As much fun as I found the majority of this book, I’ll admit it has it’s slow parts. It was also weird reading this without reading Crooked Kingdom first. King of Scars is very spoilery for that book. I already knew several of the major spoilers, but still…reading without the full knowledge was odd.
(Also, there are definitely spoilers for the previous Grishaverse books below.)
King of Scars is a continuation of Nikolai, Zoya & Nina’s story. For Nikolai and Zoya, that means dealing with the after effects of magic still lingering from the Darkling’s reign. For Nina that means being undercover in Fjerda, helping Grisha in hiding.
Nikolai is still the beast the Darkling made him to be. The opening is chilling, where you see him as a monster from the eyes of a boy on a farm. Bardugo excels at cold openings, when she chooses to use them. This was no exception.
The curse is getting worse. No matter what contingencies are put in place, Nikolai morphs into the monster at night, without warning. He shouldn’t be escaping, but he does. Zoya is now one of closest advisors and protectors, and usually the one to find him when he escapes. The two end up on a quest to rid Nikolai of his curse once and for all.
Nina, though barely connected to the rest of the narrations, discovers key information about the Fjerda plot against Grishas. The horrors she encounters are gut-wrenching, and undoubtedly connected to a larger plot at hand.
Romance quietly simmers beneath the surface for all narrators involved.
Then, we get the most delightful ending. Almost as delightful as the one in The Wicked King. I’m not sure where this series can go next, seeing as where the Grishaverse has already been, but I’m truly excited for it.