Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
by: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published on September 27th, 2016
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Print Copy (Hardcover)
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. (source)
SO i finished Crooked Kingdom a few days ago and i’m finally emotionally stable enough to sit down to write this review. I read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom back to back because i was waiting for the Crooked Kingdom release date to begin Six of Crows and honestly it was the best choice i could’ve ever made i don’t think i could’ve waited over a year for this book! Crooked Kingdom was one of THE BEST books and a part of one of the THE BEST series i have read in 2016.
Leigh Bardugo has done such a service publishing her books her writing is so beautiful and so descriptive it’s almost like the story is palpable, i was able to feel myself be complete submerged in the world of the Crows. the really amazingly great thing about both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom is how Leigh Bardugo’s writing has a way of not letting you guess what’s going to happen next, everything happens so unexpectedly and it really throws you off.
throughout reading Crooked Kingdom the one thought that ran through my mind the ENTIRE duration of this book is “this is so SO GOOD!” the story really grips your attention almost immediately because as begins less than a week from when Six of Crows ends.
one of my favorite aspects of this book is the changing of perspectives, i see it’s something happening a lot in books and i really love it. it’s so amazing to be able to view the world they live in through different eyes and each character growth through not only the characters eyes but, everyone else’s as well.
*disclaimer: contains spoilers*
i really really loved Jesper’s character arc in this book i am especially fond of Jesper coming into himself throughout the course of Crooked Kingdom. after that fight he had with Kaz (!!!) when Kaz called him out for always playing games, i felt like it was one of his major turning points. he looked back and thought about how he had been living his life and tried to make himself a better person not just for his father, Wylan and his crew but for himself and the Grisha world. it was so nice to read about his childhood and connect his backstory to the way he is now and it warmed my heart. i CANNOT believe that Kuwei was able to trick him so easily oh how badly i wished that kiss was between Jesper and the real Wylan! *sigh* but i’m so glad he didn’t feel anything.
Wylan on the other hand ruined me i don’t understand how his father could treat him the way he did because he simply couldn’t read or write! there’s so much more to him than just that and it made me so upset, as if i didn’t already dislike Jan Van Eck! i’m so happy that Wylan has his mother (how RUDE of Van Eck to hide her from him!) and Jesper to keep him feeling loved. okay that kiss oh boy that kiss i could have lived with Jesper accidentally kissing Kuwei, but Wylan seeing it pulled on my heart-strings *cries* when Wylan (in his own body!) and Jesper finally do get their kiss it was so heartfelt and just what i needed.
“—This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gun shot. It was a prairie fire. It was the spin of Makker’s Wheel. Jesper felt the pounding of his heart—or was it Wylan’s?—like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh.” – Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom, page 395)
okay *sigh* now Nina and Matthias *sobs*
my first mistake was getting attached, Leigh specifically warned us to not get attached but, i did and alas here i am sobbing over my innocent little baby Matthias. i’ve grown to love him so much in this book and he changed SO much as a character finally being able to (try to) forget his druskelle upbringing and think upon his own accord, to his own voice. he was SO close to the end and i knew as soon as that kid came up to him i just knew this would be the end of him, but as he walked back to Nina being so out of character and kissing her i felt my bravado shake.
“He should be here with me.” – Leigh Bardugo as Nina Zenik (Crooked Kingdom, page 495)
Nina oh my gosh my heart broke for her she did so much for the crows starting from the beginning of the first book to save Matthias, then suffering though the aftermath of Jurda Parem and while she tries to save the Grisha world she loses Matthias. her one thing she needed one of my absolute favorite relationships in the book is between her and Inej and the way they look out for each other they’re such angels. Nina’s confidence and strength is so amazing she’s such a strong character, i think she’ll do great.
“Inej placed her hands on Nina’s shoulders. ‘We’ll see each other again.’
‘Of course we will. You’ve saved my life. I’ve saved yours.'” – Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom, page 513)
the infamous Wraith, Inej Ghafa, Brekker’s girl *swoon* and Dirtyhands himself, Kaz Brekker these two ohmygosh they had my emotions ALL OVER THE PLACE. getting to delve deeper into both their backstories was ah-maz-ing especially for Kaz cause we did learn a lot of what happened to him the first book but, now it was just so much more in depth and everything i would’ve ever wanted. it honestly took me an embarrassingly long time to finish chapter 26 on page 356 *heavy breathing* because i keep re-reading lines and pages but, whatever no shame!
“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 put together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.” – Leigh Bardugo as Kaz Brekker (Crooked Kingdom, page 184)
The fact that Kaz got a net because he couldn’t bear to see her fall (my HEART), the fact he acknowledged how hard it was for him to see Nina or Jesper touch and hug her knowing he couldn’t do the same *sobbing*, the fact that he paid off her indenture because he thought she deserved to be free *more sobbing*, he changed her bandages, held her hand (WITH & WITHOUT gloves!), KISSED her shoulder, caused an outbreak at the Menagerie so it’ll be shut down, bought her a ship (knowing she could leave and never come back but, doing so solely to make her happy), and last but not least he found her family (!!) whether he knew the intensity of it or not he was totally in love with her and i’m living for it.
“Wait,” he said. The burn of his voice rougher than usual. “Is my tie straight?”
Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair.
“That’s the laugh,” he murmured,” – Leigh Bardugo as Kaz Brekker (Crooked Kingdom, page 529)
i loved this ending Inej got everything she wanted and Kaz was able to slowly show he’s working on himself (he didn’t even kill Pekka! but, i was surprised to see Inej go get some of his revenge for him.) i loved how they were able to fall into such simple old habits because they knew each other so well. and surprisingly i really enjoyed that they didn’t have the kiss that we all so badly wanted (SORRY!) because i genuinely felt like it so much more real this way. they both knew it would be too much for him and just holding hands (without armor) was enough for them, they just wanted to make each other happy and if that’s not love i don’t know what is.
“Inej bit her lip so hard she drew blood.”- Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom, pg 438)
literally me throughout this whole book whilst sitting on the edge of my seat. just when you think something went wrong and someone is ruining their well though out plans Kaz goes on to explain that was exactly what he wanted to happen and my stress was for absolutely no reason. Kaz so casually coming up with lies after every SINGLE thing Van Eck tried to accuse him of and transferring the money into the Shu account!! BY VAN ECK and Wylan lying so smoothly to Radmakker, making his father look horrible literally smacked me right in the face showing me to never even try to underestimate Queen Bardugo’s aspect of surprise, she is so malicious—i’m honestly living for it!
“Wylan lifted his head wearily. ‘I’ll say whatever you want, Father. Just don’t let them hurt me anymore.'” – Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom, pg 449)
The ending when Kaz bluffs his entire conversation with Pekka Rollins with Inej coming up to him afterward confirming he made it all up was one of my favorite parts because i felt like the books had made a full circle, it was so similar to what had happened in the VERY beginning of Six of Crows during his meeting with Geels and the Black Tips it gave me a sense of wholeness and closure.
i’m so sad to see the crows go but, all good things must come to an end so i’m off to re-read!
till next time,