CBR Bingo – Take Flight
This is the final book both in the King of Scars duology, and in Bardugo’s entire Grishaverse, and it wraps everything up very satisfyingly. We were reunited with some favorite characters from across her universe, good triumphed over evil, and love melted even the most grief-stricken and cold hearts. (Sidenote: I’ve chosen this book for the”take flight” bingo category because aerial warfare has a huge role in this world, not to mention two characters who develop the skill of flight in the most unusual and badass ways).
Nikolai is struggling to hold onto his crown, even knowing that he isn’t the one “true” king. He must also try to keep the Shu at bay as they continue to create violent super soldiers and have an internal struggle for power. Zoya is by Nikolai’s side and together they try to find a cure for his curse and keep the Darkling under lock and key. Meanwhile, Nina is behind enemy lines, desperate to uncover the Fjerdan war plan, having befriended Hanne, the daughter of her sworn enemy Jarl Brum. The plot, she thickens.
I don’t want to give away too much but overall I was satisfied and found the ending to be a strong resolution of the story and the various characters. I really enjoyed the character arcs of Nikolai and Zoya: Bardugo managed the slow burn of the “will they won’t they” a lot better over the course of all the books than she did more hamfistedly with Alina and Mal.
Sidebar: both my kiddo and arched our eyebrows at how easy it was for the Darkling to get his way. Like, y’all couldn’t have had Alina sit across the room from him to keep him from reaching out and touching her to worm his way back to wielding his powers? Or keep him in the Hulk-like cage you specially had built? Did none of you see when Loki shanked Coulson? (Okay, you didn’t, cuz you are all fictional characters). I get it, the plot has to move forward, but that plot advancement was thiiiiiin.
Now that I’m done, I am disappointed that it looks like there won’t be a third…the ending teases a fun continuation, but I guess I’ll let my imagination be my guide. Overall, I’d recommend you take a gander at Bardugo’s Grishaverse as they are equally compelling for a 41-year-old woman who doesn’t read a lot of YA and a 14-year-old boy who doesn’t read a lot, which is a specific needle to thread.