”They will starve for you, lay down their lives and their children’s lives for you. They will make war without fear and die rejoicing. There is no greater power than faith, and there will be no greater army than one driven by it.”
Three books and I still hate the Apparat! *lol* Guess that says enough about him and his despicable character. XD Despite everything he unfortunately has a point though. Now that Alina has become Sankta Alina for so many people they think that she’s the answer to all their prayers and hopes and to say this is quite a burden for a girl that considers herself to be ordinary isn’t even getting close to the truth. There’s a lot of pressure on our young heroine and even though she’s coping with it way better than she did in the past, this still doesn’t mean that she’s ready to do what is necessary.
Mainly to destroy the fold and to dethrone the Darkling. To be entirely honest I can’t even blame her for it. The Darkling and her have some special connection and no matter how misguided he’s become, our favourite villain still has a good heart. It’s hidden more than just well in this final and last instalment but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t there. *sighs deeply*
Also, am I crazy for still loving all those boys? *lol* Because no matter how much I think about it, I still like Mal, I still adore Nikolai and I still want more of the Darkling. XD And this after reading all three books! ARGH! Leigh why do you have to write such good characters? *lol* It’s just not fair! Well, anyway I’ll head to my characters section now because there is a lot I need to get off my chest and I don’t want to spoil you already! ;-P
”None of them were easy or soft or simple. They were like me, nursing hurts and hidden wounds, all broken in different ways. We didn’t quite fit together. We had edges so jagged we cut each other sometimes, but as I curled up on my side, the warmth of the fire at my back, I felt a rush of gratitude so sweet it made my throat ache.”
You are entering the Fold! If you don’t want to be spoiled or eaten by the volcra (which truth be told might be pretty likely) you better leave now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! You’re entering at your own risk! *volcra howls in the distance* ;-P
”You are on your knees,” I said. “We are not negotiating.”
His lips thinned, but after a moment, he dipped his chin in assent.
Okay, I admit it. Alina was pretty cool in this book! *lol* I loved how she decided to take her fate into her own hands and no longer aimed for compromises. It was all or nothing for her and I really, really liked this! For once she was no longer a chess piece in the game but turned into one of the leaders instead. AND I enjoyed it! XD It was about time she got her own voice and I’m glad she finally realized that it’s up to her to change things. Plus, if we’re entirely honest to run away never really worked out for her anyway! The Darkling would have never left her alone and it was about time she fought back. 😉
”Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”
”This was what Ravka did. It made orphans. It made misery. No land, no life, just a uniform and a gun. Nikolai had believed in something better.”
”For all my talk of vows and honor, what I really want is to put you up against that wall and kiss you until you forget you ever knew another man’s name. So tell me to go, Alina. Because I can’t give you a title or an army or any of the things you need.”
Three books and I still don’t get all the Mal hate!!! I mean seriously, why do so many people hate him so much? I think he’s a really nice and down-to-earth guy and I could understand each and every single one of his actions. Yes he turned Alina away; he only did it because he knew she needed more than just a soldier who had nothing to offer though. In my opinion he was only realistic and let’s face it, if Alina wouldn’t have lost all her powers in the end she would have never been happy and content in a relationship with him. AND Mal was ready to sacrifice himself in order to save their world so I really, really don’t get why anyone wouldn’t like him!? I never had the feeling that he’s annoying, quite the contrary so yeah: #IStillLikeMalAndI’mNotSorry
”Saints, Alina. I hope you weren’t looking to me to be the voice of reason. I keep to a strict diet of ill-advised enthusiasm and heartfelt regret.”
OMG!!! If that is even possible I actually loved him even more than I loved him in book 2! Nikolai is the BEST and he deserves the world and so much more!!! <333 I just admire and adore him and I really don’t get how Alina was able to resist his charms! I would have accepted his proposal in a heartbeat! *lol* But then again I’m not Alina who is obviously besotted with Mal. XD It made me kind of sad that we didn’t get all too much of him in this final book, but I see the logic behind it. AND I’ll never forgive the Darkling for what he did to my precious baby!!! I didn’t expect him to turn him into a monster and when it happened I was gripping my book so hard and yelling at the pages that I was very thankful I read it at home. *lol* (Just imagine I would have read it in the train… XD) I can’t wait to hold “King of Scars” in my greedy and grabby hands and I NEED to know what happens next! >_<
”Nikolai had made a fool of the Darkling, and now the Darkling had taken my polished, brilliant, noble prince and made him into a monster. Death would have been too kind.”
”He’d mobilized all the remaining units of the army to secure the borders, sent messages to the coast to rally Sturmhond’s fleet, and had apparently managed it all on no sleep and two fractured ribs. No one else would have had the ability, let alone the nerve – certainly not a younger son and rumoured bastard. But Nikolai had been training for this his entire life, and I knew he had a gift for the impossible.”
”I have lived a long life, rich in grief. My tears are long since spent. If I still felt as you do, if I ached as you do, I could not have borne this eternity.”
I might never forgive him for what he did to Nikolai but I still love him?! *lol* The Darkling is just one of those amazing villains I love to hate and despite everything he’s done there is still something good in him. His power and age made him ruthless and caused him to be detached from the world around him, but deep down in his heart he isn’t really bad. I guess you might say he is doing the wrong things for the right reasons. All he ever wanted was a united Ravka in which Grisha could live peacefully and together as one and for a while he even managed to give his country some sort of stability. He had a wonderful dream but he never realized that he became the one thing that stood in its way. The Darkling was a very complex villain and I’m so glad I read this series because villains like that are so rare to find. XD For that alone I’ll always cherish him. But that moment when he asked Alina to say his true name!? T_T I am deceased!
”Once more,” he said. “Speak my name once more.”
He was ancient, I knew that. But in this moment he was just a boy – brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by eternity.
”Na razrusha’ya. E’ya razrushost.” I am not ruined. I am ruination.
Boy, did I adore Genya for her guts!! <333 She stood up for herself and faced the king head-on and she didn’t just give him a piece of her mind but also accepted the consequences the truth might entail! THAT WAS SO DAMN BRAVE for so many different reasons!! I always knew why Genya is my Queen! XD I love that despite her scars she’s comfortable in her own skin and I’m so happy that she finally got the love she deserves! <33 After everything she went through she deserves a man who treats her right and David seems to be the perfect man to give her everything she needs! 😉
”Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.” He drew in a deep breath then awkwardly stepped forward. He took her face in his hands and kissed her.
Alina & Mal:
”We’re going to be travelling together for who knows how long. Eventually, you’re going to have to talk to me.”
“I’m talking to you right now.”
“See? Is this so terrible?”
“It wouldn’t be,” he said, gazing at me steadily, “if all I wanted to do was talk.”
I know at least 50% of the people who read this series will be all like “NOOOO!!!” now but: I SHIP IT!!! Yes, you read right! I’m happy with the ending and them being together! I mean Leigh made it pretty clear that Mal is Alina’s one true love and I’m so on board of the “The childhood friend gets the girl” train! *lol* Because this NEVER EVER happens in YA!!! And I’m grateful Leigh actually made it happen for once! XD It might sound ridiculous but this is something new and I’m always there for new things in a genre I already know so well. Plus Mal and Alina had a great chemistry and I loved that they were always able to joke about their situation. They knew each other inside out and for me it was logical that they could be together! I mean it’s basically like in real life. I know so many couples that started out as friends (some even best friends) and then became a couple because they realized they love each other. So there’s that! I ship it and I’m content with the ending! Enough said! ;-P
”All at once, the pain in my chest was so bad it nearly bent me double. Because this was what Mal had been coming to show me. Because that look – that open, eager, happy look – had been for me. Because I would always be the first person he turned to when he saw something lovely, and I would do the same. Whether I was a Saint or a queen or the most powerful Grisha who ever lived, I would always turn to him.”
”He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he’ll never have enough of her. Like he’s trying to capture what he can before she’s gone.”
”I wanted more for you,” he said. “A white veil in your hair. Vows we could keep.”
“A proper wedding night? Just tell me this isn’t goodbye. That’s the only vow I need.”
”They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things – if love can ever be called that.”
Alina & Nikolai:
”First vomit, then tears,” Nikolai said, coming up beside me. “Don’t tell me I’ve lost my touch.”
“I’m just happy you’re alive,” I said, hastily blinking my eyes clear. “Though I’m sure you can talk me out of it.”
Their friendship was so amazing!!! I always knew they wouldn’t end up together but I loved that they developed such a great friendship in the end. They are proof that a friendship between a man and a woman can work just fine and their easy banter was so entertaining to read. If they would have married it would have merely been an alliance though and they both deserved better than that. I’m glad Alina can be with Mal now because I know Nikolai’s story isn’t over yet and I’m sooo curious to find out who’s going to be his love interest. XD A lot of people think it might be Zoya but I never saw chemistry between those two so there would have to be a lot of build-up in order to make that happen. Maybe Nikolai will even have a coming-out as being bi?! (I swear it could be possible!) Well, that certainly would be something I’d love to read. *lol* Whatever happens and no matter if it will turn out to be a straight romance or a gay one, I’m so ready for “King of Scars”!!! <333
”I owe you, Alina. Ravka owes you. This and more. Do good works or commission an opera house or just take it out and gaze at it longingly when you think of the handsome prince you might have made your own. For the record I favour the latter option, preferably paired with copious tears and the recitation of bad poetry.”
He took my hand and pressed the ring into it. “Take it and build something new.”
Alina & The Darkling:
”If only I’d known you’d prove such an apt pupil.” His voice was genuinely admiring, almost surprised.
Ohhh I lived and breathed for their scenes! Their cat and mouse game was just too intriguing to read! They gave each other a run for their money and none of them yielded an inch! *lol* ARGH! Their relationship was so twisted and dark but damn was it awesome to witness! XD I think in a perverted way they both loved each other, but it just wasn’t enough to save the Darkling. It broke my heart that he had to die but the way Leigh wrote it I was okay with it. (Not like in “War Storm” when I was so damn disappointed about how it all ended …) The Darkling died with dignity and he died being loved by his opponent… It was a coherent ending and it was the ending he deserved. ❤
”It’s true,” I said softly. “You are stronger, wiser, infinite in experience.” I leaned forward and whispered, my lips brushing the shell of his ear. “But I am an apt pupil.”
His eyes flew open. I caught the briefest glimpse of rage in his gray gaze before I severed the connection.
”There will be nothing left,” I whispered.
“No,” he said gently as he folded me in his arms. He pressed a kiss to the top of my hair. “I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but me.”
“Ruin and Rising” was a good and solid ending for a rather unconventional YA series! It kept me entertained and always caused me to wish for more. By the end of this book I got really attached to some of the characters and considering how many YA books I already read, that’s certainly no easy feat. 😉 So if you’re looking for a typical YA series that’s still able to surprise you every once in a while, “The Grisha Trilogy” is what you’re looking for. XD Happy Reading!