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King of Scars

Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
Series: The Nikolai Lantsov Duology, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

Non-member price: $41.73

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Publisher's Summary

Face your demons...or feed them. 

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, the young king 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 Squaller, 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. 

Enter the Grishaverse with this new novel from number-one New York Times best-selling author Leigh Bardugo. 

"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)

©2019 Leigh Bardugo (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Whether listeners are coming to this universe of demons and saints for the first time or the sixth, [narraotr Lauren] Fortgang is the perfect guide through a fictional countryside full of hard-to-pronounce places in the snowy north of some alternate version of Eastern Europe. The accents range from Russian to Czech to American. Fortgang's linguistic gifts trick listeners into thinking this book has multiple narrators. As the characters unearth their inner darkness and inner light, Fortgang's narration drips with both sorrow and love. The breathtaking ending begs those who are new to the universe to start at the beginning and those who have returned to start again." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Alycat

So I’ve read the entire grisha series, and both 6 of crows books so I’m a huge fan of Leigh’s writing. However, this was my least favourite book out of all of them. I found the story slow and dull. I will still be reading the next one though. So I’m hoping it will be good. Overall not a bad book, but compared to the other 5, it’s ok.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Another stunning story

I love Leigh Bardugo, her characters and plot are always moving and thrilling. Without giving away too much, I'm so excited to see an old character come back!

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  • 匿名
  • 28-02-2019

Expected more from the story.

The story was dragging at the beginning and, maybe, during the middle parts too.
But, lo and behold, that ending was redeeming.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Shilo
  • 03-02-2019

like black velvet and dark chocolate

Listening to Lauren Fortgang read Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse is like wrapping yourself in black velvet and eating dark chocolate on a bleak winter day. It's dark and luscious and bleak and magical, and requires one to take occasional breaks to shake off a bit of the darkness.

This latest installment makes Zoya a more sympathetic character (though not *too* sympathetic), gives insight into King Nikolai, and further explores Nina's life post-Matthias. There are lots of new friends and foes and some old ones too. It draws from both the original trilogy and the Six of Crows duology and ties them more solidly together. It's dark and terrible but has moments of joy. Highly recommend (but read the previous books first or you'll miss a lot of the backstory and implications of many of the reveals, as they're not spelled out again but merely alluded to.)

This novel wraps things up nicely, while still giving the impression that things are only beginning. I can't wait for more.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Nikita
  • 19-02-2019

Great Addition to the Grisha Universe

King of Scars is exciting, amazing and scary. It's filled with suspense, adventure, emotion, danger, ancient magic, discoveries, secrets and shock. I loved seeing everyone again. I will admit that I wanted to read this because I like the universe but mostly because I love Nikolai. But also because this universe is great and I want to know what has happened to the characters and events from both Grisha and Six of Crows series. This book is amazing and I loved it. I love Lauren, she's a great narrator.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • 匿名
  • 10-02-2019

She did it again!

Another great book! You MUST read both of her other series before this. You really need the back story to know who these people are and whats going on. Don't think that is super clear since its listed as a new series.
Loved this book, love everything she writes!! Alot of back story to help fill the holes, and understand characters better. Great plot, seemed a bit slow at times but worth the wait.
Goes through the different characters dealing with their own issues and really leaves you hanging in the end. Going to be really hard to wait for the next book!!
Great narrator as always!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Cassy
  • 10-05-2019

better than S&B, not quite Six of Crows

Performance, as usual with Lauren Fortgang, was excellent.

The story... it dragged. There's two completely different plots going on in this book, and while both of them were compelling, they were very long winded and took way too long to get going. The only reason I finished this book was because I love the characters and I love Grishaverse. This was really not a strong addition to the universe.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tory P Estle
  • 01-02-2019

Amazing addition to this literary universe

I am actually upset that I started listening to this the day it was released, because the wait until the next book will be excruciating. Amazing narrator, well-crafted story, and enough exposition for someone who read all of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, but skipped the Six of Crows dualogy.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-03-2019

its just ok

I've read everything in the Grishaverse including the novellas. This is probably the weakest story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaleigh
  • 01-02-2019

AMAZING!

I loved this book so much! I will admit that I have not read Shadow and none. However, Six of Crows is my favorite book series EVER! I was kinda weary about this book, due to me not reading or wanting to read Shadow and none. Yet, I loved this book! It had so much magic, chemistry, plot trusts, and sassy dialogue. Everything I’ve come to love about Bardugo’s writing. I’m so excited for the next book! I read this one so fast!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • K. M.
  • 17-03-2019

Disappointed

Good performance! But that was the only good thing about this. It would have been better to skip this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-2019

Perhaps the best installment in the Grisha series!

Perhaps the best installment of the Grisha series thus far, King of Scars is Leigh Bardugo at her best! Lauren Fortgang lends her talents once again to present a masterful telling of an extraordinary work of fiction.

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  • vincentr
  • 30-01-2019

love the Grishaverse!

I couldn't really imagine how this story world would move forward, but I am so glad it did!

I really liked the way this story was written, and the fact it touched so briefly on characters from other books, it was like meeting old friends.

I cannot wait for the next book to find out how it all sorts out!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma (Star Crossed Reviews)
  • 09-02-2019

THAT ENDING

I only read the Grishaverse books last year but I quickly became obsessed with this series and I was stoked when I heard that Nikolai was getting his own duology. I mean what more could a girl ask for!

I listened to the audible version which is amazing! I love Lauren Fortgang's voice she does such a good job with the narration. I also have the Illumicrate special edition hardback copy which is beyond beautiful. I held it and wanted to weep when it arrived. The map and the chapter headings are literally a work of art.

The story is set around a year after Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom so about 3 years after Ruin and Rising. Now Leigh says you can read this as a stand alone and I am sure she is right but personally I would recommend reading the Shadow and Bone series followed by the Six of Crows duology for the full experience. If you haven't read them you will get a lot of spoilers for those two series.

My initial thoughts when I finished this book was WTF just happened. I honestly feel like I need to go back and read it all again. So much happened and well that ending made me what to curl up and hibernate until the next book is released.

I loved the multiple POVs and I have tried to pick a favourite but I really cannot. Zoya was a badass general who I really fell for. Nina was as strong and courageous as she was in SOC despite what she is dealing with. Isaak was easy to fall in love with, he was brave and did not hesitate to step up for his country when needed. And Nikolai was, of course, his witty, charming self.

The story is full of twists and turns and as it jumps from POV to POV sometimes we are jumping t different locations with different action and each time we changed I wanted to go back. I longed to know what was going to happen next for that part of the story.

I loved seeing some familiar faces from the Shadow and Bone series and to see how they have grown since we last saw them. I also really enjoyed meeting the new characters too. Leoni was a favourite of mine especially when I worked out who she was! Hanne was also quite an interesting character. I look forward to hopefully seeing more of her in book 2.

This may be a Nikolai duology but we also delve deeper into some other characters. Zoya's story was an intriguing and beautiful one. She has been through so much more than we knew and hearing her story really changes your opinion of her character.

And now on to my Nikolai, the too clever fox, the boy king. Oh how I love you. My only gripe is that I wanted more. More Nikolai. TBH I think if the whole book had been from Nikolai's POV I would still say I needed more, a girl always needs more Nikolai! He was, however, everything I wanted and more.

'The monster is me and I am the monster.'

And now we return to the ending. Oh, that ending! It was all kinds of exciting and terrifying! I guess I will go hibernate with my headphones and listen all over again!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Katie
  • 28-04-2019

Excellent

Brilliant story, I loved the Grisha books and this is just as excellent. I loved being back in that world with characters I knew and loved. The narration that is often as important as the story with audio books was first class

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  • sam
  • 24-02-2019

Great!

This was a great story! Much better than the Grisha trilogy! Zoya and Nikolai we're great characters to read about. Lauren Fortgang did an amazing job once again!