“Like a Phoenix From the Ashes? Nope.” (Ruin and Rising)

Ruin and Rising (Cover)
The cover for Ruin and Rising, with the disappointingly underused Firebird.

I have a lot of books on my shelf right now. And I’m not kidding, I have actual shelves full of books in my room. Some are made out of wood, but the new books and my comics collection goes onto my shelf made out of plastic crates. But enough about interior design. One of the books that I’ve been wanting to finish has been Ruin and Rising, the third and final book in the Grisha trilogy. Now, if you’ve read my reviews of the first two, you’ll know that the first is a terrible book. But, you have to make it through Shadow and Bone to get to Siege and Storm, the second book, which also happens to be awesome. The third? Meh.

After the disastrous defeat by the Darkling, Alina and her allies are hiding underground. She longs to surface, but the Apparat would rather keep her down un the caves below Ravka. After a daring coup, she escapes and flees to the surface with her most trusted allies. But in a mad new world of shadows that the Darkling controls, is there any way to find the Firebird and defeat the darkness within?

(SPOILERS)

You may have noticed in the caption that I wasn’t too happy with the use of the Firebird. Or lack thereof. If you didn’t, go read the caption to the cover. It summarized my feelings exactly. Yeah, I was all psyched up for an epic battle with a phoenix! But then it came in for two pages, almost pushed them off a cliff, they bowed to it, and it flew away. Yeah, it turns out that the Firebird wasn’t actually the amplifier in the first place. In fact, it was Mal, one of my favorite characters. For Alina to defeat the Darkling, he had to die. And before that, Nikolai was turned into one of those weird dark monsters. In the end though, it moved fast and fun, and I didn’t want to put it down. So in the end, it redeemed itself, but it was a slow ride to the end. 7 out of 10.

Better than Shadow and Bone, but worse than Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising is somewhere in the averaged middle. It started out slow, but ended with a bang, making this not the best novel in the Grisha trilogy, but still a good one.

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