Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo was one of my most anticipated reads for this year! This book did not disappoint me. It was a thrilling adventure that managed to keep me on my toes through every twist and turn!
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.
Crooked Kingdom begins right where we left off in the last book which made it easy to fall back into this world. All of our favorite characters are back seeking revenge for Inej’s kidnapping and the money they are rightfully owed. We are immediately kept on the edge of our seats wondering how they will manage the impossible.
I think Leigh Bardugo writes some of the best characters ever. All of the ones in this book continue to play an important role throughout the story. I appreciated the way Bardugo was able to give more information of each character’s past while still managing to wrap up their individual plots all within this book.
So, let’s talk about our characters. Through a new POV in Crooked Kingdom, Wylan brought a lot to the story which I really enjoyed. Jesper is still the charming sharpshooter we all loved in Six of Crows. We also see more of Jesper’s serious side as we learn about his past, especially his family history. Which each character develops in a great way that makes sense for who they are as individuals.
I’m a huge fan of strong female characters in any YA book. Nina and Inej never disappoint me and they continued to shine, especially through their friendship. They both have a way of owning their flaws and making that turn them into better people. I think that is why so many people connect with them, especially myself.
There was a lot more politics throughout this book, which I actually enjoyed. Learning more about the politics allowed us to learn more about Matthias and the Fjerdans. There were certain parts, especially ones concerning Ravka, that I wish were explored more though. This helped Crooked Kingdom feel unique while still having the intensity of a heist story.
Of course I must talk about my favorite character of this series, Kaz Brekker. He is the heart of this series in many ways and that is clear by the end of the book. His schemes, how he helped his crew, and his sensitive side made his individual story very enjoyable. Which reminds me of the romance aspect of this story, and I don’t want to spoil too much but I will say that for the most part I was satisfied. The developments between each couple felt natural. One of the couples did leave me miserable though.
The world of Ketterdam expands as the crew is busy trying to slay their demons. We see more than just that little part of the world we saw in Six of Crows and it was great! Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors. She has mastered the gift of being able to tell a great story through multiple POVs. This was one of my favorite aspects of this series. There were so many lessons to be learned through each character also, and I loved seeing how well each issue was tackled. It brought something to my own life.
Overall, I loved this book. Crooked Kingdom is just as great as Six of Crows, which was my favorite release of 2015! It managed to develop each character while telling an intense, amazing story at the same time. If you read the first book then you must read the second one! I promise you won’t regret it!