CROOKED KINGDOM

Written by Leigh Bardugo

Published by Henry Holt and CO, September 20 2016

My star rating: 4 stars

In book two of the Six of Crows duology, 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 badly weakened, 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 the Grisha world.

First of all, this is the second book in a series so if you haven’t read Six of Crows this will possibly contain spoilers! This is a very difficult book for me to review so I’ll give it a shot.

I’m going to start off with a negative then move into the positive. My only real issue with this book (both books actually) is the pacing. I find that Leigh Bardugo’s books are really slow to start. This one didn’t start off as slow as Six of Crows did, but there were quite a few chapters where I finished reading them and thought “well that was unnecessary”. There was a lot of filler information, like back stories about things that happened to the characters when they were younger. I’m a little torn on this. Yes it did help to fill out the characters and knowing those pieces of information helps me relate to them, but at the same time there were large chunks that I could have completely skipped over and it wouldn’t have impacted the story at all. I like the background information of my characters to have some relevance sometimes. Other wise if it’s constantly telling me things that don’t impact the story line, I get bored.

Now on to the positives – Leigh Bardugo is a master at creating suspense! Even though I have slight issues with the roller coaster of her pacing, the slow times are more than made up for when Kaz Brekkers plans all unfolded. You finally realize that even the smallest of lines were significant to his plans. I spent quite a bit of time when finishing a chapter sitting down trying to figure out how they were going to get out of situations – I was never right. This book was slightly different from Six of Crows when it came to sticky situations. In Six, it was central to the one big job – the heist. But in this one there are so many situations that arise and it keeps you on your toes. I kept thinking, ok, they’re safe now, and then BOOM out comes another problem that changes everything. Leigh Bardugo successfully kept me at the edge of my seat needing to know what was going to happen next.

One of my favourite parts of this book was that it seemed that all characters were given equal playing time. There were two characters in the first book that came further into the spotlight in this one (Jesper and Wylan) and I loved getting more from them. Nina basically worried me the whole time lol, and I kind of wish that I got more from her because she was really smart and bad ass. Kaz is amazing. His usual self, seeming like everything is just so easy and flawless, he always has a plan for everything, and he seems like he doesn’t care about anyone but himself meanwhile he’s the most protective person out of the bunch. And Inej – I just love her. She’s my absolute favourite!! I have to say I’m more than a little sad that this series if over! I just want all these characters to be my friends!

This book was a wild and crazy ride. The ending kicked me in the emotions more than a few times and it was a little bittersweet. I wish that I could say more but I would be too afraid to spoil even the smallest detail. If you’re looking for a genius book with great characters, a heist, some con’s, some magic, and a lot of action – look no further!

Until next time, happy reading!

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