Synopsis: The Captain 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 a 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.
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Warning: this review contains major spoilers for the trilogy.
GUYS, I AM NOT OKAY!
This destroyed me.
It was a wild ride.
I have to start with this: Team Nikolai, Team Mal, or Team Darkling? Which one are you? I am so torn. I thought, based on the events of the first two books, that I was firmly on Team Nikolai but reading this book might have converted me to Team Mal *cue the hate* Hear me out – Mal is idiotic and childish for 90% of the trilogy BUT he truly does love Alina and always has. He broke my heart.
‘You’re all I’ve ever wanted,’ he said. ‘You are the whole of my heart.’
Don’t get me wrong, I still would have rather seen Alina end up with Nikolai and his potty mouth but I’m not mad she ended up with Mal. It actually does make a degree of sense. I’m not going to tell you why, you’re going to have to read it yourself to find out (considering how late I am to the party, chances are you’ve already read it, but if you haven’t then you know what to do!)
Speaking of romances, I’m going to have to take a minute to talk about David and Genya.
‘Beauty was your armour. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.’
Who knew David had that in him?
Despite what Genya had done, she wasn’t a bad person. She was a good person who did some pretty stupid (and possibly unforgivable) things. I went from loving her to hating her to loving her again over the course of the three books. And David. I have a soft spot for David. At the beginning of Siege and Storm, I really wanted to see him become a bigger character, and I’m so glad that he had that opportunity.
Baghra… my heart. That’s all I’ve got.
I have a million and one things I could say about these characters but instead I’m going to talk about the plot. This doesn’t happen often but WOW I DID NOT SEE ANY OF THAT COMING. Yet another reason why this series is up there as one of my favourites. I honestly thought that it would have been Alina, just like the book was hinting at, but I never would have suspected Mal at all. Since the first amplifier was found at the end of the first book and the second amplifier at the beginning of the second, I did think that the pacing in finding the third amplifier was a bit slow, but this can be forgiven by that twist! While it was somewhat slow, it was also a great opportunity for character development. I never once thought while reading it that I wanted things to hurry along, although that might have been because it was the last book and I wasn’t anywhere near ready to let go of this series just yet.
What did disappoint me a little bit was the Darkling’s downfall. I was expecting more of a spectacle. I wanted a show. I wasn’t expecting him to be killed as easily as he was. I supposed you can’t have everything…
It’s a tie for me which book I loved the most out of this series and it’s between Shadow and Bone and Ruin and Rising. I loved Siege and Storm but there was just something about the first and third books that enthralled me.
If you want a captivating fantasy filled with magic and mystery, then get your hands on this series. It was beautifully written. It was well developed. It was simply addictive.