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Don't Be Afraid of the Dork

Covered in dog hair, Obsessed with books, Wondering what it's all about. I suspect the answer is ice cream and the ocean.

A good conclusion to a great YA Fantasy series

Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo

Ending a trilogy has got to be hard for a writer, especially if it’s a beloved trilogy.  You have to wrap up or at least address in some way all the loose threads and bring the characters to an emotionally appropriate close.  I was worried after Siege and Storm, but Ruin and Rising really delivers and keeps things interesting to the very last page.


NOTE: SPOILERS for the first two books are inevitable.  Beware!


Synopsis:  At the end of Siege and Storm, the Darkling had taken the heart of Ravka by surprise and left everyone fleeing for their lives in all directions.  Mal and Alina are held captive by a creepy religious guy who is using Alina’s status as a Saint amongst the common people to garner support for himself.  Alina and her small band remaining Grisha finally negotiate their release, and try to figure out how to take on the might of the Darkling.  The odds against them are astronomical and in the middle of their struggles Alina and Mal make the most disturbing discovery of all. 


There are a ton of emotional and political maneuverings in this book and fortunately, because Alina and Mal have matured a bit with their experiences, it comes across as less angsty for angst’s sake.  Alina is still drawn to the Darkling but sadly he is not in the book any more than in book two.  We do find out his whole back story and why he is the way he is. 


Since Alina gained her power as a Sun Summoner, she has struggled with an unseemly desire for more power.  While she still struggles in this book, I think she also becomes more adept at suppressing her desires while at the same time embracing her role as leader a little more naturally.  The ending is also perfect in light of this over-riding theme. 


And the ending?  It could have gone either way and I think I could have been happy with it.  It wraps things up well and no thread is left waving in the wind. 


FINAL VERDICT:  A really satisfying final installment in the Grisha Series which was highly readable and a well done YA fantasy.