What’s Ashley Reading?: King of Scars

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

First line: Dima heard the barn doors slam before anyone else did.

Summary: Nikolai Lantsov, the young king of Ravka, has spent the first several years of his reign trying to hold his country together. With the help of his Triumvirate he hopes to strengthen the borders, improve diplomatic relations and rebuild the Second Army. However, as miracles continue to happen around the country and a darkness still infects his land, he is met with more than he imagined.

My Thoughts: Nikolai was one of my favorite characters from Bardugo’s original trilogy. He has a sharp wit and charisma that lets him steal every scene. I was so happy when I learned that he was getting his own duology. Authors do answer prayers! Ha! And Nina from The Dregs Duology has a starring role as well. I loved every one of her chapters. She is daring and smart. And she does not mind causing a little trouble along the way.

“But it’s a very arduous path,” Nikolai said. “Who will carry my snacks?”

In addition to past characters we meet several new ones. I did not know how I was going to feel about them when they first entered the storyline but they surprised me. It was a fun plot twist. I am excited to see where these new characters take us.

The first half of the book was a little slower, a trait which I have noticed in the other books. But when the action picks up the story flies by. Trust me and stick with this. It is worth every minute you spend reading it.

And finally that ending! Wow! It was shocking. It literally gave me goosebumps as I was reading it. I will be highly anticipating the next book. I hope I do not have to wait too long.

FYI: I would highly recommend you read The Shadow and Bone Trilogy and The Dregs Duology before picking this one up. There are lots of characters and storylines that carry on into this latest addition to the Grishaverse.

What’s Ashley Reading?: The Language of Thorns

It’s that time of year again!  Time to set a new reading goal for the year.  The last several years I have set a goal of 75 books.  I nearly doubled it with 145 books in 2018.  Do you have reading goals?  How do you track them?  I love Goodreads because I can create shelves, lists and make notes on what I read.  The Language of Thorns is my first completed book of the year and it definitely started the year off well!

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

First line: In the year that summer stayed too long, the heat lay upon the prairie with the weight of a corpse.

Summary: A collection of five fairy tales and legends told by the best-selling author, Leigh Bardugo, brings the reader into a mystical world filled with enchanted nutcrackers, mermaids and witches.

Highlights: I absolutely loved these short stories. Bardugo is a master of world building and atmosphere. I have read several of her novels and enjoyed each one. She can do so much in just a few pages.

By far my favorite of the stories was the story of Clara and the nutcracker. It seems like we know this story but Bardugo puts her own twist on it making it darker and more intriguing.

The pages are stunning with their artwork at the borders. Each page adds more imagery that enhances the story. Plus, if you have read her books (Grisha Trilogy and Dregs Duology) you will find little Easter eggs embedded in the tales. I highly recommend this collection to anyone who loves fantasy and Russian style fairy tales.

FYI: If you enjoyed this then try the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. I read the third book in December and was once again blown away by Arden’s story telling abilities.