Rule of Wolves
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: King of Scars, #2
Page Count: 598
Original Publication Date: 2021
Genre(s): Young adult, Fantasy
War has come, and everyone will play their part in bringing that war to an end. As Fjerda’s army marches on Ravka, Nikolai tries his best to prepare for it. He’ll either come out of the war as King of Ravka, or die trying to save his country. Zoya has lost too much—and too many—to give up now. As General of the Second Army, she knows exactly where she’ll be when Fjerda invades: on the front lines, ready to fight and die for her king and country. She’s always been a weapon. She was born for this. Nina remains undercover in Fjerda, desperately trying to send word of the army’s plans ahead of time to warn her king. But the closer she gets to Fjerda’s own royalty, the more dangerous the game gets. Everyone has a role in this war, and ready or not, it’s coming.
Can I just say, THANK DJEL LEIGH BARDUGO STEPPED UP HER GAME FOR THIS BOOK. After being so disappointed with King of Scars, I am soooooo relieved that Rule of Wolves left that boring story behind and joined the other Grishaverse books in being truly unforgettable. Rule of Wolves is a culmination of all the other Grisha books – it brings together Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows, and King of Scars for an epic final battle, the future of Ravka hanging in the balance. And what a finale we received.
Rule of Wolves continues the same format as KOS: alternating third-person POV chapters. Once again Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina take center stage. But we also have POV chapters for the Darkling and Mayu Kir-Kaat, a member of Shu Han Princess Ehri’s Tavgharad. Right from the start, I could tell I was going to like this book a lot more than I liked KOS. It was almost non-stop action – even Nina’s chapters kept my interest (for the most part). I probably liked Mayu’s chapters the least, so congrats Nina, you weren’t the least interesting this time around. Though I have to say, Hanne definitely is her saving grace – she really makes those chapters worth it. I was awestruck to finally be inside the Darkling’s head, but I really felt Bardugo could have done more with him. Maybe that’s just me and my psychopathic love for him talking, but still. At least he’s given a better resolution here than in Ruin and Rising.
Nikolai and Zoya, as always, steal the show for me. I adore both of them so much, and their chapters are always interesting. They’re such complex characters, and the scenes where they interact are the best of them. I love that Nikolai and Zoya are both hot and lusted after by literally every man and woman they meet, and yet they can’t even convey their attraction to one another properly. I know part of it is duty and yadda yadda, but also, come on. It’s adorable. I really enjoyed how their stories played out and how it ended for them both. Really and truly satisfying.
Rule of Wolves was the crossover event I didn’t know I was waiting for. It connects the stories of everyone we’ve read about, back through Six of Crows to where it all started in Shadow and Bone. Seeing all my beloved characters interacting was almost too much for me. Honestly I felt like screaming the entire time. ROW takes everything from the previous books and throws it into a big finale that was well worth the many, many pages and hours it takes to get there. I hope no one ever tries to read these books out of order because you just can’t. You need to read them in order.
I’m so thankful I waited until every single one of these books was published (except ROW) before entering into this world. The effect it had on me, reading all of these stories in just 42 days, was incredible. I’m not sure what I’m going to read next or how I’m going to manage it. I’m going to have the biggest book hangover in history now. I’m just glad Netflix’s Shadow and Bone comes out tomorrow – one more thing to look forward to. Well…for now. That last line of ROW is some pretty obvious foreshadowing…and I, for one, would wait an eternity for what I think is coming.
If you’re on BookTok or Bookstagram, there’s no way you’ve escaped the mayhem that is the Grishaverse. If you still haven’t ventured in, I really recommend that you do. It’s quite a world that Bardugo has built – one that you don’t want to miss out on. And I’m fairly certain it’s not over just yet, so what better time to start than…now?