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Ruin and Rising

Review

Ruin and Rising

        Alina Starkov started out as a simple mapmaker for the Ravka army. She then became the famed Sun Summoner; a miracle. Now she is seen as a saint, a symbol to the people that the Darkling’s rule of terror is coming to an end. For the religious zealots, she is all-powerful, a true match for the Darkling…but Alina herself is not so sure. Forced to flee to an underground system of tunnels and caverns, Alina slowly tries to recover from her latest encounter with the Darkling --- one that affected her more than anyone could guess. She is ready to start her search for the firebird, the only thing she is convinced can help her match the Darkling’s immense and ancient power. But with the controlling Apparat monitoring her every move, that is easier said than done.
 
            Alina must join together with what remains of her true companions in order to find what she so desperately needs, and what the Darkling never wants her to have.  But in order to have the power to defeat the Darkling, Alina has to sacrifice more than she is willing to give. With the weight of Ravka’s future resting on her shoulders, Alina must find the power within herself to defeat the Darkling --- or give up all she’s ever wanted.
 
Readers will not be able to stop turning the pages, but will be heartbroken to see Alina’s journey come to an end. 
 
            RUIN AND RISING wraps up The Grisha Trilogy trilogy perfectly. In this final installment of Alina’s battle with the Darkling, the stakes are higher than ever. Therefore, the tone of RUIN AND RISING is much more serious than it has been before.  Still, Leigh Bardugo manages to weave in bits of humor that endear us even further to her characters. Additionally, she introduces us to a wider cast of characters, many of whom have been in previous novels.
 
            Alina becomes more comfortable with her power in this novel, and is pushed to her limits. It is a welcome change to see Alina embrace her power rather than try and repress it or be ashamed of it. Alina also achieves a new level of self-confidence.
 
            In RUIN AND RISING, Alina is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. Not only does her happiness rely on this decision, but all of Ravka does as well. Knowing this, Alina tries desperately to come up with a solution that doesn’t lead to the destruction of all that she’s known, or the destruction of her heart.
 
            Leigh Bardugo creates a novel to be proud of in RUIN AND RISING. Readers will not be able to stop turning the pages, but will be heartbroken to see Alina’s journey come to an end. Filled with action, adventure and romance, RUIN AND RISING is a novel for all preferences. 

Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member on June 5, 2014

Ruin and Rising
(Grisha Trilogy #3)
by Leigh Bardugo