Book Reviews

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Wow what a ride. And not in a good way. I didn’t have the highest hopes for Shadow and Bone, but excuse me, what was this ending?? I gave it the best try I could and I won’t spoil anything, but I’m majorly disappointed. Am I the only one?? Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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 Shadow and Bone, I tried real hard to like you. I did. I wasn’t in love with The Darkling from the beginning, but what a waste of a character development if this is how far his story went. Let’s just say if I was already disappointed by how little I felt like I got to know him, I do not feel any better. I never got the morally grey villain vibes, but after this I’m like even more flabbergasted about the hype. Look, I wanted to see it, like it, and be a big fan. But you gotta give me more y’all.

Which brings me to the thing that made me the angriest – Mal and Alina. There’s so much I want to yell about, which I can’t because of spoilers (but if you wanna see me spoil then check out my video). But I am so done with them. LOOK, it’s not that I hate Mal and Alina, but I’m also like….done. I am ALWAYS up for childhood friends to lovers – always – but when it’s clear that people are on different paths, that we want different things from them, then it’s done. It’s hard, I know it is. I’ve lived it. But there’s a moment when you have to realize that the pieces of each other you see, aren’t the same.

And that’s where I thought we ended Siege and Storm. Until Ruin and Rising appeared and I was frustrated all over again. Overall, this book just felt too convenient. Like that things that happened were TOO CONVENIENT, in a way that didn’t feel right. I didn’t end my reading experience and think, “well I agree with what happened because there’s a sense of rightness” even if it broke my heart and isn’t what I wanted. Nope. This was just straight up, “I don’t understand the convenience and I hate it”. It’s been a few days since I finished and also filmed my reaction video and my dislike and frustration has turned into anger.

Find Ruin and Rising on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Did the finale in a series ever burn you this bad?

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