Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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 (goodreads).
Ever since I read Six of Crows, the first part of this duology, I’ve been waiting for its sequel. And the wait was more than worth it.

I was really lucky to get my copy early since I spent the weekend before in London and Waterstones was already selling them so, thankfully, I didn’t have to wait over a week for my amazon pre-order to arrive. The only pity is that I now have a hardcover copy of Six of Crows standing next to my Crooked Kingdom paperback.

(You can tell that I’m also one of those people who want their book series to match, but I guess I just have to get my hands on a hardcover copy asap).

This book had me completely under its spell. I don’t remember any point where I felt bored and a huge part of the excitement was already started in the beginning. The transition from Six of Crows to Crooked Kingdom was so smooth that in retrospective I feel like I read one whole book and not two, especially since it’s been over a year that I finished the first one.
We also knew what needed to happen – saving Inej being the number one priority – and so we dove right into the action and here’s where it gets good: the action just never stopped. Whenever it seemed like one task was complete, another thing had to be plotted and schemed, always keeping that ultimate goal of finishing that seemingly impossible heist in mind.

Of course, there were lots of breather. Kaz and the gang (great band name!) were always scheming and plotting, all those little moments between the characters, and what I liked best: the different character constellations we got to observe on their missions. I’m a sucker for everything that’s showing me my favourite characters in seemingly daily interactions and situations, and so this small switches in the narrative helped me to not be tired out by all the action.

Another thing that is important is the fact that is cast is full of diversity, be it the racial one or the sexual one. You can see it in many newer young adult books, but especially the ones set in a world with a twist of fantasy to it, or just your typical plain dystopian novel are more and more employing all of their potential to create those beautiful distinguished diverse characters. And I’m so happy to not see the same straight white characters again and again. If there is a book I want to see as a tv series, it’s this one. Is there a way to petition this to Netflix? I think they would do it justice, as well as cast perfectly. Not sure if it’s possible to trust a person more than with one of your favorite books.


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