CBR Bingo – On The Road
I don’t read a lot of YA but a good friend of mine and many members of the CBR community have raved about Bardugo’s world, so I’m in for the long haul. If you’re new to it, a piece of advice. I was told to ignore chronological order when beginning because the Six of Crows duology is so much better than the original Shadow and Bone trilogy. I was skeptical but heeded that advice and I’m glad I did because if I’d started with the trilogy I might have given up. In the trilogy, the writing is only so so and it’s mainly a will-they-won’t-they-but-so-obviously-they-will teen love story, and the impending war and magical powers and possible defeat of the big bad baddie is almost the B plot to the romance. BUT Six of Crows is a well-written super fun heist story, so come for that first, plod through the trilogy, and then read the second King of Scars duology that wraps it all up.
In this installment, the Darkling has been defeated but war is coming to Ravka and Nikolai is doing what he can as the king to shore up defenses and prepare for the impending battles, both politically and strategically. He knows that having a queen, perhaps aligning with the Shu by marrying the Shu princess, will provide a strategic advantage, but he’s reluctant to take a bride, both because he’d prefer to marry for love, but also because of his dark secret. With the beautiful and cold Grisha Zoya serving as his general they embark on a mission to The Fold to see if a fairy tale about the thorn wood holds the key to freeing Nikolai from the shadow creature curse put upon him by the Darkling. As usual, all is not what it seems and they may have to learn to embrace the darkness within each of them in order to defeat their enemies.
So far, I like this second duology more than the trilogy, and maybe as much if not more less than the other duology, but since I’m not finished yet I will reserve final judgment until I finish book two.