Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Book: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #2 (final)
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: Henry + Holt
Pages: 546
Release: September 20th, 2016

When you can't beat the odds, change the game.

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 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.

After the ending of the first book, I was itching to read this one!

Kaz and his crew successfully pulled off one of the biggest heist in all history--but at a steep cost. With the rumours flying about of the deadly jurda parem, Kaz and his crew need to regroup quickly to stage the ultimate scam before they end up dead.

All the schemes and plans--the true brilliance of this book lay in the masterminding of the entire plot. I thoroughly enjoyed how unpredictable everything was--from the overall plot to Kaz's schemes to the action. I never knew whether they were actually in danger or if it was some brilliant scheme of Kaz's that he purposely failed to tell the others about in order to get an authentic reaction for their enemy's benefit. 

The star of this book had to be Inej. Don't get me wrong, Kaz was right up there, but though his character development was excellent, it was expected. Inej, on the other hand, blew me away. I thought her character had been wrapped up rather nicely in the last book, with little space for her to grow further, but I was wrong. Inej took it all one step further, demonstrating how strong of a female character she was in regards to preserving her past and present identity, and maintaining healthy relationships. And one of the biggest things was that she gained my utmost respect when it came to her relationship with Kaz. Not many people does what she does, nor do they do it well!

"I would 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."

This book was just as funny as the last one. Between Jesper's comicalness, Matthias' stoicism, and Nina's teasing, the book was filled with hilarious jokes. It really helped lighten up their situations, but didn't overdo the seriousness.

"Don't worry, Da. People point guns at each other all the time in Ketterdam. It's basically a handshake."

"Is that true?" his father asked as the scholar grudgingly moved aside and they shoved the heavy desk in front of the door.

"Absolutely," said Wylan.

"Certainly not," said the scholar.

Jesper waved them on. "Depends on the neighbourhood. Let's go."

And then the ending. GUYS. It was both perfect and bittersweet. Part of it came as a complete surprise (if you know what I'm talking about--NOOOOOOOOOO), the other part as a triumph. But I will say that I am mostly satisfied with the ending. There are a few loose ends, but they aren't completely loose in the sense that the book ends with the readers knowing where everyone's end goal eventually is. Like I said, bittersweet. Bittersweet.

"Where do you think the money went?" he repeated.

"Guns?" asked Jesper.

"Ships?" queried Inej.

"Bombs?" suggested Wylan.

"Political bribes?" offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. "This is where you tell us how awful we are," she whispered.

He shrugged. "They all seem like practical choices."

As much as I enjoyed Crooked Kingdom, I enjoyed Six of Crows better. For some reason, I found the first half to drag, the pacing and action not picking up until halfway through. Though we did get a great finale, it wasn't quite the climax and resolution of the jurda parem situation I was expecting. Regardless, this book is still fantastic, and even better, you definitely get to see a few familiar faces from the Shadow & Bone series! Kaz x Inej, Jesper x Wylan, and Nina x Matthias. Matthias. Matthias. *heavy sighs*


  1. Ahhh I'm so happy you've read this, we must discuss. I completely agree with you on Inej, she was incredible from start to finish! THAT FINALE, nope I am still raw and reeling.
    I can't write a review because of it, I actually cried. WHY OH WHY? I sort of understood but in another sense I was outraged and so upset hahaha. I'm clearly still not over it.
    How adorable was Jesper and Wylan? I loved all the plot twists!

    Amazing Review Erika <3

    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

    1. I know, right? That ending was DEVASTATING. I honestly thought it all was some kind of ploy by Kaz, but then I turned the next page and realized it wasn't, and my heart just broke into pieces. I mean, yes, I know why the author did it, but still, WHYYYYY??? Why must our poor hearts suffer this, Cody? Why? T___T

  2. YESS! Tbh I love this one more, I think it's more fast paced? :D But agree with the ending, it's amazing! It rips my heart but also make me smile you know :')

    1. I KNOW!!! I mean, NINAAAAA. My heart goes out to her, it truly does. And how everyone is going to be alright in the end, though it still may take them time...it's just beautiful!

  3. Ahh I'm currently reading this and now I'm scared to get back into it!! I need my babies to be happy, is that too much to ask??? Fantastic review, as usual! It's great to be back and commenting on others' blogs, I was away for a whie as I was volunteering in Africa! Nice to be back in reality though :)

    1. Oh whoa, Africa! That sounds so cool! Hope you had a blast there :) But I'm glad you're back in the blogging world too! You've been missed. Hope you enjoy this book! :D