Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo – Does It Live Up To The Hype? (King of Scars #2 Review)

Caitsbooks Reviews: Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. 5 Stars. Cover is shown.

There will be no spoilers for any Grishaverse books in this review.

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: This was my most anticipated release of the year, and it did not disappoint.

“Tell them the demon king rules Ravka now and vengeance is coming.”

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Gun Violence, Suicide, Rape Mention, Rape, War Themes, Murder, Misogyny, Kidnapping/Abduction, Miscarriage Mention //

Release Date: 3/30/2021
Publisher: Imprint
Previous Books: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars (click titles to view reviews)
Page Count: 608
Premise:

“Maybe that was the trick to it: to survive, to dare to stay alive, to forge your own hope when all hope had run out.”

Rule of Wolves is the sequel to King of Scars, and the most recent book in the Grishaverse. This book is nearly impossible to describe without spoiling a previous book in this universe, but it follows our main three characters as they deal with the aftermath of the King of Scars ending. Plus some twists. There’s war, monsters, magic, and romance.

“Grief was the shadow love left when it was gone.”

Writing & Setting

If you’ve read up to this book, then you probably already have an idea of what to expect from a writing and setting perspective. But I don’t care, I’m going to rant about it anyways.

Leigh Bardugo’s writing style is beautiful, while also lending itself to great humor and wit. The banter between her characters flows naturally and is addicting to read.

Meanwhile, her worldbuilding is fascinating. We’ve slowly come to learn more and more about this world, the magic system and the countries, and it was great to see all of that knowledge pay off. She continues expanding what we know in new and complex ways, while never making it feel overwhelming.

“This was war. Not parades and boasts but blood and sacrifice, and Ravka would not go quietly.”

Plot

The TWISTS in this book. Oh my god. Admittedly, some aspects of the book were spoiled for me before I picked it up, but that didn’t even matter because there were so many things I never could have predicted, and even the things that were spoiled for me still managed to surprise me in some ways.

Rule of Wolves kept me on the edge of my seat, just waiting to see what would happen next. Not only was it unpredictable, but there was constant danger and threats moving the plot forward. However, despite that, there was still time for call-backs and cameos that will have fans screaming (speaking from experience here). Some of these scenes felt more like fan service than necessary plot points, but I’m not complaining.

Leigh Bardugo has said that this might be the last Grishaverse book. And while the thought of that hurts like hell, this is a fantastic conclusion. There were some aspects of the ending that did leave me a little unsatisfied, but they didn’t bother me enough to change my overall opinion of the book.

While Leigh Bardugo has mentioned that she does have an idea for a third Six of Crows novel, she said isn’t sure if she’ll write it. The ending of Rule of Wolves tells us what the plot of this potential next book might be, and let me tell you, I am so excited. I really hope we do get it, but if we don’t, Rule of Wolves can still stand as a great conclusion to this universe (no matter how badly I don’t want it to end).

“People only say that when they know it won’t last.”
“Of course it won’t last,” said Zoya. “What does?”
“True love?” suggested Tamar.
“Great art?” said Tolya.
“A proper grudge,” replied Zoya

tell me this doesn’t give you “How do you steal a man’s wallet?” vibes

Characters

I love all of these characters with every fiber of my being. Nikolai, Nina, and Zoya, are fantastic protagonists, with great growth. Their development, over the course of all the Grishaverse books? Unparalleled.

However, for some characters, there were some choices made that seemed a little strange in order to give us a perfectly wrapped up ending. They weren’t completely out there for the characters, but I felt like the ending rushed their development a little bit, making it feel somewhat unnatural. I had a similar issue at the end of Ruin and Rising.

But back to how much I love these characters. Not only do we have fantastic protagonists, but all of our side characters are extremely well developed and amazing. You probably already know most of them, if you’ve read the previous books, but there are also a few new characters that are given a moment to shine.

Let the hounds give chase. I do not fear death, because I command it.

Pros- Amazing characters, great conclusion, so many twists
Cons- THAT LAST LINE!!! I need Six of Crows 3 after this
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Rule of Wolves broke me. I laughed, I cried, I screamed into a pillow more than I’m willing to admit. This series- this universe- has meant so much to me, and I couldn’t be happier with the latest installment.

Maybe the gift of being human is that we do not give up- even when all hope is lost.

If You Liked Rule of Wolves, I’d Recommend:

What’s your favorite Grishaverse book and character?

- cait








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