Crooked kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
“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.”– Leigh Bardugo
Book: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young adult fiction, Fantasy Fiction
Series: Six of Crows, Duology
Publisher of the Collectors Edition: Orion Children’s Books
My rating: 5/5
Before getting on with this, my review for Six of Crows can be found here : Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz Brekker and his crew pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies and hope.
As old rivals and new enemies descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of Jurda Parem – a dangerous substance capable of altering the very fabric of Grisha magic – Kaz’s cunning and his team’s fragile loyalties are tested to their limit.
A war will be waged within the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the future of magic and the fate of the world.
“And that was what destroyed you in the end: the longing for something you could never have.”– Leigh Bardugo
It’s over! I’ve finally finished the book! Finally finished the series! After putting it off for over half a year and the last chapter for over two days, I now am a certified Six of Crows series veteran.
The series is so well constructed and well written, I didn’t want it to be over. This is an absolute masterpiece that every fantasy reader or otherwise should give a try. It definitely appeals to the masses in a way I haven’t seen any other series do.
I can’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Anything that doesn’t fit right. It has suspense, drama, flashbacks, romance, revenge, righteousness, selfless love, all the cunning in the world, family, friendship and action. And mix all of that in the right amounts with a near perfect writing style, you get six of crows, the duology.
I’ve already highlighted how much I adore that Leigh Bardugo chose to have a lead character who has embraced his disability and made it his strength in the review of six of crows. In this book, she takes it to a next level.
It is definitely not a fast read but it is that kind of a book where the story is so gripping that you would put off your life to finish it. Continuing the narrative from its first part, we also see a lot of Wylan and I loved that.
The book starts off with the gang trying to rescue Inej and it is followed by their master-plan of getting the money that they were promised while also taking revenge on Pekka Rollins and Jan Van Eck.
It is not a story where the leads are the most intelligent people and get everything they’ve ever wanted or planned for. They are clever, yes, but frequently outwitted and up their game to finally achieve their goals.
There was the right amount of flashback and surprises in the first part but Crooked Kingdom gives us more. The plot twists are to die for. The romance is so subtle yet so intriguing.
There are heartbreaks too. This is not a book that gives all its characters a happy ending. It does give all of them a purpose though.
The story takes place again in Ketterdam and it’s perfectly explained in detail. I love checking the maps that are given in between reading the book whenever a place is mentioned.
This is also one of those series where the part II is equally good as the part I if not better.
I’m sad it’s over. But, the story does end on a note where a lot of spin offs can happen, so, I’m gonna be optimistic and hope that Queen Leigh has more in store for us.
I rate the book, 5/5 stars!
I did not expect any of the twists that were thrown my way. The best out of them being The merchant counsel showing up and in the end turning out to be actors. First of all, the merchant counsel came in and I thought that the entire plan was going down the drains but it somehow worked out so I was happy. But after finding out that it was just an act and only a few of them were tide-makers made me laugh like a crazy lunatic.
Inej being tortured was something I couldn’t bear to read. I really wanted to un-gut Jan Van Eck and feed his insides to the wolves. I’m glad how every member of their gang was ready to do anything to get Inej back.
Alys is such a sweet little girl. I feel like this is a child marriage and that Alys was just wedded off to Van Eck because of his money and power and she had no choice other than to love him. I would have loved finding out more about her and her child.
Wylans mother is alive and his inability to read is probably why she’s in the asylum. I feel like this was a very important addition to the story that made us connect to Wylan’s emotions. He does get her back and we learn that she is slowly recovering.
Pekka Rollins joining hands with Van Eck to sabotage Kaz was unexpected too. I love how kaz still saw a way around this. Especially conning Pekka about burying his son and giving him nightmares goes to show how observant and clever Kaz is. Pekka doesn’t even remember Jacob’s name and that really sucks.
Van Eck is in jail. Rightfully so and everyone and everything is against him. Wylan has all his property and with the help of Jesper is managing it fine. I definitely hope they have kids some day.
Jesper learns to embrace his powers and also realises that may be, just may be his addictions were a way of his disuse of power making him weak. He also realises that he’s a shooter because he can direct the bullets with his power. He finally decides to put the money he earned in his father’s name and moves in with Wylan.
Nina and Mathias deserved better. There’s no way that Mathias has died. I really want Nina to master the art of waking up the dead and bring back Mathias to life. But she does promise to bury him in the ice and true love is the best.
Inej has found her form of true love too. Kaz has not only bought off her agreement and set her free but also procured her a boat. She proves that no matter how well trained anyone is, she is the wraith and no one can beat her. She however decided to start eliminating slavers from Ketterdam with the help of Kaz. He also gets her family to Ketterdam and it’s the best thing ever.
“Suffering is like anything else. Live with it long enough, you learn to like the taste.”– Leigh Bardugo
Coming to the characters I haven’t described in my review of Six of Crows:
Kuwei Yul-Bo: The son of Bo Yul-Bo, the maker of Jurda Parem, he’s the most wanted person in the Grishaverse since he remains the only person left who knows the secrets to uncovering the recipe of Jurda Parem. He is a grisha himself and is an Inferni. I guess he’s gay becasue he does make sketches of Jesper and kisses him back when Jesper mistakes him for Wylan. He decides to sacrifice himself to protect the crows but they end up saving him and sending him to Ravka.
Colm Fahey: The best father award goes to… Mr Colm Fahey who has spent his entire life trying to protect Jesper from his own powers. He lost his wife who was a Grisha and doesn’t want to lose his son. He somehow adopts all the crows and accepts to take the risky job of pretending to be Jacob Hertzoon to con Jan Van-Eck. He is so happy with Wylan and Jesper being together.
“Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself.”– Leigh Bardugo
Reasons to pick up the book:
- An adventure filled fantasy that is sure to leave you wanting for more
- A mix of strong characters
- lgbtq plus literature
- a very good ending to the duology
- doesn’t seem far fetched ( which is highly important)
- projects good values
- a subtle dig at the rich running the world in their evil ways.
- I’m not sure I’ll find something as catchy as this
- There is death which may be a trigger
- Some love stories have a sad ending and I wish it wasn’t so for one of the pairs.
“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”– Leigh Bardugo