When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.
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 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 had heard that Crooked Kingdom would be absolutely incredible, but I didn’t realize how freaking mind-blowingly awesome it would be too! This is it people! This is the end and Leigh Bardugo isn’t going to leave you disappointed! Granted, she might tear your heart out and crush it to bits but all’s fair in love and war I guess! LOL!
We pick up pretty much where we left off. Van Eck has Inej held hostage and Kaz isn’t about to play by Van Eck’s rules to get her back, which is namely give up Kuwei to him. It’s going to take a lot of planning in order to pull off everything that needs doing and he’s going to need his Wraith back in order to get the revenge he’s been wanting for years now. And he also needs to exact revenge on Van Eck for the con he pulled over on Kaz. Basically, lots of people need to pay.
Once again, I found myself lost in the pages of this story! So many awesome characters, we get to see more of Jesper this time, plus Wylan gets chapter time as well. As I might have mentioned before, it’s INSANELY hard to choose a favorite character! I love them all sooo much! They all have their strengths and weaknesses, so trying to pick just one doesn’t compute for me when I love them all!
I felt like in this one we see a lot more tension! The pacing was done incredibly well, for Kaz and Co. have a series of missions they need to complete. First rescue Inej, then exact vengeance. But they go through a series of plans with some failures before the right plan comes along. Needless to say it was an intense read!
I really enjoy how Leigh incorporates the flashbacks! They’re well timed ones and I really enjoy getting to learn more about our characters. What drives them to do what they do and such. And then after the flashback we get back to the present in an equally well timed manner. There’s no misplacing the flashbacks for what they are. Unless you stop in the middle of one and don’t return for a day or so. Which is not recommended! I encourage you to read this one and don’t put it down unless absolutely necessary!
What I also enjoyed more in this one was the romance! Sure there’s no actual love-dovey scenes or whatnot. But we do see some stolen moments and kisses between some of the characters. And I’m sure you can guess who those particular characters are! But you might actually be surprised by some things! And that’s all I say there!
Again, I have to mention my love for these characters! They are just so freaking incredible! I can’t get enough of them! But sadly, this is it folks. We’re at the end of the story! I love Kaz for his ruthlessness, Inej for her loyalty and positivity, Nina for her snark and determination, Matthias for his devotion to Nina and willingness to change, Jesper for his snark and thoughtfulness, Wylan for his thoughtfulness and cunning…they are all just soooo amazing! I love them all! And yet sadly…something happens. I remember hearing brief rumors about this, in the sense that Leigh is prone to doing such things if her previous trilogy was anything to go by. And yet, I still wasn’t prepared. I had asked myself to try to see things like Leigh would and yet…I didn’t want any of those things to happen. Yes, I’m being vague and going all over the place with said though pattern here, but I am trying to warn you without warning you. So think on that and be prepared for…feelings.
As you might know from the start of this epic and incredibly thrilling and amazing duology, Kaz has plans for revenge. He has his eyes on the target and plans to exact vengeance for what was done to his brother. And I can I just say, that I absolutely loved how he did things? Yes, he comes off cruel and cold and he kind of is, he has to be. But what I loved sooo much about this is how it reminded me of a certain classic that I absolutely loved as a teenager, and that is The Count of Monte Cristo. Had I finished this before I met Leigh, I would’ve asked if she used any of this classic as fodder for her story writing here. As you may or may not know, in the classic story, Edmund Dantes plans a long haul of revenge over the handful of people who wronged him. And let’s just say that Edmund knew that death wasn’t always the answer. So basically, I friggin loved this book to pieces!!
The ending to Crooked Kingdom was so, so perfect. And yes, I am overusing the word “so” in this review, but I can’t think of a better word at the moment! LOL! It’s the ending I would have expected out of Leigh. She’s set very high expectations for me after the Grisha trilogy. And while we don’t know exactly what she’s writing next after her Wonder Woman book is coming out, I can definitely say I will be buying it asap! But as this series has proved, I may try to binge read whatever she throws at us next because cliffhangers can be brutal!
If you’re looking for the next amazing and incredibly awesome read than it should definitely be the Six of Crows duology! It’s a heist fantasy duology packed with action, liars, betrayals, scams, cons, a sprinkling of romance, and endearing friendships—though the characters may not exactly use that word, or Kaz may not use that word—that makes it one of the best reads I’ve read this year! So I highly encourage you to read this for yourself, because words cannot explicitly do it justice!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars