As I’d hoped, Ruin and Rising is better paced than Siege and Storm, to my mind. Although some notable folks thought the opposite, so I suppose it really does depend on what you’re most interested in. I did enjoy the twist with the third amplifier, and the fact that finally they really got on track to deal with that plotline — so much of book two was spent wanting to deal with it and going back and forth on whether it was a good idea, etc, etc.
I did like the continued development of Alina’s character, and the way things worked out with that — the way she had to learn to deal with the things she had to do, and how ruthless she tried to be. How power had a hold on her as surely as it did on the Darkling, and on the pity she felt for the Darkling even despite his behaviour. I think you can judge a person (or character) by how they treat vanquished enemies, and Alina was generous about it: she remembered the Darkling’s name, made sure his wishes were honoured, etc. And I enjoyed Nikolai’s development, too, though I think a lot of the drama and interest with what happened to him was elided for the sake of Alina and Mal’s story. Which makes sense, since Alina is the narrator, but… I’d still like to have seen more of Nikolai. He is the sassiest, and also the most capable character.
All in all, I think it was a good conclusion to the trilogy, and I’m looking forward to seeing this world from a different angle in Six of Crows. Here’s hoping it’s as good as everyone says!