Saturday, December 27, 2014

Rise from the Ruin

Leigh Bardugo hit the fantasy genre with a mallet with her first book in the Grisha series, Shadow and Bone. The series never lost its momentum, and with this final book, Ruin and Rising, it ends with power and force and a conclusion that befits such a phenomenal series. 

The Darkling has won. Alina has two of the three amplifiers which make the Sun Summoner a Grisha like no other, but with the uncertainty and instability of the world at large, she is being hidden away underground where her ability has no hope of doing any good against the Darkling's forces. She can use the sun's force to fight his shadows and monsters, but not while she is trapped underground. It might keep her alive, but Alina is no longer satisfied with just remaining alive. She wants to get the world back from the Darkling and end the darkness he created forever. Especially when she is being kept underground by the power-hungry Apparat who likes having the Sun Summoner under his thumb. 

When Alina, Mal, and their loyal Grisha friends break free, the hunt for the final amplifier, the Firebird, proves to be more difficult than they ever could have imagined. With secrets behind the Darkling and his creation revealed, there is more to this hunt than Alina expected. She wants to save the world from the Fold and the darkness inside it, but what is she willing to sacrifice in order to do it? The conclusion will answer that question in a way you never saw coming...

I have loved this series from the first book, and it never once let me down. This is high fantasy in its ultimate incarnation, and you won't regret taking the time to read the Grisha trilogy. There are twists and turns and bumps and bruises along the way, but by the time you get to the end you will be so excited with the conclusion and so simultaneously sad to see the series end, you will want to reread it immediately. It might be expected to some, but I was whole-heartedly taken aback by the twist at the end, and I hope you will be too.

Alina is truly amazing in this series, but Mal is the true character you won't want to give up with the last page. There is something so loyal and amazing within him, even though we all struggled with him in the second book at times. You feel he is really human, not just a flat character on a page. Sometimes you love him and sometimes you are really angry with him. Even though I imagine many people struggled with Mal's character, it was that humanity that made me love him more. 

I loved this series so much, and I just can't wait to see what Bardugo does next. Can. Not. Wait!

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