Ruin and Rising is the third book of a YA trilogy. I’m not a huge reader of YA novels, mostly because of the angst and drama they usually include. Also because I am sick of the whole dystopian thing. It’s been done. And if you don’t have anything new to add to it, then let’s just leave it alone for awhile. But Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series isn’t really dystopian. It stands apart from a lot of YA out there, mostly because of its Russian-flavored setting. It’s refreshing and different, and gives you a whole new realm of culture and history to explore.
The plot is full of twists I never saw coming. I love it when I think a book is predictable, and then it makes all of my expectations crumble into dust. There are quite a few characters to keep track of, but they are all unique and full of personality. Bardugo includes just the right amount of comic relief, usually in the dialogue between her characters. And the comic relief seems to come naturally from the characters and their interactions, instead of feeling forced into the story. Since this is the third book in a trilogy, a lot is expected of it. And Bardugo most certainly delivers.
When I read the last page of Ruin and Rising, my overwhelming feeling was a desire to start back at book one and read the entire series through again. I reread books I like fairly often, but there are very few series I can think of that have produced such a desire in me. Harry Potter, of course. The Chronicles of Narnia. The Anne of Green Gables books. All of the series, in other words, that I would classify as some of my favorite reads of all time. Now I’m not sure I’m quite willing to add the Grisha series to that category. But I can say with certainty that I will be rereading this series in the future. Maybe even more than once.