Book Review: Crooked Kingdom

Rating: Fire star-1991908_1920star-1991908_1920star-1991908_1920star-1991908_1920star-1991908_1920

22299763Notice how my Six of Crows review was a solid two months before this. And let it be known that I read both books consecutively. Literally, I finished Six of Crows, bought Crooked Kingdom, and continued reading*. So safe to say I’m just a tad behind with this review and I hope I can do the book justice because I really enjoyed it!

*Ahhh, the power of eBooks.

Also, there will be no spoilers for this book that aren’t hidden, but if you haven’t read Sis of Crows, there probably will be.

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“Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

After pulling off a seemingly impossible heist in the notorious Ice Court, criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker feels unstoppable. But life is about to take a dangerous turn—and with friends who are among the deadliest outcasts in Ketterdam city, Kaz is going to need more than luck to survive in this unforgiving underworld.”

Well this synopsis basically gives you nothing, haha. Let me summarize: Inej is still gone, so there’s a nice rescue. But, Wylan’s dad is a very very bad guy and we don’t like him. So it ends up being a gang war in Ketterdam, basically the Six of Crows against everyone else in an attempt to dESTROY HIM and get their money. Nina doesn’t know what to do with her new powers after sampling that drug*. And it’s just really sad and good. 

*Darnit I forget the name!

Book quote graphic-5Okay so my thoughts on the plot! It was crazy. Literally so much happened and it all happened so fast and I was spinning around like whaaaaaa and only caught my breath at the end. I mean, the amount of plans Kaz* went through during this book is insane. And there was so much starting and stopping and foiling of the plans and this was really a book you just can. not. put. down. Because you’ll be consumed with questions for the rest of the day and just die inside as you can’t finish it. But the overall plot was LET’S DESTROY VAN ECK AND HIS LITTLE DOG  PESKA ROLLINS TOO. And it was epic. While Six of Crows had one plan that they basically executed well, this had so many mistakes and I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time because I WAS SO SCARED FOR THEM and nothing went according to plan but of course all the characters are bri-llant and managed to get. things. done. So yes, read this book if you have a whole day to spare because I cannot imagine not reading it in one sitting, it is just so fast paced and crazy. 

*HAHAHA MY COMPUTER AUTOCORRECTED THIS TO KAZOO

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And how, in the midst of this crazy fast paced plot, does character development occur???? BECAUSE LEIGH BARDUGO IS A GENIUS, THAT’S WHY. Somehow, all these characters developed so much even though they were literally fighting for their deaths???? So let’s jump into this growth, shall we?

Kaz Brekker. The mastermind himself. This book he is on his game, lemme tell you. Why Book quote graphic-6was I ever scared that he would get outsmarted?? But he is definitely less cruel during this book. Also, we learn a lot more about his backstory and somehow it made me feel sorry for Dirtyhands who literally can destroy the whole city. Especially with Inej, we see his heart grow. He is beginning to look at people less as assets and more as…well…people. It takes well into the book before he starts overcoming his personal demons, but when he does, oh boy. He is a force to be reckoned with.

Jesper. There was sooooo much of a character arc with him and I love it. Leigh Bardugo attacks his backstory and gives us such a complicated character from it. I mean, who would’ve thought of Jesper as a family man??? He is no longer just a comic relief but a real character and I really appreciate that.

Wylan. He finally gets his own POV which means he is a full fledged member and I could not be happier. He is the perfect dose of optimism that the crew needs with their whole death thing, and also asks all the questions I was thinking but can’t ask because…well..*cries when I remember the book is fictional*. But don’t go thinking that he spends this whole book being happy go lucky because wrong! He goes through his fair share of heartbreak* and yet STILL manages to have faith in humanity which makes it even! better! He deserves to be protected at all costs.

*grrrr, Van Eck

Book quote graphic-7Inej. Aka one of my favorite characters from this book (although let’s be real, they are all my favorite characters). She is so impossibly strong. After having everything taken away from her and being tortured, she still stands tall in her beliefs and her skills. And I love how she refuses to stoop to the same level as those around her. She refuses to use anyone else to harm Van Eck like he used her to harm Kaz, and I just love that. I also love how she is the glue that holds the Dregs together. She connects with everyone and understands everyone, and even though she is literally the deadliest person she seems to be the least intimidating??? And even though she faced a bit of a battle this book she still succeeded because she’s Inej and what else would she do.

 

Nina. My other favorite! I really felt so sad for her this entire book because she felt so lost but she is still a badass and I wanted her to recognize that! But when she finally got her game on again it was SO GOOD and I was so happy that she was back. Also she is the only character that truly appreciates food. 

Matthias. He had the most growth, in my opinion. He really started questioning his beliefs and everything he was raised upon, which was both heartbreaking and uplifting (if that’s even possible????). I loved watching his transformation from hateful druskelle to okay I don’t like Grisha but I love Nina so she’s the exception to hmmm, everything in nature is beautiful and maybe the Grisha aren’t THAT weird. spoiler And let’s be real HE DID NOT DESERVE WHAT HE GOT AND WILL MY HEART EVER BE FIXED??? PROB NOT. end spoiler. 

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Because yes, in this book, the ships need its own section. But before I get to that (because I can rant about that five-ever) I wanna talk about the friendships. In my Six of Crows review, I complained (?) that the only friendship was really Inej and Nina and that I thought there would be more of it. This book fixes all of that. They are still the strongest friendship, in my opinion, but all friendships got more of a stage during this book which I really appreciated. Especially Nina and Jesper, Inej and Jesper, and Kaz and Jesper (I swear it wasn’t just Jesper that had friendship growth haha but he seems to be the most prevalent).

And now, to the ships.

*takes deep breath*

*SCREAMS FROM PURE HAPPINESS*


NinaandMatthiasNinaanadMatthiasNinaandMatthiasNinaandMatthiasNinaanadMaBook quote graphic-8tthiasNinaandMatthias! 
Why are they so completely perfect?! They are by far my favorite ship from this series although Jesper and Wylan come kinda close? I don’t super love Inej and Kaz but I think it’s just because the other two are so strong. But I’m getting ahead of myself. My absolute favorite trope is what I have dubbed the Romeo and Juliet trope, where two people sworn to hate each other put aside their differences and realize they actually aren’t that different after all and then fall in love and live happily ever after. But I love how in this book they addressed the differences and discussed them in a mature way AND ALSO had really cute and playful banter discussions.

And then Jesper and Wylan. I actually knew this was happening before it did because it was spoiled for me, but that didn’t really take away from the story because then I could spend much of it watching the buildup and getting my hopes up. They really do understand each other in a heartwarming way and help each other process some pretty difficult things. And I love all the sweet little innocent moments between them, like when Wylan blushes overtime Jesper makes some flirty comment.

Last but certainly not least, there’s Kaz and Inej. They were the most developed relationship because they both had the most armor and baggage. They also took the longest and their ship hasn’t even really truly ~sailed~ because their big moment involved holding hands but I love how completely okay it is for them to take! it! slow! and how they both understand that. And while it isn’t the love fixes everything trope, their love does help both of them grow and maybe see that things are different and they are strong enough to overcome their personal demons and give them the motivation to do it. So that’s pretty great. And Kaz is the sweetest around Inej and makes him seem more like a human so I can definitely be behind that.

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*exhales* because that was probably the longest review I’ve ever written and I didn’t know I could fangirl so much about this book two months later?? But apparently it is not easy to forget which is just another sign of HOW AMAZING IT IS. I think I love it even more than Six of Crows because of the character development but also the really strong action plots and of course all the ships.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Crooked Kingdom

  1. Ashley (The Infinite Library) says:

    I love this duology so much! It’s lots of fun and the characters are fantastic. I’m glad you loved it. And Kaz was for sure on his A-game this book, twisted little mastermind that he is. Great review! Also, don’t worry, I’m massively behind on my book reviews too *sigh* the life of a book blogger… 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books says:

      Such a great duo! Now I just need to go read the Grisha series…
      Omg Kaz was in his element in the book! All his schemes and plan bs and plan cs he sure thought everything else.
      Ahh I have a whole list of book reviews I need to get to and I probably never will because I keep adding to that list ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ashley (The Infinite Library) says:

        I tried reading The Grisha books afterwards. I really loved The Darkling but overall I was a bit disappointed with it so I didn’t progress to book 2. Might have to try again at some point considering Leigh’s new series in the works about Nikolai.
        Kaz and his millions of back up plans never ceased to amaze me. I love smart characters that manage to surprise.
        Haha. I think I’m a bit the same. So many books, not enough time to review them all in the loving detail they deserve. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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