Book Reviews

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

So many emotions, so many feels basically summarizes my impression of this book. I really loved the first one Six of Crows (read my review) and Bardugo does not disappoint in this second, and final installment.


The Summary from the back of the book: 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.


I loved everything from the book ranging from its humorous writing, to its convoluted plots, to its atmospheric setting, and its heartwarming characters. Right from the beginning, Bardugo presents us a rich and vivid world that is sorely lacking in YA fantasy. Her narrative strategy to switch perspectives not only allows us a complete picture of the action from every angle, but also lets us get to know and love the characters.

We have the same complicated, flawed, and detailed characters from Six of Crows. All the love I had for them, merely multiplied more than I thought possible. They are diverse, representing different walks of life, areas of the world, and sexualities as well. We have characters like Kaz who always uses the cane and some interesting developments in the romance department. What more can I say about these characters except I’d like to be their real life friend. They have a wonderful vulnerability and a strong sense of loyalty and intelligence. Mixing both of these elements and letting us into their heads. They win over our hearts, making us cry and laugh, sometimes at the same time.

Yet Bardugo raises the stakes in terms of characters and plot. She delivers us a few new characters who we cannot help but love. Each of them have traits that we love and none of them are reduced to only one characteristic. In terms of plot, A+. Really, when I thought the plot had dead ended or could go no further, Bardugo throws more curve balls at us. It becomes complicated, twisty, but oh so satisfying. In this book, our band of thieves fight for more than their money, but the fate of the world. (Oh Bardugo, you know my kryptonite). This even bigger heist, with real world consequences, results in a fulfilling plot feeling as all the details come together.

I could gush for a good long while, but I’ll just end by saying the setting is descriptive (with fantastically detailed and beautiful maps) and the writing is a piece of cake (because it’s so delicious). Maintaining humor, vulnerability, and wit is Bardugo’s forte and merely rounds off the wonderful aspects of this duology. I am sad to see it go as it has become one of my favorite series. The ending wrecked my heart, but also warmed it in a messy ball of emotions that left me crying and smiling.

Read this. If you like heist novels, memorable characters, or uniquely clever plots, this is for you. Even if you don’t yet, this deserves a try! You can pick up your own at Amazon, add it to Goodreads, and visit Bardugo’s gorgeous website.


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