Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo- 5/5 stars
“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.”
Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for sending me this book to share my thoughts.THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!
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.
Originally, Six of Crows had already been one of my favourite reads of all time, so my expectations for Crooked Kingdom were already very high. However, Crooked Kingdom not only exceeded those expectations but ended the duology in a way that leaves the reader completely satisfied, yet craving more from Leigh Bardugo’s complex Grisha world. It ties up Kaz Brekker and his infamous crew’s story beautifully, and leaves the door for future opportunities open at the same time.
There are many aspects of this book that I absolutely loved, the first of these being the unique and complex characterisation of Leigh Bardugo’s characters. There is no black and white in this book and almost every character of importance is either a criminal, a killer or a despicable thief. And yet readers are also given a thorough look into their pasts, in which we can see why they are the way they are, sympathise with them and love their strength, resilience and determination. For me, it was refreshing to read about characters in which the lines between hero and villain are blurred.
Another aspect i absolutely loved was the world building of Ketterdam and and Leigh Bardugo’s setting in general. She manages to weave magic and modern technology together in a way that doesn’t seem weird or incompatible. She combines the two perfectly by balancing out the importance of both. She also manages to build many worlds within one world. In Crooked Kingdom, we are able to see great kingdoms of wealth and power, accompanied with dirty streets filled with crime, murder and injustice. This broad range of settings allows diversity in ways the plot can be carried out.
Thirdly, the romance in the book was written perfectly and the dynamics between each character was spot on. There was no such thing as instant love or infatuation here, only heartfelt relationships that were built purely on trust and sacrifice. The romance also stayed true to the characters, for example (spoiler) seen in Kaz and Inej’s relationship where in the end, they are holding hands contently and nothing more for the time being, due to their dark pasts. For me, i felt that this was the most believable and satisfying end to their love story. I also love how at no point does the romance never overwhelms the plot. Instead, its slow burn leaves audiences wanting more.
And lastly, i absolutely LOVED the way the plot was executed all throughout Crooked Kingdom. It takes on many twists and turns, leaving the reader momentarily perplexed and on the edge of their seat, waiting to see what would happen next. Leigh Bardugo also puts in the perfect schemes and I honestly believe that if she were not an author she could be a criminal master mind. You cannot help but admire the way she constantly incorporates the element of surprise into her book and the many fantastic ideas that she manages to tie together. It was honestly a roller-coaster of a book, but definitely the best kind.
All in all, this book was absolutely amazing and surpasses every expectation. If i could i would give it every star in the world. Leigh Bardugo, bravo, you are the most beautiful and thoughtful artist of words. Don’t ever stop writing.
I recommend this book to anyone that loves Fantasy, Young Aleut and Sci-Fi. It was a perfect end to a duology. If you are interested in buying this book you can purchase it from Hachette Australia, Book Depository, Booktopia and Amazon. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Please give it a like and please let me know in the comments below what you thought of Crooked Kingdom.
Thank you to my friend Carissa for reading and reviewing Crooked Kingdom. And thank you to @thoughtsinprint on Instagram for letting me use her gorgeous photo!