This section will cover any key details about the series.
Released: 2012 | 2013 | 2014
Publisher: Macmillan | Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Pages: 356 pages | 432 pages | 417 pages
What do these covers say about this series?
I'm not usually crazy about fantasy covers (I think it's one reason I used to avoid the genre), but I love the covers for this series. They are just gorgeous! I love how you can tell that they're fantasy, but they also have that Old World look to them with the unique lettering. They definitely hint at the story's Russian setting with the castle, and I love that it's repeated on all three books. I didn't understand the significance of the antlers, sea creature or bird until I read the book, but I can now say they pair perfectly with the stories inside. Check out this article on designing these covers if you love them, too!
Based on the summary, what can you expect going into this series?
I have to laugh at the fact that all three of the series I've now featured in "Series Speed Date" are fantasy series. I'm pretty sure I'm going to sound like a broken record in this section because I'll admit that I wasn't really drawn to the summary of Shadow and Bone. The whole darkness + "crawling with monsters" definitely put me off these books! But, as I kept reading, I could tell there was going to be a powerful heroine and a coming-of-age story... and I do love those aspects. Plus, two boys mentioned meant I was probably guaranteed some romance. YES! Honestly, the summary really does tell you exactly what to expect: a dark and threatening setting, a girl trying to understand her own power and some verrrry intriguing boys.
What are some highlights of the series?
A brave, fierce and occasionally frustrating heroine.
A loyal, talented and kind best friend.
A dark, powerful and vicious leader.
A charming, surprising and smart privateer.
An intriguing and delightful cast of secondary characters.
A battle for control that's been years in the making.
A world torn apart by war, driven to desperation and grasping at any hope.
A controlled, useful magic... and a darker, more sinister power.
A nation's fate resting with one girl searching for the tools she needs to defeat the darkness.
A romance that leaves you guessing and swooning.
How will you feel closing the last page?
Oh man, Ruin and Rising was intense! I didn't see half of it coming, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. There were so many twists and turns, and my emotions were all over the place. I was cheering one minute and then anxiously gripping the pages the next. Personally, I loved the way it ended! It wasn't necessarily the ending I expected, but I thought it was so fitting. I closed the book feeling both satisfied and exhausted. The book is consistent with the rest of the series, so the only thing that may cause mixed reactions is how the romance is resolved.
Summing up this series in just three words?
Is this series worth your time?
I really loved this series! If I was rating these on my normal scale, they would all get a So Loved It rating. They weren't perfect reads, but I absolutely couldn't put them down. I binge read them all within a few days, and I'm so glad I didn't have to wait to find out what would happen. Bardugo excels at action, setting and tone. All three elements were just spot on in these books! The only thing that kept these from being perfection for me? I wasn't totally invested in the characters or their emotional journeys the whole time I was reading, but it was a minor complaint overall and doesn't seem to be the case for most readers.