Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Genre: High Fantasy
Release Date: September 27th 2016
Buy The Book: Book Depository
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off the most daring heist imaginable.
But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're fighting for their lives.
Double-crossed and badly weakened, they're low on resources, allies and hope.
While a war rages on the city's streets, the team's fragile loyalties are stretched to breaking point.
Kaz and his crew will have to make sure they're on the winning side... no matter what the cost.
Considering I’ve been doing this for over five years, I still suck at writing up my thoughts on books I completely adored. Like this book. I JUST DON’T HAVE WORDS. WORDS CAN’T DO IT JUSTICE. I’ve been staring at a blank page for ten minutes trying to think of where to START. Firstly, let me assure you that this is a spoiler free review, so if you haven’t read the book yet, no worries (but seriously read it right now, what are you doing with your life). I’ll have a full spoilery discussion on my YouTube channel really soon. But for now, I’ll keep it simple.
Crooked Kingdom is the sequel to Six of Crows, and the final book in the dualogy. It picks up just after the events of the first book, so the crew are currently doing everything they can to bring Inej back from the clutches of the despiseable Jan Van Eck (I HATE THIS MAN SO MUCH, JUST PUTTING THAT OUT THERE). The crows have to keep working together to assure that Van Eck doesn’t get his hands on Kuwei and that both he and Pekka Rollins pay for the trouble they’ve caused. Once again, the genius that is Kaz Brekker comes up with a masterful scheme for absolutely everything, even when you think he has no more tricks in store.
This plot is amazing. It’s tense and action packed from the very start. No matter what is thrown at the crew, they figure out a way to get around it. To see the the story that started in Six of Crows come to such clever and brilliant conclusion is immensely satisfying. Everything was so well plotted and there were plenty of twists to be found, even if some of them were a little stressful to read because THESE POOR CHARACTERS HAVE TO SUFFER.
Let’s talk about the characters a little because this story would not be as gripping as it is without such a varied bunch of characters leading the way. Not one of them is dull. Though I love them all dearly, I’ll admit that I did have a little extra love in my heart for Jesper throughout Six of Crows and I was excited to learn more about his backstory in this book, which didn’t disappoint. It was great to see him finally face his own demons and learn to be accepting of his abilities as a Fabrikator. I also have to point out how much I adored Kaz in this book. He is so complex and the way Bardugo told his story was perfect. He and Inej make such an amazing team.
Let me talk about Wylan because I love him very much. Finally we get chapters that follow him and they were everything I wanted them to be and more. His story broke my heart in several places but I’ve loved his character development over the course of this dualogy. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that Nina has an interesting and slightly creepy side effect to the jurda parem she took at the end of SoC. I certainly wasn’t expecting it and now I want to know more. Novella, anyone? I would happily read more about Nina Zenik. Also, the scenes between her and Matthias in this book were touching and often hilarious.
I need to mention that the relationships between these characters were so beautifully built, even if there were certain scenes that made me want to throw my copy of the book across the room (YES, CHAPTER 24, I AM LOOKING SPECIFICALLY AT YOU). The bond that has grown between them as friends is great and we get to see a lot more lighthearted moments this time around. Even among all of the action, there are still some cute and funny moments between them all.
Though the ending was as heartbreaking as it was amazing, the events that happened were necessary to the plot. There wasn’t one single thing about Crooked Kingdom that left me disappointed, and I’m so grateful to Leigh Bardugo for creating these characters and this world. It’s one I’ll be thinking a lot about long after putting the book down.