Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Spoiler-Free Book Review

Warning: proceed with caution- there might be spoilers for the first two books of the series- Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm. If you haven’t read any of those, I highly advise against reading this; I do, however, have reviews on both books up, linked here: #1 || #2.

 “I am not ruined- I am ruination.”


Summary (courtesy of GoodReads)

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.


I have to say that the writing was very good. Although I kinda disliked the book altogether, the writing, as for the second book, cannot be questioned. It’s amazing. I have absolutely nothing to say against it.


Can’t really say much here without giving off a lot of things, but in this book, we’re shown a new side to many characters. Alina goes through some more character development (which is always a good thing, naturally), and there’s this entire plot twist at the end that brings forth critical thinking in a lot of the characters’ cases.


Ah, here we go. Probably the thing that let me down. For the people who’ve read the book: I’m not referring to the latest plot twist- that was pretty good, and it raised the rating of the book to 3/5. However, the ending in general? Not so fond of it. To me, it was way too cliché and expectable. It left me with the same bad taste the Sherlock season four finale had. I was honestly expecting this huge boss fight with thousands of casualties and so on and so forth. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Which, frankly, is a weird thing to complain about. Oh, my favorite characters didn’t die? Horrible story, who does the author think they are, letting people live like that!

General & ratings

While I can’t really say I was disappointed, I can wholeheartedly say I was unimpressed by the ending. It was one of those series were the ending spoils everything that was good in the books. Rating-wise, although I’ve given this 3 stars on GoodReads, I’ll have to be extremely sorry and rate it with 2.5/5, making it fall somewhere in between Poor/ Dreadful and Acceptable.

I was quite disappointed to see I wasn’t mind boggled by the series, but I’ve heard way better things about Six of Crows- since I really enjoy the universe and world-building (and Leigh Bardugo’s writing style in general), that will be my next read- as soon as I’m done with the novellas.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post! Shop the book here and find the author below!

As for me, I’ll thank you for reading day fifteen of #ABJ and bid goodbye to this series! I won’t be writing a booktalk, so don’t look forward to that.

Keep reading!



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