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King of Scars (King of Scars Duology Book 1) by [Leigh Bardugo]

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King of Scars (King of Scars Duology Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 9,786 ratings

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Popular Highlights in this book

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–In the three years since Ravka's civil war, Nikolai Lanstov has kept his country afloat despite the arduous toll the warfare had on him. To surrounding nations, Ravka looks to be rebuilding, however, as a darkness inside Nikolai revives its flame, no amount of defense, alliances, or money can ensure a prosperous future for his country. With threats amassing Ravka's borders, a bastard king, a stone-cold commander, and a Saint among relics must be thieves and fast in order to keep their country from crumbling. Bardugo hits the mark with a delicious convergence of Grishaverse characters in this new chapter for Ravka. Fan favorite Nikolai receives a brilliant first act in his long-awaited duology, as privateer-turned-king proves it takes more than blood to make a strong ruler. Espionage and strife set the tone of the novel as Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina struggle to remember who they are within a field of fierce political rivalries. Owning their stories becomes integral to success as king, commander, and Saint confront their own demons. The sharp dialogue and lovable characters continue to enthrall and bewitch long past the final chapter. VERDICT With twists and revelations cleverly dispersed up until the very last page, this novel is a must-have for any book shelf.—Emily Walker, Lisle Library District, IL --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


"[Bardugo] touches on religion, class, family, love ― all organically, all effortlessly, all cloaked in the weight of a post-war reckoning with the cost (literal and figurative) of surviving the events that shape both people and nations." ―NPR

"Dark, beautifully written, and full of characters who instantly get inside of your head, the first book in this new duology is an instant classic." ―

"Why You’ll Love It: … Leigh Bardugo continues to breathe new life into her lush fantasy world, and it’s impossible to resist reading every single one.
For Fans of: Fantasy authors like Susan Dennard and Sabaa Tahir." ―

"A richly detailed and refreshingly diverse world inhabited by individuals who, for all their magical talents, are resonantly human." ―
The Washington Post

"Deadly clever political intrigue, heart-stopping adventure, memorable characters, and several understated, hinted-at romances (how will we wait?!) come together in one glorious, Slavic-folklore infused package. Bardugo's star continues to rise." ―
Booklist, starred review

"The sharp dialogue and lovable characters continue to enthrall and bewitch long past the final chapter. With twists and revelations cleverly dispersed up until the very last page, this novel is a must-have for any book shelf." ―School Library Journal, starred review

Praise for the Grishaverse

“A master of fantasy.” ―
The Huffington Post
“Utterly, extremely bewitching.” ―
The Guardian
“The best magic universe since Harry Potter.” ―
“This is what fantasy is for.” ―
The New York Times Book Review
“[A] world that feels real enough to have its own passport stamp.” ―NPR
“The darker it gets for the good guys, the better.” ―
Entertainment Weekly
“Sultry, sweeping and picturesque. . . . Impossible to put down.” ―
USA Today
“There’s a level of emotional and historical sophistication within Bardugo’s original epic fantasy that sets it apart.” ―
Vanity Fair
“Unlike anything I’ve ever read.” ―Veronica Roth, bestselling author of
“Bardugo crafts a first-rate adventure, a poignant romance, and an intriguing mystery!” ―Rick Riordan, bestselling author of the Percy Jackson series
“This is a great choice for teenage fans of George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien.” ―
RT Book Reviews

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07C25Z679
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Imprint (January 29, 2019)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 29, 2019
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 21426 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 527 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 9,786 ratings

About the author

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Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse (now a Netflix original series) 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 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:

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
9,786 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2020
112 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leigh Bardugo is the Queen We All Need
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2019
5/5 Stars

“If men were ashamed when they should be, they’d have no time for anything else.” ~ Leigh Bardugo

KING OF SCARS was my most anticipated read of 2019, and it did not disappoint. For those who haven’t yet been introduced to the Grishaverse, get acquainted (start with the Shadow and Bone trilogy, then move on to the Six of Crows duology), then find your way back here. Also, know that I’m jealous you get to read these fabulous books with fresh eyes.

For those who don’t know, Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors of all time. I literally took the day off work to start in on King of Scars. When it arrived, I ran to the door, grabbed the package from off the floor (while the astounded Amazon deliveryman stared at me with wide, blinking eyes) and started to scream. I mean, little kid on Christmas scream. Between these giggles and high pitched shrieks, I thanked the man, dashed inside, and continued to dance around my living room and kitchen, clutching the package and hopping up and down like a little bird trying to take flight. I was that excited.

I was this excited because Leigh Bardugo, without fail, writes stories I want to read, stories I feel were made just for me. Her characters are rich and her world building beautiful. She explores things I’m interested in: different cultures and customs; different languages; different relationships; different loves. But most of all, she is honest. Her writing is honest, and so are her realities. Even in a fantasy realm, she doesn’t cop-out. She doesn’t engage in dishonest tropes and parlor tricks simply to appease the masses. She keeps it real. Oh, and she’s funny. Did I mention how funny her writing can be?

King of Scars was no different. Within the first chapter, I was transported. Whisked away, back to Ravka, back to Nikolai, back to the home of the Grisha. I loved King of Scars because it was familiar in a way that Leigh’s writing has become familiar to me. It’s not only the characters, but it’s the truth she speaks. It’s a familiarity that changes, too evolving naturally, because Leigh is one of those writers who seems to always get better. With every story she spins, I see her evolution as a writer, and to me, that is more enchanting even than the Grishaverse. Leigh is the kind of author I aspire to be. And King of Scars is the kind of book I want to write. Let’s just hope that when I do, I can get a cover half as eye catching!
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89 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2019
60 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Nilda Brandao
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossível não ler até o final
Reviewed in Brazil on March 16, 2019
57 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to the Grishaverse, but a bit meandering and disjointed in parts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2019
12 people found this helpful
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Fantasy Geek
5.0 out of 5 stars Another rock solid addition..
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2019
12 people found this helpful
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Books by Becci
5.0 out of 5 stars Great spin off, letting the best supporting characters shine.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2019
5 people found this helpful
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Kristel Greer
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster of emotion, action and shocking surprises
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 1, 2021
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Kristel Greer
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster of emotion, action and shocking surprises
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 1, 2021
King Nikolai Lantsov survived the Ravkan civil war with more than just scars. The Darkling turned him into one of his creatures and though the Darkling was defeated, a remnant of the darkness still resides inside him. He fights daily for control but his grip is slipping. Together with his loyal and tenacious General Zoya, they search for a way to rid him of the demon while keeping his secret hidden.

Fjerdan armies are readying at the Ravkan borders and threatening to expose his dubious parentage. He may not be a true Lantsov but he is the King Ravka needs. He is inventive, determined and has the ability to make the impossible possible. With weakened defences, depleted finances and a new threat to his Grisha soldiers to contend with, Nikolai must form new alliances if he is to have any chance of keeping his throne and protecting his people.

Nikolai must wed to solidify his throne but his affection for Zoya grows daily and he can't bear to be apart from her. Zoya in turn harbours feelings for her King but knows that duty to Ravka comes first and she can never be with him. She must face the scars from her own past in order to find the strength to save the Grisha from those who hunt them. As Nikolai faces down his personal and physical demons, those closest to him must do the same. Will their secrets remain hidden or will the darkness find a way to make itself known and destroy all their hopes for the future?

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. Just when I thought the GrishaVerse reached its peak with the Six of Crows duology, this book shows up and blows my mind. Nikolai is my favourite character from Shadow & Bone so I was delighted to delve into his backstory and see how his story developed afterwards. His flirtatiousness and resilience hasn’t dampened and I loved how passionate he is about life, his creations and his quest to defend Ravka. This book was a rollercoaster of emotion, action and shocking surprises. There was never a dull moment. I adore all these characters but I worry where they will end up in the sequel. Leigh isn't shy about bringing the pain.
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