Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: 27th September 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary: 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.
*This review contains spoiler for the previous book in the series!
This is the second book in the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. After loving the first book, I was super excited to finally read this and complete the duology. A part of me is very sad that these characters’ story has ended but I’m glad things have had a satisfying conclusion.
Reading this book reminded me of why I loved the first novel so much. The characters, once again, are the highlight of this story. They’re still a gang of morally grey, misfits but I still can’t help but love them. We learn so much more about everyone in this book; We delve into many of the character’s pasts which made me love them even more than I did whilst reading Six of Crows. Each character develops during this story and this is an aspect of this series that I really loved. It’s so strange how these characters continue to do terrible things but I still root for them to succeed in all their scheming.
I adored the relationships between all the characters. There is lots of romance in this book but it isn’t overwhelming as it woven into the plot so well. There’s such complexity in how each character interacts with every other characters which I also enjoyed. The characters that really stood out to me in this story were Inej and Jesper. Inej I loved in the first book a lot and we learned loads more about her in this story. She’s such a brave and strong character, in an often quiet and unassuming way, which is something I really loved. Jesper is a character who I also liked in the first book, but he’s become one of my favourites after reading this story. I loved learning about his past and how that has shaped what he’s currently doing.
“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.”
I loved how unpredictable this book was. I thought, when I first started reading, that I knew where this book was going. But nothing happened how I expected it to and I think this is what made the plot slightly stronger than the first book. I had no idea what was going on in this book, in the best possible way. And just when I thought the story was going one way, it turned out Kaz was plotting something crazy and things take a completely different turn.
The plot is fast paced and important character flashbacks were wonderfully mixed into the writing. I’m also very satisfied with how the story ended. There were lots of sad and happy moments that occurred, but overall I love how things were wrapped up.
The Grisha universe is so rich and developed and Leigh Bardugo does an amazing job of bringing this world to life. I loved all the references to the characters from The Grisha Trilogy as I enjoyed revisiting some of the people I loved from those books.
This book took me a while to get through but I loved every page of it. I’m sad that I’ve now finished this duology because I’d love to read more about these characters. But I’m so glad I read this series and it’s definitely one of my new favourites.