Welcome to the world of the Grisha.
Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts 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.
I’m so glad that I didn’t have to wait for long to read this book because after finishing Six of Crows, and reading how it left off, it would have been PAINFUL to wait any longer than a day! Crooked Kingdom was the perfect follow up to Six of Crows and it both thrilled me with it’s many twists and turns and shattered my heart into a million little pieces because of that moment where (redacted) gets (redacted) No spoilers here folks!
As I mentioned in my review of SOC, I thoroughly enjoyed the extensive worldbuilding we got and this is furthered in this novel, by adding more of the inner workings and politics of Ketterdam. I loved how cleverly this was interwoven into the greater story and it never felt tedious or clunky to me. I enjoyed reading as Kaz and the crew work have to navigate and think politically and work within the confines of the law to outsmart their enemies – with a lot of creative license of course! This was central to this novel and there were so many moments which were fraught with tension and I couldn’t see a way out for the crew but somehow there was a wicked twist and turn, which I loved so much. Leigh Bardugo I bow in the face of your genius, take all the awards please.
Another element I enjoyed were the character arcs within the novel and how we got to touch base with every single one of the crew again and how much insight we got within these 500+ pages. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Bardugo does such justice to these characters in a considerably short amount of time. I loved that we got to read a lot more in Jesper and Wylans perspectives and get more of their back stories than in the previous book, without losing focus on the other characters. Some of my favourite chapters were from Wylan’s point of view in fact and they served to make me appreciate him and empathise for him so much more.
While the first novel teased some romance between certain members of the crew and had some cute moments and development, we get to read the relationships really come to fruition here. My favourite would have to be Kaz and Inej as much as I love Nina and Matthias and Jesper and Wylan. I adore how sensitively Kaz and Inej’s bond is written and how well suited they are for each other, both have been through so much trauma resulting in them finding it difficult to open up emotionally and they are both averse to physical touch, but especially Kaz. This makes it all the more notable and beautiful when they both initiate contact and become closer. As a whole it was nice to read a novel where physical affection isn’t the only form of showing love and care, the characters are there for each other regardless of where they stand romantically too which was great.
In terms of where the story concludes and the resolution for the characters, I felt like this was well done and believable for who they are. I don’t want to spoil anything just in case any of you reading would like to read this book in the future, but rest assured, it’s great in every possible way and I’m only sad because it’s over.
Overall, Crooked Kingdom was a truly thrilling and beautifully written novel with both growth for the characters and a sense of resolution as well. I’ve heard that there may be more books in the series eventually but as of now it’s a duology and I’m perfectly okay with that…for the most part! I’m already missing Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan as well as this part of the Grisha universe so hopefully we’ll get to revisit them again before too long. I’m going to read the Grisha trilogy soon though so perhaps that will fill the void a little.
Until next time,