Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

by - September 28, 2017

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

After pulling off a seemingly impossible heist in the notorious Ice Court, criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker feels unstoppable. But life is about to take a dangerous turn—and with friends who are among the deadliest outcasts in Ketterdam city, Kaz is going to need more than luck to survive in this unforgiving underworld.

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no 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.” 


Once the final chapters approached and the ultimate heist/devious plan was hatched, I realized that I had been holding my breath throughout the final part. I'm not sure I can accurately describe how brilliant, thoughtful and amazing this book was. I became a fan of Leigh Bardugo when I read Six of Crows, namely because of her stunning style of writing, her rich world-setting and the characters, who made the long nights and early mornings worth it. My heart was thoroughly pummeled as the pages stretched on and when I received Crooked Kingdom, I knew that I was in for a better adrenaline filled ride. Each chapter was filled to the brim with action-packed storylines, causing your heart rate to constantly bounce around.

There were moments I had to force myself to take a break because I couldn't handle the suspense and betrayal dripping off the pages. Everything was beautifully interconnected, something most writers fail to get the hang of. I've read books before that promise a storyline with backstabbing, betrayal and intrigue but Leigh was the first to get it right. I noticed her flare for plot twist in Six of Crows, which caused me to doubt everything in this final installment- something that added to the tension and I loved it. I loved that Crooked Kingdom was a BEAST and yet, it was everything I needed it to be. The betrayals and clever plans were genius but as always, Leigh wins me over with her characters.

Have you ever read books with characters that attach themselves to your heart and never leave? Well, it happened to me because WOW. Each character had a history, a past that formed them into the thugs and gang members they are today. Ketterdam isn't for the weak and to read about how each character ended up there was what this book needed. In Six of Crows, we got to know the characters and all their dark history. I realized, once I finished Crooked Kingdom, that the first installment was only grazing the surface. This time around, Leigh went deeper and explored everyone's weakness, dreams and aspirations. She managed to add layers to characters that were already interesting.

The infamous Kaz Brekker was undoubtedly my favourite. I know, too expected right? Usually the main character pales compared to the other characters but Kaz, and his heart-breaking history, kept dragging me back. This seemingly heartless boss was so much more than what he showed the world, with the exception of one brave and unrelenting powerhouse by the name of Inej. Part of me expected their romance to evolve but when I read the ending, I realized Leigh had taken the realistic approach. The mental, physical and psychological damage done to these two have embedded themselves into their very being and changing that in one book, for the sake of swoon worthy moments, would just be too much, too fast. Their pace was how it should have been and the ending was what this book deserved. 

“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.” 

It caused us to want more and need more but since this is the final book, we will eternally be left with that feeling of longing. I could not believe that this was the last time I would read anything about Kaz and all our beloved characters. I'll miss every single one of them but I'm content with the journey each of them are on. I would like to know more about Nina but I have a feeling we'll be reading about her soon in Leigh's next book, King of Scars, which takes everyone back to Ravka.

I haven't read the Grisha Trilogy and after Six of Crows, I knew I would attempt the famous trilogy but after Crooked Kingdom, I am more than ready to get back into this beautiful world.

What did you guys think of the ending?

- Tina 

Book was sent to me by Pan MacMillan Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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