Ruin and Rising (review)

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

417 pages

published in 2014

Purchased as an ebook

My rating:

“I screamed as power flooded through me, as I burned, consumed from the inside. I was a living star. I was combustion. I was a new sun born to shatter air and eat the earth.
I am ruination.”

In the third installment of the Grisha Trilogy, Alina must bring an end to the havoc that the Darkling is wreaking on Ravka from his newly gained position of power. While the Darkling has an entire army of Grisha at his command, Alina has but a few people willing to fight for her. As she, Mal, and their friends race to find the third Amplifier, the firebird, Alina learns more and more about the Darkling’s past. All the while, Alina must deal with religious fanatics who believe her to be Sankta Alina (or Saint Alina).

This book started off a bit too slow for my liking. Much of the beginning of the novel was spent in some dark underground tunnels where nothing of interest happens.  Like any other novel, the action eventually picks up, however I wish it had happened sooner. Although, the ending was so gripping that it makes sense to have such a slow buildup. Also, I’m not sure if I am the only person who had this issue, but I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters and remembering the meanings of the words which were in Russian. As in many other rich  fantasies, there are many characters which aid the protagonist in his/ her quest. However, to me, it was difficult to remember exactly who the characters were or what they were doing there. Eventually, I had to just stop dwelling over that detail so much and just keep reading. As for the Russian terms, it would have been helpful to have some sort of glossary or something at the end of the book. That being said, I got through the book just fine and I don’t feel like I missed any super important details, so maybe I’m just being high maintenance.

Looking at this book from a personal point of view, I was a bit disappointed in the fact that my favorite characters were not present in that much of the book. The Darkling, for example, is always talked about, but very rarely is he actually physically there. However, I enjoyed the way that Alina seemed to be having an inner struggle in which she is constantly afraid of becoming like the Darkling, and yet still willing to do whatever it takes to gain the third amplifier. This character trait added a layer to the book which keeps the reader worrying about the result of Alina gaining the third amplifier. Also, I have to admit that I appreciate the way Alina is not some naive little girl who only sees the good in people. Alina has learned that every person has an agenda or something to gain from helping her, and she keeps that in mind throughout the novel.

Judging Ruin and Rising holistically, I would say that it was an emotionally compelling and engrossing end to the trilogy. I had a hard time putting the book down at about the halfway mark all the way up until the end. None of the characters escape unscarred (either physically or mentally), and that really emphasizes the effects of war on a country and its people.

An epic trilogy such as this one deserves an epic final installment, and Bardugo does not disappoint.

-Batool

 

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Throne of Glass (review)

throne-of-glass-cover

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

404 pages

published in 2012

Purchased from Barnes & Noble


 

“Over the next thirteen weeks, you shall each dwell and compete in my home. You will train every day, and be tested once a week- a test during which one of you will be eliminated…These tests will not be easy, nor will your training. Some of you might die in the process. We will add additional elimination tests if we see fit. And if you fall behind, if you fail, if you displease me, you will be packed off to whatever dark hole you came from.” (Maas 69)


 

This book is about a teenage assassin named Celaena Sardothien. Celaena has been working away in a salt mine for the past year as a punishment for the murders she committed. Suddenly, Celeana is taken out of the mines and finds herself facing the Crown Prince, who offers her a deal. She will train rigorously and fight to become the King’s Champion (basically the person who “takes care” of all the people that stand in the King’s way) and after four years of being Champion, she will be free. She takes him up on his offer, and suddenly finds herself in the King’s castle, training to compete against some of the country’s toughest, deadliest criminals.

From the very beginning of the book, I loved Celaena’s character. She’s sassy, she’s brave, and she doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do. Don’t let her looks fool you because she’s pretty but is constantly planning ways to kill those around her, if the need arises. One problem I had with her character, though, is that we hardly find out anything about her past. Admittedly, this does add an air of mystery to her character, which makes her more interesting. One thing that I love about Celaena is that she has multiple sides. She’s not afraid to get dirty, yet at the same time she loves dresses and clothes. She can be vicious and mean, but she can also be very sweet and sensitive. Overall, I would say Celaena is a great protagonist.

There are two potential love interests in this book, Prince Dorian and Chaol (The Captain of the Guard). I won’t get into details about that for fear of spoiling it, but if you hate love triangles then don’t worry because it’s not much of a triangle and anyways, the relationships are not the main focus of this book. Personally, I like Dorian much more than I like Chaol, but again that’s just my own opinion.  A great thing about this book is that the relationships which are developed are very realistic. Unlike some novels where within a week or two, the main character has already fallen in love with someone, Maas takes care to develop every one of the characters’ relationships in a way that isn’t sudden or rushed.

The fight scenes in this book are very well written, albeit some scenes can be a bit graphic (but if that bothers you, you can always skip over them).  The story line is very smooth and the novel is paced out in such a way that you’re not overwhelmed or underwhelmed with too much or too little action. There are parts which will make you laugh, and there are parts which will have you holding your breath waiting to see what happens.

All in all, I would say Throne of Glass is definitely worth the read.

-Batool

Welcome!

Hi, my name is Batool and I’m a teenage bibliophile. (Wow. It sounds like I’m introducing myself to a therapy group… which I guess, in a sense, I am haha.) This is my first ever post on my first ever blog and, to be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing.

I created this blog because I love reading and I figured that by creating this blog, I’d have a place to post book reviews and vent about books that I love/hate. I get very emotional when I’m reading so it’s important for me to have a place to sort out my thoughts and feelings, and this is a good way for me to do it. I apologize in advance for any craziness you might see on here, I’ll try to keep my fangirling to a minimum. 😉

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Batool