Book Review: Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo was a book that took me by surprise. From the LGBTQ+ representation to the long-awaited Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone crossover, my jaw was glued to the floor.

Rule of Wolves takes place several weeks after the end of the previous book in the King of Scars duology, King of Scars. Nikolai Lantsov, the soon-to-be king of Ravka, is still trying to rebuild his country. Chaos ensues, and war begins. Nikolai and his general, Zoya Nazyalensky, must create weapons tough enough to retaliate against their enemies.


Meanwhile, Nina Zenik, a Ravkan spy, is working with Hanne Brum, the child of a Fjerdan general, to help the Ravkan war effort from inside enemy lines. At the same time, Ehri Kir-Taban, Tamar Kir-Bataar, and Mayu Kir-Kaat all travel to Shu Han to save the country from corruption and save Grisha while they’re at it.

How do you survive a world that keeps taking?

Zoya Nazyalensky

Bardugo definitely made an effort to fix her errors in the Shadow and Bone trilogy with this book. The lack of representation in the trilogy was disappointing. Rule of Wolves is what Shadow and Bone should’ve been—a nose-dive into the cultures of the Grishaverse.

Here, you get a real look into Shu culture whilst learning darker secrets about Fjerda. You get to compare and contrast the two, something that you really couldn’t do in any of the other books since the character perspectives weren’t that different from one another. Since Rule of Wolves includes the perspectives of Nikolai, Zoya, Nina, Mayu, and the Darkling, you get a broader view of Bardugo’s world.

All in all, Rule of Wolves is a book that won’t disappoint if you’re a fan of the Grishaverse, and I’m looking forward to Leigh Bardugo’s next books in the series. You should definitely check it out if you have the chance.

-Shadi H.

Rules of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo can be downloaded for free on Overdrive.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell, tells the story of a not-so-great Chosen One with a tendency to set things of fire – Simon Snow, and his vampire roommate/nemesis – Baz Pitch. As secrets from the past are brought to light once again, Simon and Baz are forced to work together to defeat the evil Humdrum that has been plaguing the magical society in England. Filled with monsters, magic, and romance, Carry On is a thrilling adventure with twists and turns and a fast-paced plot that leaves readers hungry for more.

This book, in a nutshell, is Harry Potter crossed with Twilight, with Star Wars references. And not in a subtle way. Despite it being remarkably similar to these three franchises, Carry On, in my opinion, is one of the best books I have ever read. It’s fast-paced plot caused me to speed through the book in only a few hours. As soon as I finished it, I immediately opened it back to the first page and started all over again.

Carry On contains many well written and lovable characters. While they bear many similarities to characters from Harry Potter (Simon to Harry, Penny to Hermione, Mage to Dumbledore, and Baz to Draco), they are each distinct and unique characters, with fun and likable personalities that set them apart from the characters they are based on.

Another thing that makes this book so great is the LGBT+ representation. Both of the main characters are part of the LGBT+ community as well as some of the side characters, something that is not seen often in this genre.

There were some swear words, just a warning, but I felt that they helped make the dialogue feel more real and authentic. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you love fantasy, if you love romance, if you love YA, then pick up this book immediately – you won’t regret it!

-Lauren R.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive