Ruin and Rising Book Summary and Review

The final book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo gives us the battle between Alina and the Darkling. An epic battle that will determine the future of Ravka. Find out who see who wins and at what cost. 

Ruin and Rising: Summary 

Following the battle in the second novel, Alina Starkov and crew are hiding in an underground cave beneath Ravka. She is under the care of the priest who has his own goals and has kept Alina and her friends as prisoners. A brilliant plan gives the power back to Alina and she decided to leave the cave and seek out their friend and prince of Ravka, Nikolai Lantsov.

Ruin and Rising novel
Ruins and Rising book review

Finding Nikolai is a challenge on its own but that is one of many obstacles for Alina. She has to find the firebird to be able to fight against the Darkling. And she has to choose between her love for Mal, Nikolai and Lantsov. All while a war between the Grisha and regular people is dividing the country and killing anyone who gets caught in the middle.

As Alina and company make camp in a new place, the Darkling becomes even more powerful. He will do anything to find Alina including making her make difficult choices in who to protect. All of this leads up to the final confrontation and the epic battle between Alina and the Darkling with the future of Ravka hanging in the balance. 


I have to say that book three felt a lot like book two. The same escaping from the Darkling and his army to be only found by him again sprinkled with a lot of love interest monologue. And the same apparition and ghost visits followed up with an epic battle. Can’t forget Nikolai saving the day and also changing appearances. Wow, there are a lot more similarities than I realized. 

Besides that, the love interests don’t really get settled. She never chooses and is basically given an out when Mal ends up being special. Even after that, she never comes to terms with her feelings for the Darkling. That part could have been handled better by the author.

I would like to say I was right about the plot twist. It was too obvious and that kind of took the surprise factor out of the equation for me. That is why Harry Potter is great. The plot twists aren’t obvious and do surprise you. Or aren’t the crux (Ha!) of the novel. For two novels, we hear about the damn firebird. I feel like Gabe from The Office when he says “Shut up about the sun” but with the firebird. 

Shut up about the sun The Office


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Even with all my complaints, I will say I enjoyed the series. It could have been better paced but I get the whole dragging it out thing. The concepts are original and unique. There isn’t anything to compare the Grishaverse to. That is an amazing feat and I do recommend the series if you are a fan of fantasy and young adult novels.  

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6 thoughts on “Ruin and Rising Book Summary and Review

  1. Pippin Hart says:

    Coming late to this post, but I’m so with you on the amplifier twist! I guessed it was the one you’d been predicting from 2, because it was the very same with me 😂. I’m glad you enjoyed the world, even if the pacing didn’t do it for you. Nice job on the review!

    1. Ahaqir says:

      Thanks! She made it very obvious in that one scene on book two! I’ll still keep on reading books that yet place on the grishaverse!


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