Ruin and Rising
I know I should have expected from the first time after I know what Bardugo did with Nikolai, that there’s more about Mal’s character. More than what I thought.
That was in my mind when I read the last line of the last book.
Bardugo did a good job bringing everything out, revealing more clues and more secrets in the last book.
What I got is what I didn’t expected. Mal’s character developed beyond what I thought at first. He really proved himself that he was more than what reader’s thought about him.
The beginning chapters told us that Mal and Alina ended. There’s no more about them. Because of the end of the relationship, I began to notice the real Mal. Not someone who clinged beside Alina anymore. He’s more than that. I am become a blade (I still couldn’t quite get it if it’s intended that way or maybe I was just being a grammar Nazi).
And there is more secrets revealed about Mal in the middle of the book. The climax is cruel. I thought I can’t handle it but in the end I accepted the way it is. After I accepted that about Mal, Bardugo did something unexpected again. Thou I didn’t really like it, somehow I just thought that should be how it ends. And in the end I fall in love with the bittersweet After chapter she wrote.
That’s all about Mal I felt.
For Alina, I was being her in the book. Because of the first POV Bardugo did in this trilogy, it’s not that hard being her. To feel her feeling. To think what I will do in her position. That’s what I like about first POV. There’s no limit being the main character. In the end I don’t think her character is bad. She’s grown in me. I began to love her good side and bad side. Because when I read her, I was being her, I don’t hate it when she decided a bad decision or did unimportant things. Maybe I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it. Hate is a strong word.
I finally got to know the Darkling better in the last book. Told by Baghra, Darkling is really just a boy who is trapped in the hunger of knowledge and power. Throughout the last book we got to know his good side (maybe not good enough, but still human) and his life secret, throughout the trilogy we got enough of his bad side. When he’s finally dead (the good is always win remember?), I can’t help but being sad too. Oh well, he better be dead than cause a bad thing in Ravka.
Don’t forget Nikolai. I mourned about how he become in the last book. I didn’t accept it of course. He’s my favourite character. He’s just that amazing and sad and perfect. He’s just that perfect so maybe the closure about him is the best for his life. I can’t say no more. He is the epitome of perfect man I want in my life.
Mal and Alina’s ship is finally sailed in the end. I then say goodbye to my Nikolai-Alina ship (LOL). Even tho I ship Nikolai and Alina, Mal and Alina’s more...what more I can say? It’s sweet, perfect with its imperfection, it has some downs and ups. In the end, eventually we love a happy ending. Bardugo gave us that and I’m happy about their relationship.
Bardugo gave us more secrets revealed about three amplifiers in the last book. I love the surprise she gave and it’s a good thing that she gave us more and more twist in this book.
It’s not too much when the twists are really that good. Though there’re so many twists, they didn’t make the plot artificial. They all felt normal and amazing. Really...I love plot twist. What’s more to say since I love it so much?
When I love about characters of the book, I said a lot about them and hence this review. A lot about characters development I love. Bardugo did a good job revealing each of their life story. Even for the minor characters, Bardugo didn’t forget about them. They didn’t just come and go. They were given meaning in this book.
Along the story, I ever felt restless because how big the world building was and I need to put the book down just to think about it. The adventure isn’t that simple anymore and given the map, I still couldn’t quite grasp the setting of some events. I don’t hate details, but if it’s that much, I eventually got exhausted. I love the world building in the second book more maybe because it’s still familiar and I’ve known it since the first book.
Overall, I gave Ruin and Rising the same stars as Siege and Storm, 4 out of 5 stars. The plot, twists, and the characters made this book amazing and can’t be easily forgotten. This rating is a a bit decreased since I don’t really like the finishing touch of the ending. Even though I gave this trilogy good stars, I don’t think I want to reread it in the future for I don’t really get the connection in the first book when eventually I feel so much of excitement and adventure in the second and last book. First impression is important to know when I’m drawn in the story, to feel the growing of the relationships, the connection between the characters, and the world building. I have to grasp the feeling and hold it throughout the story. When I don’t get it in the first book, I don’t think I can hold it if the second and last book isn’t this exciting.