Name: King Of Scars
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Face your demons . . . or feed them.
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.
The entire Grisha trilogy has been building up to this addition (the last couple of weeks have also been building up for this addition as I waited impatiently for it to arrive).
But, hear me out. King of Scars combines the original characters we were introduced to in the ‘Shadow and Bone’ trilogy; and the world building developed in the ‘Six of Crows’ duology. Nikolai has been one of the only consistent characters throughout; it’s great he’s finally got his own book after we’ve watched his personality develop over the years. I love all of the subtle references to the other books – they made me smile so much. It would be a perfect way to tie them all together if more characters from Six of Crows appeared in the next King of Scars (*cough* Kanej *cough*).
This took me forever to read – and not for the normal reasons! At first, I was going about 10 pages an hour… mainly because I was overanalysing how amazing every sentence was. It took a while. However, (story time) I recently discovered the precarious art of reading in the car. Last week, I took a 4 hour journey to Hay-On-Wye – click here for how weird it was without the book festival – and I read the rest of the book in one sitting. For me, that’s a lot. I’d never normally be engrossed in a book enough to do that, but I did with King of Scars because it’s Just. So. Good.
The book flicks between different POV, which kept it interesting, although Zoya and Nikolai’s often showed quite similar events. All of their interactions were brilliant – Leigh Bardugo is the Queen of beautiful romance, world building… and banter. She writes the best dialogue I’ve ever read.
It was an interesting decision to also write from Nina’s as well; she wasn’t really linked to the other two. But, I loved her narrative. Nina was one of my favourite characters in Six of Crows, although she seemed to have passed the duty of funny/witty banter on to Nikolai in this book. Some of her Nina-ness (that’s a word now) was slightly lost in the translation between books, although that does make sense with you-know-who dying. I thought Bardugo had exhausted my tears over that character, but nooo! And, Nina did at least get some waffle jokes in, so it’s all good. Her relationship with Hanne was brilliant, and I need more in the next book.
Near the end, everything got a little strange. I didn’t mind the turn it took (let me know if you get what I’m on about) but it was very different to the heist themes of ‘Six of Crows’. The plot twists were clever, although does slightly seem just like a long-winded way of not having to create another villain! However, the ending was thrilling and I cannot wait for book 2.
Are you not sure what books to read for summer? Would you like to take part in a really simple and fun Reading Challenge?
Find the prompts here, and then borrow, buy,
steal or ebook books to fit them. I’d love for as many people as possible to take part in my first original book tag. Happy Reading!