Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

This book was a whole lot of ruin and not enough rising.

This review is going to have mild spoilers, especially with information about Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, so please proceed with caution if you haven’t read this trilogy.

Moral of this story:
If you want the super hot guy you’ve been fantasizing about for years, make sure you never show that you can be more powerful than him in any aspect of your life.

Mal wanted her powerless and he got his wish in the end, because fuck women making men feel insecure, right? Who would want to be a queen when you could live a life in hiding, filled with mediocrity, with Mal? I mean, you probably will have lots of super hot sex, right? Obviously, the Darkling and Nikolai accepting her for who she really is was completely overrated. /sarcasm

What makes me the saddest is that I actually thought this series would be different.

“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

How could Leigh Bardugo create this literary masterpiece that is the Darkling and just completely throw him away? He was heads and shoulders above any other character in this series and we only get to see him five times in this book; one of those scenes being the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever read. I have no words for my disappointment.

Shadow and Bone was honest to God perfect for me, I chalked my disappointment with Siege and Storm to “Second Book Syndrome”, but this book was an abomination. The ending made me feel like I completely wasted my time and that there was really no point in this series at all.

The most upsetting thing is that this could have been the best trilogy of all time

This world, these characters, and the potential were astronomical. I’m actually still dumbfounded how this happened because Shadow and Bone was perfection, in my opinion. Maybe I’ll feel differently once the bleeding stops, but I am just in disbelief by this safe terrible ending, when this could have been the next Harry Potter.

The only positive thing I’ll say is that Six of Crows is, so far, amazing and I don’t think it will turn out like this lackluster ending. I will stand by the fact that I believe the Darkling is one of the best characters ever to be written, so I’m just going to pretend that Kaz Brekker is the Darkling reincarnated, even though Six of Crows picks right up where Ruin and Rising left off… I’m still going to pretend, because this is my coping mechanism!

I will also say that Leigh Bardugo’s prose is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read, and it makes me want to read everything she creates, but I can’t lie about the utter disappointment I felt when I finished the last page of this book.

Unfortunately, we got a generic ending to this trilogy with no twists that ultimately turned Alina into one of the weakest female characters I’ve ever read. I obviously wanted her with the Darkling with some kind of redemption story, but I would have even been happy with Nikolai. Instead we get Mal who should be dead, and not even because of the knife, but because I want to kill him myself for all of womankind.

I’m off to live the rest of my life through the Darkling fan-fiction. Goodbye, cruel world.

“You are all I’ve ever wanted,” he said. “You are the whole of my heart.”

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