A Review: Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

This book destroyed my heart.

Crooked Kingdom is the long-awaited sequel to Six of Crows by author Leigh Bardugo. And by long-awaited I mean I have waited for too long to find out what happens, the cliffhanger at the end of Six of Crows was downright agonising.

The series follows Kaz Brekker, also known as Dirtyhands, a Barrel rat if you ever saw one, and his crew; Inej – the Wraith; the rooftops of the city of Ketterdam are her streets. Jesper – the sharpshooter who can hit a target a mile off but can’t resist long odds at the card table. Nina – the Grisha heartrender who just wants to be free again. Wylan – the runaway merchling with a gift for blowing things up. Matthias – the disgraced Fjerdan soldier who is generally confused by the whole situation.
We follows our crew of criminals as they pull off heist after scheme after plot.

Trust me – this is one ride you want to get on.

There are no spoilers. I promise. I’m behaving.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Leigh Bardugo would be able able to match the magnificence that was Six of Crows. I haven’t loved a book that much since I initially read Throne Of Glass. But let me tell you, she exceeded all my expectations.

Leigh Bardugo created a spider’s web of a story and it enticed and enthralled me every step of the way. She weaved together a plot so seamlessly that I am in awe of how her mind worked to create this stupendous sequel. The plot seems so effortlessly intertwined, and it kept throwing out surprise after surprise that didn’t seem enforced or illogical either.
If you enjoy character development and exploration, then why on earth have you not read this duology yet? Go to Amazon, buy it and come back and tell me how much you adored them all.
This lovable band of miscreants are so different yet they fit together so well, you cannot imagine the group without a single one of them. The development of each and every one of them is so full of depth and emotion that I can’t think of a set of characters as fleshed out as these.
You feel as if you know them, you justify their actions and they’re responses, you know Jesper will make a joke at the most inconsiderate time, or that Nina will snap back with that sharp tongue.
None of them are truly heroes, they’re anti-heroes; you root for them not because they’re inherently good, but because they’ve survived. They have their redeeming qualities and they have their flaws. They’re so.. real. Although set in a fantasy world with the Grisha and their powers; this group are so raw and relatable that you cannot help but fall in love with each and every one of them.

Exploring the realism – the relationships and the dynamics between them is nothing short of incredible. There is no insta-love, there is no crazy romantic fairytale. There are small gestures and the odd hint here and there. There is the faintest smile and the quickest gaze. There is love in the deepest, truest sense. There are friendships and heartache and the barest of torturous touches. It is explored in many different manners suiting the characters; which is what makes it so real. 

Ketterdam was made so real to me, the districts, the class divide, it’s so believable and structured that I personally, had it so perfectly pictured in my mind. The winding canals, the garish, bustling Barrell, it was all so easy to puzzle together.
There so something so fluid and flowing about the way Bardugo writes that encapsulates me from start to finish – makes me connect to this book, this world, these characters.

I do not have a downside about this book, but I might be so blindly in awe of it that I have vastly over-looked one. In fact, the only downside I have is that it is only a duology and I could read about them continuously.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to every YA fantasy reader, every YA reader, every fantasy reader.


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