Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ruin and Rising

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): An epic battle between light and dark.

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Info: Henry Holt and Co., copyright 2014, 417 pages

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

~Goodreads Description~

The Awesome
The Darkling...one of the best villains.  Ever.  He is so mean, and so sinister, and so beautiful, and so awesome, and a BIG part of me really kind of wanted him to win.  He was a sympathetic bad guy, overwhelmed with power that no one else understood, and while his motives might have been a little selfish, they weren't completely sociopathic.

The same can be said for Alina.  She a little bit selfish, a little bit power hungry, and her motives aren't entirely self-sacrificing.  There's a depth to both sides, an almost ambiguity, that makes the characters interesting and the plot unique and exciting.

The Not So Awesome
Not a whole lot happens in the final installment.  The first two books are leading toward an epic battle, which we get, but that doesn't happen until the last thirty pages.  There's a whole lot of wandering, a whole lot of moping, and not nearly enough Darkling.

Then there's the clean ending.  She was doing so well.  Some characters met with fateful endings and one of my favorite characters story took an unexpected turn, but then everything ending in a nice little bow.  Too clean.  Not everything ends with a happy ending.

Overall, still an excellent series...one of my favorites. You should read it.  Please read it.  Because it's awesome, and we can talk about it together :)

Leigh Bardugo, please write something else quickly.  Anything.



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