Review: King of Scars (#1) by Leigh Bardugo

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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.

This was actually my second time reading this book, but the first time I read it I hadn’t read the Grisha trilogy. Let me tell you now, I would definitely recommend reading the Grishaverse books in order of release, and that is what I’ve been doing this time around and it is so much better! I really enjoyed the story of this one the first time around, even though it spoiled the ending of the Grisha trilogy for me. However, I loved reading it so much more this time because I had these characters fresh in my mind and their backstories.

Nikolai is my favourite character from the Grisha trilogy so I really enjoyed reading about his storyline continuing in King of Scars! He is such a witty and sarcastic character who I adore and his one-liners always make me laugh/smile. I also love the story of Nina which continues in King of Scars, and I find her storyline my favourite of all of them. Her story also really makes me emotional, especially at the start of this book!

Most of us can hide our greatest hurts and longings. It’s how we survive each day. 

I actually found this a little harder to get into than I expected considering I’ve been reading the Grisha books back to back. I did find the first time it took me around 250 pages to get in to, and this time it was more like 100 pages. However, once I got into this story I just adored it. It also took me a while to adjust to all of the points of view, especially considering we have a new character and a new point of view from someone else in the Grisha trilogy.

I really enjoyed the plot of this book, especially Isaak, Zoya and Nina’s points of view. Sadly, and surprisingly to me, I felt a little disconnected from Nikolai’s character and story in this one. I think this may be due to what is actually happening to him throughout this book, as it felt kind of natural to be a little disconnected from him because of the events.

We pretend the pain isn’t there, that we are made of scars instead of wounds.

I must say I really enjoyed this one but it didn’t quite have the same emotional impact or connection for me as the Six of Crows series does. I loved the plot, the characters and it kept me on the edge of my seat, but just didn’t quite reach 5 stars for me! I can’t wait to finally be able to read Rule of Wolves and see what I think.

4.5 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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One thought on “Review: King of Scars (#1) by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Pingback: May Wrap-Up + June TBR – The Books are Everywhere

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