Review: Ruin and Rising
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.
Four words. Mal is the worst.
I honestly can't even wrap my head around it. What did I just read? Did that really happen? How can such a beautiful, creative and promising story world have such a cliche and predictable ending? One that our heroine is honestly unworthy of? I'm so agitated. What a total cop out. I feel cheated out of the ending I, and even Alina, deserved.
The only reason this deserves 3 stars from me is because of the incredible Grishaverse, the setting, and world-building. Well, if I'm being honest, also because of all of the incredible characters, excluding Alina and Mal who are anything but incredible.
All that work to become the great savior, the great Sankta Alina, to just end up with someone who, the entire damn trilogy, wanted you to become a shell of yourself. Yes, okay. Sure Alina. Go for it. She had more romantic chemistry with Genya to be blatantly honest and yet she chose the most boring, bitter and least developed character of them all. Oh yes, he had NO character development. That awfully convenient plot twist did not redeem him in my eyes. And all that work to find the damn firebird and that’s the solution we get? How absolutely unsatisfactory. Ugh.
Why Alina, why?! Why would you choose to live a mediocre life with a man who was intimidated by you and your power so much that he wanted you to change? Why not choose the Darkling or Nikolai, two people who accepted you for who you'd become and were in awe of you? Who wanted to better the world with two different visions sure, but none-the-less needed you with them in order to accomplish it. Two people who acknowledged how incredible you were? Two people who you had insanely hot chemistry with? Or better yet, girl, why didn't you choose YOU? Mal made her weak. Nikolai made her believe. And the Darkling made her strong. So naturally, she would choose Mal, right? Because what woman doesn't want the man who constantly puts down her potential and doesn't support her greatness? *endless eye rolls*
And the Darkling. What kind of BS was that? He was a masterpiece, all-powerful, strong, dark and mysterious and so incredibly intriguing. We barely got a taste of him in this and then he was discarded as easily as a piece of trash. Sure, he was "evil", but his character deserved more.
And Nikolai. Clever, charming and uniquely captivating - I needed more Nikolai to get the bitterness of Mal off of my mind. I am so frustrated. At least I have King of Scars to immediately turn to in order to satiate my need.