Book Review: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, King of Scars #1
It was so great to dive back into the Grishaverse! The Six of Crows duology was my first LB read and I thoroughly enjoyed those books, and since have been a massive fan.
King of Scars picks up not too long after the events of Crooked Kingdom. Nina is struggling to come to terms with Matthias' death, Nikolai is trying to lead his country whilst dealing with incoming threats with neighbouring nations, and Zoya is helping Nikolai to cope with his curse and leading his armies. This combination of characters is probably my favourite yet of LBs works.
My favourite part of this book is the dynamic between Nikolai and Zoya. I really wasn't a fan of Zoya in the Shadow and Bone series, but reading from her perspective you really dive into her feelings and regrets for her actions in the events before the fold was destroyed. She had such a horrendous childhood before she discovered she was Grisha, so I feel like I understand her decisions a bit better - the Darkling offered her an escape from her hellish childhood, so it's not unreasonable that she would idolise someone like that. Now, she is a fierce leader of the Ravkan army, and she is not afraid to make tough decisions and to speak up against her king. I love the respect that Nikolai and Zoya have for one another, and I'm really hoping that it develops into something more in the sequel as I think they'd be great together! Nikolai is hilarious, but he's also very suited to leadership and always has Ravka's best interests at heart.
The story was a little slow at first, but the second half of the book really picked up and left off on such a cliffhanger! I'm really looking forward to reading Rule of Wolves and seeing what happens! Also, like pretty much everyone else, I cannot wait for the release of the Shadow and Bone series! I'm curious as to how it's going to interweave the different series, as they're all in different timelines, but I'm sure it'll be amazing!
Read the summary below:
Face your demons... or feed them.
The dashing young king, 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, Nikolai 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 general, 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.