Jamie Dacyczyn's Reviews > King of Scars

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, owned-2019

4 stars. I didn't love this QUITE as much as Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom, but it was much better than the Shadow & Bone trilogy.

In some ways, this felt a little bit like Bardugo decided to take another stab at the original trilogy. She's grown a lot as a writer since then, but what's published is published.....This book gave her a chance to revisit Ravka and the best parts of the original trilogy, to show off her new writing skills in the place where they first started.

Because of that, this book would be tricky for someone new to the world to read, or for someone who's only read the SoC/CK duology. It's much more a sequel to the S&B trilogy than to the duology. I'd recommend reading BOTH the trilogy and the duology before reading this, even though I know the trilogy isn't the greatest.

I was excited to see Nina's reappearance, and to have a large part of the plot focus around her side story. I thought Zoya's character growth was interesting, though I have to admit I was a little disappointed by Nikolai. He was the most interesting character from the original trilogy, and I was hoping to see more of his swashbuckling, snarky, charming self. Alas, he was pretty defeated feeling for most of this book, as he wrestled with the literal dark monster lurking within himself. We get a few glimpses of the true Nikolai, but this book is definitely more about him struggling than about him being badass. Oh well. There's the sequel to look forward to!

Overall, I enjoyed this book...but I wasn't in love with it. It was about 100 pages too long, so portions of it felt slow and too much like flashbacks to the S&B trilogy. I felt a bit like I gulped it down because I was so excited to read it. I think I'll like it even more upon re-reads when I'm able to slow down and savor it a bit more. I think also re-reading the earlier books immediately before beginning this one would have helped because there are so many characters and moving parts.
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Reading Progress

April 30, 2018 – Shelved
April 30, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 29, 2019 – Started Reading
January 29, 2019 –
page 105
January 30, 2019 –
page 210
January 30, 2019 –
page 332
January 31, 2019 –
page 415
January 31, 2019 –
page 435
82.54% ""...and agreed that whatever the gray stuff was, it was delicious." Was that a nod to Beauty and the Beast?"
February 1, 2019 –
page 435
February 1, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
February 1, 2019 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: owned-2019

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