Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Posted by Caitie F on August 20, 2014

Title: Ruin and Rising14061957
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Hardcover: 417 pages
Pub Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Rating: ++++

Summary from pub:

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


Okay, to make this a spoiler free review is going to take some work because I have thoughts and they are very full of spoilers. So I will not share those thoughts.

Instead, I will say if you think Alina is complex, powerful, and a fantastic character, you are going to want to read this book. She grows even more. She is smart and strong, but vulnerable and at time too forgiving. You will find yourself thinking “Why did you DO that? Don’t you know it will have consequences?”. To me, that is a sign of a character that is not too perfect. Because humans do things against their own self interest a lot. And leaders make mistakes that have awful consequences, yet it doesn’t make them bad people.

Leigh Bardugo knows how to make readers keep going. I can sometimes read on the bus, but most of the time I start to feel a little queasy. I pushed through on this book because I needed to know what happened. Luckily, it was on a day where i had a fantastic driver on my commute who knew all the potholes to avoid, so I was okay. I just had to finish the book that much. It is exciting and nerve-wracking. I gasped a few times. I may have shed a tear or two.

Okay, this paragraph is about the end but I won’t say any direct spoilers. But if you don’t want to have any clue about how one may feel at the ending, please stop reading and let me know in the comments if you are going to read the series.



I feel like the end was a cop-out. I know readers don’t like bad things happening to characters they love, just look at the reactions to a certain series that ended last year that some people still are angry about, but sometimes, it just fits the story better.

So have you read this series? You really should, it is pretty fantastic and I am excited to read whatever Leigh Bardugo does next.

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