Say hello to the masterpiece that is Crooked Kingdom, the amazing conclusion to Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows Duology. After the epic awesomeness that was the first book, this second instalment had the potential to flop miserably but, instead of falling short, it rose to even greater, and more amazing, heights than the first one.
This review may contain mild spoilers for this book, Six of Crows and for books in the Grisha Trilogy (What I consider spoilers might not be what you consider spoilers but I thought that I’d put it out there just in case). READERS YE BE WARNED!
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 the Grisha world.
Crooked Kingdom… How do I begin to explain Crooked Kingdom?
Crooked Kingdom is flawless.
I hear Waylan’s face is insured for $10,000.
I hear Inej does knife commercials… in Japan.
Jesper’s favorite movie is Shooter.
One time Nina met Matthias Helvar on a plane – and he told her she was pretty.
One time Kaz punched me in the face… it was awesome.
Muahahahahahaha! Aren’t I hilarious? Can you tell that I’ve watched Mean Girls recently?!?! In all seriousness however, Crooked Kingdom is, for reals, an absolutely amazing piece of writing.
I must say, it took me a little while to really get into the story and there wasn’t a super large amount of exciting stuff in the first part of the book. In saying that however, once the action did start, it was fast-paced and epic right until the very end. I’ve found that this duology has significantly more complex plots than Leigh Bardugo’s earlier novels which I really liked (Even if I did get a bit lost at times with all of the plans going to hell in a hand basket and needing to be re-formed). The “heist” in this book is definitely a lot different from the epic, life-threatening robbery that occurred in Six of Crows in that there was no illegal border jumping (we stay in Ketterdam! YAY!) and it is less focused on breaking and entering and stealing stuff and more on Kaz screwing with everyones minds.
I still stand by my saying that I love every single character in this series. Really! They are just all so beautiful (Insert heart eyes) and the character development for most of my lovelies is off the charts. I didn’t think this was possible but Kaz actually manages to get meaner and more ruthless in this book, a transformation for which I have a theory: Inej seems to be about 99.8% of Kaz’s conscience and without her present he just does whatever he deems necessary, no matter how horrible. While I do still like Inej, she does tend to have a rather “holier than thou” attitude towards people and I get that she is kinda religious (all her knives are named after saints after all) but it can get to be a bit annoying at times. Cue the entrance of my FAVOURITE ship of the entire series, Nina and Matthias. OHMYGOD! MY HEART! I just love these two and their cuteness so much! After finishing Six of Crows I thought the the character with the most potential for development was Kaz but I WAS WRONG! Jesper absolutely takes the cake for this one. One thing that I did wonder about was Kuwei and his lack of real importance, despite being a rather important piece in the game. He had a big influence over the plot but not a big part as a character.
The book itself is actually huge, over 500 pages. When I got it and saw this I was SUPER excited because I like big books and I cannot lie (but only when they are written well). And this was WRITTEN WELL. Way to hit me right in the feels Ms Bardugo! This book manages to be hugely funny, dark and creepy, and amazingly exciting all at the same time (HOLY JESUS THE PLOT TWISTS WILL LEAVE YOU STUNNED). One thing I wasn’t too happy about was how very little we got to see things from Kaz’s point of view because who doesn’t love being in the depths of his dark little twisted mind. On the flip side however, we do get to see Wylan’s POV so thats good (even if i do think that so many points of view can be confusing).
This book promised to be amazing and it didn’t disappoint. I’m actually horribly sad that it’s over (Lucky for me we will be getting a Nikolai Lantsov series soonish). Crooked Kingdom put my feelings in a blender and hit puree (Let’s be honest, that is something Kaz would probably do). I was laughing and crying and I hope beyond hope that we get to see all of these little gangsters in more books in the future.