Ruin and Rising (a comprehensive analysis of my feels)


So, if you have visited my blog before, you have probably seen the review I have done for Ruin and Rising. I really applaud myself on managing to keep my cool long enough to write and post that review because, to be honest, I was emotionally wrecked after finishing that book. For this reason, I felt that simply doing a review would not be enough to express my true opinions and feelings about all of its characters and what happens to them.

You may be wondering how exactly this is different from my review. Well, first of all,  I make it a point not to post any spoilers in  my reviews. Here, on the other hand, there are super mega huge spoilers. Secondly, when I do reviews I try to look at the book from a more broad perspective. I won’t base my rating and review around how I feel about certain characters or how I feel about the protagonist’s decisions. Meanwhile, in posts like this one, I might end up hating on the protagonist and every one of the decisions she’s made throughout the book (especially regarding the love interests). Also, I may include a few photo edits that I made during the time when I was overwhelmed with emotion.

Without further ado, I present you with (drum-roll please)… a comprehensive analysis of my various feels regarding Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo!


Alright, so first things first, I’d like to point out that I’m a huge Darkling fan. I was a religious Darklina shipper up until the end when I kind of questioned the Darkling’s sanity.

the darkling 1 edit

I loved his character because he was dark, mysterious, powerful, beautiful, and just amazing overall. Plus, I kind of have a thing for evil (or seemingly evil) characters. While many people abandoned the Darkling in favor of Mal (ew) after Shadow and Bone, I held onto the small sliver of hope that he would be able to redeem himself by the time book three came around. I was wrong. I think Leigh was doing all she could to make us hate the Darkling, because he seriously became pretty detestable towards the end of the series. He killed children and the elderly, he purposely hung people that Alina knew in places she would be sure to see them, and he continually tried to claim ownership of Alina and her powers on several occasions. Yet I still wanted things to turn out okay for him. You see, Leigh had my emotions all jumbled up because while she made him more loathsome, she also continued to reveal more and more about him that made him seem so much more human. Through Baghra’s storytime, and even her death scene, we learned more about the Darkling’s character, and we saw his vulnerable side.

the darkling 2 edit

Despite how much I liked the Darkling, I knew deep down inside that he was not right for Alina. I also knew that he had too much greed to be a good ruler. What I did not anticipate, however, was how painful his death scene was going to be.

The darkling 3 edit
Again, being the hopeful fool that I am, I still had hope that he would survive the third book. He did not. I’m not really going to dwell on this aspect of the book because I don’t think I can put how I felt into words. Let’s just say, I “lost my ability to even”.

the darkling 4 edit

The darkling 5 edit

Now moving away from one painful part of Ruin and Rising to another, let us talk about the ending. She chose Mal *insert grimace*. Like many other Darklina shippers, I decided that if the Darkling and Alina were not going to end up together, then the next best option would be Nickolai. I mean, he’s funny, he’s handsome, he’s sarcastic, and he’s the future king. BUT NO. I was truly upset about this because I felt that Alina would be the only person who truly understood Nickolai and how he feels with the darkness (courtesy of the Darkling) inside of him. Talk about disappointment. I do have to admit, though, that Mal seems to be the one that will make Alina the most happy in the long run. So, while it annoys me immensely, I grudgingly give Malina my blessings.

Now the last thing I want to talk about is the plot twist. MAL WAS THE LAST AMPLIFIER AND HE DIED. And then he (unfortunately) came back to life.  I’ll admit, that scene was very intense and I was totally absorbed by the book at that point, but I don’t understand. I don’t understand how Alina can go from being one of the most powerful people in the world (she was set to become queen!) to being just a regular person and not even care. She had SO MUCH POWER. And now she doesn’t. Was it really that simple for her? Did she not even care about it? Or was it a relief to not have that burden anymore? If I had to take a guess, I would probably say it was that last one. Yet, I can’t help but feel that someone who experienced so much adventure in their youth is going to be bored with a normal life like the one Alina and Mal plan to live.

Well, I guess I’m finished ranting. I just wanted to add, though, that this post in no way changes what I said in my review. I enjoyed Ruin and Rising and, like I said before, it was a great ending to an amazing trilogy. 🙂



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