Buddy Review | Ruin and Rising – Leigh Bardugo

Yesterday was the release day for King of Scars and we couldn’t be more excited!! In honor of this release we’re doing a Grisha week on the blog. And part of that was (re)reading the original Grishatrilogy. Monday we posted our review for Shadow and Bone, yesterday was for Siege and Storm and today is all about Ruin and Rising. Since this is the third book in the series, there will be some spoilers for the first two books so keep that in mind. 

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.


Candyce Once again, like I’ve said for the past three days, I love the design of these covers. This one especially really pops out! I love both versions of these covers.

Isabelle I feel like I’ve been repeating myself these last three days haha. But yeah, I really like these covers both the old and the new. I love the colors and the details and I wouldn’t mind owning both editions.

“I’m the Sun Summoner. It gets dark when I say it does.”


Candyce After the ending of Siege and Storm, I needed to start this book immediately! Ruin and Rising is filled with an action packed story! The group of Grisha we have left is determined to fight for what they all need. Get to The Darkling and get rid of The Fold.

What I love about this trilogy is that the author takes us along on the journey of planning how they want to get where they need to be. I love how they explore multiple options and the downfalls. It doesn’t go as planned and they have to improvise a lot! I think those were my favorite moments. Some moments were very clever.

Ruin and Rising is also quite brutal at times with how part of the fighting is described! I was pretty shocked while reading these parts of the book. The last third of the book is filled with twists and turns that kept on surprising me! While I am very satisfied with the ending, there were some decisions that bugged me (I won’t go into detail, because I don’t want to spoil too much). This book did make me very excited for King of Scars!

“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.”

Isabelle Like with Siege and Storm we dive into action almost immediately! And once again I’m surprised about the amount of details and parts of the story I had forgotten. We pick the story up not too long after the end of Siege and Storm and not everyone’s fate is known at that point. We have a small group of Grisha left with us and almost all of them have wiggled their way into my heart. I also have to mention that really cool trick with the beatle, aka the only moment I truly enjoyed Mal haha.

After some action we’ve gotten another part with some more planning. I personally still like those moments and also think there was less of them compared to the last book. There was a really good amount of action in Ruin and Rising and I liked the balance a lot. And after almost every action filled moment we get some great character conversations haha. I love Leigh’s characters so much and can’t wait for King of Scars.

There are a lot of turns and twists in this final installment and even I was shocked upon reading a couple of those haha. The ending left me gasping and a little panicked about who was going to survive. I personally really liked the ending and the sacrifice but I can see why some people wouldn’t like it. Keeping in mind that this book was released more than 4,5 years ago I think there were some brutal scenes and sacrifices in this one. It might just be my memory but I think this book was ahead of it’s peers in terms of pretty brutal deaths and such. Lastly I just have to mention that there were so many quotable moments! I could’ve added 10 more quotes easily.

Yuyeh sesh. Despise your heart. Ni weh sesh. I have no heart.”


Candyce I talked a lot about the characters in the review yesterday, so I won’t go into a lot of detail this time around. Alina is still fighting The Darkling, but I didn’t really feel that she changed that much in this book. I enjoyed her as a character, but she isn’t my all time favorite.

In the end, I started understanding Mal a bit more and even thought he was more helpful in this story. All in all, I really think he didn’t have much development. I don’t understand why he had this big of a role (well besides a couple of the twists near the end).

Nikolai is my favorite in this book! I really wished we would’ve seen more of him in this one. There were quite a few events with him, so I kind of wished we would’ve seen him more! Zoya grew on my in this book though. She really annoyed me at first, but she turned out to be a pretty amazing character.

Genya and David also really captured my heart. I loved that they were included more in the last parts of this story! The most impressive story in Ruin and Rising, is definitely Baghra. She was an interesting character from the start, but we actually got her whole story in this book! It was heartbreaking, but so well done!

“Thanks for the rescue.”
“Everyone needs a hobby.”
“I thought yours was preening.”
“Two hobbies.”

Isabelle I’ll go through the characters quite quickly as we have been talking about them for three days now haha. Alina is trying to be ruthless like the Darkling and obviously she doesn’t really succeed. While I like reading about her, I don’t think she’s that special. There were so many more interesting characters in this series. And Mal was not one of them either haha. I have talked about this quite often but I just do not care for him one bit and I’m going to leave it at that haha.

Nikolai is my baby and needs to be protected at all costs <3 He is his wonderful self in this one and he goes through A LOT. I can’t wait to see that all play out in King of Scars more. The Darkling had an interesting story arc in this last installment. I think Leigh did a wonderful job of making him the villain but also making sure we care about him. You learn more about him and I think he did really have good intentions.

I needed to mention Baghra, I already enjoyed her in the other books but she was something else this time around! Her story was heart breaking and so well done. Tolya and Tamar are still one of my favorites and Misha has a place in my heart as well. And I love how Zoya has gone from a hated character to one I really come to enjoy. Oh and David was hilarious, he is so serious and I loved basically everything he said haha.

Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.”


That was such a fun ride! And it obviously got us so ready for King of Scars. Which one of us already started reading last night haha. Did you read this series? And are you planning on reading King of Scars? Let us know in the comments!

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