Friday, September 26, 2014

"Ruin and Rising" {by Leigh Bardugo} Book Review (WITH SPOILERS)


the book cover of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
TITLE OF THE BOOK: Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3)
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt and Co
NUMBER OF PAGES: 433
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2014
READING LEVEL: Young Adult
GENRE: Fantasy

SUMMARYThe 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.


OUR STAR RATING:
We rated Ruin and Rising 4.1/5 stars
4.1 out of 5 Stars


 OUR GROUP REVIEW: We decided for this book club to celebrate the light over the dark - our gold and white decor and costumes set the scene for this special night. Angie moderated our event and dressed the part, a golden Sun Summoner with an amazing crown she made herself, see it HERE! While we ate, she had a slide show playing from Leigh Bardugo's Pinterest board for Ruin and Rising.

As you can tell from our star rating, we all loved the book - the plot, the characters, the fantasy elements and world. I think we all wished we could be Grisha, or at least take a character or two on vacation with us.

As with most series that we read, we kind of hope that last book would be amazing, but prepare ourselves for the worst. Leigh Bardugo didn't let us down with this book. Ruin & Rising continued to take this series to a whole new level and even managed to pull a few fast ones on us.

(SPOILER ALERT)
First of all, since most of us are Nikolai fans, we were shocked by the turn of events for him (I'm not going to lie. When I read where he changes into one of the volcra, I think a few tears may have been shed . . .). We were so happy that things turned out for him in the end, though we wished that he somehow would have ended up with a hottie and his own happily ever after. Come on, Leigh, write that book for us!

The second shocker of all time is when we found out that Mal was the third amplifier. I think we all had to pick our books off the floor and re-read that part! That is one thing that I don't think any of us saw coming. How Leigh was able to make everything work out in the end is amazing. A few of us had read that some people didn't like the ending, but the majority of us loved it. I have to admit that I somehow wished that Alina could have kept her powers and continued to use them for good.

The overall story arch of Alina and Mal ending up back together in the same way they began gave us all a feeling of fulfillment. It may not have been exactly a happily ever after for every character in the book (darn you, Darkling! Why couldn't you have given up the dark side?), but overall, each character that we cared about grew.  Genya learned who her true friends were and the importance of inward beauty and confidence.  Mal stayed strong and showed his deep love for Alina. Alina learned to be strong and stand up for herself and her country. Together, they all learned that the exponential strength of one villain could be overcome by the combined might of a team.

After our discussion, we spent a few minutes discussing some questions we wanted ask the author because, drum roll please . . . LEIGH BARDUGO SKYPED WITH US. Want to find out what we asked her and her responses? Stay tuned. You won't want to miss out on this conversation and what Leigh Bardugo has up her sleeve now that the Grisha trilogy is complete.
Read our interview with Leigh.


*CONTENT CATEGORIES*
*RATING*
LANGUAGE/PROFANITY
MODERATE (D and A words)
SEXUALITY
MODERATE (brief sex scene, not explicit)
DRUG/ALCOHOL USE
MILD
INTENSE/SCARY SCENES
MODERATE
VIOLENCE                                             
MODERATE (fighting, killing, blood)

Xoxo,

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