4.5 of out 5 stars
I did not see that coming. Damnit it, Bardugo!
Alina Starkov, Grisha of impossible power and Sun Summoner of legend, has been a pawn in many games. She’s been gifted, amplified, even sainted by those who wish to direct, control or feed off her gifts. In Ruin and Rising, Alina finally must choose who she truly is, and what she’s willing to give up to be that person. There are many battles, some of politics and others of power, in the wild rush to win the Grishaverse.
These books are fantastic. The Grishaverse is wildly imaginative, the conflict epic and yet also personal. I’ve mentioned that Bardugo is an absolute wizard at writing romance – it’s everywhere in this series, and especially this book. Yes “everyone loves Alina”, but it’s never a trope. It’s a cliff side with three places to leap from, any of which could meet disaster. But for each, I felt the pull. I saw the reason. It about used The Cut on my heart.
This final installment gives you everything you want: closure, heartbreak, love, victory and loss. It’s clear Bardugo knew right where she was headed when this series began, and she gets there in the perfect number of pages.
I have come to love reading authors out of order. Bardugo wrote the Grishaverse before Six of Crows, but I unintentionally read the latter first. (I also did this with Sarah J. Maas.) It gave me a true appreciation for where she’d come from, knowing where she’d reach. I see the bones of Six of Crows here, I feel her honing her craft. The Grishaverse is glorious, and it was only the beginning.