Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
This book continued the whirlwind that was Six of Crows and I loved jumping back into the crew and seeing all that Kaz Brekker had planned and how it worked out. A fantastic sequel to the series! PLEASE NOTE: There will be spoilers for book one and slight spoilers for book 2 in this review so if you haven’t read it or want a refresher you can read my review here.
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
I really loved this book. I loved delving back into the story and being a part of the crew again. Inej, Kaz, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan are such great characters to adventure beside and this book kept me enthralled from page one.
The story begins right where Six of Crows left off, Inej being taken, Kaz being his usual self and everyone else trying to figure out what is going on. So much happens in this book and it never goes the way you expect, which I think is exactly how the characters feel. Kaz appears to be the only one who expects these things and even then, they don’t always go according to plan.
One of the things I love most about this series is how human it feels. I mean, it’s fantasy and has all those elements but the reactions of characters in the book are just so accurate. You have Inej who is confident and charming but also achingly realistic. You have Nina who is struggling with who she is and her changing power but focuses on getting things done (and eating waffles). You have Matthias who has forsaken everything he has known but working for a common purpose, to educate his people. We have Jesper, who’s past catches up with him and crack under pressure but wants to help. We have Wylan who made a decision that he might be stuck with but focuses on bringing his father down. AND THEN WE HAVE KAZ. Kaz, who could kill you with one look but is determined to win at any cost. And the dangerous thing is no one knows what that cost may be.
These characters ache and pain just like we do and I keep thinking of all these examples but I don’t want to give it away so go read it! Read it and then come back!
The plot is super well paced, it doesn’t drag and it isn’t unnecessarily fast. This all happens within a week or two but doesn’t race past. Having six characters keeps the story going. I love the ending and I love seeing all the bits and pieces tie together as we see characters from the Grisha Trilogy come back and assist. The writing is also beautiful and amazing and perfect.
I loved the kick ass moments of tension where Kaz is fighting Jesper or Kaz fighting for the Dregs or … Well, Kaz fighting anyone really. I also adore Nina and Inej and could see complete spin off series of them to be honest. Inej, there are no words.
The romance is apparent in this book and I love all the couples. It’s not over the top, not the main story device but helps the story along. I’m a sucker for romance so I loved those scenes.
There is too much to say about the good in this book. Just talking about it makes me want to read it again.
There were a couple of things I didn’t like in this book but I think that it is more a personal opinion. This is the story that Leigh Bardugo wanted and I respect that. That being said, I was devastated for the ending with Matthias. Couldn’t believe it. My heart broke.
I also thought that Kaz didn’t seem to have as much character progression as the other characters. He appeared to still be very much the stoick, rough character he was when we first met him but when I think about it more the fact that he opened up to the others and to Inej was pretty amazing. I could read another bunch of books to see more of him and see what he is like. However, these two things do not change my opinion of this being a pretty fantastic book!
Recommended for: Fantasy lovers, people who love adventure books, anyone! Go for the adventure!
“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
“Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”
“How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night.”
“Don’t worry, Da. People point guns at each other all the time in Ketterdam. It’s basically a handshake.”
Have you read Crooked Kingdom? If you have, what did you think of it?