Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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 listeners say about King of Scars

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    149
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    121
  • 4 Stars
    57
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Do Yourself a Favor

Read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy first! It's the only way to appreciate the throwbacks.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting World and Characters

I got this during a Boxing Week sale without realizing that this builds off an existing world from a few other series by this author. A few chapters in and I felt like there was more established history that I should have been aware of. I shrugged it off and pressed on anyway. It was a fun ride and I'm glad I got into it! I'll have to check out the other books too now though!

1 person found this helpful

  • 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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Read the 'Shadow and Bone' Series First

This book is a continuation of the wars fought by Ravka after the events of 'Ruin and Rising'. King Nikolai Lantsev and Zoya Nazyalensky (commander of the Second Army) are joined by a spy named Nina Zenik (maneuvering in Fjerda), a loyal soldier named Isaak Andreyev (working in the Small Palace), and a Monk in the mould of the Apparat named Yuri Vedenen to rebuild the fortunes of the Kingdom. The King nightly has to resist the monstrous form left in him after his battle with the Darkling. Relationships with the Sanktas (Saints) are explored extensively.
See? If you haven't read those books do you have any idea what I'm talking about?
This book is well-written, populated with military planning and international diplomacy, brimming with intrigue, full of adventure, and largely avoids the romantic themes that (in my opinion) weaken Leigh Bardugo's mythology. It's an enjoyable return to the 'Grishaverse'. Unfortunately, though the dénouemant hints at promising things in 'Rule Of Wolves', this book has very little merit as a standalone - but Bardugo fans will enjoy it (despite the moderate distancing from her YA Fantasy writing paradigms). New readers will more likely be confused.

[NB. That's not to say that the author doesn't stick to patterns - there is a hinted promise at frustrated young romance, for example (and the fascination with misunderstood orphan girls in this genre is somewhat baffling).. Bardugo dutifully pays tribute to those 'traditions'. YA Fantasy adherents will be rewarded.]

Lauren Fortang is extremely effective in this recording. Her accents are more subdued, but easily recognizable. Her sibilance (overly strong "s"s) is much improved, too. The kudos from critics are well-deserved (Although I still had to increase the speed to 1.10X to get the reading rate right - she plods somewhat).

This novel is worthy of 4 stars (but 5 stars for readers familiar with Bardugo's world). Regardless, you should definitely read more of the kingdom before purchasing this one. Enjoy!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good

I wasn't sure what to expect, this is a new author for me. I quite enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Caught me from the get-go

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book and can't wait for the next one to come out. the characters are very well done. The writing is excellent! And the plot keeps moving quickly.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!!

83 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Danielle
  • 2019-03-07

So Bummed. Don't read if you love the GV

I am going to try and not be a huge troll right now, because I imagine, if I were the reader of this, I would be reading these comments and I just don't want to be overly offensive, but if I were the author, I would appreciate critical reviews. This book is over-read. There are inflections when the text does not indicate an inflection, there have been at least 2 mispronounced words (I can't remember them at the moment, but if I do I'll go back and edit this) and the accents are cringey. I have had to switch to just reading it several times, which, long story short, has made it nearly impossible to finish the book. The goal of a reader is to be invisible to the story and let the words of the author tell themselves. This reader did not get that memo. It sounds like she's auditioning for Broadway. Which is fine! Just, not in my earbuds. I don't want any acting of the book, just reading it. Maybe I'm alone on that one, but this is very obviously just my opinion so I'm giving it. I don't know how to explain it better than that, but a great example is listening to any of the Winter Night trilogy. The reader totally fades away and it's just words. So nice. Another example of some really bad reading is most of the Fever series.

That said, maybe I just had my expectations too high about the book. But I really, really loved everything else coming out of the Grishaverse. I mean, LOVED. 6 of crows was my literary soul mate. This one I have been dragging myself through. It's not nearly as clever, to the point of being clumsy in many interactions. There are a couple of new characters who are so laughably one dimensional, I have just been expecting them to be fodder for some fight that happens later. That is the only excuse for the level of over-obvious dialogue. How many times/ different ways can you say someone is an optimist? Or that another one is dour? We get it. At one point she literally says "But I'm not dead!" while smiling. Come on, man.

And even the descriptions, I'm just- okay, here is an example, that doesn't give anything away:
"...and, as a rule, if one had the opportunity to visit a pleasure palace, one should. Especially if said pleasure palace served as cover for a secret laboratory.". That is literally how the 'secret lab' is introduced. Now imagine listening to that with someone reading as if the notes for how it should be read say "Read Nikolai as though he is a Debonair Game Show Host". I honestly have become so obsessed with how disappointing this book is that I've decided to do a deep dive analysis into what has changed. Is it the editor? Beta readers? The thing with sequels or spin offs is that if they are not strong enough to stand alone, you risk tarnishing the whole series. It's a very risky undertaking. This book felt like "the fandom is so strong, they'll love anything we throw out there" which is an egregious abuse of pen power and straight up sullied the whole Grishaverse.

I'm sorry. I'm hurt and bummed out.
Sincerely
Dannivdunn@gmail.com
(because I don't believe in anonymous comments)

17 people found this helpful

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

its just ok

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

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • bonnie collier
  • 2019-11-02

didnt finish

maybe its just not my thing but I could not finish this one. I dont love chatctures thay change form so thay could have been my issue

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • A. Dan
  • 2019-07-28

Not great

I really loved 6 of crows, and were looking forward to this book, sadly it focuses on the least interesting character, and uses so many east European cliches and prejudices its embarrassing to listen to.
If you are looking for an exciting fantasy taking place in an imaginery east European country with a prince possed by a demon, I suggest Spinning Silver instead.

2 people found this helpful