BOOK REVIEW: Ruin And Rising – by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Ruin And Rising
(The Grisha Trilogy #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia
First published: June 17th 2014
Finished reading: April 7th 2015
Pages: 422
Rating 4,5

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

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I promised myself to read at least a few other books before reading the third and last book of The Grisha trilogy, but I just couldn’t resist temptation any longer. I loved Leigh Bardugo‘s writing in Shadow And Bone and Siege And Storm, and this third book is no exception. Ruin And Rising is almost as good as the first book, which is still my favorite, but I have to admit the conclusion is probably one of the best I’ve read in YA Fantasy trilogies. It’s not your typical end and fans of the Darkling will probably hate it, but I found it refreshing. Leigh Bardugo‘s prose is a brilliant one that left me marking quote after quote, and the fast pace and different plot twists makes it truly hard to stop reading Ruin And Rising before the story ends. In short, this last book in The Grisha trilogy is definitely worth reading! This one is without doubt one of my favorite YA Fantasy series, and I cannot wait to read more of Leigh Bardugo‘s work in the future.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first two books in this trilogy yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

The capital is no longer in the hands of the King, and the Darking rules Ravka now… The nation facing a situation almost without hope. The Sun Summoner was left weak and powerless after the fight, and there is not much left of the army to fight the Darkling. All that they have is their last hope: trying to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers so the Sun Summoner might equel the Darking’s power. Together with Mal they try to track the firebird before it’s too late, but will they be able to find it on time before Ravka and its people are destroyed?

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Like I said before, Ruin And Rising is probably one of my favorite conclusions of YA Fantasy series so far. It’s hard to find a thing I didn’t like about this third book, and I will be looking forward to read more about Ketterdam and The Dregs when Six Of Crows is published this september. The Grisha trilogy is without doubt worth reading if you enjoy the whole YA Fantasy genre! Leigh Bardugo‘s prose is brilliant and will suck you straight into the world of Ravka and the Grishas…

BOOK REVIEW: Siege And Storm – by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Siege And Storm
(The Grisha Series #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia
First published: June 4th 2013
Finished reading: March 27th 2015
Pages: 435
Rating 4,5

“You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?” I asked as I closed the book’s cover and headed for the door. “They always end up dead.”

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I know that it took me way too long to finally read the sequel to Shadow And Bone, especially since I loved this first book in The Grisha series. The biggest problem was probably that I only owned a Spanish copy of Siege And Storm, and I normally prefer reading books in their original language… So as soon as I gave in and bought myself a copy of both the sequels, I was ready to dive into the Grisha world Leigh Bardugo so beautifully has created again. And this second book definitely didn’t disappoint me. Sure, Alina did have one too many suitors for my taste, but the romance scenes didn’t distract from the rest of the story. Alina as the female heroine seriously kicks ass, and you cannot help put crossing your fingers everything will work out in the end. Leigh Bardugo‘s prose is easy to read and the face pace makes it hard to put Siege And Storm down before you finish it. A sequel that is definitely recommended to YA Fantasy fans!

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read Shadow And Bone yet. I’ll keep the summary short but it’s almost impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

After having escaped the Darkling, Alina and Mal have to start over again in a land unknown to them. The Darkling is trying to hunt them down, and Alina is still trying to figure out how to deal with all those lost lives on the Fold… And more importantly, how to keep her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. It turns out that neither of the two can escape there past for too long, and soon they are both in the Darklings hands again… Darkness never dies, and he has a terrifying new power. He was foolish though to trust a privateer to bring them all back to Ravka. The Stormhund switches sides and soon helps them turn back to the royal palace in Ravka… Revealing who he really is on the way. Will they be able to fight and destroy the Darkling and his power  together without destroying Alina herself?

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Although I’m pretty sure I enjoyed the first book even more, Siege And Storm is without doubt a worthy sequel. The world building in The Grisha series is pretty impressive, and I love the prose Leigh Bardugo uses to tell her story. The characters in general are definitely likeable as well, and with the fast pace and easy-to-read prose this sequel is definitely a pageturner. Without doubt recommended!

BOOK REVIEW: Shadow And Bone – by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Shadow And Bone
(The Grisha Series #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia
First published: May 2012
Finished reading: July 10th 2014
Pages: 372
Rating 5

This is the truth of him, I thought as I squinted in the dazzling light. Like calls to like. This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.”

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Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve considered giving a book the full five stars. I do not like handing out five stars though, mostly because  I feel a book can never be completely perfect… But I felt Shadow And Bone deserved it. It somehow just clicked between me and this book, and I enjoyed every single moment of it. Some may say the Russian references were way off. Others may say it’s just yet another YA triology feeding on the success of The Hunger Games. But I cannot deny my feelings for this first part of The Grisha series: nothing but praise and love! I definitely and totally recommend it for those who enjoy dystopian YA books. Now excuse me while I go and try to find an English copy of Siege And Storm

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Alina and her best friend Mal are orphans and they grow up only having each other. They are still teenagers when they are both chosen to join the King’s army in the Border Wars. Mal is quite the popular tracker and most girls dream of being with him, but Alina the mapmaker is just a grey mouse and nobody notices her… And even her best friend sometimes forgets she’s there. But things soon change as their army regiment has to enter the Fold. The Fold is filled with unnatural darkness and creatures called volcra, and divides the country in two. When they try to cross it, they are attacked by those nasty creatures. When Mal is about to be killed by one of them, it is Alina who rescues him by revealing a power even she didn’t know she possessed…

So it turns out Alina is a Grisha. Together the Grishas form a magical elite and are led by a mysterious guy called the Darkling. Alina was brought before him when they arrived back at camp, and he decides to take her to the king. She has become the hope of the nation in ending the wars and destroying the Fold. And so Alina the Sun Summoner is born! Alina is taken to royal court against her will and then trained to be a member of the Grisha. She still believes they were wrong and that she is not special at all… And mostly she just wants to go back to Mal who she has a secret crush on. But with some help Alina is slowly able to master her power. When she realizes she was only suppressing it so she can go back to Mal (who she hadn’t heard of since she arrived at royal court), Alina is finally ready to release her gift. But people aren’t who they pretend they are, and Alina soon uncovers a terrible secret involving the Darkling… A secret that forces her to escape the walls of royal court in order to save the country. Alina then finds out she has an ally she didn’t count on when she ran…

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This book left me without words. Or maybe just with words like amazing, stunning, sad, beautiful, heartbreaking etc. I suggest you to read it now if you like YA dystopian novels! It’s a definite must read if you haven’t…