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5 Reasons Why I Love Rule of Wolves as much as Six of Crows
Review

5 Reasons Why I Love Rule of Wolves as much as Six of Crows – Review and Discussion

Rule of Wolves is thrilling, action-packed, and spectacular YA Fantasy, a final book in Grishaverse that shows what true book hangover is. Here are my 5 Reasons Why I Love Rule of Wolves as much as Six of Crows. I buddy read this with Toni @ readingtonic . We both loved this. There is a discussion below but it has spoilers so try to avoid it if you plan to read this duology.

5 Reasons Why I Love Rule of Wolves

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date : March 30, 2021

Publisher : Orion Children’s Books

Read Date : January 14, 2023

Genre : YA / Fantasy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Tea for this Book : Saffron Tea

Previous books in this series-

King of Scars (King of Scars #1) 

Other books I read by the same author –

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1)
Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2)
Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3)
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
King of Scars (King of Scars #1) 

Synopsis

The Grishaverse will be coming to Netflix soon with Shadow and Bone, an original series!

The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the instant #1 New York Times-bestselling King of Scars Duology.

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.

Review

**** If you haven’t read King of Scars and plan to read, I would suggest do not read the review as it might ruin the surprises of King of Scars. Also there is a little mentions that I couldn’t help not include here but I don’t think that will ruin this book much if you have read previous books. ***

5 Reasons Why I Love Rule of Wolves

If I have to review the book in just one word OUTSTANDING is just the right one. I see many grunts with this book about multiple POV, many side characters along with new and old characters and then Darkling not having the strong presence as he had in Grisha trilogy, or Zoya being in the lead for the most part, and Nikolai for what he did in the end… I can only say (many would not agree with me), I don’t want to change any of the things. I loved each and every aspect of this book and the author made this come very very close to her masterpiece Six of Crows so it’s easy to say I love this book much as Six of Crows.

As soon as I finish the book, I knew it would be hard to review as there is so many things happening here, so many layers, characters, and then all the twists and turns. There is so much I want to say but I find it tough to decide where to start. I will go by things I loved in this book.

1. Spectacular Writing & Multiple POV worked so well in this – Leigh’s writing is spectacular, there is no doubt about it. I loved the way she described all characters, their emotions, battles, and the world. More importantly, I love the way she makes even a villain a human.

While I didn’t like multiple perspectives in King of Scars because it narrated story in two different places making it a parallel story with different actions hence slowing the pace, but in this, multiple POV managed to work well even though like first book it narrates story in different places- Nina’s POV was from Fjerda, Mayu and Tamar in Shu Han, and Nikolai and Zoya in Ravka- but all their actions shomehow stays same, it didn’t feel parallel and they merge in climax, that makes it all very exciting too.

2. Mind blowing Plot – They all are fighting for Ravka or what they want from Ravka (if we consider Darkling’s intension) against the bigger monster howling at their doorstep, with bigger army and better technologies using Ravka’s people against Ravka, and then there was matter of getting alliance from Shu Han and money from Kerch who isn’t happy with Nikolai. Too many enemies, too many impossible situations put Ravka and Nikolai in a situation that makes it hard to say where this will go or have any hope if there is even a possibility of them surviving attack both from within and at the border. And then there is Nina fighting Fjerda in disguise living within its wall trying to gather as much intel as she can to save Ravka.

While King of Scars was all about building tension and setting the base for duology, this is a rollercoaster ride of actions, emotions, tension, thrill, politics, and scheme within schemes with countless nail-biting scenes. I loved every second of this book is enough to say how amazing the plot is.

3. Old and New characters with many side characters– There is no question this book has lots of characters. We see the depth in old characters in King of Scars, and here we know newly introduced characters in the series better and we also meet more new characters- Fjerda royalties and Shu Han royalties. Even though they all were side characters, author made them to stand out as well with their own stories and distinctive personalities and they also didn’t overpower main characters.

There are many old characters revived along with the Darkling. Like I said in the end of King of Scars review, I don’t know what I feel about him returning. Me and Toni both questioned if it was really necessary to bring him back but I liked how his return served the ultimate purpose. If you’re expecting Darkling most powerful and charming like Grisha trilogy, I tell you here and now, you will be disappointed but he sure still preserves the knack for keeping everyone on their toes.

My long lasting wish of seeing Kaz again was also fulfilled. I have to say even for few chapters he managed steal the show (which is his specialty, I wouldn’t expect it any other way). I also loved Mayu’s story her bond with her twin. Kabban twins, Tolya and Tamar were also in the league of stealing the show with Kaz. Their banter with each other is lovely, I felt sad when they had to separate for their mission. Like all secondary characters, Hanne played important role in keeping Nina’s cover hidden and helping with her tasks in Ice Court.

I also liked the way author showed not all can change even after everything happened. I hated Apparat. I’m still surprised they let him live. What I love most is how author makes villains a human which can be seen in Jarl and the Darkling and even the Prince’s condition and how he grew up made me have a little sympathy for him and like Hanne I wished to have hope for him.

Zoya was amazing throughout the book. If you think she was kickass in King of Scars, in this, she was force to reckon with. Even the Darkling was afraid of her power. But what I loved more about her is how she let Nikolai in, showing him her true self. Her pain and suffering of losing her loved one and all Grisha and her desperation of protecting her heart was touching. I would protect her as much as I can if I was living in this world. Her development was magnificent. I loved the way she realized she cannot push people away so she can protect her heart and herself from getting hurt and the way she finally let the wall around her heart crumble and embraced the power she received was jaw-dropping. I’m just happy this cold cruel girl of Grisha trilogy grew up to be the strongest person in grishaverse and at the same time she managed to not fall in same mistakes the Darling made. She also acknowledges her past mistakes, and rectifies them, trying to do better and be better. I love her fierce love for all Grisha and people she love. As Nikolai said, she deserved everything in this world

Nina was also great. I feel she took a backseat in second half but it was lovely to see her finding love once again. Even after all the loss, she didn’t let herself deprive of love like we usually see in any genre, in fact, she let her heart and love overcome the loss and at the same time never forget about it as well. When she finally knew who killed Matthias I thought she would let revenge blind her but she didn’t and also managed to keep the promise she gave Matthias. She is full of spirit and hope.

Nikolai was as amazing as Zoya. I agree with many readers that Zoya dominated this book but without his too-clever mind there was no hope. We see his vulnerable side more often. Looking at the situation he was in, I couldn’t see how he would save Ravka. It was truly brilliant the way he turned all situations in their favor. His skill of finding solutions and his charm makes him the best king Ravka has ever had. His love proposal to Zoya was heart-melting. I adored the scene with his father. All his actions and reactions to everything he faced were realistic and I admire him for what he did in the end. Toni didn’t agree with me here but it just makes him more amazing and I also agree with what Alina said in the end as well. (I’ll include that in the spoilers, below)

4. More of world and brilliant technology– I loved knowing more about Shu Han, its palace, custom and culture was amazing. It was great to know more of Fjerda customs through Fjerda royalties. I liked reading Djel legend in early chapters and we also see more stories of saints. I liked all theories of blight and their solution to it in the end. And I was very much interested in all the technologies Nikolai and Fjerda invented. I hate Fjerda for using Grisha against Ravka but I have to say their ideas, schemes, and technologies were brilliant.. . on a second thought horrifying brilliant.

5. All twists and turn are mindblowing and battle scenes are just the best. There was so much going on in this book at the same time it was hard to say where it will go. Have I ever mentioned I love the arc/trope of kingdom at war in fantasy? There is something exciting and exhilarating to read about wars and battles between kingdoms/nations in this genre and the way Leigh writes it, she makes it electrifying. It brought out all kind of emotions. All the action scenes were written perfectly.

Climax and end was spectacular. I was anticipating something at the end of the climax but it was an interesting surprise what Nikolai did, what Hanne did, and what the Darkling did as well. Author has said the Grishaverse ends here but at the same time she has kept the end in way that she could write another book in this world… if she wishes to. And there are other countries in this world yet to explore so I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope we get another sequel or spin-off.

Spoilers

Toniwas the Darkling’s reappearance really necessary? did we need his character here? there was a moment when Nikolaj seemed to be in a desperate situation and I thought for a moment the Darkling could have done something with his cut…but the scale and the type of the war seem to have outgrown his powers and made him obsolete. How do you feel about his redemption arc in this duology?

Me – I don’t think it was necessary to bring him back to life as he didn’t add much to the world but still it was interesting to see one more problem Nikolai had to deal. I expected Darkling to do more harm but I was surprised he was just happy with his comeback and just wanted to be remembered and loved by people. And I agree the scale of war was out of his limit and he couldn’t have won the war if he has to fight it even with his full power or all the support of Grisha. Nikolai looked more equipped for fighting the war than him and I was so very shocked the way Darkling protected Nikolai’s monster and the way he admired his heroism. I liked the redemption arc here. It was often mentioned his intention for Ravka “in the beginning” was pure, it got twisted over the time because of people’s hatred for Grisha and lack of appreciation. Even though he still doesn’t see the evil side of what he did and he wasn’t sorry for all he did, his redemption arc felt right here and it was well done.

Toni Alina and Mal’s cameo appearance almost disappointed me- that’s it?

Me– Yes, very short but I was thinking what they were doing all this time so it was good to meet them again and they looked much more mature. 

Toni King of Scars seemed to be composed of several storylines which could have been read separately. Here although the POV changes the action stays in the same place, or a new development is described that changes the status quo, which made me feel the story was more cohesive.Would you have liked fewer/more points of view? Anyone’s point of view you would have appreciated that wasn’t here?


Me– (I included answer in review but here is what I said in email -)I found it distracting in first book but here, different POVs and number of it worked perfectly. I wouldn’t like to change any of the things in this book. It’s perfection if I dare to say like SOC.

[Not a question but our discussion]

ToniI did like her more in the end, although…an unpopular opinion- I still think Nikolaj is the right kind of king for Ravka. He was born out of an illicit affair? so what? if you want to give the crown by merit (and yes,Zoya is a worthy candidate), then he merits it. You object to the demon? He controls this part of him and turns it into a weapon. He is smart and  fast-thinking, loyal and dedicated. The only thing he isn’t, he isn’t a Grisha.

Me – I expected that coming, whether him declaring his marriage with Zoya or other way, but I knew he wouldn’t let Zoya go or throne to a person who is puppet to Fjerda. He was right Zoya is the best choice if he couldn’t have the crown. I don’t have anything against it, in fact, I agree with what Alina said in the end, The too-clever fox gave up his throne, but still managed to stay king.” Now as I think about this more, I feel, it was often mentioned he wasn’t comfortable being a bastard king, felt more at ease with freedom of bein Strumhond, and never felt it in his heart he was true ruler of Ravka and as Ravka didn’t have option he took it in hand to lead Ravka. They both believed, it was never about the throne or ruling, it was about Ravka and for Ravka so they both are well suited and now they both will rule even though crown is placed on Zoya’s head. 

ToniMayu, Ehri, Makhi- when Queen Leyti said they were going to stay ‘neutral’ to honour their agreement with Fjerda…Sometimes you do a lot of harm and add one side of the conflict by doing nothing. The Khergud twist was absolutely brilliant, although of course my common sense keeps saying that these were different level of war and neither a few soldiers like this, nor Zoya’s heroic appearance as a dragon would have made much difference if Fjerdans used their cannons to shoot them down (be silent, common sense, and just have fun, it’s a fantasy book where good has to triumph over evil).

Me– I liked the way they talked about war in both ways and how they knew bad side of it and at the same time necessity of it. It was interesting how ruler has to think about position of their country and welfare of people at the same time and that isn’t just about Ravka but also about Shu. I don’t resent them for their deal with Fjerda, they were right in their own place but yes, that idea of sending Khergud. It was super brilliant.

Toni Favourite scenes or quotes?
Me – lots of…..
-that first battle and dropping antidotes by Zeminis
-Nina stealing queen’s letters
-Nina and Hannae’s time together and Nina having mercy for Fjerda and specially Joran
-Zoya turning into dragon
-Zoya destroying Fjera on west Ravka shore ( I love how she was shown most powerful of all)
Darkling’s redemption
-Nikolai’s declaration of love when they returned from Kerch
-little heist in Kerch and meeting my fav characters
-Zoya’s garden scene
-All battle scenes
-Shu chapters and seeing another country, their culture, for the first time
-Zoya saving Nina
-Zoya telling Nikolai she loves him
-Genya telling Zoya why Darkling lost against Alina and how zoya is on same path
-Nikolai’s chat with his father (I can’t wait to meet his sister, I feel excited just thinking how cleaver she would be!)
-His speech in meeting with all dignitaries in the end, and he announcing Zoya, queen.
-Zoya telling about her nightmare of Darkling in the end and their plan to appoint Kaz for the solution.

….. This book was full of mind-blowing scenes. I already want to reread this book.

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

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