As always, Leigh Bardugo's world-building and character development immersed me in a world that I love (Ravka), amongst old and new friends alike. It took me a little while to get reacquainted with certain characters that were little more than introduced in previous novels, but in the meantime I enjoyed the wittiness of the banter these characters brought to the table, which (in classic Leigh Bardugo-style) was enriched by the underlying vulnerability that makes her characters feel human (are Grisha human? Whatever.) It was a little terrifying to think that this war-ravaged country was being run by teenagers and 20-somethings, but I decided to suspend my jaded, 36-year-old disbelief and go with the flow, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. :)
Includes spoilers for previous Grishaverse novels. If you haven't read those, go do it now. I'll wait.
I was so excited to get my copy of King of Scars, the continuation of the Grishaverse following both the original Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. So you can imagine how disheartened I was at the slow start to this novel. But not to worry, fine readers! Bardugo does take some time to set the stage. We are now following Nikolai as king of Ravka, and Nina Zenik as a spy in Fjerda. Nikolai is still fighting whatever the Darkling left inside him, but that is only one of the main story-lines. Bardugo also sets us up to deal with the political struggle Nikolai faces: his country is broke and facing war on both borders. Nina must return Matthias' body to Fjerda while she helps Grisha escape a certain death in their homeland. That's just the bare bones, so you can see why it takes a good 150/200 pages to get everything in place. And it's worth the time, because the last 300 pages are non-stop action. I was again amazed at Bardugo's ability to write something so edge-of-your-seat while also paying attention to all the little emotional details that humanize the characters. And, of course, the witty banter abounds. I laughed and cried, cheered and gasped. King of Scars seemed to bring in some of the dreamier elements of a Laini Taylor novel and it worked.
I will also add that recently Bardugo was talking about what she would change and that included more inclusivity. I can see her taking those first steps here and hope the next installment will really hit the mark.
I haven't finished it yet but I am really enjoying this book. I'm happy we get to revisit Ravka with much better writing (Bardugo has only gotten better since the first trilogy), and while it's not as fast paced as the Six of Crows duology, the character development is stellar and the plot has a lot of layers. Plus, I mean...Nickolai is amazing.
I will say that this book is littered with references to both the Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows...Both can be read independently, however, if you want to read King of Scars, I highly suggest you read both before picking this up.
I completely forgot everything about the Grisha world, but I read on just the same. And, it was still awesome!
Nikolai was so freaking funny. There were so many witty dialogue throughout the book. He's such a character, no wonder we have this spinoff. As a King, he actually had a humble beginning, constantly living in his brother's shadow. He wasn't born a King, he earned it with lots of hardship.
Zoya, his general, was a force to be reckon with. I think she's the strongest character I'd ever read. The book also went into her background and showed us what helped built her.
The other character we had focus on was Nina. There were a total of 3 storylines going on in the end. But, it didn't feel too complex. I only felt a little lost near the end.....
The writing was really good and I loved the parts where Nikolai and Zoya group encountered the 3 powerful beings. I could so see that part going well on big screen.
On the political side, it seemed like Ravka was peaceful for the time being, and it all depended on Nikolai's ability to keep it together. How long before the darkness gain foothold? I guess we'll find out in the next book.
Epic continuation of the Grisha-verse. I know opinions are mixed on this book, but I, for one, couldn't put it down. I especially loved Nikolai (as I expected) and Zoya (which was a surprise)--both their individual character development and their relationship, whatever you want to make of it.
This one is not as good as the other Grishaverse books, which I found disappointing because I loved the character of Nikolai. It was a bit more predictable than the other books as well.
Bardugo brings readers on a new arch in her Grishaverse. There is a lot of rich storytelling in King of Scars, and a return of a few favourite characters. :)
I’ve probably wanted to read this for...oh, give or take six months or so. I waited, I read the entirety of the existing Grishaverse novels, I waited some more, I desperately avoided spoilers (I’ve learned a lot since Avengers: Infinity War came out), and I put it on hold at the library about a week ago. Somehow, it was available, so...SHUT. UP. AND. TAKE. MY. LIBRARY. CARD. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
After I checked it out, I gobbled it up in about two days. (As I’ve tended to do with most of Bardugo’s novels; no surprise there). Judging from all of Bardugo’s other works, I had preeeeeetty high expectations. And my expectations weren’t met...
...they were exceeded by about 10,000%.
Nikolai has always been one of my favorite characters in the original Grisha trilogy; I loved his wit, his charm, the conflict between him and the demon inside of him...I could go on. So I was ecstatic when I found out that there’d be a whole NOVEL centering around him. And I loved every second of it. Brimming with hysterical banter, intrigue, fantasy action, and everything you could possibly want in a Grishaverse novel, “King of Scars” is, in every sense of the word, an absolute success. I really enjoyed how the storylines of the original Grisha trilogy and part of the Six of Crows duology were melded together, though I enjoyed the latter a little less than the former. (I’ll admit my bias towards the Grisha trilogy...sorry...*entire Grisha fandom swoops down and begins pecking my eyes out*) I adored the chemistry between characters old and new, and I’d forgotton how much I enjoyed being immersed in Bardugo’s delicately crafted world. It felt like going home, like visiting an old friend. All of the disturbing and gory stuff aside, it was kind of warm and fuzzy, reading a Grishaverse book after not reading one since “Crooked Kingdom”.
Now, the direction that the duology is starting to go in is...well, to put it lightly, very ambitious. It’s really interesting how they’ve built up this whole pantheon of saints and such, only to...well...bring it all crashing down. I won’t spoil any more, but it’s definitely a bold move on Bardugo’s part. And I think I’m liking it. *rubs hands together evilly*
And now, I’ll be Grisha-less for the next year or two until the last of the Nikolai duology is released. But hey, at least I’ll have the wonderful memory of this book to keep me going until then. :)
An epic continuation of Bardugo's Russian-inspired Grisha Verse trilogy that highlights Nikolai Lantsov. I recommend reading the Grisha Verse trilogy & the Six of Crows duology first to avoid confusion.
A 2018 Must-Read Young Adult pick! The first in a fantasy duology from bestselling author Bardugo is set in her familiar Grishaverse. After his country's bloody civil war, young king Nikolai Lantsov must find a way to stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet every day, a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built.
OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over
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