Rule of Wolves is a good conclusion to the grand story arc begun back in Shadow and Bone. If you’ve stayed with the Grishaverse to this point, this book is a must read. And for those who particularly like the “Six of Crows” duology, the gang gets back together for a heist!
I enjoyed this book! But I’m finding it hard to review without spoilers so here are themes within the book. Ravka has been ramping up it’s technological marvels, adding flying machines and submersibles to the world, now they are working on rockets. This escalation is a moral quandary for Nikolai and everyone else involved in the weapons project. I appreciated seeing them grapple with what is the best way to proceed in the war with Fjerda, how that can have lasting effects on war in the future, and what is their responsibility?
Identity is the backbone of this book. Zoya has a lot to sort out; she reveals a denied part of her heritage which she must now come to terms with, what does it mean that she is bonded with Juris, who does Zoya want to be? Nikolai struggles with kingship, his demon, and that he’s not a Lantsov. Nina chafes at her secret role, longing for Ravka but unable to leave Fjerda for several reasons. Hanne has finally found the ideal version of herself, but to live that way is unthinkable because the only way to realize it is to run away. Even the Darkling has self realizations on this journey!
Final thoughts. I was delighted by the section when Nikolai and Zoya team up with Kaz and crew. I was surprised at the direction the end took for all the main characters, Genya included. When the book started I wasn’t thrilled with the Darkling being back but by the end understood the great arc. I did have a brief moment of being very mad at Bardugo SPOILERS for killing Hanne but was incredibly relieved it was a misdirect and that Nina didn’t lose another Fjerdan lover. I was thrilled at their happy ever after I love Zoya and Nikolai yearning over each other, you just want these two crazy kids to get it together. The series is neatly wrapped up but threads are left dangling should Bardugo want to revisit Ravka in the future.