Book Review

Rule Of Wolves

Rule of Wolves

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: March 30, 2021

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Series: King of Scars #2

CONTENT WARNING: addiction, gore, suicide, confinement, mention of rape, medical experimentation, death, war

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The wolves are circling, and Ravka’s time is running out.

The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.

The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.

The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.

King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.

After binge watching the first season of Shadow and Bone on Netflix, I finally felt ready to start this book. And I didn’t even realize how much I missed all my babies until I started reading, but it felt like coming home!

There wasn’t a single thing that I didn’t like about this book! I’m complete trash for Leigh Bardugo, and this book literally blew her other books out of the water. So I’m just going to completely let my inner fangirl run free here and gush about everything I love.

The writing. I love how LB writes, and allows me to visualize everything that was going on. There was such an emotional component to this story, and I was able to really get all up in my feelings alongside the characters. 

“In Ravka, they would be readying for the Feast of Sankt Nikolai. And for war. That was the knowledge that sat heavy on her chest every night when she lay down to sleep, that crept up to twine around her throat and choke the breath from her every day. Her people were in danger and she didn’t know how to help them.”

The characters. I truly loved seeing my favorite characters in the Grishaverse. And when I say that, I mean all my favorite characters, because some made cameos that I was super happy to see! There were some new POVs that I didn’t see coming, but it gave some perspective into what was happening in other parts of the story. I mean, who doesn’t love Nikolai, but Nina and Zoya are some of my favorite characters in the whole series. Seeing them all go through so much and still not give up, even in what seems like hopeless situations, was absolutely amazing. I love tough female characters, and everyone undergoes some serious emotional growth throughout the story. 

“Zoya’s laugh sounded brittle to her ears. ‘A king with a demon inside him. A monk with the Darkling inside him. A general with a dragon inside her. We’re all monsters now, Nikolai.’”

The romance. There’s a slow-burn connection that has been building up between Nikolai and Zoya, despite all of their efforts to shove everything down and ignore it. And let me tell you, I have been waiting for those feelings to just explode out of them! They make such a great couple with their opposing natures and the way they just understand and complement each other.

“‘Tell me it’s more than war and worry that makes you speak those words. Tell me what they would mean if you weren’t a king and I weren’t a soldier.’”

Speaking of romance, the connection between Nina and Hanne was so heart-meltingly sweet! Especially after seeing the hell that Nina has been through in the last 3 books, I just wanted to see her get to be happy, but I wasn’t sure that it was going to happen. It was a bumpy road for everyone, and Nina was torn between her desire for revenge and her feelings for Hanne. 

“Whatever she might feel for Hanne, she intended to see Brum dead, and she doubted Hanne would be able to forgive her for that. The divide was too great.”

The action.There’s a lot of action throughout the story, and a LOT of plot twists. There was just one twist that I was able to predict, and I was ABSOLUTELY THRILLED when I was right. But overall, I was on the edge of my seat for nearly the entire time that I was reading. I didn’t want to do anything other than read this book, because there was so much going on. It was never boring, and there were multiple subplots that always kept things intriguing, even with so many POVs. 

The ending. While the entire book was absolutely incredible, the ending took this book to a whole new level. I loved how things wrapped up neatly without feeling rushed, but the best part? It left the door WIDE OPEN for a third Six of Crows book, which I will be eagerly anticipating. 

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 21

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