Maybe I shouldn’t keep monthly TBRs because, as it turned out, I am awfully bad at following them through. So instead of Red Queen and The Hate U Give I went on and read the King of Scars duology. I initially wanted to review King of Scars as well, given how much I liked it, but… in the end I choose Rule of Wolves because I simply wanted to talk about it.
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 we ended reading King of Scars with the biggest cliffhanger ever, Rule of Wolves continues the story of Nikolai, Zoya and Nina. One of the biggest complaints I had about King of Scars was that I felt like Nina’s POV chapters never really fit in with the rest of the story; here they did so seamlessly and I always looked forward to reading more of her chapters.
I loved the diversity of the characters so much! There’s also a plotline involving the Shu princess Ehri and I loved reading Mayu’s chapters about it, and I only wish it was a bit longer. We get to see more of the Grishaverse, in a bigger scope and scale, huge stakes and a grand story. Basically, everything I fall in love with in a fantasy story.
The writing was simply gorgeous and while I was not a fan of how the book wrapped things up, I can safely say that I never felt bored while reading this book. Faster paced than King of Scars, Rule of Wolves is its own twisty tale that would take you by surprise at times.
Now we get to the spoilery and ranty part of the review, where I talk about what I didn’t like that much about the book. If you haven’t read King of Scars or Rule of Wolves, please get back to this review later when you have read it!
In case you missed the spoiler alert, here’s another one!
If a person really wants to bring a character back to life from the dead, make sure they do something in the book. Because, I swear, no one will be missing anything if they skipped past the Darkling’s chapters. His POV was completely unnecessary here and it bugged me reading it. I kept waiting for him to do something evil or good or anything but he was just ~there~ with a moody monologue maybe and that was it. Even Yuri was more interesting.
I’m glad Nina and Hanne got together and had a happy ending, but I would’ve preferred if the two of them ran away to Ravka because the rest of their lives are going to be super stressful.
I’m sure many people loved it, but I felt that the cameos were too contrived. I mean, what are the odds that Alina, Mal and the Crows appear in the same book? I also do not like the fact that Kaz and gang are now being ordered around by royalty. (In exchange for a large sum of money, if I may say, but it still feels iffy)
Which brings me to the biggest thing I’m mad about – Zoya becoming queen. I’ve got nothing against Zoya, except that it took me a really long time to admire her character. She got some awesome character development through the duology and discovered her own powers, and she made a really cool dragon. (Am I the only one who felt that sometimes Zoya was too overpowered?) But I started this series to see Nikolai being king. I was rooting for Nikolai to stay king, bastard or not. And Nikolai was barely present in his own series. His iconic catchphrases were repeated so much I felt tired, and he probably had the least character development out of the three main characters.
If this book had been a standalone series and not a continuation of a story built up by six books, I might have rated this four stars or higher. But as it is, I’m a bit disappointed about how some of my favourite characters ended up.
Now I’ve got a really evil wish that Kaz and gang somehow betray Zoya and co. in the third Six of Crows book. There is one coming, right? *fingers crossed that I’ll like it more than this one*
Spoilers ended! Although I had some problems with it, I would easily recommend this book to any fan of the Grishaverse! You might want to read the Shadow and Bone trilogy as well as the Six of Crows duology before you get to this series, because so much of what happens is built on by the previous books.
My final rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)