Review: King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo

I have been waiting for this book for so long! I was so exited that i bought it on my kindle so I could start straight away, but then also got a delightful signed copy sent to me as well!

Title: King of Scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy

Age Classification: YA

Publisher: Hachette

Release: January 29, 2019


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, 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.

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 Squaller, 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.


I love Nikolai. I have loved Nikolai ever since we first met him in the original Grisha series. So when I found out that Bardguo was writing a duology about Nikolai, my little fangirl heart soared. And, in short – I loved it.

Were there things that I didn’t like about it? Yes. But on a whole was I impressed with the story and the characters? Yes. Let’s focus mainly on what I did like!

Nikolai – he is your perfectly imperfect prince, made even more so by the creature living inside him. His inner turmoil is written so beautifully that I just melted and felt for him completely.
Zoya – I really didn’t like her much in the Grisha series. Well, not that I didn’t like her, I was more impartial. But in this series shes taken much more of a front seat – as you would expect the most powerful Squaller to – and she absolutely kills as a main character.
Nina – one character that I loved in Six of Crows, but didn’t love as much in this. Without spoiling anything, I just felt like her character was a little forced in this one. The sass that I fell in love with was falling flat.

The story – I could read a story about Nikolai sitting in meetings all day, and I would still love it. Luckily, we see more than just meetings though! Bardugo has created situations and characters that even set in an imaginary world, still seem relevant and draw the reader in, making them invested in what happens. And even in an imaginary world, she reminds us of the characters humanity with touches of dry humour, found in quotes like:
In Nikolai’s experience, honesty was like herbal tea – something well-meaning people recommended when they were out of better options
‘”Everything tastes like doom,” he whispered.
Then add salt.”‘

It may just be me, but there was no way that I could have imagined what would’ve happened at the end. I was taken completely by surprise, and would have thrown my kindle at the wall – if I wasn’t worried about breaking the wall and/or my kindle. And after reading the last page in the book, I desperately need the next book to find out what happens next – because can there be any more of a cliffhanger?

This book gets a solid 4.5 stars from me! I am absolutely needing the next book, like now!

Grab a copy here 🙂

What are some quotes that have stood out to you when reading a book? Do you write them down? Photograph them? Mark them in your kindle?

Happy readings!

– B x

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