Who Says Crooks Can’t Be Winners? | Review of ‘Crooked Kingdom’ (Six of Crows #2)

By Cynthia Ayala

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Company
Image Credit: Goodreads

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.” —Goodreads

Published September 20, 2016, by Henry Holt and Company Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo is the second novel in her Six of Crows duology, a YA fantasy following thieves as they do what they do best: scheme.

Crooked Kingdom takes off right where the previous novel ending, with Inej’s capture and her crew’s determination to rescue her from her prison. But what’s so great is the fact that that’s not the entire novel, it resolves the ending of the previous book very quickly leaving the reader to wonder what is going to happen next. But the way the structure of the story goes, it keeps the reader on their toes because as schemes go there is always more than what’s revealed. That’s one of the things that makes this novel such a successful sequel and so attractive. The book doesn’t rehash the first novel which was all about breaking someone out of prison, this novel goes beyond that to bring down the real villains, the men who hide behind the scenes and make others do their dirty work for them. They are attacking the powers, the merchants who would keep the poor, poor, and the rich, well, rich. Oh, how familiar that sounds. Whether or not Bardugo meant to attack the flaws within capitalism, she has done so by taking the position of the underdogs to right the wrongs done to them. And the way the plots within plots work, the way it functions is amazing.

The story is amazing because of the structure, that needs to be stressed because there was such a clear idea for the novel, for how it would end and move along, and it was executed so perfectly. Bardugo is an amazing writer, creating tension and evolving the story with such powerful precision. It’s fast-paced and full of mind blowing twists and turns. What’s more is the characterization. These are fascinating characters which is part of the reason the series works so well. They aren’t the good guys, but they aren’t the bad guys. They meet their foils, they develop and grow and they each balance each other wonderfully. The dynamics are powerful, the chemistry and dark parts of the characters show each other, they bring light to each other and love. They are a family, even if they don’t admit it themselves. They are rich characters, full of secrets that darken their paths but light their futures. And they are all determined to love one another and be there for each other.

It’s a fantastic novel that is worth every minute. (★★★★☆ |A)

Product Details

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

Page count: 546pp

Age Range: 15 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-6277-9213-4

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

List Price:  $18.99

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