I have finally finished the ‘Shadow and Bone’ series by Leigh Bardugo, and overall I really enjoyed the series as a whole. Here is my review of the final installment of this series.
Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Date published: June 17th 2014
Page Count: 427
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.
While I was feeling on the fence about this series after reading the second book in the series, Siege and Storm, I really enjoyed Ruin and Rising and felt that the series ended on a good note.
I thought the story was interesting from start to finish, and all of the small pieces explored in the previous two books came together. We get all of our questions answered about Morozova and his amplifiers; learn more the history and childhood of Alina and Mal; and see the final face off between Alina and The Darkling. While it does start off slow, the pacing of the book is on point and each plot point flowed seamlessly to culminate into some exciting action scenes and major revelations.
While I really loved the story, I am not the biggest fan of the characters. Alina certainly did not appeal to me, and though she has matured since the first two books, I often became frustrated at how she does not step up to her role as the Sun Summoner. She continues to pine over Mal (thankfully not as much) and I really wish there was more time spent exploring more of her character then simple her relationship with Mal.
The Darkling and Nikolai are the best of the characters and I was left wanting more from them both. Nikolai adds some lightheartedness to what is a darker story, and his dynamic with Alina is far more entertaining and interesting then with Mal-they have chemistry and really compliment each other. I don’t think anyone can argue that the Darkling is a enticing villain. Even though he is dark and brutal, he exudes an aura of power and charisma that makes it hard for me to dislike him. His interactions with Alina in this book, especially as she becomes more confident, make for some of the best parts of the book.
Overall I really liked how this series ended, and some of the major twists and revelations, particularly about Morozoa and his history took me by surprise. If you were a little tentative to finish the series because the second book was a little flat, this book does not disappoint.
I hope you liked my review, and I’ll be back tomorrow for another post!