Reading...Ruin and Rising
Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo is the third and final book in her Grisha trilogy. It's Russian-inspired fantasy with magic, politics, and romance. The third book is a great ending to the story, with high stakes, intensity, and just the right amount of happy in the ending.
Overall, I really enjoyed these books. You might remember a brief mention a couple of months ago when I posted about good books for winter reading. And indeed, one of my favorite things about Leigh Bardugo's writing is her ability to create a vivid atmosphere and sense of place. There were a few things about the books that aren't necessarily my favorite tropes: for one thing, the main character is the classic plain-girl-is-actually-super-powerful-and-awesome-but-always-thinks-of-herself-as-less-than. I'm not going to lie: in the first two books I found Alina to be pretty whiny and reactive, but she steps up quite a bit in the third book and finds her agency. The second not-my-favorite part of the books was the love triangle -- two of them in fact! But it didn't bother me that much, because both of them actually made sense in those situations.
Despite my mostly lukewarm feelings for Alina, I loved the other characters Bardugo created. I particularly thought that the Darkling was a great character, a nuanced villain that is more than just a foil for the main character.
One final note: I listened to both this book and the second in the trilogy, and I highly recommend them in audio format if you're in the mood for an audio book. The narrator does a great job bringing the story to life.
Bottom line: a great ending to a solid fantasy trilogy