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Publisher's 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. Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

©2014 Leigh Bardugo (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Featured Article: Mal Oretsev—A Shadow and Bone Character Guide


If you've listened to the Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo, you should be extremely familiar with Alina Starkov. Less is known about her childhood BFF and potential love interest, Malyen "Mal" Oretsev, a member of the First Army and a gifted tracker. With the release of the Netflix adaptation of the first novel, Shadow and Bone, viewers learned more about Mal than they did in the novels. So who is Mal Oretsev, and how does he fit in the Grishaverse?

What listeners say about Ruin and Rising

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking in the best possible way...

I had read the books years ago, and decided to listen to the audio books now, as well, as a way to become reinvested in this amazing story before delving into Leigh Bardugo's new book, "King of Scars." And I am so very glad I have.
One day I read a random blurb from a random book titled Shadow and Bone when I was perusing the aisles of a small bookstore, and I bought the book on a whim. I had never heard of the series, or even the author for that matter. Now, however, I consider Shadow and Bone to be the book that sparked this need inside of me to read all the time. After I read Shadow and Bone, I went on to read 60 books in just over two months. And I haven't slowed much since. That is thanks to Leigh Bardugo and this beautiful world she created.
I experienced elated devastation when I finished reading the series, but I got to experience it anew with the audiobooks. The narrator, Lauren Fortgang, is a favorite of mine anyway, but I truly don't think anyone else could have come close to her perfection in regards to this series. Her ability to project the kind of feeling and emotion necessary for a story like this is second to none. It wasn't just the story that had me in tears, but the depth of Lauren's ability to make me feel how the characters felt. Alina Starkov needed Lauren's voice to tell her story. And now that I am about to listen to Nikolai's story, I am-thanks to Lauren's amazing talent- firmly reconnected to this world of Grisha that began my obsession with all things magic. I couldn't be happier in this moment.

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bleh

I tried to enjoy the characters but couldn’t care less what happened to them in the end. The Darkling and Nikolai who brought a spark to the book were far and in between.

11 people found this helpful

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WHYYY do we have to make our LEAD FEMALES WEAK????

I am disgusted. Authors, women do not need to be weak to be a lead. I'm puking right now over this series. I had such high hopes.

10 people found this helpful

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Boo

This series got progressively worse as it went on; the lack of character development is absolutely appalling. No one mentions anything but Alieena is like, My LiFe iS sooOO hArd!

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Botched Russian, stupid protagonist, beautiful world

The world built here is very interesting, with beautiful magical animals, different landscapes, nations, races, and powers. I love the idea of making it influenced by Russian/Slavic roots. However, as a fluent Russian speaker it was torture to listen to the botched words and wrong meanings. I feel like if Bardigo wanted to include another language in her books she should have either learned it or asked a fluent speaker to edit her drafts. Same with the reader, sometimes the words are written correctly but the reader botches them and while it may sound cool to someone who doesn’t speak Russian it was pretty bothersome to me. One example is “Morozova”. In Russian you change the ending if the person is a male or female, this -a is a female ending but he is a man so his last name should really be “Morozov” and the reader pronounces it as “MorotsOva” with a “ts” when the correct pronunciation is “MarOzav” or at least “MorOzov” with a “z” (capital letter to indicate the stressed vowel). Most of the words were botched like that or the meaning was completely different when translated. Thirdly, the main character is unbelievably stupid and foolish. This improves in the last book but it really makes women look bad and I guess the fact that’s she’s supposed to be a teenager explains it a little, it is still very difficult to endure. This wrongly teaches young readers that if you act like an idiot things will still somehow work out in your favor and that’s not how the world works. Lastly, the evil acts in this book are pretty dark and haunting and really something evil psychopaths/sociopaths might do, so read at your own risk, I literally had nightmares about a past abuser after the gruesome antagonist plots due to how much the Darkling’s thinking was similar.

8 people found this helpful

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Disappointing book 3

it was a struggle to finish this audio. I watched Shadow and Bones on Netflix and decided to read this trilogy. I finished book 2, it was good. Book 3 was just a disappointment.

7 people found this helpful

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Weak "heroine"

A series about a selfish girl who continuously chooses the life of a boy over the fate of the world.

27 people found this helpful

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Cliche ending to a cliche series

This is more of what you'd expect from cliche young adult fantasy. I don't want to spoil anything but for the most part you can probably predict how this trilogy ends. Even though it's cliche it's well written and I look forward to checking out Leigh Bardugo's other books set in this world as I hear she just gets better and better as a writer as the books progress.

Lauren Fortgang is a pretty good narrator for the series.

4 people found this helpful

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This series is fantastic!

I really love this book and this series. It's fabulous! I was disappointed that Alina killed Mal, but was very relieved when Tamar and Tolya brought him back to life! I was also glad that Alina killed the Darkling. Although I had been sorta hoping he'd come around to Alina's side. Alina also got Genya to make another girl look like her, one who was already dead, and so she died, too!

The end result of all the battles and deaths was that Alina's sun summoning powers are gone as is Mal's super tracking ability. So they're both otkazatsi or however you spell it. And they married in the After portion, I think! ❤

Lauren Fortgang did a really excellent job performing this series. I can imagine rereading and relistening to these three books many times in future.

4 people found this helpful

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Solid end

I Really enjoyed the series. And the narrator is fantastic. I will be recommending it

4 people found this helpful

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  • SLLee
  • 10-29-19

Irritating voice

Daughter thought narrator too annoying to finish listening. She prefers it when I read to her.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • N. D. Taylor
  • 06-27-19

Could have been so much more

Much like many other books in this genre, this series was full of padding (read: unnecessary side stories) and not enough complexity. Oh, how I’d hoped that there’d be a twist in the tale around the darkling but he was simply allowed to go on as a straight forward villain, nothing unexpected in any way. And Alina and Mal....sigh. How boring and predictable.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Emma (Star Crossed Reviews)
  • 12-28-18

Things will never be the same!

After the last book, I was so eager to carry on with the story but I also didn't want it to end so I wanted to drag this last book out for as long as possible.

Alina is in hiding again but things are different. She's not alone and there's something wrong with her powers. Again she is both frustrating and badass in this book. She is not a natural leader. All she's wanted her whole life is to be loved but now the fate of Ravka lies in her hands and she's not sure she's the one for the job

Mal is so much less annoying in this book. It's like he's finally realised that there's a lot more on the line than just his feelings. He realises there are people that need saving and just gets on with doing his bit.

While this may be the last book in the trilogy don't think that Leigh will go easy on you. Oh no, this book will swallow you whole, rip you up and spit you back out. You will never be the same again when you read this book. Leigh broke my heart when she did what she does to Nikolai. Literally ripped it into teeny tiny pieces so that it will never, ever be whole again.

This series not only got into my heart but also under my skin. It's one of those series that once you start you realise why everyone is always talking about it. While I was immensely sad to be at the end I was very excited to start the Six of Crows duology and I am counting down the days until King of Scars is released and I can be back in this world.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 03-31-21

A marginal improvement on book 2

Unfortunately as a trilogy this series doesn't work - Books 2 and 3 both needn't really exist and have very little to say.

I finished this yesterday and couldn't tell you much of what happened

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-21

hoped for a better story

It is not the best book that I have listened to. it's a shame.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • b
  • 07-10-21

A good way to end the series

Loved the first book. Tolerated the second. Found the third a good way to end. Probably wouldn’t read the series again but overall I enjoyed it

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sam
  • 02-23-19

Interesting End

The book was pretty good. The secondary characters and world building are definitely the best part of this series. As a finale it was pretty entertaining. Lauren Fortgang does an amazing job! Loved her narration!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Asra
  • 08-03-22

OK for a children's fantasy

It quite differs from the Netflix series, but not bad either. Quite all right for kids' fantasy read. It would do better with another narrator. Maybe it is just me, the narrator is good, but it makes all story too childish.

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  • collette
  • 07-26-22

Ok, streaming version better

Looking forward to the Netflix version. Usually, the books surpass the motion version(s), but the way the lead character is written it's hard to feel for or admire her the way you want to. It many ways she comes across as annoying and the female writer as written in a lot of stereotypes, which doesn’t fit the present world evolution.

I like the premise and the possibility of the characters and story more than final execution. It has a lot of potential that I look forward to seeing how the writers at Netflix advance the characters and plot.

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  • Backward-logic
  • 06-22-22

A worthy ending.

If you liked the other two I found this a worthy ending. No character felt forgotten and the ending had all the climax and emotions I was hoping for. Lots of travel in this one. I see other reviews saying it was padding but I don’t agree. I loved the interactions on the road.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaari Watkins
  • 05-10-21

Someone buy the author a thesaurus!

If I had made a drinking game that had me take a drink every time the narrator read the word "horror" I'd be dead now.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dumbumm
  • 08-06-21

Disappointing

I need time to process what I just read... still don't know how I feel about this one.

Update:

Okay, so it's been a few months since I've read Ruin and Rising and I'm still bitter about this book as a whole.
The first start of the book was slow, and I guess that made sense with how Siege and Storm ended. While reading you get this buildup and buildup and buildup then... nothing. It was a letdown. The whole book was difficult to get through and the more I think about it, not much actually happened due to a constant build-up that falls flat.
I will say that it's very rare that you get all of the secondary characters outshine the protagonists. But that is exactly what happened in this series!

Spoilers ahead

Things I liked

✅ The world building and the grishaverse in general
✅ Learning a tiny more about the Darklings backstory was good; though still underdeveloped
✅ Nikolai, everything about him is ahhh perfect!
✅ Zoya.. became my favorite character (behind Nikolai of course)
✅ Bardugo writing style

Things I didn't like

❌ Mal... Mal, Mal, Mal... He is far the worst character in the book. He is so selfish, it makes me mad thinking of him. His character development in this was stupid; if you can even call it that, as he goes back to being his whiny ass self halfway through the book. He can't stand Alina with her powers but also wants Alina though never appreciated her before all of this happened. I. Just. Can't. Stand. Him.
❌ Alina was proving to be strong at the start of the book, I was actually excited for that, but nooo... Alina Starkov continues being this weak and cowardly character. She can't do anything herself and always has to rely on Mal.
❌ No history of the sun summoners. The Darkling knows there were sun summoners; he has mentioned so in the past. He gets his power from his mother. How does Alina get her power?
❌ Nikolai’s story arc was confusing, why sideline the best character in the series
❌ The Darkling STILL remains underdeveloped... after three books... are you kidding me!
❌ The ending: The Darklings death.... killed by Alina with a knife... really? Cause I clearly remember it being said that it's not easy to kill The Darkling or The Sun Summoner. Such a letdown.
❌ Mal coming back to life... cause y'know... he had two ?? Whaaaat! If you're going to bring a character back to life it needs to make sense and not so the story can have: "and they lived happily ever after".
❌ Alina loses her power... why? Guess Mal got want he wanted. What a shitty message to send to women; give up everything so you can be with a man that you love but only loves you when you're not stronger than he is.
❌ One thing I hate it when the author has to explain through the character why certain things happen while it's happening. Mal comes back to life *protagonist has a realization and explains*, Alina loses her power *protagonist has a realization and explains* ...etc
❌ The pointless journey that takes more than half the book.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca
  • 08-25-20

I am ruination

fantastic audio book quality and performance.

Push through book two so that you can read this book!! It's thrilling, and fun and the characters are likeable, it's everything that book two wasn't. The ending is a bit disappointing but it's mostly satisfying. Four stars because I had a lot of fun reading this book and shed a tear at the end. I thought that I would remember this series bitterly after book two, but I will remember it fondly.... now onto more grishaverse adventures!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-04-21

A beautiful world

I loved this trilogy; the rich world, realistic characters, and believable choices taken.

I cried at the end, for its ending and because it was ending.

Lauren Fortgang does beautiful performance for this series.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-18-22

Great book + good ending

Very much enjoyed this series! It was well written, the narration was great and for once the end of a book did not make me feel sad / longing for me. It was perfect!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • miss jane
  • 07-31-22

Loved this Trilogy

Good story, good twists and turns. Wondering if I'll watch the Netflix series now... Really enjoyed this and recommend it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yaakov c Lui-Hyden
  • 07-18-22

fabulous ending to the series

delicious YA action and story, with comprehensive world building.highly enjoyable and great narration. will continue to read more of her books

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-17-22

an amazing ending to the series

Absolutely loved the narrotor of the series she has done a great job in reading this beautiful story

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-17-22

loved this series and film too

was amazed to here they made a series in film, but the book is the best.







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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • 06-24-22

Bravo. Great world creation. Wonderful story.

I'm no spring chicken, these books got me through packing, moving house, unpacking and hours of otherwise very dull work.