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Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

““It’s a vow that if I can’t be anything else to you, at least I can be a weapon in your hand.”

Title: Ruin and Rising

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: Book 3 of the Shadow and Bone Series

Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

Boy did this series end good. I am happy that it ended the way it did (somewhat). I am really grateful though was for all the character's development. I was scared for the story to end and for Alina not to forgive herself for the darkness within, for Mal to let Alina go, for the Darkling to not forgive himself and to be alone. I was scared for the story to end wrong, but really all I was is sad for the story to end.

In this finale all the character blew my mind, yes even Mal (yes I am rolling my eyes, because I still love the Darkling more). But on the topic of Mal, I think Bardugo really did a good job in making him more aware of himself in this one. He was not all looks anymore nor a puppet nor Alina's love. He became Mal, and thus allowed me to understand and enjoy the ending. It made me understand that Alina looked for peace inside of him, not the havoc that the Darkling issued her.

The plot twists where ones I did not see coming at all, hence I butchered the book in a day because I genuinely couldn't stop to take a breath. I couldn't stop and make the characters wait until I was ready because I knew I wasn't going to be ready for the end. It is incredible that the only part that made my eyes water was the final words of the Darkling, was Alina's chant at his funeral, was the sadness and despair coming out of the villain that Bardugo made. I am angry that he didn't get the ending he deserved but also realize that it was the ending he deserved and it just hurts for him to not have been saved. However, I am so in love with the author because this conflict in me is what she wanted. She did a heck of a good job in portraying such a flawed character and making someone fall for him, make all readers be seduced and entranced by him, mourn him. He was such a great villain, one who was easy to love and hard to hate because no matter what he did you wanted him to be saved.

Alina's character also grew a lot for me in this book and I found myself rooting for her and whoever she decided was good enough for her. I loved the fact that the book stayed away from the romance, which only made those few scenes incredibly good. I loved her darkness, I loved the ending epilogue and her decisions that she made for herself and no one else.

It is sad to see the character go, yet I had so much fun being a part of this world and know that I get more of Nikolai in King of Scars, so can't wait to start that now.

“Aleksander," I whispered. A boy's name, given up. Almost forgotten.”

--- 5 stars ---