Review for Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!


Quick View Review:

Overall Review: **** (4/5)

Amazon Review: **** (4.8/5)

One Sentence Review: A sequel that totally blew my mind and took my breath away so many times I lost count, this book just completely made my heart its slave, constantly mounting the stakes, the action, the stress… Causing the novel to get better and better as the page number increased, despite a slight disappointment in the relationship department.

Full Review

Kaz Brekker, also known as Dirtyhands, has just accomplished what no other criminal from the Barrel has ever done before: him and his squad of thieves and rogues survived an incredibly risky heist that was supposed to land them a gross reward… But instead of the life of comfort and luxury Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Jesper, and Wylan thought they would be getting upon their return to Ketterdam, the group finds itself fighting for its life once again. Outwitted and out-resourced, Kaz and his crew is struggling to maintain their reputation of being unbreakable. To top it off, governments from around the world still seek the secret to the dangerous drug jurda parem… And a lot of them will stop at nothing to discover it. As a new war founded on revenge threatens to overtake the streets of Ketterdam, Kaz’s smart thinking and the group’s strength will be tested to its fullest… To the point where the fate of the Grisha world might rest in their hands.

I’m not gonna lie: I wanted this book to top the first. I wanted it to be better, to see so much more of the characters, to experience more of their world. And while this book definitely hit the spot with action and suspense (like I said, MIND BLOWING on every single page), I wanted so badly for the book to be centered more on the characters and their developing relationships rather than solely centered on the complexity of the plot.

Very much like the first book, Bardugo’s writing sucked me in and held me captive: I just couldn’t stop reading no matter how much I wanted to. Her writing is elegant and beautiful, perfectly capturing the essence of the story and making the reader feel as if he/she was truly a part of the book. I adored every word she wrote, and really hope I get to read more of her work soon.

The plot. Oh, THE PLOT. I just… I don’t even know how to describe the utter greatness that was the plot of Crooked Kingdom. As much as I tried and tried to predict what would happen next, I was basically grasping at straws, and yet everything made perfect sense in the end. Each twist, each tiny little turn was flawlessly thought out and executed, with a suspenseful action scene just when you started getting comfortable, some event that would leave you with your jaw on the floor just when you thought you had found a pattern in the series of events. Not only was the plot itself perfect, but the world-building. I thought I knew the world of Ketterdam after the first book, but it turns out I really only knew the surface. In Crooked Kingdom, Bardugo developed the world she created to levels beyond what I imagined possible for a fantasy world; not only did she teach us about Ketterdam itself, but also about all the other countries and rest of the actual world our beloved crew lives in, something I find to be very rare in fantasy novels. Overall, I have nothing but admiration for Bardugo in the plot department, and give her all the applause for a positively wonderful storyline and world development.

And now we get to the part I’ve been avoiding putting into words. As much as I adore Kaz and his crew, and as much as my love for them only grew over the course of Crooked Kingdom, where was the relationship development? I said in my review of Six of Crows: “I absolutely can’t wait to see the relationships between the three couples develop in the sequel, because they just HAVE to go further”... Now I’m wondering how there isn’t a third book in the works. Yes, there were touches of romance here and there, and while I do like the fact that the book wasn’t completely centered on the relationships, I just wish they had played a bigger role.

And I wish, I WISH I WISH I WISH, there was a third book. Never mind that I would have to wait a year, I know I’m going to miss more than anything Kaz’s genius plans and mysteriousness, Inej’s sweet demeanour underneath her ghostly presence, Matthias’s moody temperament and gentle love, Nina’s fierce attitude and endless hope, Jesper’s careless appearance and light-hearted words, and Wylan’s adorable innocence and humble talents. They just feel like family, and I know that I will forever be longing for more of them.

Overall, although this sequel was a only a bit lacking in terms of romance, it was quite the beauty of a book. Not only will the plot have your heart racing and the writing have you positively swooning, but you’ll fall completely head over heels in love with the entire cast of characters.

Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!




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