Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

51S0auEr7LL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Because this is the third and final book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I will be including the synopsis for the first book, Shadow and Bone.

Alina Starkov lives in a world abundant with Grisha—people with abilities spanning from crafting perfect waterfalls to crushing hearts within seconds. Although she lives among them, she has never, and will never, be one of them. Raised an orphan alongside her best friend Mal, a regular map-maker’s life serving the Second Army is all she has to look forward to.  Until, after tapping into unknown potential, she has the power to be the most revered Grisha of her time.

Follow the adventure, intrigue, and romance of Leigh Bardugo’s first novel of the GrishaVerse, Shadow and Bone, and learn just how important it is to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

–   –   –

How to explain my love for this book…?

Because I read this (give or take) three years after the publication of it, I didn’t go into this book with the gossip. Some people allegedly were outraged by the ending and didn’t like the choice in “endgame,” if you will. Even though it took some time, I’m glad I read this when the hype and/or condemnation had passed.

I read it because a friend recommended it.

Well, I read the first at a friend’s recommendation. I read the second and third at my own volition.

The themes Leigh Bardugo takes on in this final novel astounds me, and her innate ability to not only tie everything together but also intertwine past references and lessons taught to the main character left my heart giddy.

When I set down this book after finishing a few days ago, my headphones still securely tucked in my ears (yes, I read along with the audio book. Again, it was recommended by a friend), I had tears streaming down my face, my phone already in hand to scream at my friend—more to thank her for making me read it than accusing her of causing my pain (though there was a bit of that).

All in all, I loved this book. The realizations and understandings the characters come to can reverberate so heavily in the audiences lives, and the ideals of mercy, love, and normalcy make me wish I could tuck myself into the very binding of this book, close the cover, and never leave.

Leigh, if you’re reading this: thank you.

I hope I can be as extraordinary of an author as you someday.

“Hope was tricky like water. Somehow it always found a way in.” -Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising 



If you read the book and would like to hear my (very in-depth and spoiler-filled) thoughts, I will leave the link for it down below.




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