Book Review: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

GENRE: 

Young Adult, Fantasy

PAGES:

527 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

1st in a Duology

RELEASE DATE: 

January 29th 2019

 

PUBLISHER:

Macmillan

SOURCE:

Kindle eBook

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

GoodReads

IndieBound

Amazon

Audible

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

Author’s Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY: 

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

MY REVIEW

I am a huge huge huge Leigh fan. From the moment I met her nearly six years ago at the Ontario Teen Book Fest and heard her champion Alanna from Tammy Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, I was sold. Add in the fact that her novels are absolutely fabulous and she has always been a kind friend to me and you get a devotion. I named my cat, Kaz, after one of her main characters in Six of Crows. When she announced she would be returning to the Grishaverse with a book about Nikolai, I was IN. I ADORE Nikolai.

Leigh writes two very different series within the same world. The Grisha Trilogy and the Six of Crows duology are different but both so great. I love them for their similarities and their differences. What I truly loved about King of Scars is that it takes what is best about those two books and puts it together for a truly fantastic follow up to both series. Both Nikolai and Nina are strong, resilient and genuine characters that jumped off the pages in the books they shared and do so even more in this book that belongs only to the two of them.

What makes Leigh a great writer, what makes her books so utterly fantastic is that she is such an amazing world builder. I have often asked her for advice on world building because it can be intimidating and because its not easy to do. Leigh makes it look so effortless, though I know for a fact it is not. Everything about her world is so fleshed out. It works in every series because, even if something wasn’t specifically mentioned in previous novels, it still existed, it still was truth. There is never a moment where you think, ah she wrote herself into a corner or hmm, I don’t know that this matches with what was said in book one. This world feels seamless, well thought out and it makes it all the more real to the reader.

King of Scars expands on what was set up in both the Grisha trilogy and the Crows Duology. There are bits of pieces from each of those stories and those worlds that come together to bring about the conflict that we are faced with in this novel and I think it works perfectly. There are so many new faces but also so many amazing old faces that its so great to see again and I have a feeling we’ll see even more in the next novel. Seeing Genya, David, ZOYA…it was like being with friends again.

I love being back in Nina’s head but I also love that we finally get to be with Nikolai – we’ve not had that before. They are great characters, strong characters through all of the shit they’ve been through and I have a lot of faith in their abilities to keep pushing on, though I’m expecting some heartbreak. I’m not crazy lol!

Lastly, I love the cliffhanger. I wish I could say more but I am pretty committed to doing spoiler free reviews but oh my god. I felt the novel moving in this direction but like some of the characters in the novel, I didn’t want to admit that it could even happen. Leigh did something delicious and evil and left me going NO, I NEED MORE. I can’t wait to read the next book. I truly believe that Leigh just gets better and better and better and it makes me more excited for each and every book.

RATING:

5 out of 5 Stars

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo”

  1. I read her Six of Crows duology last month and LOVED it so much! This beautiful cover has caught my eye several times but I didn’t want to commit to it because I didn’t want to be dissapointed (Nikolai wasn’t my absolute favorite character). I’ve seen several positive reviews, however, and since you said Bardugo takes the best parts of her two duologies and combines them, I have high hopes I will enjoy this book. Thanks for the review!

    Emily @ Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf

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