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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Finishing King of Scars was such an emotional experience and I’m already ready to read it all again! We had the chance to go back and see characters that we knew in the original trilogy and duology, except their on new adventures, they’re older, and their dealing with very different problems. There are so many different facets of this book that I honestly had to take a day away from it before I could figure out my thoughts to better understand what I loved so much about the story.
Perfect POV Choices
From the spoilers, we knew that Nikolai and Nina would both have POV’s. I was equally excited when I found out that Zoya also had one, because she’s a character that I loved from the Shadow and Bone trilogy and I never felt we really understood her. In King of Scars we get the chance to really see these characters again, two of whom finally have the chance to play dominant roles. It was really emotional being with Nina again now that Matthis is gone; seeing her struggle to say goodbye to him while also trying to keep her promise to help Fjerda was hard. At one point she mentions that remembering him is a punch they got every once in a while, and I felt the exact same way! Its still so hard to remember that he’s gone and won’t be coming back.
I also loved that Nikolai and Zoya were on a separate mission for part of the story; we really got the chance to see them as individual characters while also better understanding their relationship as King and Commander. We also got the introduction of a new character, Isaak, who is such a sweetheart and I loved reading his perspective. He gives a more innocent view of the Grishaverse, especially since we have jumped ahead (I’m guessing about a year or so since Six of Crows) and it’s important that we have some fresh eyes to help us understand what Ravka looks like now.
So Many Interesting Storylines
While there are many good storylines in this book, I was the most interested in reading the interactions between Nikolai and Zoya and better understanding their characters. I have found both of them incredibly appealing in their previous appearances so this was a wonderful reading experience. Nina’s mission in Fjerda is really cool because it overlaps with characters that we’ve previously seen or have been referred to (hint: Jesper) and we get to see how Nina has developed much more control of her new abilities. That said, it’s was Nikolai and Zoya that I kept wanting to spend time with, largely because I’m really hoping that we get more of a romantic relationship between them. Them as a couple is not necessarily what Ravka needs for a king and queen, but it’s what my heart wants and I really hope we get to see them together because that would be amazing!
Leigh Bardugo excels in giving us really wonderful cliffhangers at the end of her stories and this book is no exception! I wasn’t overly surprised by some of the things that happened in this story (plans are disrupted, chaos ensues, etc) but it was clear that she was going to bring in something to completely throw everyone off balance. But wow, that last page and a half of the book was so insane that I could feel my eyes widen as I was reading. I’m not going to give any spoilers, but this is definitely one of the biggest surprises she’s given to us and I am incredibly excited to find out where the stories going to go next.
I loved this book! I love that we are seeing some of these characters again and some for the very first time, and I cannot wait to see where the story brings us next. I would really suggest that people read the Shadow and Bone series and the Six of Crows duology before reading this book; it will just make it an easier experience for you because these are mostly characters we’ve met before. You need the foundation of those series to understand why Nikolai is fighting so many battles, why are certain people on certain sides, etc. That said, I would recommend this book to absolutely everybody because it’s clear to me it’s the beginning of an amazing journey!
FINAL RATING: 5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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