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Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3)

[A quick note: This is one of those series that grows and grows on you. I felt like Leigh Bardugo really hit her stride by this book. I really hope the series makes it through to the third book so that I can see this one come to life]

โ€œ๐๐ž๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐š๐ซ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ. ๐…๐ซ๐š๐ ๐ข๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ, ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ. ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ? ๐“๐ก๐š๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ. ๐ˆ๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐›๐ซ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐ง๐›๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ค๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž. ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ๐ง'๐ญ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฑ๐ข๐ง๐ .โ€โ€”Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy goes out with a bang in this final installment. This was by far my favorite book of the series. It has tons of suspense, action, high stakes, internal struggle, and loss. The characters arenโ€™t black and white. Not only that, it was such an easy, pleasurable read. There was just so much to love!

Leigh Bardugo continues to impress with her morally gray characters. Even the protagonist, Alina, suffers from the greed of magic and power. Sheโ€™s not perfect. She struggles with social interactions. Sheโ€™s never considered โ€œpretty.โ€ And sheโ€™s susceptible to making mistakes, just like everyone else. But she grows. She fights for those she loves. She does the best that she can. Her nemesis, The Darkling, isnโ€™t entirely evil either. Some of his goals are noble. Heโ€™s always wanted a place for the Grisha to belong. Whatโ€™s so wrong with that? Throughout this book, we see small glimpses of his humanity that are surprising.

โ€œ๐ˆ ๐ก๐จ๐ฉ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐จ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง. ๐ˆ ๐ค๐ž๐ž๐ฉ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ญ ๐๐ข๐ž๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐š๐๐ฏ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐š๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ญ.โ€โ€”Leigh Bardugo

And then thereโ€™s Nikolai. He has been my favorite character of the series I cannot wait to see more of him in the later books. I wasnโ€™t expecting his character to face darkness in the way he did, but it was a welcome surprise. He continued to be his charming, humorous self.

I adored the world building in these books. The magic system is so cool. The countries and their cultures are each unique between Ravkins, Shu, etc. Everything feels genuine and real. Even the technicalities behind the magic with light was thought out. I appreciated that!

The story was a bit surprising. It took a few turns I did not expect. I canโ€™t say I was in love with the direction it took, but I appreciated that it deviated from being predictable. I wouldnโ€™t have loved it any less had it been more predictable. ๐Œ๐˜ ๐‘๐€๐“๐ˆ๐๐† ๐Ÿ“/๐Ÿ“โญ๏ธ


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