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Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Review by Ashley

Post Date:05/01/2022 9:00 am

ruin and rising book cover

This is the third and final book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Written by Leigh Bardugo, it smooths everything over and closes it up. 

As with the other two, it was completely unpredictable. Even in the moments where you were sure you'd know what came next, you never did. The unthinkable happened, and often times I didn't know what to make of it. Sometimes I wondered how the characters themselves would deal with it. 


This novel brings in more characters, forming a small little group, but you grow to love each and every one of them. Even the ones that seemed insufferable at first. They work together well, despite not having known each other for a long time, and by the end it's easy to see they would do anything for each other, even if it meant having blood on their hands. 

As for the Darkling, I loved how he was portrayed in this novel. He was almost more human than in the other two, showing more emotions or more humanly desires. Yes, he's power hungry and cruel, and he's killed countless people, but he'd once been just a boy. Though nothing will excuse what he did, it does make you feel a bit bad for him when you learn of his past. This book definitely tells you more about his ancestry and what drove him to become who he is today, but you can see that the one thing he really doesn't want is to be alone. 

This book also shows just how real war can be, and even though it's in a fake universe, it does show the real struggles. The burden of deaths and hopelessness, and the realism that people will cling to whatever they have in dire times. Even if it's through lies, they'll believe it if it gives them faith. It shows that countless sacrifices are made during war, and sometimes it'll tear you apart. 

It also shows the extent of both Grisha and human powers, revealing techniques or secrets that are now seemingly obvious strategies, but not at the time. It especially shows what Mal can really do, as a tracker and a fighter.  

This book, along with the second one in this series, really showed Alina's struggles, but also the other characters'. It showed the burden of her power and her responsibilities, but it also went more in depth about the details of the other characters, which I enjoyed. I think it's extremely important in a story that it's not only the main character dealing with problems, everyone has struggles and everyone will have to deal with them. 


It's really up and down in the mood. One minute something amazing could be happening, and then you flip the page and everything's thrown into chaos. Much of the time you lose a character you loved, and sometimes they're turned into something worse.  

The only thing to dislike is that the beginning is super slow, so it might take you a while to get past that part without getting bored. 

Overall I'd give it a 9/10, I loved this! I absolutely can't wait to start the Six of Crows duology! 


Check out Ruin and Rising from the Newport Beach Public Library!  

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