Ruin & Rising - Leigh Bardugo
"For Alina Starkov, time is running out. The Darkling rules from his shadow throne while she, broken by their previous battle, is under the dubious protection of the zealots who worship her as a Saint. And as Alina convalesces she must also battle her conflicted feelings for the Darkling and her beloved Mal.
Her last hopes lie with the magic of a long-vanished ancient creature and the chance that an outlaw prince still survives.
As her allies and enemies race toward war, only Alina stands between her country and a rising tide of darkness that could destroy the world."
I honestly couldn't wait to start reading this book! Especially after the cliffhanger in Siege & Storm where we didn't know who made it out of the battle alive. Ruin & Rising starts with Alina who is currently healing after nearly taking down the Darkling. She managed to use their connection, that the Darkling forced upon her, against him. Worringly, as she heals, she is under the care of the Apparat who, if we're being completely honest, has come across as a bit dodgy ever since the first book. I can't be the only person who got that vibe, right?!
Seeing Alina learn how to use her powers more creatively was so heartwarming. I can remember back in the first book where Alina had to rig her tricks to show the public her powers when she couldn't control them and now she is showing these great displays of power. It is amazing to see how far she has come and how much she has grown. As a reader, it has been a privilege to go on that journey alongside her. You can really see how much her confidence has grown as well as she blossoms into her role as a leader and has big ambitions to lead the Grisha army.
However, Alina is now desperate for the last amplifier, convinced that it is the only thing that will be able to help her finally stop the Darkling once and for all. Frustratingly, it always seems to be just out of reach.
"They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things - if love can ever be called that."
On the other hand, the Darkling is also regaining his strength after his last fight with Alina. Similarly, he is desperate to get his hands on Alina's power so that he can finish what he started. Everything has been building up to the final showdown between the two. They have such undeniable chemistry, the serious question is whether Alina will be able to take down the Darkling, even is she does get the power together? Additionally, if not, at this point can there be any redemption for the Darkling?
Without giving too much away, I loved the ending! It was so bittersweet but perfect for the finishing of the trilogy. Obviously, I never wanted this series to end but the way Leigh Bardugo did it was so fantastic and unexpected, I couldn't imagine a better way! I'm so happy that it is not a final goodbye to some of the characters or the Grishaverse as we will be revisiting them in King of Scars which I am more than excited to read!
Also finishing this trilogy has made me even more excited for the Netflix adaption! I can't wait to see who they're going to cast, I've been obsessively checking Twitter everyday for the announcement! Let me know your predictions or who you'll hope they will pick.
Thank you for reading my thoughts and I hope you enjoyed my post! What did you think of Ruin & Rising? Did you enjoy the trilogy? Let me know if you have any recommendations for what I should read next.