Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Published September 27th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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.
“Why do you guys say that, anyway? No mourners, no funerals? Why not just say good luck or be safe?”
“We like to keep our expectations low.”
All I can say about this book is wow. I didn’t think it was possible but this book was more action-packed than Six of Crows and I loved it so much. I love heist books and this is the most amazing one yet. The scheming, the double crossing, all these plans unfolding that even as a reader I didn’t expect would happen.
The story starts out where we left off in Six of Crows, with our beloved criminals barely surviving the previous heist where they were double crossed. The gang is plotting how to rescue Inej, and ruin those who wronged them. This book was such a whirlwind, doing heist after heist, meeting a whole lot of new and old characters.
I love how this book explored each of the characters more than the last one. Each POV would sooner or later explore more about the characters and their back stories. Each one is so different from each other, yet they blend together really well, and I found myself rooting for each and every one of them. Their development from when I first read about them in Six of Crows is amazing. It wasn’t forced, it was actually believable. While they haven’t completely changed, you can see them at least trying, making an effort to veer of from their old selves. Their demons are still there, but they’re managing it and it’s one of the things I love most about them.
What struck me most was probably Inej’s story, exposing the horror’s the endured before she even joined The Dregs. And oh Wylan, my sweet cinnamon roll. I wanted to give him a big hug.
There are familiar faces from the Grisha series, and I got so excited. Seeing how developed they are from the previous series, where they picked off after Ruin and Rising, and how they’re managing Ravka given the current situation. They fit into the plot as well, rather than just being passing mentions like in the previous book.
If you’re into the romance side of the characters, then you’d be very happy for them. Each ship was given the much fluff time they needed, even when their lives were in danger.
“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.”
There was a huge part of the ending which I think was really unnecessary. I can’t accept it. I refuse to. Just no.
I also kind of wish there was more to the ending, an epilogue, a novella, anything really. Leigh, I need more! I’m really curious as well about the other Grishas who injected parem, what effect would it have on their powers besides the obvious one? And for Etherealki and Materialki to inject parem and be purged of it? What would happen then? Leigh, I need to know!
Anyway, if this review isn’t enough to convince you to get out and read this now, I’ll just leave this quote then:
“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”