Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Publication Date: September 27th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy.
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones
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.
What more can be said that hasn’t already been said? This book was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. The character’s are wonderfully flawed and complex, the plot and anticipation of what’s to come had me on the edge of my seat the whole time and the writing is simply addictive.
The characters were the highlight of the book for me. Each and every single one of these characters display acts of complete brutality and yet you still find yourself rooting for them. What is even more impressive is that we are treated to flashbacks that give us insight into the reasons why they find themselves in the position they are today. Six of Crows mainly focuses on Kaz, Inej, Matthias and Nina’s pasts, which meant that I felt a bit disconnected to Jesper and Wylan. Thankfully, Crooked Kingdom dedicated a lot of time to establish their characters and the experiences they went through that helped shape who they are. This book had all six characters on an even playing field. They all had their part to play and none of them felt like side characters.
With these amazing characters we were also treated to some wonderful relationships; both platonic and romantic. The three couples completely stole my heart and the development of each relationship felt very natural and true to their characters. What also impressed me was how the relationships never took away from the characters own individuality. Beyond the couples we also had a lot of great friendships. The dynamic between Kaz and Jesper was definitely fascinating and I loved the parallels of their relationship to the one of Kaz and his brother. Nina and Inej’s friendship stole my heart and it was so nice to see these two strong women stand together. Even Matthias developed a sense of kinship to this crew and his protectiveness of Inej was incredibly sweet.
The plot itself was incredible. The intricacy in its craft left me in awe. Just when you think you have things figured out, a new curve-ball was thrown into the equation. The action never stopped but there was still plenty of quieter moments that were effectively woven into the book. I was hooked from start to finish.
My words do no justice to the masterpiece that is Crooked Kingdom. It’s a journey you have to experience for yourself so you can see just how intricate the story is and how one tiny detail could make all the difference to the execution of the plan. The character insights were phenomenal; Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Jesper and Wylan have carved their way into my heart.