A Book Review: Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo

5 Stars


First of all, I have to say I’m really really frustrated with Ruin and Rising… but before I start talking about the not-so-good things, let’s talk about the good things about this book. Because this book did have several good things.

I liked how the book began. The beginning was full of suspense and it was very exciting to read. I liked how they escaped from the Apparat and the description of their journey through the underground tunnel ways. All of that was so cool, and I loved reading about it. When they were in the tunnels, I could really feel the sense of companionship between the characters. They were all making new bonds and to me, that was some excellent friendship development. Apart from that, I felt that the relationship between Mal and Alina became more realistic than before, and both sides accepted the situation they were in. Mal did not press Alina to DTR and he did not stop Alina from achieving her full potential (which was what I felt he was doing in S&S).

The middle was awesome too. They meet Nikolai again (not to mention that FABULOUS ENTRANCE HE MADE!!!! I’m sure you can already tell that Nikolai is my favourite character). They meet The Darkling’s mum again- she’s a refreshing character. Everything here was very well written. At this point, I was still really drawn into the story. It was fast-paced and filled with action. It was seriously great.

Then everything started to go downhill…

The ending frustrated me so much. Up until now, I found everything very realistic and believable. So Mal dies and comes back to life… He died. And got resurrected by the twins. Shouldn’t they be even more powerful than Alina and the Darkling? I mean, they can resurrect a dead person- they can tip the balance between life and death! I could tell that Alina was going to end up with Mal even before the end. That’s another thing- the ending was a tad bit too predictable. The end made me feel as if Ms Bardugo wrote a happy ending that does not really fit in with the rest of the story. It kind of ruined the whole atmosphere of the rest of the book.

About the character development… I’m very sorry to say this, but I don’t think Alina’s character really developed at all. At points, she was the same girl as she was in the previous installment. That girl was still hovering there under the surface, I was dreading the next time she resurfaced. At some points, she was mature and understood loss and war and all of that. I thought that Mal was a more developed character than her… and she is the main character.

The Darkling. I am disappointed. Ms Bardugo never really allowed him to redeem himself. In fact, he was absent from most of the book. He was one of the most interesting and complex characters in the entire series and he hardly appeared at all. I am really really disappointed. Personally, I felt that he was a better match for Alina than Mal. The Darkling understands this part of her that Mal will never understand. Just because she lost her powers the ending, there is still this dark part of Alina that I am sure Mal will never truly understand.

Ruin and Rising is a great book, and I did liked it- hence the spot on my Best of 2014 reads shelf. Honestly, please don’t be put off by my rant. Ms Bardugo is an amazing writer. And if you’re a Mal and Alina shipper, this book is for you. If you’re not a Mal and Alina shipper, then this book is still for you. The plot was very well developed, the setting fabulous as always and the book was well written. So…

Go for this book!!!! (Seriously, it’s a great book) 😀

Find it on



Barnes & Noble

Wooooh!!! First review of the year 😉




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