“Have any of you wondered what I did with all the cash Pekka Rollins gave us?”
“Guns?” asked Jesper.
“Ships?” queried Inej.
“Bombs?” suggested Wylan.
“Political bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. “This is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered.”
Blurb (Goodreads)- 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.
Thoughts- It has currently been about five hours since I finished this book (at the time of writing this), and I’m still blown away and amazed by Crooked Kingdom. It’s basically everything I loved about Six of Crows only with higher stakes- which means it’s fantastic.
This review will be split into my very short non-spoiler actual review bit, and then a section full of spoilers and all my messy emotions. No worries, I’ll warn you before I switch sections.
Okay, so after the events of Six of Crows everything has basically gone to crap, and now the crew has to fix it. And I love it. Kaz’s tricks are immensely clever, and lead to so many plot twists (most of which I did not see coming), that the ending of the book was crazy. The characters are more developed this time around, and you can really see Bardugo taking advantage of the fact that since it’s the second book, she can dive into the deep dark pasts of her characters. I simply still love the fact that none of her main six characters are stereotypical “good” people. They have flaws, which bite them in the ass. A lot.
As per usual, Bardugo’s writing style is enchanting and I couldn’t book the book down. Not only does it feature characters from the Grisha trilogy, but it has loads of action, betrayals, rescue missions, witty banter, and even some swoon-worthy romance.
If you haven’t read Six of Crows, I highly encourage you to do so. I also then encourage you to read Crooked Kingdom and come back here and discuss with me!
**You are entering a land full of spoilers. Seriously, I’m going to legit spoil the entire book down here if you haven’t read it yet. Have you read it? No? Please don’t read this section yet.**
Okay. What a book. I’m seriously stunned, and things NEED to be discussed.
Let’s just start with the fact that Alina is apparently dead because that’s on my mind. So obviously it’s not too long after the events of Ruin and Rising because Zoya, Nikolai, and Genya are very much alive. Plus, Nikolai is constantly referred to as the young Ravkan King, so he’s like what, 20? How did she die? When? I need answers, Leigh!
Then there’s the romance, which needs to be discussed because I love Jesper and Wylan with all of my heart. OTP for life. When Jesper accidentally kissed Kuwei, I seriously think a little part of me died inside from second hand embarrassment. I legitimately had to put down the book and go for a walk I could not believe it. However, Wylan is a freaking angel of a character and forgives him because they freaking love each other, and then they get to live happily ever after (sort of). I mean, even Colm Fahey approved of Wylan, and I’m sure Wylan’s mom would love Jesper.
Oh my goodness, speaking of Wylan’s mom, that was the main surprise that totally threw me for a loop. I definitely didn’t like Jan Van Eck before it was revealed that he locked up his wife, so I pretty much despised him after. My heart was just breaking for Wylan this entire book. I love him so much.
Then we have Inej and Kaz, the power couple of 2016. Okay this was definitely the most interesting romance I’ve ever read because of Kaz’s reaction with skin to skin contact, but my god is it heartbreaking. When Kaz is retying Inej’s bandages, I thought my heart was going to burst I was so worried for how to scene was going to turn out. Plus the ending, when they held hands (with no repulsion, yay!) and he brought Inej’s parents to Ketterdam… SWOON. Who would’ve thought Kaz Brekker is a secret sweetheart.
I can’t lie. I wasn’t really upset about Matthias dying one bit. He always felt the least developed to me, and he was simply my least favorite out of the entire crew. Not that I didn’t like him, I simply found him a filler for Nina. However, he was starting to grow on me this time around, which was unfortunate for both me and him. I did tear up when they all laid flowers down on his body, and the departure with Nina. That scene was heartbreaking because it truly showed the rawness of the group.
Nina is a beast during this book. You almost never see the repercussion of drug abuse in YA novels, especially in YA fantasy and I think Bardugo showed how Nina was suffering quite well. Every single time we had a Nina chapter, you could feel the pain she was going through, and yet you could also see how she recovered and entered her “I’m officially the coolest Grisha around here” phase. I want to know more about her new ability so much.
I really think that Bardugo could write three more books in this series and I would read and love every single one of them. Yes, all of the main plot lines were wrapped up nicely, but there was still a lot of things she introduced in Crooked Kingdom that I’d love to read more about.