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Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows

Review

Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows

- Click here to read Kate F., Teen Board Member's review.

Review #1 by Rachel D., Teen Board Member

Few series have acquired a cult following similar to the one behind the SIX OF CROWS duology. Yet, somehow, Leigh Bardugo has managed to outdo herself in every aspect humanly (and inhumanly) possible in CROOKED KINGDOM. A story about love, friendship and the meaning of good vs. evil, this novel will have readers on the edges of their seats. Bardugo has already proven herself to be one of the greatest literary world builders in her previous works, but she has really outdone herself in this duology. Ketterdam is the epitome of masterfully imagined world-building, and I had no trouble imagining the scenes painted so vividly within the pages. In Ketterdam, a dark, steampunk-like world, "wondrous" would not even begin to cover the magic instilled.

"Bardugo has already proven herself to be one of the greatest literary world builders in her previous works, but she has really outdone herself in this duology."

CROOKED KINGDOM begins right where SIX OF CROWS left off. Ringleader Kaz and his crew have just pulled off the biggest heist of their lives, but they come face to face with betrayal and Kaz sees his most prized possession taken away from him. The issue of jurda parem, a mysterious drug that can turn any Grisha magician insanely powerful but voracious for more of the drug once they’ve had it, is still unsolved. Despite the overlapping narratives, the fast-paced story is not hard to follow. All six points of view are clearly represented (although some characters deserved more love, especially Jester). The story is wholly engrossing in its depictions of Kaz Brekker and his crew of outlaws and their heart-warming relationship. Witnessing Kaz struggle to stay balanced as he faced a shocking loss was quite a sight to read about. The anti-hero, in a matter of 560 pages, paradoxically became my hero.

Some of CROOKED KINGDOM’s best scenes are gruesome, shocking and gut-wrenching. Yet I couldn’t take my eyes away from the words printed on its bleeding pages. The violence you would often find distasteful anywhere else is like a wild pump of adrenaline in Bardugo’s work. As I read on, I was feeling restless and wanting more combat, craving for more of her clear-cut writing style in high-intensity situations, eventually sated by the end of the novel. There’s something dark about Bardugo’s Grisha universe in its inexplicable evil where you will somehow find the "bad" guys to be "good." Even this value is a call for readers to contemplate their values of righteousness in context with the situation; does character matter when someone is a criminal? Should you read CROOKED KINGDOM? Absolutely. Even if you are have not read SIX OF CROWS, the SHADOW AND BONE trilogy, or haven’t even heard about the Grisha universe, you will be sucked in to Bardugo’s grim world within the first thirty pages. The enthralling journey CROOKED KINGDOM takes you will likely never leave your mind, and I highly recommend it for all readers.


Review #2 by Kate F., Teen Board Member

Kaz Brekker has never lost. His combination of ruthlessness, intelligence and skill has served him well on the streets. But when Inej, also known as the Wraith, is taken right from under Kaz’s nose by Van Eck, Kaz knows he is in trouble. Van Eck will return the Wraith on one condition: the surrender of a young boy who holds the key to creating an army so powerful, it could destroy the world. Kaz knows handing over the boy is not an option, so together with his rag-tag crew, Kaz prepares himself to outwit one of the most powerful men in the Barrel.

"Leigh Bardugo masterfully creates a novel full of diverse, charismatic characters and a suspenseful storyline that will have readers frantically turning the pages until they reach the end. "

Leigh Bardugo masterfully creates a novel full of diverse, charismatic characters and a suspenseful storyline that will have readers frantically turning the pages until they reach the end. Kazn Brekker is a character like no other. In the first book in the duology, SIX OF CROWS, Kaz is heralded as a criminal mastermind with an iron heart. In CROOKED KINGDOM, readers learn a lot more about the backstory and true character of Kaz. He allows himself to open up to other members of his crew more than he did in the past novel. Inej, the graceful acrobat, also experiences character development. She is a fearless girl who is fiercely loyal to Kaz. The rest of the characters are equally interesting, from the devastatingly beautiful Nina, to Jesper, the playful boy with a gambling problem. There is never a dull moment with these characters.

The plot of CROOKED KINGDOM is enthralling. Leigh Bardugo manages to effortlessly intertwine all the loose threads from the novel into a seamless finish that the readers will never see coming. Overall, CROOKED KINGDOM is a thrilling novel with a suspenseful plot, an artfully crafted setting, and characters that leap off the page. Readers of all genres will find something to love in the final book in this duology by Leigh Bardugo.

Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows
(Six of Crows #2)
by Leigh Bardugo