By Leigh Bardugo.
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.
I read Six of Crows earlier this year and it was without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read in 2016, along with A Court of Mist and Fury. So I had high expectations for this sequel, and it certainly did not disappoint.
One thing I did in the weeks leading up to this release was read the Grisha trilogy (for those who may not be aware, the Six of Crows books are set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy). I didn’t enjoy it as much, but it paid off in a big way when I was reading Crooked Kingdom, as some of those characters make a surprise appearance in this book. You don’t have to read the trilogy in order to follow what’s going on in this one, but I felt it did add a little something to the story, and I was glad I took the time to read it beforehand.
I thought it was interesting the way this book was structured to have several small heists, as opposed to the one big heist of Six of Crows. It helped to make it seem fresh and not be just a retread of the first book.
All the plot twists felt natural and earned and, more importantly, they made sense. Kaz’s plans didn’t always work – which meant he wasn’t invincible – but when they failed it was always for a really good reason – which meant he wasn’t stupid. This type of balance in a character is very hard to obtain, and I find that most books don’t get it quite right.
The city of Ketterdam was further developed into a full fledged living breathing character and it provided a rich setting for the whole book.
I already liked all the characters from the previous book, but in this one we got to delve deeper into their backstories and experience some genuine growth. The way the relationships were written was so believable, and they all felt incredibly real. The scene with Kaz and Inej when he’s changing her bandages was so well written, I was enthralled by it. In my opinion, the characters are the main reason this duology is absolutely fantastic.
The ending was very satisfying in a lot of ways, while also leaving just the right amount of threads unresolved. It was a nice touch to have a Pekka Rollins POV as the final chapter.
The truth is, I read this book at a slower pace than I normally do because I didn’t want it to end. So what more can I say? Just go read it. Now.
5 hearts out of 5!