- ISBN10 1250231078
- ISBN13 9781250231079
- Publish Date 29 January 2019
- Publish Status Out of Stock
- Imprint Imprint
- Format Paperback (US Trade)
- Language English
King of Scars is the first in a series of the same name, but it is also part of Leigh Bardugo's larger world, the Grishaverse. That makes it the sixth novel in that series, and I sincerely recommend that all potential fans read them in that order (it'll make more sense this way, and increase your overall appreciation – I promise!).
Nikolai Lantsov is the new king of Ravka. He's the king they deserve, even if not everyone can actually agree on that count. However, in order to continue protecting Ravka, he needs money, and he needs allies. And fast. A challenge made a bit more difficult by the dark curse coursing through his veins. He'll go to the end of the earth to find a cure, as would any of those loyal to him.
Meanwhile, many other Grisha are still active in their own wars. Nina has taken a job as an undercover agent, doing everything she can to save Grisha in neighboring (and less accepting) countries. She's not the only one doing her part.
“Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve. You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself.”
King of Scars was a seriously amazing read, one that sucked me in right from the start. Then again, since this is the sixth book in the world/series, it's pretty safe to say that I'm already very strongly invested in what is going to happen.
That being said, it's been a long time coming, getting to see a plot from Nikolai's perspective. He was one of my favorites in the original trilogy, and my heart soared to learn of his stories continuation here. Even if that meant he was going to go through some pretty horrible things in the process.
“The monster is me and I am the monster.”
Also, can I just take a minute to gush about how pretty King of Scars is? The dust jacket, the cover, and even the chapter headers are all absolutely stunning. They show a serious level of attention to detail, and it gives off such an elegant appearance.
Anyway, moving on. The main perspectives in this novel (Nikolai, Nina, Zoya, and a couple other surprises along the way) are pure perfection, as always. Nina's was a familiar voice, while it was fascinating to finally see how Nikolai and Zoya thought and felt. It was, simply put, illuminating.
For me, one of the many highlights had to be the world, as always, and the politics it brought with it. Nikolai is not in an easy situation, and Leigh Bardugo did a delightful job of laying out all of the complications for him, as well as for all of the others.
“It's not exciting if nothing can go wrong.”
I did it! I finally caught up in the Grishaverse novels! Only...now I almost feel like I don't know what to do with myself. I still have months to go before the Netflix series releases, and yet I want more of this world. At least I still have some of the short stories to enjoy.
Also! We're only a couple of months away from Rule of Wolves. Who else is counting down the days at this point? It's going to be another breathtaking read, I'm certain of it.
Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
This was so good!
Although I was sad to leave Ketterdam and my favorite Murder Babies behind, I was also excited to see what King Nikolai is up to these days.
Unfortunately, nothing in Ravka is ever smooth sailing. Charming Nikolai is plagued by a monster and his conflict is expertly depicted in this book. I like how Leigh Bardugo allows her characters to evolve and how she gives them depth. It's not only Nikolai in this novel but also Zoya about whom we learn so much more.
I've always enjoyed Nikolai's swagger and humor, so I'm happy we get a little more of that - even though he is facing dark times.
Zoya is, as usual, as charming as an ice block and that's precisely what I love about her. She's a tough fighter but she doesn't care what others think about her. She uncompromisingly herself. She's always 100% honest and to the point - honestly, I think I'd be best friends with her.
But let's not forget the second storyline! Nina Zenik is in Fjerda doing some undercover work. She's still battling with grief, caught between holding onto her lost love and letting go of the pain. Not even to mention that she also has to deal with how Parem altered her very own powers. Bardugo is really brilliant with writing those inner tensions and struggles Nina has.
The story takes some very interesting turns, some that I hadn't seen coming. I had expected something else but what we got was certainly thrilling!
The book ended with a cliffhanger (sort of) so I hope we get the next installment very soon. I need to know if my new favorite ship is really sinking before it even set sails!
I didn’t think it was possible to get me to like Zoya, but she did it. And I have to say it’s a little bit Harry Potter/horcruxy and I’m not sure what I think about that. Except that I’m sure it will be interesting and exciting in the next book.
I do like Ravka better than Ketterdam and so this book was...oddly comforting... interesting.... fun. But, I mean, with Nikolai how can it not be? It’s every bit as amusing and witty as I could hope for.
REREAD: There are parts, much like Crooked Kingdom, where I just wanted it to move faster; to get to the action. Through a lot of the first and second act. I liked Nina’s story better the second time around, after it really git going. But it was slow going in the beginning too. Having just read the Crows book, I’d liked what she learned from Kaz and carried into this story. And I liked Nikolai and Zoya, their banter and their moments, and just Nikolai. But that’s the slow rolling story that I would have liked to trim or fast forward in a few places.