Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo – Readalong

Hello Humans! Another readalong? Of course. I’m going to enjoy tracing these back through the year, seeing how my reading changes, it’s kind of like a little reading diary I can look back on.

But yes, when I finished A Winter’s Promise I said I would read Ruin and Rising next, which will then finally free me up to read King of Scars. Now I loved the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns but I never really got too enamoured with the first two books in the original Grisha trilogy, it’s not that I thought they were bad, I just wasn’t as sold on the characters as I was with Bardugo’s later books. However, I tend to enjoy trilogy endings so we shall see how this one goes.

I’ll do my best to keep this spoiler free for Ruin and Rising but there will inevitably be spoilers for the first two books so beware if you haven’t read those yet.

Ruin and RisingGoodreads Summary:

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.

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Chapter One – Chapter Three

Ok. I like this. I will confess that I can remember very little of the previous two books – for whatever reason, I always end up mixing up Alina and the Darkling with Paige and Warden from The Bone Season which is…fun. But we’re back in and it’s a strong start with all kinds of explosions and some powerful character moments. It was interesting how quickly Bardugo takes Alina from being weak to standing up for herself, I don’t know why but I’ve got quite used to characters dealing with trauma for longer periods of sequels. I’m not saying she’s totally better after three chapters – but it’s certainly interesting.

But I can’t really fault the way Bardugo writes, she comes out swinging and already I  know I’m going to have a good time with this book.

Chapter Four – Chapter Eight

Again, I can’t really fault this, still not the biggest fan of Mal and Alina as characters but the side characters are amazing, you can see why Six of Crows was my preference, I like a lot of different perspectives when it comes to Bardugo’s stories apparently.

97E62F7C-1038-4C3E-A7E3-4CCB7D74339CI’m also understanding why Nikolai got his own book – you can’t get much more of a crowd pleaser than this particular prince. But if I set aside how annoyed I got when my Twitter became nothing but people telling people not to post KOS spoilers for about a fortnight I can totally understand why Bardugo would want more of this character and I will be interested to see where KOS fits in this world (I confess I looked very little up about the book before I bought it because it was just so darn pretty).

So yes, still pretty excited, humming along through. I don’t know if it’s just in comparison to some other stuff I’ve been reading of late, but these feel like very long chapters. I’m 166 pages in and I’ve only just reached chapter nine? Maybe that’s just me. Hoping to finish this tonight so I can move on to actually reading some of my library books – we shall see!

Chapter Eight – Twelve

Drama, betrayal, potential incest – this book has it all. Not gonna spoil who and what but I guess that’s a theme that might be useful to know about.

But yes, I am having a great time, I wouldn’t say this is doing anything that new for me, but perhaps that’s because I’m reading it a while after these books got popular and so I’ve read a fair number of wannabes since?

Alina is growing on me…a little. She seems to be starting to work out what she wants which is always something I need from a character – can’t abide a waffley heroine. But yes, things are dramatic, this book is good. I’m going to keep reading it.

Chapter Thirteen – Sixteen

Ok, so we haven’t quite drifted into ACOTAR territory but things are getting a little steamy in here – as steamy as YA gets anyway. Phewph. Very much the calm before the storm chapters if I know my fantasy (and I do). So yes, getting ready for at least one tragedy in the next few chapters – if not the next few pages, before a glorious resolution that is in some way bittersweet – that’s my prediction at least.

Chapter Seventeen – End

Just a couple of chapters, not my usual trend of slogging through another 200 pages in the bath – are you proud of me? I won’t tell you how right I was because I don’t want to spoil things for you if you haven’t read this yet, but let’s just say there weren’t too many surprises – I still had a great time, don’t get me wrong, but this isn’t, to me, a shocking ending to the series.

Final Verdict

It was really interesting to finally read what came before Six of Crows and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. You can absolutely see where Leigh Bardugo has grown as an author since writing this trilogy, in fact, you can see her growth throughout the series itself. It makes me more excited to read books from her in the coming years. But this is a strong if predictable ending to a series. By the end I had come around to characters I didn’t think I would ever like after book one so that’s a pretty big positive.

My rating:  4/5 stars

I bought this book myself, all opinions are my own.

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What will the TBR teacup pick next?

Ok, a bit of a trick there, I’m actually bypassing the teacup for at least one read because I have some amazing library books that I’d like to do readalongs for. So next up in this chain of readalongs, I say we’ll have another finish to a trilogy, to keep with that theme…


Yes, it’s finally time to finish The Extinction Trials! I’ve been looking forward to reading Rebel and it should be a nice quick read.

Also, let’s celebrate as this will be my fiftieth read of the year!

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, be sure to share them in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo – Readalong

Add yours

    1. You’re too kind, I have fun writing them (though the next one was tricky because it was such a fast read I didn’t want to stop and do check-ins!). I would say book three is probably the best, closest to her later writing and it did hype me up for KOS a bit more (maybe I’ll read that in six months :p)

      Liked by 1 person

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