May Contain Spoilers, I can’t be sure…
“We might be happy in time. People fell in love every day. Genya and David. Tamar and Nadia. But were they happy? Would they stay that way? Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay. I tilted my head back. The stars looked like they were so close together, when really they were millions of miles apart. In the end, maybe love just meant longing for something impossibly bright and forever out of reach.” – Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
This book series starts out with an ordinary girl who is really not so ordinary, who turns out in the end to be, well, very ordinary. Alina grows up with a boy who is named Mal. Both orphaned by the wars in Ravka. They become inseparable and grow to be more like family. They literally risk everything for each other and Ravka. Through the trials of this book Alina and Mal learn a lot about each other and even more about themselves. They are forced to confront their worst fears and emotions. They are tested mentally, physically and most tiresome, emotionally. They learn who their friends are and who is out to get them. Who can forget The Darkling?
There are many characters in this series and a hand full of them stay with us throughout the series and each of them contribute something to the book. Learning forgiveness, putting aside differences, learning to accept and love. Being true to yourself. I think the most important ones are Alina, Mal and The Darkling. This series you could say was all about family, the coming togetherness, conquering the greatest tasks together, coming out strong in the end and all the feels. However for me, after reading the last page and being upset about how it came to a close, I asked myself why I was so upset. It came down to one thing, Alina, Mal and The Darkling, are my core emotions. Alina would be my strength and courage. Mal is my devotion and love. The Darkling is my anger and darkness. I was upset because when I was reading this series I was experiencing it as though it was me going through all these emotions (imagine a girl fight in my mind) and I wanted the darkness to win. This is the first series where I wasn’t rooting for the good guys. I don’t know what Leigh Bardugo did when writing this, but I got extremely attached to The Darkling. Once I figure it out, you bet I’ll be letting the world know because this is new territory for me. Whatever the reason, I can’t get this series out of my head. I joked on my Instagram that I needed a therapy session with Leigh to help me through this, and now I’m thinking it’s less a joke than I intended. Maybe I’ll need to reread the series to figure out why I went to the Dark side.
This series was incredible and I recommend it to anyone who likes YA and Fantasy.
Shadow and Bone 4/5
Siege and Storm 4/5
Ruin and Rising 5/5