King of Scars: Honestly the name says it all… A book about Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina!!!!

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo book cover
Series Number: 1
Page Count: 527
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…

Non-Spoiler Review

I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for this book!!!! Nikolai has always always always been my favorite in the Grisha Series. I mean c'mon, I was totally #TeamNikolai. But really, his personality, his humor, his cleverness, everything about him makes him the best character ever. Plus, Leigh Bardugo is an amazing genius. I went ahead and reread the whole Grishaverse series and fell completely in love with it again. I only read the Shadow and Bone series once about 5 years ago, and Six of Crows twice. All these books were amazing. I will be posting an overview late of my reread. Anyways, back to this gem of a book. 

Also, can I just say... THAT. ENDING!!!!! Wow!!!! 

We have 3 POVs in King of Scars. They are Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina. Every single POV was amazing. I got lost in each of their stories and I really loved being in these characters heads. All this takes place right after Crooked Kingdom. We got a little of Nina's perspective in the Six of Crows Duology, but it was nice to be with her again. She had so much going on in this book, with the added grief of Matthias, which killed me every time.  I loved that she was with some of the Grisha from the Shadow and Bone series and helping her people.

I really enjoyed learning more about Zoya. Of course in Shadow and Bone, I disliked her immensely, but honestly who didn't. But towards the end of the series, I really started to like her. We get a touch of her in SOC, which was so awesome. She is pretty much Nikolai's right-hand woman and I love her so much in this book. We finally get to know a lot more about Zoya's history and her life before she came to the little palace and became who she is now. She has so much character development in KOS. I really loved her connection with Nina as well. So much goes on in her POV! It gets really crazy.

Last but not least, my absolute favorite, Nikolai. His POV was my favorite one of course, even though I pretty much loved them all equally.  Like Zoya's POV, we get to learn more about Nikolai. His history and all his feelings he had during SOB. And of course, as we know from SOB, he is still dealing with what happened to him then. I think one thing I really love about Nikolai is there is so much more to him than what you think. I'm a sucker for those types of characters. We see all the struggles he is having, especially since there are some seriously crazy events that take place in this book. If you didn't love Nikolai in SOB, you will definitely love him in this book.

I am so GLAD that Leigh Bardugo decided to keep going with this series, and she picked the perfect characters to do it with. 

I absolutely recommend this book to everyone! Please go read and come back and chat with me about it! I also want to add that the audiobook was amazing. We get the same narrators from SOB and SOC, plus a new person. It was perfection! I also HIGHLY recommend you to read all the books in the Grishaverse before reading this one. It's definitely worth your while, and there are spoilers for both books in this one. 


Spoilery Review


Spoilers Ahead












There is so much to say about this book. It took me a lot longer to finish but I think it's because I wanted to savor it. I knew it was going to hard to finish this book and not get any Grisha anything for another year. The reread of all the other Grisha books were so good and I am so glad that I did them before reading this baby. I tried to keep my notes short but it was insanely hard to do!

  • The opening scene got me real good. I seriously had to rewind it and relisten to it. I didn't even realize that the shadowy figure was Nikolai and was confused because I thought he was fixed after the Darkling was killed. Obviously, I was wrong. 
  • Oh, Nina. Her part was just so dang sad. I absolutely love her. Matthias being gone is so hard. Especially since I just did the reread the wound his death caused in me was still fresh. I loved that Adrick was with her. If it wasn't for my reread I  don't think I would have remembered who he was.
  • I love love love Nikolai! Him still turning broke my heart. 
  • I loved reading about my old favorites again. It made me so emotional. Just hearing their names makes me cry. Genya, David, Zoya, Tamar, and Tolya. I wasn't happy to still see the Apparat around though. He is still stupid as he always was. 
  • So my hope is that Zoya and Nikolai get together. Not sure how that would work, especially with Nikolai being king, but it would be pure awesomeness. You could tell they both have some feeling for each other.
  • I got so sad when Nikolai talked about missing Alina and I loved that he really did have feelings for her. When I first read the Grisha series I was total #TeamNikolai. But this second time around I saw why Alina and Mal were perfect for each other. Even though I still think Alina and Nikolai would have been amazing together. I always loved them and their banter.
  • The scene with Nikolai the monster attacking Zoya was intense. And how the heck did Zoya hear the Darklings voice... craziness.
  • The new cult is crazy. I loved how that Yuri was so happy to see David, Zoya, and Genya and they all shut him down! And when David said to him that if he ever hurts his wife again he would kill him, that was one of the best lines ever. Especially coming from David. I absolutely love these people.
  • Nina's part was getting crazy. I loved that she met that new Grisha, Hanna. I was excited to see what happens to them.
  • The Darkling.. back... I don't know, that's insane.
  • So as crazy in the head Yuri and his cult are, there seems to be some truth to what they know. The Shu trying to kill Zoya and them was scary. I was scared someone we love would die. So awesome that Nikolai was able to save Zoya, but that also meant that Yuri saw him change!
  • Yuri was completely driving me crazy! 
  • I loved that Zoya decided to go off on that guy and show him some power, I was getting so tired of these idiots But what happened after was insane!!! 
  • The saints! This book just kept getting crazier and crazier! I hated that Zoya's amplifier broke. It meant so much to her. 
  • These saints are so interesting. I like them all after the initial meeting. I like Lizabeta, she seems pretty nice. I'm not sure about Juris yet, and Grigori is super interesting to me.
  •  I couldn't believe that Juris wanted Zoya to become ruler, but the more that I thought about it I see why. She has the heart to lead and she would be a great leader. I loved how Juris trained her and helped her cultivate her insane power without the amplifier. 
  • I loved the scene of Grigori sending his little bear over there to Nikolai and them having such a great conversation. How interesting these saints are. Such an amazing story. 
  • I really did think that with Zoya's help Nikolai could defeat the little bit of the darkling inside of him. I knew that he had feelings for her! 
  • Wow, the warehouse with all those Grisha women and children was so sad. I can't believe that this was going on in Fjerda. I was so glad that Nina didn't get caught!
  • Leoni! She is the little girl that Jasper's mom saved and ended up dying because she took too much of the poison into her body. I couldn't believe it. For Jasper, I  cried my eyes out. I couldn't believe that Nina didn't catch that because I'm pretty sure she heard Jasper's story. 
  • When Leoni and Adrick decided to help I was so happy. I just hoped that they were careful.
  • When Nina tells Hanna everything I really hoped that she would take it well. She seems like someone that will be a really good friend and help Nina. 
  • Isaac!!!! I loved Isaac and was so glad that we got him as another POV. I really loved how the crew back home knew what to do. Obviously, Nikolai had this in place if something crazy happened to him but they got the perfect person to help. I liked Isaak immediately. 
  • Even though he had his doubts, I think that Isaak did a pretty dang good job being Nikolai. No one questioned him so that was good. But Genya, David, Tamar, and Toyla did a great job working with him and helping him. 
  • I knew he was going to fall in love with that girl. 
  • Bardugo just kept the surprises coming in this book. Hanna was Jarl Brum's daughter!!!! I did not see that one coming at all. Jarl Brum is the worst person ever. He was in Six of Crows and I'm sure he will be in this series. 
  • I was so glad that Hanna still wanted to help Nina and that she was able to change some of her own features. 
  • Man, hearing more of Zoya's story breaks my heart. Poor Zoya having to deal with Liliana dying like that. I knew someone she loved died during the Darklings craziness because it was the reason she went to Alina's side. But that had to be so horrible for Zoya. 
  • And if I didn't love Zoya more, that tiger story definitely put me there. 
  • So I knew Isaak had feelings for Ehri. I just kept wondering how this as going to pan out because Nikolai cannot die, so he will be coming back. Then what happens to them. They seemed so perfect together. 
  • Finally the day we have all been scared about, Nikolai facing his demon. 
  • Him and Zoya's conversation before he tries. Why didn't they just finish talking to each other? 
  • I was so so so scared that Nikolai was going to succumb to all his thoughts. In the back of my head, I knew he wouldn't, but I was still scared. I knew though that Nikolai is so strong and is a fighter. 
  • NOOOO!!! That part was insane. Lizabeta wants to raise the Darkling back!! She wants power and was going to use Nikolai to do it. What the friggin crap!!!!
  • Nina! They got them but still nothing. Crud!!! Everyone's POV was getting crazy. 
  • Wow, the scene with Juris and Zoya was so intense. Her killing him to use him as an amplifier was so smart though. I know it was so hard for her though. 
  • Nina is seriously the best. It was so sad what she had to do but all those people calling out to those they thought were dead was also super sad. I loved that she shaped the tree in bones. Everyone there believed it was from Djel. I cried my butt off this entire part. 
  • I also couldn't stop crying when Gregori was killed by Lizabeta because he was trying to help Nikolai. Man Lizabeta sucks. 
  • I knew Zoya could do it! It was super insane though. 
  • I was so happy that Hanna wasn't too mad at Zoya. Zoya has a lot to explain to her but I think that Hanna is going to be a great ally and friend. My heart was so happy.
  • Nina is seriously a genius and I loved that the people called Adrick, Adrick the Uneven!!!!
  • I hated that Nina wasn't going back, but I had a feeling she wouldn't. Her work there is not finished. 

Or you could just let me Kick him in the head for the next hour. 

  • Nina saying that was hilarious. I was so so happy that they escaped! 
  • Okay, once again Bardugo does it!!! Ehri is going to kill Isaak. I would have never guessed it and I couldn't believe it as it was happening. Like even though I was listening to this happen, I still couldn't believe it. I was making all kinds of scenarios of why this was happening and how Isaak had to survive. 
  • NOOOO!!!! She actually killed him. I cried like a baby. 
  • Man, it just didn't stop!! She wasn't actually the princess. Wow. My mind was blown. 
  • I was so glad that Hanna and Nina are going to stay together. I can't wait to see what happens next with those 2.
  • Isaak dying broke my heart. 
  • Well, that was a crazy plot to kill the king. Oh Nikolai, how smart he is that he figured it all out so quickly. 
  • What the literal heck. I could not believe that ending. The Darkling is back in Yuri's body!!!!!!! What a friggin ending!!!!! 

Queen Bardugo did it again!!! I can't wait for the next book!!!!! I need it now!!!!!!!


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