Disclaimer: This is the second book in the Six of Crows duology so there may be spoilers for Six of Crows in this review.
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Page Count: 536
Format: Paperback, Audiobook
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Diverse, LGBT+
Blurb as on Goodreads:
Welcome to the world of the Grisha.
Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts 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.
I finished Six of Crows and dived into Crooked Kingdom straightaway because I needed to know what would happen next and if all the characters would be safe.
When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
It went by so quickly, even though it’s a big book, mostly because I switched to the audiobook for the second half on 2x speed and raced through it. The audiobook is pretty good, by the way – multiple narrators including Elizabeth Evans who also narrated the audiobooks for the Throne of Glass series which I loved!
Plot & Writing
“If everyone is done cuddling, we have a job to do.”
There was more of a balance between the planning and action scenes in this one and I liked it. Also, a little more romance and certain quirky wisecracks kept me giggling through most of the story.
“I . . . There is no one I want more; there is nothing I want more than to be overwhelmed by you.”
It made for a very tense and exciting read. Sometimes the plans would seem great, near-perfect but then they’d all be backed into a corner where I’d think, ‘Well, they’re done for. Who’s going to save them now?’ But somehow, another twist and they’d find a way out.
This world and the story are both so enchanting and engaging, I couldn’t help but be swept away. It’s wonderfully written and I found it so much easier to get into Crooked Kingdom than I had Six of Crows, probably because I read them back to back.
“Ketterdam is made of monsters. I just happen to have the longest teeth.”
I also enjoyed reading Wylan’s POV finally. Oh, and the map of Ketterdam is so detailed and helpful and makes me think there may be more stories left to tell in the Barrel. Like, please let there be more stories with these characters and in this place.
“I think you’d flirt with a date palm if it would pay you any attention.”
We have a cast of six incredibly strong, amazing characters and I loved getting to know them more and seeing them learn to work together, form closer bonds and fight for each other. It was also wonderful to see them all grow and change and accept things they didn’t believe in before or were previously against.
“They don’t know who we are. Not really. They don’t know what we’ve done, what we’ve managed together.” Kaz rapped his cane on the ground. “So let’s go show them they picked the wrong damn fight.”
I hadn’t thought about who my favorite character is or who is my ultimate OTP (although I did get mild Malec vibes from Jesper and Wylan – they’re adorable!) but it hurt my heart to read about all that they’d been through or been put through. I didn’t realize when I started rooting for all of them to be happy and safe and survive their quest. And live, find love and be at peace.
“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 out together – knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
Then one of my previously not-so-favorite characters died and I broke down and cried. Why…why did someone have to die when they were right on the brink of change, ready to open up to a world of possibilities, about to give love a chance and see the world with new eyes? It’s just not fair! Great, I’m about to start crying all over again. *sniffles*
And that was what destroyed you in the end: the longing for something you could never have.
Crooked Kingdom was amazing, dark, intense, action-packed with a bit of romance – so exciting but it also made me cry which rarely happens while reading. It left me wanting more, wanting to turn back time somehow and change what had happened. I want these characters to be alive and safe and happy together, hanging out like the cast of F.R.I.E.N.D.S or something. Seriously.
I was really hoping to enjoy this duology but not just that, it made me care about the characters. And I loved it.
Everyone who loves fantasy, friendships, a bit of romance, fierce characters, a lot of action and stuff blowing up.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.75
Have you read the Six of Crows duology yet? Are you planning to? Who is your favorite character in the Grishaverse? Let me know in the comments below!