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Can I just say HOLY FREAKING SAINTS THAT WAS GOOD!!! I can’t even! Queen B has done it again! This is by far her best work yet! I need more STAT! I did not see that ending coming! I just! There aren’t enough words in any language, be that Kerch, Ravkan, or Ancient Kaelish! My mind is blown! I am left with an overwhelming sense of excitement, dread and a hardy need for waffles! 10/10 and my absolute fav Grisha book!
It’s taken me a while after finishing to try write this review and formulate my words in a way that is clear and doesn’t spoil anything. I have so many mixed feelings about this book - and the duology in general - because of how in some parts it lacked a lot for me but in other areas I was completely enthralled. The way the story continues from where it left off in the previous book was very satisfying. There was twists, revelations, humour and memorable moments which overall created an adventurous, emotional rollercoaster!
I must admit that although the storyline was one of the best aspects within this novel because of its complexity, it was also quite messy. There was just so much going on that at times it was quite overwhelming to read. At times it was boring, slow paced and not entertaining up until the last 200 pages when it picked up and got intense with action! The writing was incredible, in-depth world building, battle scenes and politics made everything so much more raw and real. The representation of the LGBTQ+ and Transgender community was effortlessly represented which I always highly appreciate.
All the characters were exceptionally built and flushed out so well. I grew so connected with them all that every pain of theirs was my own to feel which meant I cried a lot while reading from all the emotions. One of my favourites things was seeing some previous characters in the Grishaverse make appearances!! Now the core three: Nikolai was a sarcastic characters who warmed my heart from constantly fighting his inner demon yet always being so charming. Zoya is one of my new favourite baddass women. She is so complex and I loved watching her development as we were able to learn more about her backstory. Nina’s story was the most emotional for me and one I really connected to. I love her so much and by the end couldn’t have been more proud of her for enduring everything she’d been through and finding happiness.
Romance was an element that wasn’t included in the previous book and although it was a very light dose and hardly any moments were shared together, the slow burn and angst between Nikolai and Zoya was amazing. Their friendship, banter, strength and raw vulnerability with each other made for such an warm-hearted endgame.
I found the ending events to be such a perfect yet unpredictable happily ever after. I loved how it brought all the Grisha books together smoothly and made all the individual stories connect in a brilliantly crafted way.
Overall, a perfect yet emotional conclusion. It didn’t like up the SoC Duology for me but it’s still an enjoyable one that is worth the read. HIGHLY RECOMMEND for Grishaverse fans.
I have loved everything Leigh Bardugo has written. In spite of the fact it is clearly a 'fantasy' series, the characters are completely and utterly believable. They are rounded and have real depth. Brilliant writing. I am desperate for her to write a spin off about Princess Ehri Kir-Taban - I think she has a story in her for sure..
Having read all the previous Grishaverse books Rule of Wolves is the perfect finale. Beautifully written with beloved characters returning to finish their stories, I loved it but I am bereft that it is over!