Leigh Bardugo‘s third and final book of the Grisha trilogy, Ruin and Rising, is finally out today! And if you haven’t gotten a chance to read the series, then we highly recommend that you do, because it’s amazing! If you have already started Ruin and Rising, we ask that you be respectful of others in social media and not blurt out any spoilers, no matter how small. And if you haven’t started it yet, then we hope that you will soon! In the meantime, check out some of the highlights of the LA Times’ interview with the author.
How did your experience writing the final book of the trilogy compare to writing the first two books?
I thought the third book would be the easiest to do because I outlined extensively — I’ve basically known where this book was going for years. But I discovered that wasn’t the case.
The third book seemed to be about closing doors, whereas one and two were all about opening them. It wasn’t as easy as I had expected and it was surprisingly emotional. I’ve always kind of smirked at authors who said they cried when they killed off a character or when they wrote something difficult into their books — I’m really going to eat my hat on that one since I definitely when through that with my third book.
Had you mapped out the way you were going to close the trilogy when you were writing the first book?
Not when I wrote the first book. “Shadow and Bone” was my first book and my only goal when I started writing it was to finish it, because I had started a lot of books and they really hadn’t gotten past the first or second chapter.
The idea of completing a trilogy was not anywhere in my thoughts. But about halfway through, I realized that this was not meant to be a one-book story and I could see a much broader picture. But I didn’t know if anybody would even want the first book so I just kept notes for the second and third books and had my fingers crossed.
You’ve already received a two-book deal for your next project, “The Dregs,” set in the same universe as this trilogy. What prompted that decision as opposed to creating an entirely new world?
If you see a map in “Siege and Storm,” you’ll see that there are a lot of countries I didn’t get to go to or explore that much in the trilogy, and Kerch was a big one for me. Ravka is this nation that has really been kept in a stranglehold by this swath of darkness called the Shadow Fold. They’ve been cut off from the ports and harbors, and from free trade with the outside world. And I wanted to set something in a country that was the opposite of that. And Kerch is very much that: it’s this hyper-capitalist place and is the hub of all legal and illegal trade in this world.
One of the fun things for me is creating a magical system, and then findings ways to twist it this way and that. What happens when you break the rules? What kind of technological developments will occur when you have those rules? That was something I got to keep doing by keeping it in the same universe. That said, there are some times when I say, “why can’t I just throw some new magic? It would make it so much easier!”
If you were a member of the Grisha, what would you want your magical power to be?
I would really like to be a Corporalnik — I’d love to be a Heartrender. If I was in a boring conversation with somebody, I could slowly make them fall into a low-grade coma.
But in my heart I know I don’t have the guts to be a Corporalnik, so I think would probably be a Fabrikator (the “lab geeks” of the Grisha Order).
What is the one book you would take with you if ever stranded on a deserted island?
This one is always such a killer. Alright, I would either go with “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” or “A Clash of Kings” by George R.R. Martin. It’s a tough one. But the nice thing about “Harry Potter” is that it’s so comforting, which is not something you get from George R.R. Martin. So maybe I’ll go with “Harry Potter.”
You can read the full interview at Los Angeles Times.