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King of Scars
Cover of King of Scars
King of Scars
King of Scars Series, Book 1

Enter the Grishaverse with the instant #1 New York Times-bestseller King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

"[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

"The story exists at an intersection of past and future selves, and in the dawning understanding that what you most fear may be what you most need." —Washington Post

Face your demons...or feed them. The dashing young king, 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, Nikolai 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 general, 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.

An Imprint Book

"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." —PopSugar

"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." —Paste

"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

The Grishaverse will be coming to Netflix soon with Shadow and Bone, an original series!

Praise for the Grishaverse

"A master of fantasy." —The Huffington Post
"Utterly, extremely bewitching." —The Guardian
"The best magic universe since Harry Potter." —Bustle
"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 Divergent
"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...

Enter the Grishaverse with the instant #1 New York Times-bestseller King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

"[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

"The story exists at an intersection of past and future selves, and in the dawning understanding that what you most fear may be what you most need." —Washington Post

Face your demons...or feed them. The dashing young king, 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, Nikolai 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 general, 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.

An Imprint Book

"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." —PopSugar

"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." —Paste

"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

The Grishaverse will be coming to Netflix soon with Shadow and Bone, an original series!

Praise for the Grishaverse

"A master of fantasy." —The Huffington Post
"Utterly, extremely bewitching." —The Guardian
"The best magic universe since Harry Potter." —Bustle
"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 Divergent
"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...

Available formats-
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  • Available:
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  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    810
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over 3 million copies sold worldwide, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, King of Scars—with more to come. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and short stories that have appeared in The Best of Tor.com and the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. She lives in Los Angeles.
Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2019

    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

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    In this Grishaverse novel, King Nikolai struggles to keep his kingdom afloat in a destabilized, rapidly changing world.Though Ravka's civil war ended three years ago, Ravka still faces threats both domestic--pretenders to the throne, policies that are popular with commoners but anger nobility--and external--old enemies like Fjerda, debts owed to Kerch. Worse, for the past 6 months Nikolai has been struggling with an enemy inside himself: The monstrous curse thought ended by the death of the Darkling re-emerges when he sleeps, posing a danger to his people, crown, and soul. With traveling becoming too risky given his secrets, Nikolai and his inner circle hatch a display of strength that will bring the other powers to him for diplomacy, using the cover of his seeking a queen. Meanwhile, in the months since the end of Crooked Kingdom (2016), grieving Nina has returned to Fjerda on a mission to rescue and recruit Grisha. Following the call of her changed abilities, she's drawn to an area with poisoned waters and a mysterious factory holding dark secrets. Multiple romantic storylines among the multiethnic cast develop organically and don't pull the focus away from keeping up with the plots. Strategically-deployed backstory makes already likable characters even more compelling; international political developments (especially with Grisha experimentation) are woven seamlessly in with the epic themes.Will leave readers begging for the sequel. (cast, maps) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (Online Review)

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 28, 2019
    In this sweeping dramatic fantasy, Bardugo returns to her Grishaverse and the events in both the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. Young King Nikolai struggles to maintain order in the kingdom of Ravka following war against the malevolent Darkling. Nikolai’s efforts are complicated by the nocturnal emergence of a demon residing within him, and only his trusted confidante Zoya can help him maintain control. Meanwhile, Grisha-turned-spy Nina, still mourning the death of her beloved Matthias, works in secret to protect Grisha fugitives while investigating strange occurrences in the countryside. When Nikolai and Zoya vanish during an attempt to rid the king of his demon, it’s up to his closest friends to protect the country in his absence, little realizing that the chain of events might lead to the resurgence of a great evil. This duology opener strongly relies on at least a passing familiarity with the previous series, making it less than ideal for newcomers. But Bardugo’s portrayal of flawed, mentally and physically scarred protagonists is sympathetic and insightful, while the strong mixture of political intrigue, worldbuilding, and fantastical elements helps to drive the various story lines. Ages 14–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary.

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King of Scars Series, Book 1
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