Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Dear Bookworms,

Ahhhh, the finale, always a bittersweet time when finishing up a trilogy. It's the build up and anticipation, the mad dash to find out what happens, then the hole in your heart when it's all over, book in hand wondering what you're supposed to do with your life after such an intense run with an imaginary world. 

Dramatic, I know. 'Tis the life of a bookworm. 

Alina and Mal have barely escaped from the battle with the Darkling at the Little Palace and find themselves at the mercy of The Apparat, below ground in the confines of the White Chapel. Alina has been unable to summon light since the battle. Unnerved by her ever growing flock of fervent followers, and The Apparats iron gripped control over her life, Alina feels she has merely traded one captor for another. With a show of force and some careful negotiations, her ability to summon once more under her control, Alina and her crew manage to strike a deal with the Apparat and trek out above ground in search of the third amplifier, The Firebird, the only hope of defeating the Darkling who rules Ravka from the throne of the King. Their journeys lead them to the lost Prince Nikolai and throughout the kingdom of Ravka in search of the amplifier, which is found in the unlikeliest of places. The group must make their final stand against the Darkling in the Fold, but who will come out victorious, and at what price? 

I am so heartbroken to come to the end of this series. I enjoyed this amazingly detailed and intricate world that Bardugo has built, and come to love each and every character (yes, even The Darkling). They were each so memorable with such defined quirks and mannerisms I really felt like I knew them. The development within Alinas character alone was so layered and rich, as was her evolving and developing relationship with Mal. I even grew to love Zoya, that haughty, snobby mean girl that she is, by the end of the book. The entire plot was so well thought out, intensity building up until the final battle on the Fold. There were plenty of surprises along the way that I was not expecting which kept me on my toes and the wheels in my brain constantly turning. The ending was perfect, gut wrenching and redeeming, everything that I had hoped that it would be. I would be lying if I said I didn't shed at least one tear while reading this book. The follow up chapters after the battle on the Fold gave me closure with the entire story, it was perfect....perfect I tell you! 

Leigh Bardugo has gained a fan for life, I am only upset I didn't hear about her and her amazing trilogy sooner! This is definitely a story I plan to revisit and reenter for years to come. 

See ya next week friends!

XOXO, 

Coco

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Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Dear Bookworms,

Just finished with book 2 of the Grisha Trilogy and Oh. My. Gawd. Another slam dunk for Leigh!

Siege and Storm picks up where book 1 left off, Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling with Alinas new found surge in power with her powerful amplifier. Nowhere is safe and soon enough, they are both captured by the Darkling and forced aboard a ship, headed in search of the mythical Rusalye, the sea whip, in order to slaughter it for a second amplifier. After some hoodwinking by the lovable if mischievous pirate Sturmhond whose services the Darkling has employed to travel the seas, Alina and Mal escape with the boats crew AND the second amplifier. After a long and tedious journey where Sturmhonds true identity is reveled, Alina and Mal find themselves back at Os Alta, desperately plotting and planning for the war the Darkling will inevitably bring to them. Alina is unnerved as word of her power spreads across Ravka and a cult of sorts sprouts up and fiercely grows in size, worshiping her as a Saint, the true leader of Ravka. The strain and stress of Alinas growing powers and responsibilities as the leader of the Second Army begin to strain the relationship between herself and Mal. The battle between the Darkling and his monstrous shadow creatures comes all too soon and the aftermath has drastic consequences. 

I finished the book only moments ago and my mind is a whirl with questions. With only one more book left, I can't wait to see how this story will end. Book 2 really set up the plot nicely for what I hope to be a stellar grand finale in book 3! The character development and inner turmoil Alina goes through in this book is so well written and authentic. Her relationship with Mal is MADDENING at times, I'm like dang girl get it together and tell him how you feel already! But it adds that much more drama and angst to the plot line. The new characters in this book are all so likable with such defined personalities and quirks. I was especially taken with Nikolai, his charismatic and charming demeanor is hard not to like and I enjoy his coyness and that hint of a troublemaker. Tolya and Tamar, with their steadfast loyalty and fierceness are the perfect additions to the story line and I am very interested to see where their characters plots will go from here. Again I was blown away by the superb writing style and enchanting world building by Leigh. Ravka and the Grisha World is quickly becoming one of my favorite literary places. There is never a dull moment in this action packed and ever developing story! 

Until next week! Happy Reading!

XOXO,

Coco

READ MY OTHER BOOK REVIEWS HERE!

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Dear Bookworms,

I ordered this trilogy awhile back on whim. I ran across this series while trolling online, probably Instagram or Pinterest, thought the covers looked neat, and bought the set (impulsive bookworm, I know). Man, I am so glad I did though, if book one is any indication of how the series will play out, its going to be fantastic

 

The land of Ravka is ravaged by war, split in half by the deadly "Fold" filled with darkness and blood thirsty creatures. A group of powerful (in more ways than one) individuals serve under the king, gifted with various talents and attributes (ability to summon and manipulate fire, wind, water, the ability to heal and kill, etc) called Grisha. Children are tested for abilities that signify them as Grisha from a young age, and subsequently sent to Os Alta to be trained and put to use for the king. Privileged and esteemed members of society. Alina Starkov grew up an orphan, taken in by a Duke with a big heart who ran an orphanage, she was always a mousy little girl who no one really bothered to remember, nothing special. With only her best friend Mal by her side, she didn't really need much, content with her life and the comfort of her best friend. Fast forward some years and Alina is now a mapmaker, serving the king in the First Army alongside Mal, who has grown to be the most talented tracker in the Army (and not so hard on the eyes either). After a deadly trip into the Fold, Alina has discovered a power inside of herself that she never knew was there, a power that takes her on a whirlwind trip to Os Alta, away from Mal, into the Grisha World. Here she must hone her powers under the guidance of The Darkling, the most powerful Grisha of all (also not so bad looking- see where I'm going with this?), while trying to determine her place within this new world, who is on her side, and who isn't. Can she shoulder the responsibility thrust upon her to destroy the Fold with her newly awakened powers?

I seriously loved this book. Not only does Leigh create an insanely imaginative fictional world in Ravka but the plot line is stellar. There was never a dull moment, no filler or fluff here. Every single thing she writes sets the reader up for the storyline, small details weaving themselves back into the story. The attention to detail in her writing really brings to life her literary world, from the decadent architecture and lavishness of Os Alta, to the bleak darkness of the Fold, she captures the readers imagination from page one.  Alinas character development is very well paced and appropriate as she journeys through her training in Os Alta. I really liked her spark of rebellion and sass coupled with her humility and uncertainty. The Darkling is such an interesting character,  he's probably the one I'm looking forward to the most when I pick up the second book (like, as soon as I finish writing this review). Mal is so loveable and brave. The evolution of his relationship with Alina was exciting and endearing to watch unfold and develop more. Full of suspense, action, and thrills this is a book you can't put down!

Have you all read this series yet? If not, I'll leave you to it! Come back and lets dish!

**** READ MY OTHER BOOK REVIEWS HERE!

Until next week!

XOXO,

Coco