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 badly weakened, 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.
Warning: My review has spoilers for Six of Crows.
This book was UNBELIEVABLE. I was a bit worried that it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations, because I’ve been a bit disappointed by some other books I’d been highly anticipating this fall, but Crooked Kingdom did not let me down!
What made this book so amazing?
1. The Plot: After pulling off that heist in the first book, I wasn’t quite sure what the crew would be up to once they returned to Ketterdam; I knew that they had to rescue Inej, but I didn’t think the whole book would be about that. Crooked Kingdom was mainly about getting revenge against Van Eck for double crossing the crew after they captured Kuwei from the Ice Court for him. And let me just say, the intricacy of the Kaz’s plot to try to bring Van Eck down was incredible. There were a few twists that I was able to guess, but I still loved watching how they panned out. Overall, the book was a lot more fast-paced than its predecessor and I’d really recommend that anyone reading it cancel their plans for a day or two, because it was nearly impossible to stop reading once I’d started.
2. The Characters: Usually when a book or series has a large ensemble cast of main characters, I’m bound to dislike at least one of them. However, I love each and every single one of the main characters in this series. They’re all so unique, flawed, strong, and completely wonderful. I didn’t think it was possible that I could love them more than I did in Six of Crows, but the character development in Crooked Kingdom made me do just that.
Unlike in Six of Crows, Wylan got his own chapters in this book. Getting the chance to learn more about his backstory and relationship with his father, and getting a peek inside his head increased my appreciation for him a hundredfold. In Six of Crows, Wylan was a somewhat timid, naive merchling, but he really came into his own in Crooked Kingdom and proved himself to be a valuable member of Kaz’s crew.
I mentioned how the characters were flawed, and the way Leigh Bardugo had her characters deal with their flaws was perfect. None of them was ever magically healed or miraculously overcame his or her issues, but the characters slowly started to embrace their difficulties and began to take small steps to overcome them.
3. The Romance: I’ve noticed in the past, that a lot of young adult books have the tendency to pair up practically everyone. In Six of Crows, it quickly became clear to me that each member of the crew might potentially become romantically involved with another member of the crew. I was worried that if every main character was involved with another one of the main characters, then those romances would consume the plot of Crooked Kingdom. Thankfully, that did not happen – there was the perfect amount of romance to keep thing interesting without detracting from the main storyline.
I cannot recommend both this book and Six of Crows enough! Crooked Kingdom not only met my high expectations, but surpassed them – I laughed, I cried, and I stared into space wondering what I should do with my life when I was done reading it. I only have one complaint: I really don’t want to have to say goodbye to these incredible characters!