Review:’Crooked Kingdom’ by Leigh Bardugo

Blurb from 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.

Review:

I had so much anticipation for this book- ‘Six of Crows’ has just GOT to be one of my favourite books of 2016, I loved every single sentence of it. And this didn’t disappoint- although I DID find it confusing at times (a sub-plot about silos kind of left me scratching my head at points,) it slam-dunks you into the middle of the action, and into the heart of a gang of crazy, courageous and suprisingly caring characters who you just can’t help but root for. Certain moments- like THAT SCENE between Inej and Kaz (no spoilers!) literally had me form a lump in my throat. I was thinking the whole time, ‘Come on Kaz, you can do it!’ because Kaz is such a tortured, tormented, vulnerable soul, and yet you really feel as though he wishes to overcome that, rather than just be another victim of it. Once again, I also loved the way in which Ketterdam was described, and I ADORED the burgeoning relationship beween Jesper and Wylan (I know now that the correct portmanteau ‘shipping’ name for them is not Jylan, but Wysper! So go #TeamWysper!) and I loved how gently their tender romance was handled. (SPOILER) The scene with Wylan where he goes to visit his mother’s grave (hint: it doesn’t’ turn out the way you’d think) is absolutely heartbreaking too. Wylan for me, was the real ‘soul’ character of the Dregs, the one that the reader (i.e. me) could connect to. And YES, FINALLY, he’s a viewpoint character! HURRAH! I absolutely loved the diversity, scope and range of this novel, and anything with such strong fully-rounded LGBT characters gets my vote.

However, this novel doesn’t get a 10-star rating from me, because  to be honest I did find it confusing at points- there are plots upon plots to unravel and decode, and numerous twists- and because minor characters-like that annoying little git, Kuwei, for instance-stuck in my craw. I know a lot of people also ship Nina and Matthias, and whilst I loved Nina (she has a sweet tooth! like me!) Matthias didn’t do it for me- (SPOILER) I still can’t quite get over how cold and hostile he was to Nina whilst she was his prisoner in the first book. (SPOILER) I also wasn’t sure about all the Grisha references- it didn’t feel necessary to me- and I would have liked to have known more about what Nina was going to do at the end of the novel. Having said that, I really don’t want to give away any more spoilers as I really enjoyed this book, so you’re just going to have to go and read ‘Crooked Kingdom’ if you want to find out whether the gang finally sit down to celebratory waffles or not.

Overall rating: 9 out of 10

Read if you enjoyed: ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo, of course! (read my full review here.)

This Book in Four Words: Dynamic. Complex. Funny. Moving.

Images via galvthynius via Tumblr

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