Publisher: Indigo Books
Summary: 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. (Via Goodreads.)
Review: In my review of Siege and Storm I stated that I was immensely happy that it had avoided the Twilight Effect and Ruin and Rising does too however it does fall prey to the Legend effect in that I did not enjoy the ending of this book, and that seems to be a feeling a lot of people have. While I can’t exactly fault the ending of the book and I can’t really discuss it without spoiling people I will say that the entire thing felt just too neat to me and because of that I was disappointed.
That being said, I did still enjoy this book. As always Bardugo’s writing is wonderful, her dialogue especially. I love the snappy, sarcastic and teasing interactions that occur between Mal and Alina and Nikolai and Alina and the intense, sort-of-kind-of sexually driven interactions between Alina and the Darkling. The my true name scene definitely had me swooning. It was beautifully done and definitely one of my favourite aspects of the book but I wanted more. The Darkling to me is a lot more fascinating than Mal and Nikolai and I wish we saw more of him, again, I think I would have liked a dual POV.
For the most part I enjoyed the plot – well the first third to first half of the plot. Around the middle of the book a plot point occurs that well fucks with a lot of things – especially Nikolai and the mythology of the previous two books and while it was sort of interesting I just didn’t enjoy it, mostly because of the ending. The way Bardugo chose to end the series made a lot of events that happened in this book seem like they were there just to fill pages or word count as they didn’t really have long lasting effect and that did bother me a bit.
Really the ending is what sort of ruined this book for me. I thought it was too neat and a sort of betrayal of what a character had become and all the growing that happened in the previous two novels. It was just too neat for me.
As a standalone I enjoyed this book but as part of the series it is my least favourite. I did still enjoy it, I still think it is worth 4 stars but that ending was just no.