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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

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Audiobook Review: Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo (Sophia is Not as Mind Blown as Rundus)

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Grisha #3
Leigh Bardugo
Narrator: Lauren Fontgang
Length: 11 Hours
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Reviewer: Sophia

The capital has fallen.

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.

I'm not as terribly fond of the Grisha trilogy as Rundus is – I wasn't fond of it since Shadow and Bone – but while Ruin and Rising definitely isn't my favorite way to read the end to a series, it wasn't exactly bad to listen to.

In fact, it was a delight to listen to – there were no heavy accents and each of the characters had a different voice, almost as though this were a radio show. Lauren Fortgang might be my favorite narrator compared to all the narrators I've listened to (second being the narrator behind Adelina from The Young Elites).

Ruin and Rising is the third and final book in the Grisha trilogy, with the Darkling taking over the Ravkan throne and Alina under the Apparat's protection underground. While the people worship her as a Saint, Alina is more worried about finding the third amplifier, the prince, and bringing down the Darkling.

The book starts out quite slow – Alina is trying to recover from the attack in Siege and Storm and there's a bit of tension among the characters. Alina and her companions spend literally half the book focusing on the firebird with very little going on – there's an occasional attack or two, or maybe running, but other than that, Alina is just obsessed with finding the firebird and unraveling Morozova's journals. Mainly she's just very obsessed with finding the firebird, and it sort of irked me a little that she spends a lot of time doing so (naturally I hate obsession, even though I'm obsessed with reading). That, and the very fact she has a temper that I'm not a huge fan of.

What kept the entire book entertaining, though, was the bantering between the Grisha. I found myself growing a little fond of Zoya (even though she's a little evil-minded), Misha is just absolutely adorable, Alina and Mal try to mend together the rough patches between them throughout the course of the book. With the amount of stalling going on, I figured Alina and her companions were amping up for the Darkling and the finale would be spectacular – it would be mind-blowing and mind-boggling.

I didn't exactly get the mind-blowing result that I would have liked (it was pretty much expected), but I'm pretty satisfied with the ending and have good hopes for the impending spinoff (definitely not as excited as Rundus).

4 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.