Book Review: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

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King of Scars (King of Scars Duology #1)/ ★★★.5

“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.”

I think I have to end up giving this book 3.5 stars. Set after the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology, we take off with Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina into the next chapter of the Grishaverse.

The good- I loved getting reacquainted with these characters again. We learn previously unknown backstories in Nikolai and Zoya, and we get to see where the future is taking Nina after the events of the Six of Crow duology. I liked the budding romances- it’s mild in this book, definitely taking it slow, but I like where it’s taking us. It was the characters, really, that I loved about this book, Zoya and Nikolai especially, and I loved the introduction of Hanne in Nina’s parts of the novel. What I found most intriguing in this book was definitely the dynamics between characters- some old, some newer, and some brand new.

The bad- King of Scars just didn’t need to be as long as it is. It’s over 500 pages, but I didn’t feel like enough happened to justify it being that long, and some parts felt frivolous and unnecessary (coughIsaak’spovcough). It was entertaining, but it took some slogging through slower parts to get to the more interesting parts. The plot simply didn’t feel as tight as Leigh’s other books in this world. This book also did a lot of recap of the Grisha trilogy, which was good because I didn’t remember the finer details of those books, but sometimes it felt like a bit too much- like this book was relying more on the past for this story, than taking us forward. But since this is the first book of a duology, I’m assuming this is setting up a lot, and the next book will bring us forward. I gotta say, though- not a huge fan of the ending, but like I said, I think it relied too much on the past series to make it shocking and exciting, but I don’t like the regression- I want to move forward.

All-in-all I enjoyed this, but I think the slow pace of the plot made it tough for me to fully enjoy it. But I loved the characters and the universe, and I’m still eager and excited for the sequel.

Circe Review and Why I’ve Been Gone…

SORRY I have been gone over the last few months! Things got a little…not good…earlier this year, which I explain a bit of down below, but I have returned with a review! And some very mini mini reviews of the books I’ve read in the last few weeks. Sorry if my review writing is a little rusty….


Circe by Madeline Miller ★★★.5

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves…

I had an….interesting time with this book. I really enjoyed the first half of it, I liked Circe, I liked her kindness and her naivety even though it was a weakness to her. The pace of this book is not fast, but I read the first half very quickly, was intrigued by the way the mythology played out in Miller’s style.

Then I hit a wall. Things just got…… too slow. I’m not even going to look on Goodreads to see the dates that I started and finished this book, because it felt like years. An eternity. As long as Circe’s immortal life. Because Circe is just kind of stuck on an island and after a little while I was starting to really feel that. And if that was the point, then bravo, but if not, then, well, hmm. Much of what we learn about the outside world is summarized to us by other characters, and even then, I didn’t really care. It felt removed, and not very important or threatening to me. Circe can’t leave, Circe can’t die, she turned vengeful, but not in a way that riveted me.

But I kept going, and I ended up loving the ending. What I had enjoyed about the first half of the book seemed to return, and I felt a renewed affection for the characters, and a vivid interest in how the plot was going to wrap up. If it wasn’t for the patch in the middle where things got slow and disinteresting for me, I’d be giving this book 4 stars. As it is, even though it was a little tough to get through, I did genuinely enjoy this.

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