[Saturday Reads] The Nikolai Lantsov Duology


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

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King Of Scars (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Leigh Bardugo Publisher: Imprint (2019) ISBN: 9781250142283 (ISBN10: 1250142288). Literary Awards: Locus Award Nominee, Best Young Adult Book (2020), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee, Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2019). ARC provided by Pansing Books. Book photos taken by me.


Rule Of Wolves (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Leigh Bardugo Publisher: Orion Children’s Books (2021) ISBN: 9781510109186 (ISBN10: 1510109188) Bought my own copy. Book photos taken by me.

Our current reading theme is my perfect excuse to finally crack open the King of Scars – or what I call the Nikolai Lantsov – duology. While I have received King of Scars from Pansing Books in Singapore two years back, I knew I would save reading it until the next book in the series is out – which just happened March of this year. Naturally, I bought Rule of Wolves immediately, especially after having watched the Netflix adaptation of the Shadow and Bone series which my teenage daughter and I absolutely adored.

It was great to be back in Grishaverse through these two fantasy novels that I devoured. How comforting to slip into the casual bantering between Nikolai and Zoya once again, to finally learn what it means to be right smack in the middle of the making at the heart of the world, the nature of amplifiers (this was just so brilliantly conceived and executed), and to have gods come alive and direct the fate of humankind (Grisha and non-Grisha alike).

The two books were well-paced, veritable page-turners, with new characters that readers would fall in love with, and old characters that I positively squealed when I found them again in Rule of Wolves. There were traces of Game of Thrones in Rule of Wolves with the kingdoms and the betrayals and the false deaths – but Grishaverse holds its own. It has managed to create its own legend, its own unraveling of what constitutes monsters and a reconceptualization of the nature of saints and fallen angels. And yes, here there be dragons – and how absolutely glorious that was.

I cannot wait to see the upcoming series of Shadow and Bone that seems to have integrated all the Grishaverse novels into this TV adaptation: with the Six of Crows duology thrown in and already resonances of the King of Scars duology evident in the first season. Brilliant story that allowed me to gratefully lose myself into a fantastical realm once again. More Grishaverse, please.

July 10, 2021 at 06:30AM Myra Garces-Bacsal