Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: King of Scars

Book: King of Scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Year Published: 2019

*This review contains spoilers. Proceed with caution.*

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

I missed Nina, Nikolai, Zoya and the rest as if they were real people and reading King of Scars was like meeting old friends again! This was definitely one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it has a lot of promise for what the future of the Grishaverse books will hold. Whilst I was reading it, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of pride because I’ve been with these characters since the beginning and they’ve come so far and endured so many trials and challenges but come out of them stronger and more resilient.

“Hope was the wind that came from nowhere to fill your sails and carry you home.”

Note: King of Scars is definitely for fans of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. If you’re not a fan, you probably won’t enjoy it. If you haven’t read the previous Grishaverse books, you probably won’t understand what is happening as there are multiple references to them.

The characters and the relationships between them were all perfect:

  • Nikolai was just as smart, witty and generally awesome as he always has been. His inner battle with the monster inside him was very well done.
  • “He might never be a truly noble man or a truly noble king… But he knew this much: He would not rest until his country could too.”

  • Zoya was AMAZING. She was the most interesting by far and we got to learn so much more about her. She also had the most character progression thoughout the novel. The fancy dragon powers she got from Juris were pretty cool too. She is one of my favourite characters now.
  • “Stop punishing yourself for for being someone with with a heart. To live is to grieve.”

  • At first, I didn’t think Zoya and Nikolai would go together but as the book progressed I could see how much they trust and understand each other so I am now a staunch Zoyalai shipper!
  • I adored Nina. She was just as fabulous as she was in Six of Crows. I felt so sorry for her though especially when she buried Matthias (I almost cried) but I did love how Trassel (Matthias’ wolf) found Nina again! I could tell her emotional wounds were still raw and in this book I could tell she still wasn’t ready to confront those scars, heal them and learn to move on but I really hope she manages to find her peace in the next book.
  • Hanne was an awesome character but I don’t ship her with Nina. I think it’s because I still haven’t gotten over Matthias’ death yet.
  • Yuri was very weird and I can’t believe they trusted him. Why would anyone worship the Darkling? It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard especially after all the harm he caused.
  • Genya and David were perfection (as always).
  • Isaac was so sweet and he deserved better!

The whole return-of-the-Darkling plot twist was brilliant and terrifying at the same time. I always thought that the ending of Ruin and Rising didn’t feel like the end of the Darkling’s story. I am anticipating in horror what despicable deeds he will do in the next book.

I adored King of Scars yet I gave it four stars. Why? Because I felt like nothing much happened. The plot was very slow and the only interesting things happened in the last 100 pages of the book. Moreover, Nina’s story line and Nikolai’s felt very disconnected and I have no idea how Bardugo will manage to fit in so much into the next book and connect the separate plots.

Overall, I loved this book and I’m so excited for the next chapter in the Grishaverse.

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#SixforSunday · Uncategorized

#SixforSunday- Baddies Who Deserve their own Story

#SixforSunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot. This week’s theme is, ‘baddies who deserve their own story’.

The funny thing about villains is that everyone tends to hate them but at the same time they are very intriguing and I always find myself wondering what happened to them to make them the way they are.

So here are some baddies I think deserve their own story:

(1) The Darkling from The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo:

According to the books he is supposedly hundreds of years old so I suppose he’s been on lots of adventures and done lots of terrible things. I think he’d have some very interesting but probably terrifying stories to tell.

(2) Arobynn Hamel from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas:

We never find out much about Arobynn like how and why he became an assassin, what he had to do to become the King of Assassins and why he decided to take in Celaena. I think he deserves his own background story because he’s so horrible and we never know why.

(3) Smaug from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein:

Smaug is the gold-hoarding dragon from The Hobbit and I think a story about him would be fascinating for the same reason I think a story about the Darkling would be fascinating. He’s been alive for hundreds of years and has seen so many things that lots of weird and wonderful things must have happened to him.

(4) Legend from Caraval:

He is such a mysterious figure it would be cool to have a story from his perspective and find out what motivates his actions.


Which baddies do you think deserve their own story? Let me know in the comments!

The Book Character Awards · Uncategorized

The Book Character Awards | Winners!!!

Hello!

Today, I am very excited to announce the winners of The Book Character Awards! You, the book community, have nominated and voted for your favourite characters in each category and I can now reveal the victors!

Note:

I’d like to reiterate that I didn’t choose these characters- they were all nominated and voted for by other bookworms. I’m sorry if your favourite bookish characters aren’t here and I know that there isn’t much variety but it’s completely out of my control. Also, although all of the winners are brilliant characters in their own rights, how well known they are- and the popularity of the books they appear in-may have contributed to their success as well.

Without further ado, let’s move on to the winners


Winners!

Best Dramatic Performance:

Winner: Gilderoy Lockhart     (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Nikolai Lantsov     (The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo)

Best Supporting Character:

Winner: Ron Weasley     (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Nina Zenik     (The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo)

Best Bookish Ship:

Winner: Inej and Kaz     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)
Runner Up: Alec and Magnus     (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)

Worst Bookish Ship:

Winner: Tamlin and Feyre     (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)
Runner Up: Katniss and Gale     (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Best Friendship:

Winner: Harry, Ron and Hermione     (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Jem and Will     (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

Kindest Character:

Winner: Luna Lovegood     (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Jem Carstairs     (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

Funniest Character:

Winner: Fred and George Weasley     (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Magnus Bane     (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)

Best Villain:

Winner: Voldemort     (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: The Darkling     (The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo)

Most Annoying Character:

Winner: Dolores Umbridge     (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Tamlin     (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)

Most Fashionable Character:

Winner: Magnus Bane     (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)
Runner Up: Effie Trinket     (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Weirdest Character:

Winner: Moaning Myrtle      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Willy Wonka     (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)

Best Character Arc:

Winner: Kaz Brekker     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)
Runner Up: Severus Snape      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Best Leading Lady:

Winner: Daenerys Targaryen     (A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin)

There was a tie for the runners up so there are two!

Runners Up: Aelin Galathynius (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas) & Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Fiercest, Most Fearless Character:

Winner: Daenerys Targaryen     (A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin)
Runner Up: Inej Ghafa     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Best Love Interest:

Winner: Rhysand     (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)
Runner Up: Kaz Brekker     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Worst Love Interest:

Winner: Jacob     (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)
Runner Up: Tamlin     (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)

Best Bookworm:

Winner: Hermione Granger      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Will Herondale     (The Infernal Devices)

Best Female Morally Grey Character:

Winner: Jude Duarte     (The Cruel Prince by Holly Black)
Runner Up: Arya Stark     (A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin)

Best Male Morally Grey Character:

Winner: Kaz Brekker     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)
Runner Up: Severus Snape      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Best Fantasy Badass Female:

Winner: Inej Ghafa     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)
Runner Up: Aelin Galathynius     (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

Most Charming Character:

Winner: Nikolai Lantsov     (The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo)
Runner Up: Carswell Thorne     (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

Most Brutal Backstory:

Winner: Kaz Brekker     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)
Runner Up: Neville Longbottom      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Worst Love Triangle:

Winner: Edward, Bella and Jacob     (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)
Runner Up: Peeta, Katniss and Gale     (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Best Love Triangle:

Winner: Jem, Tessa and Will     (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)
Runner Up: Peeta, Katniss and Gale     (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Best Parental Figure:

Winner: Molly Weasley      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Sirius Black      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Overall Best Character:

Winner: Hermione Granger      (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Runner Up: Kaz Brekker     (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Observations I’ve made from these results:

  • Characters from the Harry Potter books, the Grishaverse books and the Shadowhunters books are very popular.
  • In particular, Kaz Brekker and Inej Ghafa seem to be very popular.
  • People seem to be divided as to whether Katniss, Peeta and Gale is one of the worst or best love triangles.
  • Hermione Granger is by far the best, sassiest and most awesome character in existence.

So there you have it, the best and the worst book characters as voted for by the book community. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Friday Reads · Uncategorized

Friday Reads- King Of Scars

Friday Reads was invented by The Candid Cover and is a merge of:

  • Book Beginnings which is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where we share the first sentence(s) of a book.
  • The Friday 56 which is hosted by Freda’s Voice where we share a snippet from page 56 of a book (or 56% on an e-reader).

Bookish Beginnings:

The first two lines of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo:

“Dima heard the barn doors slam before anyone else did. Inside the little farmhouse, the kitchen bubbled like a pot on the stove, its windows shut tight against the storm, the air in the room warm and moist.”

I really like these first lines, especially the way Bardugo immediately gives it the feel of a fairy tale. Someone with no prior knowledge of what the book is about could easily mistake it for a sweet, quaint story but when they read on they would realise it’s much more dark and deep than it seems at first. It’s amazing how she manages to set the scene in just a few lines.

The Friday 56:

A snippet of King of Scars from page 56:

“Ravka was many things to him: a grand lady who required constant courting, a stubborn child unwilling to stand on its own, and most often, a drowning man- the more Nikolai struggled to save it, the harder it fought.”

I like the way Ravka is personified in this quote as it makes Nikolai’s relationship with his country seem more real and it conveys how well he knows it and how much he cares about it. It makes his struggles with ruling really easy to understand.


What are you reading this Friday? Let me know in the comments!

Reviews · Uncategorized

The Language Of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Illustrator: Sara Kipin

Year published: 2017

  • Plot: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

The Language of Thorns was very literally a work of art. Each of the six stories have very clear links to fairy tales we know and love, the only difference is, they’re much, much better! The language is so vivid and gorgeous but the illustrations were the icing on the cake. On every page of each story a bit of border was added on the outside till finally at the end your eyes are blasted with an intricate, full-page wonder.

The first story is Ayama and the Thorn wood which is based on Beauty and the Beast but focuses more on the Beast aspect than the Beauty. It also has similarities to the Minotaur legend. It rewrites the stereotypes we are familiar with and I really enjoyed it.

The second story is The Too Clever Fox. It’s so unsettling. It gave me chills. The main lesson is: never, ever underestimate anyone. I did not see this plot twist coming, it just jumped out at me at the last moment.

The third story is The Witch of Duva and I found this one terrifying! You can tell it was inspired by Hansel and Gretel but it has been taken in a totally new direction which was downright sinister! I still loved it but I implore you to not read this story anywhere near midnight.

The fourth story is Little Knife, in all honesty this was my least favourite story but one of my favourite illustrations was at the end of it. The concept was nice though.

The fifth story was The Soldier Prince which I would describe as being a very complex version of the Nutcracker and it’s all about the suble boundarirs between ideas, dreams and reality.

The last and longest story was When Water Sang Fire which has an appearance of a beloved Grisha character (I will not spoil). It was my favourite but also the most painful. It’s basically if The Little Mermaid was based on Ursula.

Overall, I adored this book and would recommend it to those who like to get cosy and immerse themselves in a lavishly told fairy tale with a nuanced or not-so-happy ending