King of Scars

King of Scars

Book - 2019 | First edition, 2019.
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Book 1 of a duology. No one knows what Nikolai Lantsov endured in his country's bloody civil war. Now enemies gather at his weakened borders, and 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. Zoya Nazyalensky is devoted to rebuilding the army -- but she also has enemies to conquer. Nina Zenik wages her own war to save the Grisha -- and must face the pain of her past. As a dark magic within Nikolai grows stronger, he must journey where the deepest magic survives -- and vanquish the terrible legacy inside him.
Publisher: New York : Imprint, 2019.
Edition: First edition, 2019.
ISBN: 9781250142283
1250142288
9781250231079
1250231078
Branch Call Number: BARDU
Characteristics: 514 pages : map ; 24 cm.

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0Charlie Jul 23, 2020

I am enjoying the Grishaverse series - Shadow and Bone & Six of Crows - and the characters continue to be interesting. It is best to have read the other works as there is a lot of reference to characters and history that has come before. And just so you know, the story does not finish with t... Read More »


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JHope24601
Sep 11, 2020

I had waited a while to read this book, and after hearing so much praise for it I went into it with really high expectations (and really excited because Nikolai was my favorite character from Leigh's original trilogy). Unfortunately, this book didn't completely meet those expectations. It was still very well written, and I enjoyed revisiting old characters, but the multiple points of view just didn't flow very well together or at least Nina's didn't. Nikolai's and Zoya's fit fairly well, but Nina's just felt like an entirely different story was taking place and really added not very much to the plot aside from some closure from Crooked Kingdom (if you know, you know). The book also felt longer than necessary. I think it would have flowed better if had truly been a Nikolai book... which it was but it wasn't? That was one of the main reasons I was excited to read the book was to delve more into his character, but it just didn't deliver in the way I was expecting. Leigh is most definitely a wonderful and talented author, but I just wasn't as impressed with King of Scars as I was with Six of Crows or even the original Grishaverse books. Here's hoping the sequel is better.

0Charlie Jul 23, 2020

I am enjoying the Grishaverse series - Shadow and Bone & Six of Crows - and the characters continue to be interesting. It is best to have read the other works as there is a lot of reference to characters and history that has come before. And just so you know, the story does not finish with this work. I look forward to the next in the series. Teen and fantasy.

Okay, I’m sorry...WHAT WAS THAT ENDING!!!

I'm still recovering, but I need to get these emotions out somehow, so here we go.

For the first third of this book, this was a 3 star read for me, and I was extremely saddened by that. Then, for the next third, it was a 4. But that ending? The last third of the book? 5 stars ALL THE WAY. I feel like 4.5 is a good compromise.

King of Scars picks up three years after the ending of the original Grisha trilogy. Nikolai Lantsov is king of Ravka, Zoya Nazyalensky is his commander, and Nina Zenik is working a mission in Fjerda, combining all kinds of aspects of her personality including wonderful cinnamon roll and spy who learned from the best in the ultimate way to make me emotional and want to cry. But I digress: the reason that this was only a 3 star read for those first 150 pages is because nothing. Happens. I kept waiting for something to grab my attention and make me go "okay, this is what we're doing, I get it now" and it just...didn't...for way too long. That first third is so meandering, so ultimately boring that I had to pick up another book to read in between. It took me forever to get into it, and by the time I convinced myself to just soldier on, I was about to get into the real meat of the book, and thank god for that.

Finally, things start to pick up when Nina finds a "munitions" factory in a small Fjerdan town, and the mystery surrounding stolen girls and poisoned water begins to get more complex. Nikolai and Zoya head out on a tour of Ravka, and shit hits the fan, and I will say nothing more because what follows is so out there, so very Leigh Bardugo-esque that anything I say will give too much away.

What drives this book, like all of Leigh's others, is the characters at its heart. Nikolai is so wonderful. He's a smartass to the utmost degree, but he's got such a heart, such a sense of duty to his country that his comments try so hard to mask. The darkness only makes him more intriguing and more able to completely break my heart with a word. The dynamic between him and Zoya made me want to bawl. I love her with my entire being; learning her backstory was one of the ultimate highlights of this book to me. I want to sit with her and just let her talk to me for twenty seven days straight. And Nina. My baby Nina. I actually did bawl at a few points because of her. She is so strong and smart and utterly herself. And Isaak, the last of the four viewpoints here, despite being introduced only in the second half of the book, quickly also stole a piece of my heart. His story is heartbreaking.

So, plot-wise, this one was not Leigh's strongest. Character-wise, it has everything I want from one of her books: it sucks you in, unequivocally and unapologetically, and doesn't let you go until the last shocking, devastating words.

k
kgw997
May 03, 2020

I have not yet read the Six of Crows duology, but I agree with the NPR review of that set: "..seemingly bottomless bag of felonious tricks." It makes for an interesting read, but I dislike "convenient magic" i.e. magic that appears just when you need it, and with this one the superpowers get so fantastic that at least from a power point of view the heroine is approaching a Mary Sue. And, I gave it 2-1/2 stars because the next half of the book is not out yet.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Feb 26, 2020

Another winner from Leigh Bardugo. King of Scars is a lavishly written fantasy of magic, mystery, broken people and broken countries. Once I got over the glorious cover art, I found the book to be full of suspenseful plots, engaging characters, and incredible world building. Bardugo’s dialogue and descriptions are riveting as always, and she weaves between the three main characters beautifully. Despite this, the second half of the book felt a bit rushed, and was a tad too supernatural for my liking. Nonetheless, I couldn’t put it down. The main characters are undeniably flawed, but equally charming and complex, making for intriguing perspectives. You may recognize these characters from Leigh Bardugo’s previous books, the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. Although to enjoy King of Scars it isn’t entirely necessary to read these earlier installments, I would highly recommend it— both in order to fully appreciate King of Scars, and because they’re spectacular books on their own. I loved spending time in the extraordinary world of King of Scars, and I’d rate the book at least ⅘. I hope you give it a read soon!
@Ayama of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Not as all-out exciting as the Six of Crows duology, this new Grishaverse tale still delivers the goods, edgy and engaging characters, bloody kingdom politics, and cool magic. Zoya and Nina tap into their Grisha powers in new and thrilling ways. Nikolai doesn't fret over attempts on his life or how hard it is to keep his country together. The only time King of Scars flags is when it reaches for a mystical center. The lostness of Zoya and Nikolai goes on too long, and the payoff is not there in the end. It's hard to tell what deeper truth they learned on their quest or even what the nature of the spiritual world they encounter is. Certain parts of the book didn't seem to end which made it a bit of a struggle to deal with. But it does push the story forward in the end. In the last few chapters there are so many crazy twists that it will be nearly impossible for readers to wait for Book 2. While it is still a good book, I much prefer the Six of Crows duology. Rating – 4/5.
@average_bookworm of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

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happycanuck
Jan 02, 2020

Although not quite as excellent as the previous books in this series, it was very good

n
NerdyKitty815
Dec 15, 2019

As far as Grishaverse books go, this probably wasn't my favorite, even if it was about my favorite character. I think my two main problems are the unconnected storylines and the ending. As great as Nina is, her story didn't have much to do with the other narrators', which was annoying. Still, both parts were interesting, even if the book maybe should have been split into two separate novels. I wasn't a big fan of the ending because...well, I don't want to give anything away, but him? Again? Can't he die already? And why the cliffhanger? I can't wait a year or however long it takes for the next book to come out! I need to know what happens!

k
KristinPB
Oct 17, 2019

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. :)

PimaLib_ChristineR Jun 25, 2019

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.

IndyPL_ShelbyP Jun 05, 2019

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.

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t3485tank
Oct 31, 2019

t3485tank thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

OPL_KrisC Feb 06, 2019

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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