Now it’s Nikolai’s turn to save the day with another ingenious creation.

I’m going to stop and talk about the whole love quadrangle thing happening here.

  • Nikolai is actually amazing and deserves way better than Alina. She is selfish and only concerned with her own power. I adore him and am so excited for his book, but let’s just stop this Alina/Nikolai ship before it takes off. They didn’t even really like each other very much outside of friedship. It was a self-arranged marriage for politics…
  • The Darkling is creepy AF and I love it! I can see the Alina/Darkling ship because she is pretty terrible and so is he. But, he doesn’t really love anything except for possibly his mommy. RIP Baghra. His character is spectacular, but maybe not for love? I mean, he is just a tiny bit controlling with the whole COLLAR thing…
  • Mal may not be the most interesting character, but he is always there for her. He stays by her side through things he probably shouldn’t AND he actually loves her. She also loves him. She may be drawn to the power of the other two, but she actually loves Mal.

OK, rant over.

I loved the ending to this series. The whole team gets together to beat the Darkling in a completely insane ambush. Let’s just walk into this dark place that no one can go into without being ripped to shreds. It was a suicide mission with a plan and I was here for it.

If you haven’t read all three, then STOP. NOW.


I warned you.


The whole stabbing Mal in the CHEST thing? I know he wanted her to, but omg she did it! I was shook. WHAT?

Also, it’s ridiculous and perfect that he was the last amplifier? I kinda loved it. I am not into people coming back to life. Stay dead! But, I take exception with this. Alina just stabbing him in the chest and then sticking the Darkling with the same bloody knife? That was fantastic. So it balances that Mal comes back and she loses her powers. The new Sun Summoners?? Spectacular.

The epilogue was adorable and It made me happy that they can live out their normal lives together in peace and quiet. And that the crew visits at Christmas!!!

Have you read Ruin and Rising? Let us know what you thought in the comments!


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