Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on September 27, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 560 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased
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.
How does one start a review for their best book of the year? I could scream, shout, rave, and fangirl on and on and on about Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom but is anyone really surprised. It was my most anticipated book of the year and I knew in my heart that it would be at the top of my favorites for 2016. Returning to the streets of Ketterdam and the Grisha world feels like home to me and Leigh has outdone herself once again.
Crooked Kingdom picks up just a week after the events of Six of Crows and it’s a non-stop, action-packed, thrill ride. Instead of one big heist, the reader is treated to a series of small cons, tricks, and so many manipulations my head and heart could barely take it. With Kaz and crew, everything isn’t always what it seems and I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through. Leigh’s plotting is so precise that every piece of the narrative fits perfectly, and it’s truly a masterclass in storytelling.
Honestly though Leigh’s characters are where she truly sells her craft. Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina, and Matthias all have such detailed, diverse, and compelling lives and these six misfits have come to form one extremely strange, dysfunctional family. I loved how the reader was plunged further into their backstories and how it all made a mark on the present. Even the romance aspects were so on point and yes I felt ALL THE FEELS.
While Six of Crows introduced us to Ketterdam, Crooked Kingdom made us full time residents. From dark alleys to deep canals, this book is a fully immersive experience. Every inch of this city is fleshed out and I feel like I could traverse the roofs just like Inej. I also loved how this one delved deeper into the nations of the Grisha world and their complicated political and business dealings. Jurda Parem brings everyone to the table and stakes are at an all time high.
Without a doubt Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo is my favorite book of the year! Everything about this book is over the top excellent: from plot to characters to an astonishing world. If you haven’t picked up this duology yet, please remedy this immediately. You’re missing out on some of the best fantasy ever! I cannot believe we won’t be back in the Grisha world for a while and I’m already going through withdrawals. Grisha for life!
So have you read Crooked Kingdom yet? Coping with no more announced Grisha books? Fangirling over this book like crazy? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!