Friday, July 31, 2015
Me on Ruin & Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (Macmillan imprint)
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.
Ruin and Rising is a conclusion heading towards certain death and destruction, towards ruin and despair, unless Alina and the Grisha still with her can survive. Unless they can find the third amplifier. Unless they can finally stop the Darkling.
Alina, week and nearly broken, has to somehow find the strength to continue the search in order to defeat the Darkling. And find it she does, regaining control from the Apperat who would rather keep her locked away as a Saint to worship and fight for. Those months spent recovering weren't wasted. She and her comrades, her friends, make their wat across a war-torn land in order to find the firebird, but will they find it in time? Will it be what they've been searching for?
Alina blames herself for what's happened. For the Darkling. For the death and the destruction that has swept across Ravka. She feels that only she can stop him, only she could have the power to defeat him, and she will do anything. But she needs those around her. She needs to lean on them, to trust them, to let them help her. Or else nothing will work.
The side characters are so much fun to read about. Tamar and Tolya. Zoya, Nadia, David. Genya. Nikolai, the pirate prince. It's their interactions with Alina, their faith in her, their own resolve, that keep them all moving forward.
I couldn't put this book down for long, which surprised me. The first two books were good, are good. Perhaps because I wanted to know how it all ended. Not just for the sake of it being over, but actually how it ended. Where they went, what they found, who survived and who was lost. How it ended and what happened after that. When it was over I wondered about Alina. If she ever really wanted to be the Sun Summoner. If she ever really wanted to have that much power, that important a purpose. If all she ever really wanted was to be a normal girl with a normal life. A normal girl with a partner at her side, a warm home, and good friends. Fantasy fans, give this series a read. And then look forward to Six of Crows.
(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)