Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Review: Crooked Kingdom

Title: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: September 20, 2017
Source: Purchased
Format:  Physical

When you can't beat the odds, change the game.

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.


Are we sure there isn't going to be a Book 3?

Plot: Crooked Kingdom pulled off an even bigger heist than the events of Six of Crows. The stakes were even higher and we were given even more backstory on our fabulous six-person team. I have to admit, this heist was a bit over my head; both Kaz and Bardugo are too smart for their own good. I love that Bardugo was able to weave such a complex scheme and see at least five steps ahead of her readers. Despite its tome-like size, I found myself breezing through Crooked Kingdom; although it did take some brain power to comprehend Kaz's ultimate heist. 

I do have one complaint though - the ending. I thought I had a good handle of all the actions and I loved how Bardugo enforced the theory of "all actions have a reaction," but one story line just didn't add up. Up until the final five chapters, everything in Crooked Kingdom was tight; the character development was strategic and all of the actions had a reason, until the end. I know this is a conclusion, but I'm not quite buying it. 

Characters: Crooked Kingdom answered almost all the questions I had about our crew. Each character was given adequate backstory and I especially loved learning about Wylan and his family dynamic. Of course we all had our "ships" from Six of Crows, and I was surprised by how little attention Bardugo gave the romances, although it makes sense that something as minor as relationships wouldn't be on the forefront of their mind. 

I have to say, I love this crew so much more than I did in Six of Crows. Their banter had me snorting and just smiling cheesily. I loved how they managed to crack jokes and not take themselves too seriously even in the face of danger. 

Worldbuilding: The world was especially fun because of all of the Easter eggs from Shadow and Bone. There were definitely more references to the Grisha series and I loved seeing those two worlds come together. I think we all know that Bardugo can easily create a world from thin air and her talent continued to shine in Crooked Kingdom. 

Short N Sweet: Crooked Kingdom is nothing short of a roller coaster; however, I question Bardugo's motives for the final chapters. 


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