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. 

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.


It’s been a long time coming but I’ve finally read King of Scars. I feel like I’ve been including it in my to be read posts for a while and now I’ve finally gotten around to it. 

After watching the second season of Shadow and Bone, I was so excited to dive back into the Grishaverse. I already knew a little about this story so I kind of knew what to expect, but I actually really enjoyed it still. 

Nikolai was absolutely my favourite character in the original trilogy and I love him even more in King of Scars. Although, it didn’t feel like he had that many chapters in the book. Not that I’m complaining because the rest of the chapters were taken by Zoya and Nina and I also really love them. 

Well, in the original trilogy, I didn’t like Zoya very much but I have to say, she’s one of my favourites now (thanks to the show). She’s so powerful and such a badass, I love her. Especially, when she and Nikolai have their little flirtatious back and forth. 

Although Zoya’s chapters were my favourite, it was very interesting to see how Nina was handling everything after the end of Crooked Kingdom. I love her new power and it was cool to see her use it even if it was only in small doses. It was also nice to see her find purpose and happiness again.

The plot was a little slow, but still very exciting. You could definitely feel the tension rising and the suspense of whether or not Nikolai will lose control and go on a killing spree was palpable. Is it bad that I actually wanted him to lose control a little? I wanted to see Zoya do some really powerful small science in that situation. I will make no comment on whether she does that at any other point – just know, she is now the coolest Grisha to ever live (in my opinion). 

You also get to meet some interesting new characters and I can’t wait to see where their stories go in the next book. I’ll try to not let the months slip away before I start the next one, but I can’t promise anything.

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