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King of Scars

Written by: Leigh Bardugo
Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 16 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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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.

What the critics say

"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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lauren Fortgang is a genius!

Lauren Fortgang is such an amazing narrator. Leigh Bardugo’s words are stellar as always, and discovering more about these beloved characters, especially Zoya, was fantastic. But the epic story was made even more exceptional through Lauren’s narration. She has such range, making each character sound unique and breathing new life into them. I’m in awe of her talent. Would recommend for any fantasy fans, Leigh Bardugo fans, or anyone looking for a really great story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Strong plots

interesting characters with separate storylines that are woven in together in the last chapters of the book. Quite a bit of tragedy in this book. Flawed characters who know they can't have it all.... bittersweet. We'll written with an ending that is in keeping with the sweet sorrow of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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WOW!! listened to it all in only a few days!!

I couldn't stop listening!!! amazing ! l can hardly wait for more. :) very worth it!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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ALL. OF. THE. STARS.

Another five star read from Queen Bardugo. This book was a freaking masterpiece and the narrator was perfect. I can’t wait for book two!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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yay

another amazing adventure into the Grishaverse! Fans of Bardugos other books won't be disappointed. Seeing Nina mourn Mattias was so devastatingly well done.

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Nina; The Story Continues

If you've wondering what happened after the Crooked series then this is your book. Lol seriously didn't know but took a chance before even reading the description when I saw Lauren Fortgang. I can honestly say, I REGRET NOTHING.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

confusing, didn't finish

I found this novel confusing. The plot jumped around and nothing seemed to come together. I struggled to keep track of characters. Skipped back several chapters in an attempt to understand, but I kept tuning out. Returned before finishing!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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loved the narrator

the narrator performed the story very well. the book was Great, I am looking forward to the next.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alyson
  • 2019-02-10

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!!

56 of 59 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Booniecat
  • 2019-05-08

A great continuation of the Greisha-verse

A worthy continuation of the story of the Greisha, this time focusing on several of our favorite characters from the original Shadow & Bone series as well as the Six of Crows duo. You should definitely read these 5 before jumping in here (spoilers for several main characters dates and losses). you should also check out the short story collections as well to gain more insight on some references to universe lore, specifically the forest, thornwood and too-clever fox (as a bonus, these short story collections are amazing on their own!) There are several POVs in this book, and two (and a half) main story lines that will hopefully come together in the next book. Overall, wonderful performance by the narrator bringing life not just to characters but the books universe as well. as much as I enjoyed the story, there were parts that dragged a bit in the middle, and the twist at the end leaves me wondering how things will play out, and if I even liked it. I dont recommend this if you havent read at least the Shadow and Bone trilogy, it is not a "drop in" novel for the series. But, for those who are at least passing familiar, well worth the credit!

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cassy
  • 2019-05-10

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shilo
  • 2019-02-03

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.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-28

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-26

its just ok

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

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikita
  • 2019-02-19

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Tory P Estle
  • 2019-02-01

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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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • K. M.
  • 2019-03-17

Disappointed

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

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 2019-09-09

Couldn't get through it

I gave up after 3 hours - by this time the story wasn't established yet, no idea what the point is or the direction its going. I did listen to 2 books of the trilogy that is a kind if prequel to this so I had some idea about what this story is based on. I can only imagine those who didn't listen to the prequel would have even more of an issue with this book. I found it boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful