Book Review: 9 Knightly Things about KING OF SCARS by Leigh Bardugo

“King of Scars”

Grishaverse #6; Nikolai Duology #1

by Leigh Bardugo

Nikki’s Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary: Trying to save Ravka from another war, Nikolai is doing all that he can to save his country. Then one night, he is taken over by the monster, the Darkling’s monster that possessed Nikolai months ago but has been absent since the Darkling’s death. Knowing he must secure the Latsov line, Nikolai calls a lavish festival, inviting all the important influential families in the world, in order to help choose a bride but the Saints have other things in mind.

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9 Knightly Things about KING OF SCARS by Leigh Bardugo

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Grishaverse

A return to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, we get to catch up with some characters from both the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and the Six of Crows series. Love it when I get to return to some old fictional friends! After “Crooked Kingdom” is was a relief to read about Nina and see how she was coping with the death of Matthias and her promise to him.

2. Nikolai

Nikolai Lantsov is one of my favorite characters from the Grishaverse. He is a dashing king with an adventurous spirit, devilish charm, and fantastic humor. But most importantly, he is a king that cares about his people and wants only the best for his country. Nikolai is not interested in personal glory, power, or money.

3. Isaak

While short-lived, Isaak was truly an enjoyable character. A simple guard pretending to be King Nikolai to keep Ravka safe from enemies, Isaak stumbles through the role quite hilariously. As Isaak states:

“I was just so excited, finally something went wrong and I had nothing to do with it”

Bardugo 406

4. Zoya

Zoya Nazyalensky, I have come to really like her after nearly hating her when she was first introduced. In “King of Scars,” readers get to know more about her background and how deeply she cares for those around her and how much loss she has already dealt with. One of the last things Juris says to her really resonated with me:

“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”

Bardugo 464

5. Saints

Who knew that a “saint” could be such a fucking bitch?! Ugh, so not a fan of Elizaveta for many reasons. Regardless, it is very neat to have the Grishaverse’s Saints feature as actual characters in “King of Scars.”

6. Grisha Power

In each book so far in the Grishaverse series, Bardugo has revealed new information about the universe and the magical workings in it. In “King of Scars” we learn that the Grisha have severely limited themselves in their training and teachings of their powers and the use of amplifiers as they did not embrace the true concept of like calls to like. Are we not all things?

7. The Darkling

Not sure if I have ever been so excited to have a bad guy come back! The Darkling is very intriguing and seductive, I can’t help but like him. Hoping that perhaps he will change his ways, do good things and redeem himself but sadly, this is probably wishful thinking. Very curious to see how this is all going to turn out.

8. Writing

As always, Bardugo provides an engaging, imaginative story with good pacing and charming characters. The writing is clear, providing description to set scenes but is not overwhelming or stifling to the story.

9. Rule of Wolves

Nikolai’s fate concludes in “Rule of Wolves”, book 2 in the Nikolai Duology by Leigh Bardugo and I can’t wait!

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