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Book Review: ‘Crooked Kingdom’ by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Length: 536 pages

Publisher: Orion

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Having read ‘Six of Crows’ and having it finish on such a cliffhanger, as I’m sure you can imagine I couldn’t wait to read ‘Crooked Kingdom’.

Kaz Bekkker and his crew pulled off a heist so daring they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies and hope. As old rivals and new enemies descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of jurda parem – a dangerous substance capable of altering the very fabric of Grisha magic – Kaz’s cunning and this team’s fragile loyalties are tested to their limits. A war will be waged within the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the future of magic and the fate of the world.

‘I would’ve come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and now 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.

Where I thought ‘Six of Crows’ started slowly, this book couldn’t be more the opposite. It picked up right where number one left off and started the action straight away.

The plot of this book is fantastic. I was a little worried it wouldn’t live up to the story in number one, but in my opinion, it exceeds it. It was extremely clever. That’s what I liked best about it. The story went places I didn’t imagine it would. The characters got themselves in situations and they were dealt with in a genius way. It was just great story telling. Yes, there were twists and turns and I never knew what was going to happen and I loved it. Absolutely loved it.

Where this book really shines, is it’s characters. It’s not often you read a book with Six main characters and you literally love them all. Seriously love them. When they’re all together, this book is magic. It’s when it’s best. Their chemistry is on fire. The dialogue is funny, it made laugh out loud. It made it so real. Now, is it a little cliche to have all the characters involved in romances? Yes. Does it matter? No. They were amazing. It was electric. I was rooting for them all to happen. The chemistry flew off the page.

I wasn’t a fan of the Grisha world after reading the original Grisha trilogy, but Six of Crows made me change my mind. Crooked Kingdom made me love it. It adds another layer to this story. It gets darker. The descriptions of Ketterdam are lush, vivid and evocative. It’s the great writing.

Now, can we please discuss that ending? First of all, I’m going to say I’m glad it happened. It needed it. It’s what pushed this book to brilliant. I’m so glad Leigh Bardugo didn’t go for the easy option. I’m not gonna give any spoilers as I know some people haven’t read this book yet. STOP READING NOW TO AVOID A SPOILER, but Nina lying next to Mathias’s body as it sails away at the end is so moving. It’s breathtaking imagery, that I won’t be able forget. I will say it had me crying in the bath. I was full on ugly crying everyone. How can a book ending be both heartbreaking, sweet yet so satisfying?

I seriously can’t recommend this book, this duology enough. I’m so glad I gave it a chance! Let me know if you loved this book?

Until the next review

JTH

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