Parents' Guide to

King of Scars: King of Scars Duology, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Mystical Grishaverse tale has edgy, exciting characters.

King of Scars: King of Scars Duology, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Good Addition to Grishaverse

This book was enjoyable. The pacing was a little off (very slow in some parts, more exciting in others), but a good book overall. However, Nina's chapters are especially horrific because of her past trauma (from the Six of Crows duology) and she finds pregnant girls and women who are addicted to a drug. There is a bit more detail in this, but I can't say too much without spoilers. But there could be a lot of triggering content to sexual abuse survivors, so be mindful. The conditions the women and girls are in is terrible (and is presented as so) but it's sort of a dark topic to let young teens read about.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (3):

Not as all-out exciting as the Six of Crows duology, this new Grishaverse tale still delivers the goods, edgy and engaging characters, bloody kingdom politics, and cool magic. There are fewer main characters for author Leigh Bardugo to juggle here, three instead of six: Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina. Like Six of Crows, all are running from difficult pasts and (sometimes literal) personal demons. Each tale could have been more tragic -- especially as the dead start chatting up Nina -- but there's a cleverly dark wit throughout to lighten things up. It's this wit and the characters' talents that pull them out of dire situations with flair. Zoya and Nina tap into their Grisha powers in new and thrilling ways. Nikolai doesn't fret over attempts on his life or how hard it is to keep his country together -- he strategizes. He stays confidently steps ahead of his enemies most of the time with a snarky comment for anyone who stands in the way of his plans.

The only time King of Scars flags is when it reaches for a mystical center. The lostness of Zoya and Nikolai goes on too long, and the payoff is not there in the end. It's hard to tell what deeper truth they learned on their quest or even what the nature of the spiritual world they encounter is. But it does push the story forward in the end. In the last few chapters there are so many crazy twists that it will be nearly impossible for readers to wait for Book 2.

Book Details

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