Ruin and Rising Collection ⇄ a fanmix dedicated to Alina Starkov (listen)

You will always be one of us.

The girl was different, small and strange, with white hair that she wore loose down her back like an unmarried woman, seemingly oblivious to the glares and disapproving clucking of the teachers and the staff. (listen)

“Fairness!” he laughed. “Still she talks of fairness. What does fairness have to do with any of this? The people curse my name and pray for you, but you’re the one who was ready to abandon them.


Black Beauty (Part of Ruination)
Music for The Darkling in The Demon In The Wood and Ruin and Rising.

"There is no safe place. There is no haven. Not for us."
He understood then. The Grisha lived as shadows did, passing over the surface of the world, touching nothing, forced to change their shapes and hide in corners, driven by fear as shadows were driven by the sun. No safe place. No haven.
There will be, he promised in the darkness, new words written upon his heart. I will make one.

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i am ruination

"I was a living star. I was combustion. I was a new sun born to shatter air and eat the earth. I am ruination." listen ]

He leaned in. I felt his breath against my neck, then the press of his mouth against my skin just above the collar, almost a sigh.
“Don’t,” I said. I drew back, but he held me tighter. His hand went to the nape of my neck, long fingers twining in my hair, easing my head back. I closed my eyes.
“Let me,” he murmured against my throat. His heel hooked around my leg, bringing me closer. I felt the heat of his tongue, the flex of hard muscle beneath bare skin as he guided my hands around his waist. “It isn’t real,” he said. “Let me.”

I felt that rush of hunger, the steady, longing beat of desire that neither of us wanted, but that gripped us anyway. We were alone in the world, unique. We were bound together and always would be.
And it didn’t matter.
I couldn’t forget what he’d done, and I wouldn’t forgive what he was: a murderer. A monster. A man who had tortured my friends and slaughtered the people I’d tried to protect. I shoved away from him. “It’s real enough.”

Beside Ruby, the Darkling lay in his black kefta.

Who had tended to him? I wondered, feeling an ache rise in my throat. Who had combed his dark hair back so neatly from his forehead? Who had folded his graceful hands on his chest?

Some in the crowd were complaining the the Darkling had no business sharing a pyre with a Saint. But this felt right to me, and the people needed to see an end to it.

"Once more," he said. "Speak my name once more."

He was ancient, I knew that. But in that moment, he was just a boy - brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by an eternity.


~ Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising