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review 2019-02-17 16:37
Some Ramblings: King of Scars
King of Scars - Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars

by Leigh Bardugo
Book 1 of Nikolai Duology

 

 

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.



It feels like it's been ages since I read the Grisha trilogy, and, as others might have pointed out, a reread of Bardugo's debut trilogy might have been beneficial.  I remember some details, but not others, and it might have been the reliance of back story knowledge that had me feeling like this book was a bit hard to get into in the beginning.  It probably also didn't help that there were a lot of POVs, even though we really just switched between three main ones--Nina, Nikolai, and Zoya.

And in truth, I feel like Bardugo handled the multiple POVs and the multiple story lines A LOT better in the Six of Crows duology (which had been known as The Dregs duology at some point, and is now going to get a third book apparently which has caused me to feel completely flustered, because that's all I can think of now, so the rest of this review is sort of a blur.)  The truth is, because of the connection between these two series, it was hard NOT to make those comparisons, which might have been a bit unfair to this book.  I found myself wondering if any of the other Dregs would make an appearance, and whenever Nina's POVs swung around, I wondered if she'd run into Inej or Kaz, or whether they'd suddenly pop up to help her with her missions... as awkwardly dropped as those instances would have been.

But enough of the Six of Crows versus Nikolai comparisons, because this book is quite obviously a sequel series to the Grisha trilogy.  So, to start, I DO highly recommend reading that trilogy before jumping into this one.  I even highly recommend reading the Six of Crows duology first as well.

Because while this book COULD stand on its own in some ways, I feel like there were too many references to previous books that could cause fleeting moments of "I wonder what that was about?"

Back to this book...

As I had already mentioned, I had found the beginning a bit slow to get into--dragged a little bit, even.  And despite the fact that every tangent seems to have its significance, the book still feels like it tried to cram too much material into one book... and yet there were a lot of moments where I just wanted to get on with the story.

It's conflicting, because it's not like I didn't like this book.  In fact, I very much enjoyed it, because aside from the story's outline and presentation itself, Bardugo has a way with words and creation that really just draws you right in.  Bardugo's Grishaverse is a wonderfully crafted place, and I've always loved how intricate all the details of her world are presented, how you can pluck any character out of the world and there can be a whole story to tell.  Even background characters have their significance and aren't just there for filler.

King of Scars is a book I've been looking forward to ever since it's announcement because it boasts two characters I came to love from previous series.  While I was never in the Nikolai/Alina camp, I always found Nikolai charming and fun to follow as a side character to Alina's journey.  And while I had started off Six of Crows not quite feeling Nina as a character, I slowly grew to love her as the books progressed.  Finally, as mentioned already, I just love Bardugo's Grishaverse!

King of Scars ended up being enjoyable and entertaining, but maybe I was over-hyping myself, or I was just expecting so much more, but I couldn't seem to relate with any of the characters, or find myself caring a whole lot.  Nikolai doesn't come off as charming as I remember, even though an inkling of that charm kind of hung in the background.  Nina's story was a bit rocky to begin with, got a little bit better, but then I feel like it sort of lost direction at some point.

In contrast, I found that I DID really like Zoya and really appreciate the glimpse into her history.  I honestly don't remember much about Zoya from the Grisha trilogy, except as maybe the "mean girl" Alina had to steer clear of.  The focus on her as a main character made her so much more fleshed out; and maybe because I didn't have any strong feelings for or against her previously, it was easy to kind of accept her as a new character altogether.  But that doesn't mean that I really felt any strong feelings for or against her in this book either.  I liked her, but not in that "I've got a new favorite character" type of giddiness.

Anyway, in the end, the book DID suck me right in as all the conflicts started coming to a head.  I really like the new twist to Grisha powers and hope to see it expounded on in the next book.  I never really expected this book to be a romance, and just as well, the whispers of the romances were a bit lacking in chemistry, as well as in credibility--this is something else that I'm hoping will be developed a bit more if we're going to pursue this line.

Also... are we going to see any other old favorites in the next book?  Inej?  Kaz?  Jesper?  Yes, please?  =P

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/02/some-ramblings-king-of-scars.html
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text 2019-02-04 05:37
Starting: King of Scars!
King of Scars - Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars

by Leigh Bardugo
Book 1 of Nikolai Duology

Let's do this!

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/02/starting-king-of-scars.html
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review 2019-01-21 14:52
Review: Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology #1) by Robin LaFevers
Courting Darkness - Robin LaFevers

 

 

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

 

 

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

I saw this book on Netgalley and it sounded good, it said it is a Duology, which it is, but it is still very connected to the previous trilogy, which I have not read.

That being said I was a little confused in the beginning and had to look it up. Thank heavens for Wikipedia because I did not have the time to read all three books.

Once I was caught up I enjoyed it tremendously. I loved everything about it. The story arc, the writing but I think most if all, the rich and vibrate world building and the characters.

I thought the world was awesome and descriptive , well enough to transport you right there but not overly to be annoyed with. Which can be a fine line.

The same goes for the characters, I couldn’t help but love and root for them, all of it … the good, the bad and the ugly.

The story once I had a better understanding of the previous books was fantastic, I read the book pretty much in one sitting and couldn’t put it down.

Its dark, its snarky and keeps you guessing and interested till the last page.

Overall I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next book already. I also will read the previous books in the meantime, I just really liked this author’s work.

I will rate it 4 ★, but just because I think we could have gotten a better background of the other books for new readers of this universe otherwise I thought this book was fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will be available February 5, 2019.

 

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2019/01/21/review-courting-darkness-courting-darkness-duology-1-by-robin-lafevers
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review 2018-09-27 23:11
In a handful of dust there is not a drop to drink...my doomy doomsday pick
In a Handful of Dust - Mindy McGinnis

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

In A Handful Of Dust

Mindy McGinnis

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A dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

An interesting follow-up to Not A Drop to Drink, while I didn't like it as much as the first installment, I did like it…I'm just not completely on-board with that ending.  Overall, a sadness hangs over the whole book…that never really dissipates with the ending, like the Author set out to make a series that puts the dis in dystopian.  She did have some interesting developments in this journey from Ohio to California…some I've never seen the likes of before.  One, in particular, was jaw-dropping.

 

This second book is from Lucy's pov instead of Lynn's, as it is in the first book.  I was sad that Cassandra Campbell wasn't the narrator, I really liked her, but a different narrator was the best way to keep a distinction between their voices.  

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Not really.

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Book Cover~  I like it…

Narration~ 3.7 for Allyson Ryan, she did grow on me, eventually.

Series~ Not A Drop to Drink #2

Setting~ From Ohio to California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

I'm using this for Doomsday Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-03-08 00:00
The Six of Crows Duology Boxed Set
The Six of Crows Duology Boxed Set - Leigh Bardugo IT'S FINALLY MINE!

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