Book Review | Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo // Published: September 27, 2016


Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts 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.

I’m finally done with the Duology! It truly does feel almost unbelievable to have finished this book. I remember having such a hard time reading this a few years back. I kept stopping at the exact same chapter every single time. In the end I decided to just give it a break and pick it up when the time felt right to try again. Of course the right time happened to be a few years later but I got to it in the end didn’t I?

I’ll admit, I loved the characters and the story as a whole a lot more here than I did in book one. Coming back to these characters years after I read the first one made me realize how much I missed the characters in the first place. I’m thankful that I never got spoiled for this one (unless I did and forgot about it) because experiencing this book was such a delight. I love how Leigh Bardugo’s mind works. I love how she writes her stories and how sucked in you get just from reading a few pages. These characters are some of the most memorable and this book is one of the first I think about when I think about found family. Even though it’s been a while since I read Six of Crows the atmosphere came back in full force. It was like I never left.

The amount of twists in this one were unbelievable. The best part about this Duology is the fact that you truly never see them coming. Everything gets more elaborate with each passing page. The stakes feel even higher than they were before. And of course, my enjoyment increased the more I read. Whenever I’m reading a book with multiple points of view there’s always that one character that I don’t really care for. I never experienced that while reading this one. All the characters have grown on me and every one of them brings something to the story and the experience as a whole.

I love that this book had certain cameos. I love that Leigh managed to give us a story that’s even bigger and more elaborate than the previous one. I love how obsessed she managed to make me until the very last page. The character development was truly at its peak. Leigh Bardugo set us up from book one but she managed to take us even deeper into the minds of her characters. Every time I thought they couldn’t possibly feel more real, they did. I feel like these characters have earned a special space in my heart.

I never thought we’d dive deeper into Kaz’s personality. I thought he was so well written in the first book, I didn’t even think there could be more to him. Every time I think I can’t possibly adore him more I somehow do. He’s such a deep and flawed character and one that you can never fully understand. I love that he has so many morally grey moments. I love that he sometimes seems more like a villain. You never know what he’s really planning and it makes reading from his point of view worthwhile.

Inej is another one that I love with my whole heart. She was my favourite in book one and this one cemented her in that position even more. Inej is one of those rare characters. She’s been through so much in her life and yet she somehow still manages to see the good in every situation. She was definitely tested quite a lot in this one and I love that she remains herself through it all. Now we move on to Jesper. It was always obvious that under all the sarcasm and good nature there would be a deep and possibly bruised side to his character. We got to see quite a lot of that in Crooked Kingdom. I was rooting for him throughout the entire book. I’m so happy we saw a different side of him. A more real side.

Nina’s story arc really took a turn I wasn’t expecting. So much was pushed at her and watching her battle with it all was sometimes painful. Things changed for her in a way you know she was never expecting. Watching her go through the motions was brutal but it also proved how strong she really is. When it comes to Matthias, I’ll admit, I didn’t like him so much in Six of Crows. No one could be more shocked than me when I realized I actually liked him a lot more than I was willing to admit. Honestly watching him with Nina was possibly my favourite. I love that Leigh never changed his character 100% after the events of book one. I love that we got to see him battle his previous beliefs and prejudices and not that everything was solved and done. You could see him fighting it and I don’t think it could possibly get more real than that.

Lastly, we have Wylan. This cinnamon roll of a boy has proved so much. You watch him slowly become a more integral part of the group. You see him even start to think a little like them. You watch him fit in, basically. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for this boy, but you bet he could handle it himself. 

I can’t remember the last time I wished a series had more books. There’s nothing negative I can say about this book. I enjoyed it this far more than I thought and I was so sad to see it end. I really don’t want this to be the end of the Crows. I want more of them and I hope we do get more one day. I doubt Leigh could disappoint.

About the Author

Image result for leigh bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse (coming soon to Netflix) which spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Ninth House (Goodreads Choice Winner for Best Fantasy 2019) which is being developed for television by Amazon Studios.


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