Title: King of Scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Release date: January 29, 2019

Book details: Book 1 of 2: King of Scars Duology

Pages: 604



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 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.


I decided to read King of Scars because I loved Six of Crows and I wanted to read more about Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina. I loved Nina in Six of Crows and wanted to read more about her journey and how she will heal after Matthias’s death.

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

King of Scars is the story of Nikolai, a king who had the role to heal his country after the war and to protect his country from another war. I loved Nikolai because he wants to be better than his father and he wishes to be a good king for his country. Nikolai also had a personal journey, he needs to heal his emotional scars and get rid of the monster inside him or to control him. He is really a great character.

Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve. You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself.”

Zoya, the woman who wants the best for her country and she wants to protect Grisha and the people she loves. Zoya is a strong woman who is afraid of falling but she’s not afraid to fight for her country or sacrifice herself for her king. I admired her strength and her determination to help Nikolai and to save her country.

The romance between Zoya and Nikolai is beautiful and is slowly building. I loved the banter between them and how they work together for their country.

“I don’t like that word,” Nina said, advancing. “Call me Grisha. Call me zowa. Call me death, if you like.”

I loved Nina in Six of Crows and I loved her relationship with Matthias. In King of Scars, Nina is sad and she is ready for revenge. He is trying to let go of Matthias and she is trying to heal and to continue her life without him. At the same time, she is trying to save Grisha and to help her king.

I enjoyed King of Scars and right now I’m currently reading Rule of Wolves. Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors and I recommend everyone to read this book or any book of hers.  

Buy King of Scars


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About the author

Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse (coming to Netflix in April) which spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Ninth House (Goodreads Choice Winner for Best Fantasy 2019) which is being developed for television by Amazon Studios.

Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, and graduated from Yale University. These days she lives and writes in Los Angeles. For information on new releases and appearances, sign up for Leigh’s newsletter.

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