Crooked Kingdom ~ Leigh Bardugo

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Date Completed: 10/16/16

Rating: 10/10

My goodness, this book was amazing. Let’s hear it for the sequels that are better than the originals in the series! I wanted to just pick  up this book and read it all over again as soon as I finished.

This is the amazingly well-written sequel to Six of Crows, a YA fantasy seriesI usually don’t like sequels as well as originals, but I have to say, the story just gets better and better. So sad there are only two books in the series! The gang, Matthias, Nina, Kaz, Jesper, Inej, and Wylan continue their quest for ultimate freedom and prosperity in this follow-up heist novel, except this time it is literally the six of them against the world. It seems that every territory and group of people wants a piece of them, and Kaz Brekker can’t let that happen.

As I was reading this book, a couple of things came to mind. 1) Wow, it must be so hard to be Leigh Bardugo right now because she has to end this amazing world. There is literally so much pressure on her because she’s created such a successful moving story that thousands if not millions of people feel like they have a stake in. Wow. 2) It’s usually very annoying when all the main characters in books are romantically involved with one another, but it really works for this story and I’m glad that Bardugo went with it. All seven main characters are teamed up against the world, and they’ve been through so much together it makes sense that they would end up being all romantically involved. That tends to happen with such tight-knit groups of people, in my experience.

The cover, pages, layout, and everything was so beautiful on this book. I love reading books that are pretty to look at, and admit that I am often attracted to books for their outward appearance more than anything else about them. However, I was originally drawn to this book because it was the sequel of the much-hyped Six of Crows that somewhat disappointed me. Not that it wasn’t good, just that I didn’t feel like I couldn’t live without it, as many readers were raving on and on about. I mostly picked up this book because I couldn’t leave Inej hanging as she is one of my favorite characters.

I’m really pleased with the depth of each of the six main characters. Bardugo gives them each a traumatic and fascinating history that builds slowly over time, revealing more and more of their individual ticks. And leaves so much room for character development! I love the intricacy with which Bardugo tends to each of their blossoming and ever-changing friendships as well, how many dynamics there are between the different pairs and groups within the greater team. I truly feel like the story would not be complete without every single character, a feeling I do not always experience when reading books, especially with such a grand cast of characters.

Of course this book will tug on your heartstrings. How can it not when their is such grief and such danger around every bend? I found it so easy to love each character and feel their pain as they struggle to love and fight for each other, even as they brazenly lunge into dangerous situations. All I can say is, I hope they all find the hope they are looking for in the future.

Bardugo writes each chapter from a different character’s perspective, almost always from one of the six. I was still fascinated by the fact that she opened from Retvenko’s perspective and closed from Pekka Rollins. I can’t remember if she did something similar in Six of Crows, but stylistically it was an interesting move. It opens and ends with a kind of fear that is not really present for any of the other six characters, yet at the same time it doesn’t give an unfair advantage to any one of the six to open and close out this fantastical story.

Anyways, I recommend this book so strongly. You will have to Six of Crows first, and the story is so amazing between the both books. Happy reading to you all!

Leigh Barugo is a famous author of the YA Grisha series as well as Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. You can read my review of Six of Crows here or visit her website, which again, is beautifully crafted.

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