{Liza Reviews} Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Posted October 21, 2016 by Liza in Reviews / 11 Comments

{Liza Reviews} Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

by Leigh Bardugo
Pages: 536
Published on September 27th 2016
by Orion Children's Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | Goodreads

Also by this author: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin & Rising, Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm

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.

5 Stars

Liza reviews

WOW!  It’s worth repeating my dear readers. WOW. Six of Crows was one of my favorite reads last year and I was dying to read Crooked Kingdom.

There so many things that make this book so good, the world building, the writing, the plot, but I think what I enjoyed the most was our cast of characters.  The story continues where it ended, a week or so after the ending of Six of Crows and finds our main characters planing a rescue.  In this installment we get to know them at a deeper level and loved to be there with them.  Their stories are not all pretty, far from it.  The series it’s for an older YA audience, not because it’s descriptive, but because of the themes it deals with.

Its hard to choose a favorite character and when I saw Leigh Bardugo last year for the signing of Six of Crows, and she asked that question, she was surprised that my answer was Kaz.  I’m not so sure anymore. Not because I don’t like him anymore, but because I got to know all of them much better.   Kaz is so complicated, complex, an evil genius, with a tragic, traumatic past, but he’s fair, loyal and take care of his crew. It’s amazing how he’s always a step ahead, how he seems to know everything and everyone.  Inej is acrobat turned spy that is fiercely loyal, loving, pragmatic, with a strong sense of duty, but not afraid to bend the rules.  Nina is sensual, funny, realistic, a powerful Grisha, with a sweet tooth and a forceful personality. Mathias is the sworn enemy of all Grisha, big, blond, blue eyed, strong, unbendable, strict and he’s crazy about Nina.  Jasper is a sharpshooter, a clown, a gambler, trill seeking, loyal, loving, and evasive. Wylan is a merchant’s son that fell from grace, a genius chemist with a lot to prove, a confused, lonely young man that found a family with Kaz and his gang. Say yay for diversity, for awesomeness, for greatness and fangirling 🙂

Of course, there are a lot more characters, both good and bad, but I can’t help but love Kaz’s crew. Every single one of them.

“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.”

I have something to confess (please don’t kill me!):  I read Shadow and Bone, but never finished the Grisha series.  There I’ve said it.  I know I should try to finish it since I’ve only heard good things about it.  Anyway, that is to say that I’m somewhat familiar of what Grisha are and can do, so the “world” was not completely new to me.  However, Ketterdam is a whole other universe.  It’s a place full of canals, harbors, travel by boat that reminds me a lot of Holland.  It’s a place that worships money, commerce, and that houses merchants, gangs, university people, slaves, slums, and all sort of people. It felt so real that it was almost tangible.

“I am grateful you’re alive”, he said. “I am grateful that you’re beside me. I am grateful that you’re eating.”
She rested her head on his shoulder.
“You’re better that waffles, Matthias Helvar.”
A small smile curled the Fjerdan’s lips.
“Let’s not say things we don’t mean, my love.”

The plot is a masterpiece.  I mean, what other word can I use to describe it?  The fact that most of the action and plans come from Kaz’s mind is mind-blowing (pardon the redundancy).  Talk about twists and turns!  I didn’t try to guess what was going to happen, because more likely than not, I wouldn’t be even close.  It’s so well done that I saw none of it coming.  It’s like trying to drive in an eternal “curve” where you can never see the other side of the street.  SO good.

“No matter the height of the mountain, the climbing is the same.”

I’m not going to lie, my feels were broken by the end.  Something awful happened and I don’t even want to think about it because I’m going to cry again.  So sad 🙁  This book is intense, with a great balance between light and dark, hope and despair, hate and love, friendship and enemies.  The writing is mesmerizing, it kept me up late at night and I wanted to be able to read faster and faster. I feel like the ending left an opening for more books or at least a nice novella, although I’m perfectly happy with it.

Overall, Crooked Kingdom is THE best book I’ve read this year and Six of Crows one of my favorite series forevermore.  Bardugo outdid herself with the perfection that is this series.  LOVE IT!  Now, go read it.


About Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Six of Crows (awarded starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, SLJ, and the BCCB) and the Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.


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11 responses to “{Liza Reviews} Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Becca

    Ok I admit I skimmed your review because I am reading this now and about half way through. I know my heart is going to be ripped out, but I absolutely do NOT want to know how or why! I’m actually scared to finish 🙁 I am SO glad you loved this one Liza, Leigh Barudgo is QUEEN!!

  2. I’ve not read this book (yet)! Ahhh! I loved Six of Crows, and I’m sure I’ll love this one too. You know, the Grisha trilogy never impressed me! I liked book one but felt very meh about books two and three.

    I’ve heard about the ending of this book! So now I feel amply prepared… though I am sad. D: I’m sure it is still a great ending, despite things.

    Wonderful review, Liza!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Liza

      Well, I loved book one of the Grisha trilogy, that’s why I wanted to read the rest of the books, but never got around to it.

      Crooked Kingdom is full of mystery, of feels, fun and pure awesome 🙂

  3. Hi Liza,
    I finally got hold of this duology. Reading it super soon. I want to meet Kaz and his band of badasses. This review got me even more excited. In particular, I would like to see more of Inej and Nina, because they sound very different from the traditional YA female protagonists.

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