Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – Book Review

22299763Is it pessimistic to say that I wanted to hate this book? It’s a sequel, there’s a certain amount of expectation there knowing that it’s a sequel. It’s supposed to be bad. It’s supposed to try and wrap everything up in a neat little bow, but the bow is made from lion mane still attached to the lion. Most sequels are bad.

Crooked Kingdom is not.

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com) – 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. 

Rating: 5/5

My thoughts – I am a huge fan of the Six of Crow series. My reaction to the end of the first novel made me want to throw a table. Cliffhangers are the worst and Leigh Bardugo gave us the worst cliffhanger of all; ending the first story where these band of misfits get swindled from their money and one of their own gets kidnapped.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

I needed to know what happens to Inej and Kaz, and Matthias and Nina, and does Jesper and Wylan ever hook up because that would be so precious!

All these moments hanging on the balance for only a few months (because I read the book earlier this summer) and then culminated to this final book. When I opened my delivery box, all I can see is the cover. The color palette on the front of the book were these dusty sand and black with a huge crow trying to gain altitude almost reaching out above you.

Then, you see the red-stained edges. I’ve gotten books with deckled edges and I know the Bible comes with that special gold edge, but not red. Such a sexy book.

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I pushed all my books aside and made room for Crooked Kingdom to take me back to Ketterdam and fix all that is wrong in the world.

And wow, did Leigh Bardugo deliver.

While I could complain that the story was a little too long for me, it’s negligible. I don’t think Leigh Bardugo could cut out any step within this process especially since she has the ability to reconnect those moments together at the end.

Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.

Her style of writing is poetic. Each moment for the characters is representative of something in their lives. It could be an insecurity or it could be their greatest strength, but Leigh Bardugo doesn’t leave you in the dark about any of it. The best part is that she doesn’t take 5 books for you to find out. She’s upfront and genuine and actually somewhat like this crew of misfits she’s created.

You can also always expect a surprise from her at the end of the novel. While things did work out for everyone in the end (sorry about that little spoiler), it’s the journey to the end that really matters. You see that these aren’t just some ordinary thieves, that there’s a small ounce of humanitarian-ism in each of them and despite the world dealing them a pretty nasty hand, they’re able to smile with each other and commiserate together.

No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose.

 

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