Monday, August 4, 2014

I Am Ruination

"Despise your heart...I have no heart"
--Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Henry, Holt, and Co.
Pages: 417
Publication Date: June 17th, 2014
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm
Goodreads Description

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.


Before I get on about how much Alina and Mal and all of that I just have to talk about my deep, deep love for Nikolai. First of all, that is like one of my all time favorite names ever. If I had a son tomorrow that and maybe one other name would be the top two. I love that fucking name. Anyways. This man is just perfection to me. Snarky, sarcastic, deeply wounded and hates to show it, strong, fierce, handsome, capable, takes charge. I mean, the list goes on. His comic relief in a world that is so ravaged by war and death is not only humorous but needed. He brings a light--no pun intended--to this story that would otherwise be even darker than it already is. I just cannot say enough about him. I f'ing LOVE HIM SO HARD.


Dayum girl, where you been? This Alina. This Alina hows what the fuck is up. Excuse all my language but for real. This girl is ruthless with a conscience. Brutal and unforgiving yet compassionate and understanding. She is so complex and unapologetic to her wants and needs and I loved every second of it. She refuses to let anybody stand in her way and her growth over the series is one of the best ever hands down. She is up there with Elisa from GoFaT series. The development of this character from beginning has such a dark beauty to it that it is almost unbelievable to think where she started out. Reading about her coming into her own and going after what she wants was so freakin badass I just loved it.

The Story 

The actual plot and development of the story was exactly spot on with the of the trilogy. There wasn't a rush to the finish and there was a complete story arc involved that didn't depend on simply tying up loose ends. I really had no idea what direction this story would go and how it would end and I have to say I am extremely pleased with the twists and turns that Leigh takes us on. The writing and visualization of this world is ridiculously mentally stimulating and Ravka appears right before your eyes.

The Dark...ness 

I love me a good and twisted story. The depth of depravity that this story takes us was shocking and necessary. I was tearing up with how horrible some situations were but it painted such a perfect pictures of the state of this world and the lengths that Alina had to go through in order to set things right. This is not a light and happy story, it is honest and raw and difficult. Just like life. To quote Leigh herself, 'there are no fairy godmothers' and this story portrays that. You have to save yourself in order to save those around you.


Finally. This boy got his head out of his ass and started acting accordingly. Mal's behavior and actions were totally perfect in my opinion in this book. I was not feeling the Mal love during the Siege and Storm re-read so I was so happy to see his character back in action and acting like that perfectly flawed best friend from Shadow and Bone. I needed him to get back to this place in my heart and boy did Leigh bring the swoon with him. I loved him and Alina's interactions and relationship. Complex and complicated doesn't begin to describe it.

The Outsiders 

I love, love, love how much we get out of our secondary characters if you can even call them that. Oh my gosh, I couldn't get enough of Genya, David, Tamar, Nadia, Toyin and even Zoya!! Oh my gosh, who knew?! They all work so well together and complement each other so perfectly that this little island of misfit toys made up a family unit of love in its own unique way.

The End 

I'm just sad it ended. I love these characters. I LOVE this story so much. The world of Ravka and Alina's journey is so beautiful and special in my heart that I cannot wait to get anything more of this world I can. I just don't want to let them go!

Backstage Pass
The conclusion to the amazing world of Ravka is everything I hoped for and more. So, so much more. I am seriously wanting to cry remember my first experience reading Shadow and Bone how amazing it was and how unique I found this world and the characters and writing and oh shit, now I actually am crying. These books are amazing on so many different levels and I am so sad to see these characters go. If you have not read these book yet, you need to. Get on it. 


  1. Nikolai is wonderful! And agreed with Mal, so glad he made some attitude changes.

    Awesome review! Glad you loved this one :)

  2. Ahhhh okay, just reading your review brought back all my feels for this book and this trilogy!! I just adore. Everything. All of it. Everyone! YES - nikolai is freaking just the best and I love him. AHH yes, and Mal gets his shit together! I think i said something similar to that in my review. I love it. I miss everyone!! It seriously was the best trilogy ending. It was just perfect and I miss these characters! I love it when a book can suck me in like that but it also sucks saying goodbye. :(

  3. Oh Nikolai. *sigh*. He is my #1 book boyfriend. I don't think it gets better than him. I am committed.
    I love this series, and I was very happy with this conclusion. I thought there were a lot of sweet moments between Mal and Alina. The secondary characters were perfect. So much love all around. So sad its over though :(

  4. Nikolai is my absolute favorite character in this entire series! Just thinking about him instantly brings a smile to my face, because he's funny and charming and a very memorable chap indeed. And I totally swoon over him as much as you do, and think he adds a much-needed balance. I also pretty much agree with every single one of your points; Ruin and Rising was so perfectly written in terms of character, story and setting and I absolutely LOVED it.


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