Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo: FAQ

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Rule of wolves is the second book in the King of Scars duology by bestselling author Leigh Bardugo. This novel was first published in 2021. Rule of Wolves is a YA fantasy novel.

In this article, you will find some frequently asked questions about this book. I have tried to answer them as best and honestly as possible.

I hope you enjoy reading these, and I hope this post answers some of the questions you may have about this book!

Since I will be answering questions about the book and its story, this article will contain spoilers.


Below is the official summary from the book:

The Demon King: As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm and even the monster within to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.

The Stormwitch: Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.

The Queen of Mourning: Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.

King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.

How many chapters and pages is Rule of Wolves?

Rule of wolves contains 49 chapters. The last chapter is about Zoya.

In total, the large paperback edition of the book has 588 pages.

Is this book a standalone, duology, or part of a series?

Rule of wolves is the second book in a duology.

However, these books take place in the same world and time as the Grishaverse books. Because of this, I recommend reading the books in this order:

  1. Shadow and Bone;
  2. Siege and Storm;
  3. Ruin and Rising;
  4. Six of Crows;
  5. Crooked Kingdom;
  6. King of Scars;
  7. Rule of Wolves

Is Rule of Wolves the last Grishaverse book?

So far, this is the last book in the Grishaverse series. But Leigh Bardugo has not yet confirmed if there will be another book. Given this information, I’d only be guessing if there were more to come.

Does this book have any romance in it?

Fanart of Zoya

Despite Leigh Bardugo not being known for adding much romance to her books, she did her best in Rule of Wolves. Unlike her previous books, Rule of Wolves does have some romance in it.

Overall there is quite some romantic tension between Nikolai and Zoya throughout the entire book. Eventually, Nikolai confesses his feelings to Zoya. And although there isn’t any great romance, it still gives off romantic vibes.

Then there is also the growing friendship and maybe more between Nina and Hanne. Their relationship is so pure and sweet. And Bardugo really put this into words perfectly.

Chapter 16

This chapter is about Nina and Hanne. They go out for a hunt with prince Rasmus.

When the queen sees Nina in her disguise, she confides in her the fear she has for her son. She believes he is very weak and admits she prays for him every day. As a result, the queen does not want him to join the hunt.

Consequently, this angers the prince so much that he reacts by hitting his young guard Joran. Nina tries to help Joran and they form an unlikely bond.

Chapter 20

This chapter is about Zoya, right after David’s death. Zoya tries to be there for Genya and help her friend. Zoya then thinks back about her own childhood and the way her mother treated her.

Why is Kaz in Rule of Wolves?

Kaz has a small role in Rule of Wolves. When Nikolai and Zoya come to the Crow club, he uses a disguise to eavesdrop.

In the end, he helps them escape through the canals mostly because they need him as he needed them once.

Is Hanne trans?

Hanne Brum is a very interesting character. She is born a female and is referred to with female pronouns. However, she has stated feeling comfortable in a male body while she was tailored to look like prince Rasmus. In any case, it isn’t clear if Hanne indeed is trans or identifies as non-binary or gender non-conforming.


The tropes in this book aren’t as common as you would think. In fact, Leigh Bardugo did not fall back on the tropes used most often in this genre. There are a few underlying tropes that can be named here. But even those aren’t that obvious in the book.

First, we have ‘the lost heir’. This can be seen from many perspectives throughout the story. And can be applied to a few different characters.

Second, there’s ‘the unknown royalty’. This mostly applies to Zoya. Even though she isn’t truly royalty, she is the most likely person to take over the crown from Nikolai.

And third, there is the ‘dead coming back to life’ trope. This is not meant as a zombie kind of trope. But refers to the Darkling taking form through someone’s body. Even though the Darkling was considered to have died, he manages to come back again.

Trigger Warnings

Below you will find a list of some of the content trigger warnings in this book. This is to make you aware of what you can expect when reading this novel. With this in mind, please take note of the next warnings:

  • Blood
  • Death
  • Grief
  • Murder
  • Racism
  • Suicide
  • Death of a loved one
  • Violence
  • War

Does David die?

Yes, David dies In this book. There is a big party for the wedding of Genya and David. At the end of the party, there is an attack from the sky on the town. Houses burn, including the area around the wedding party. Genya goes looking for David, but she can’t find him anywhere. Then when the fires die down she sees his lifeless body.

Does Nikolai die?

While it was close, Nikolai does not die in this book.

Who dies in Rule of Wolves?

The death that has the most impact on the story is David’s death. Also, the Darkling dies “again”. Because of the way he sacrifices himself, it isn’t really clear if he is gone for good.

There are a few more minor deaths. But those don’t really impact the story.

Zoya and Nikolai

Throughout the entire book there is a spark between Zoya and Nikolai. It is clear that Nikolai is interested in her as more than a friend. But he does not know how and if to act on it.

Eventually, he does confess his feelings to her and asks her to be his wife.

Rule of Wolves Quotes

  • “I would give you a crown if I could,” he said. “I would show you the world from the prow of a ship and I would choose you, Zoya. As my general, as my friend, as my bride. I would give you a sapphire the size of an acorn.” He reached into his pocket. “And all I would ask in return is that you wear this damnable ribbon in your hair on our wedding day.”
  • “Love was the destroyer. It made mourners, widows, left misery in its wake. Grief and love were one and the same. Grief was the shadow love left when it was gone.”
  • “Maybe the gift of being human is that we do not give up. Even when all hope is lost.”
  • “I’ll tell you a thousand stories, my love. We’ll write the new endings, one by one.”

What to read after Rule of Wolves

How does Rule of Wolves end?

The Darkling has sacrificed himself to keep the world from ending. Nobody is sure if he is really dead or just somewhere in between.

People have found out that Nikolai isn’t the son of the former king but that his mother had an affair. This results in Nikolai not having a claim to the throne.

As it turns out, Zoya does have a claim to the throne, and Nikolai states he will support her fully. The other members of the court agree, making Zoya the new queen.


Rule of Wolves is the second book in a duology and the latest book in the Grishaverse world. Therefore, it can be read as part of a larger series. Leigh Bardugo manages again to create a world you want to dive into. And you won’t be able to get enough of it!

I hope I have answered some of the questions you may have had about this book!

And if you have more questions that I didn’t answer, feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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