Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Hardcover, 417 pages
Published by Henry Holt & Company
Published on: June 17, 2014
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.
This book was absolute perfection. Amazing. Incredible. It's been a month since I first read it and I still get chills just thinking about this book. I worried how this book would end, especially after being disappointed with the end of my other favorite trilogy Divergent, I was so concerned that I would suffer a similar disappointment. I can't believe that I doubted Leigh Bardugo, I should have known better. From book one the plot intensified and continued to get better and better. Bardugo did not slump for a single moment. Absolutely fantastic book, it was thrilling, sexy, hilarious, and sweet. I just can't believe it's over.
I know a lot of people are upset that Alina did not end up with the Darkling or Nikolai but in our world now that rains in love triangles, I think it's touching how Alina and Mal never stopped loving each other. Love triangles always confuse and upset me because the idea that a person can love someone so deeply, and then out of nowhere falls in love with another and questions his/her feelings for their first love? To me, that's not real love. Alina could have had it all, power, money, etc. But what did she choose? She chose her precious otkazat'sya.
Mal's and Alina's relationship grew and developed so magnificently. Bardugo really made you feel like you could feel every part of their relationship from when they were children to the end of the series. They had just a spark between them that even in scenes when they were not directly talking to each other, I could feel it through the pages.
I loved all of the other characters in the book. Prince Nikolai is one of my favorite characters of all time. With his snarky wit and charm, I swoon every time he has a scene. Besides him, all of the other characters were great too.
My next favorite would have to be Genya. In spite of everything she has gone through, she still manages to hold her head up high and make a new life for herself. She's truly the epitome of beauty within.
What really surprised me is how much I liked Zoya in this novel, she is still her annoying and bitchy self but somehow I was charmed by her as well. Once again I have to bow down to Bardugo, she made me care about almost every single character in her books. I loved them all and I'm not ready to say goodbye.
Guys, do yourselves a favor, and get this book!