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King Of Scars Book Review

King of Scars

King of Scars  
Author: Leigh Bardugo    
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 519
Publication date: 29 January 2019

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, 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.

King of Scars IG pic

King of Scars is Nikolai’s story set in Ravka. I’d recommend reading the Shadow and Bone series and Six of Crows before reading this series. I loved this book. Let’s face it, I am going to love every book that has Nikolai in it. I loved this book from the beginning to the end and that’s an insane cliffhanger in the end. I loved so many things about this book but there are some parts that I had issues with.

The Characters


Nikolai pic
Photo credits: @Ilik_art

“I am the monster and the monster is me.”

Oh Nikolai, my love. He was the best part of this book. I still feel surreal that we are getting a new series about him! His storyline was very interesting with the monster inside him (Darkling’s blessing) going out of control every day. His wit and charm have won my heart from his first appearance in Siege and Storm, and he keeps winning my heart even more with every scene. He is facing plenty of troubles – the monster inside him which is growing stronger with every day,  the Lantsov pretenders who are trying to dethrone him – even amid all these, he maintains a cheery and hopeful outlook. He deeply cares for the Ravka and its people which makes me admire him as the king of Ravka.

Zoya Nazyalenksy

Zoya Nazyalenksy pic
Photo credits: @minta_art

I loved Zoya which was quite unexpected. I thought she was annoying as hell in the Shadow and Bone series but in this book, she is put under different light and I cannot adore but adore her. Caustic, badass, hard from the outside as well as inside, she is quite a hell of a character who I sympathized with as we get a lot of back story about her early life. Once a Darkling pleaser, now she is the Royal Guard. Everything that happened to her in this book was amazing and I liked that part of the book a lot.


He is just a guard but he plays a very important role in this story. I don’t have any strong opinion about him but it was fascinating to see him play the role which he did in this book.

The plot was very solid and engaging despite the slow pacing. The characters brought the story to life. So much is at stake for everyone here. The monster inside Nikolai, Nina, and her friends on a mission to save other Grishas, the cult of worshipping the Saints, the Saints themselves, everything was very fascinating and engaging to read.

I can see two love stories are starting to take form and I AM HERE FOR IT! I love how Leigh Bardugo makes two people fall for each other in such a slow-burning and subtle way. I ship Nikolai and Zoya, and Nina and Hanne so damn much that if they won’t end up together I will start a riot!

The humor and the side characters

Even though a lot was at stake, but this book was so funny at times. Also, the side characters are always so delightful to read about.

Nina’s POV

Nina pic
Photo credits: @dianadworak

I like Nina but I don’t understand her POV. There are four POVs in this book: Nikolai, Zoya, Isaak, and Nina. While I loved Nikolai’s and Zoya’s POV, and also found Isaak’s POV to be important, I did not like Nina’s POV. She is trying to save some Grishas with her friends Leoni, Hanne, and Adrik. This part of the story was not connected with the story of Nikolai and Zoya. I am sure Nina would play a crucial role for Nikolai in the next book but her story in this book felt unrelated to the main story and it appeared like a different story. Even though I did enjoy her mission of saving Grishas, but her POV felt like an interruption between the Nikolai and Zoya’s chapters.

This book was slow-paced in my opinion. It was very character-driven and I wished there was a little bit more action. I did enjoy the dialogues and the backstories immensely but I just wished there was more action.

For a slow-paced book and everything that took time to happen, the last few chapters felt very very rushed. Just like my review.

Despite the negatives, the good parts surpass the bad parts by a hundred degrees. I adored this book and I cannot wait for Rule of Wolves!

My rating : 4.75 out of 5 stars.

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