Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And the amount of thoughts I have on this book is insane!
I read this a couple of weeks ago, but I think it's time to post it!
Don't forget to comment below if you have any thoughts or any points you would like to discuss!
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Status: Book 2 in duology
Blurb: "KAZ BREKKER and his crew have just
pulled off the most daring heist imaginable.
But instead of divvying up a fat reward,
they're fighting for their lives.
Double-crossed and badly weakened,
they're low on resources, allies and hope.
While a war rages on the city's streets,
the team's fragile loyalties are stretched
to breaking point.
Kaz and his crew will have to make
sure they're on the winning side...
no matter what the cost."
It's taken me almost a year to finally read this book, mainly because of the significant size of it, coupled with the fact that I didn't particularly connect with any of the other characters as much as everybody else was seeming to. But after giving Crooked Kingdom's predecessor a re-read, I was more than willing and able to jump right back into the world of such diverse characters, not to mention such a fantastic world.
Going into this book, I knew how this book needed to be read: slow and steadily. I knew that if I tried to read it quickly, and just to say that I had read it, I wouldn't take in half as much as I would have otherwise (when I was actually thinking about the words rather than just skimming the pages) and that was exactly how I read it.
Let's talk about the words! The dialogue was snappy, Leigh Bardugo has mastered the devious side to the characters, with just the perfect one liners, the description was indepth and detailed enough that you got an idea of the places that the story was taking place without making you feel jumbled in your own head of where you were or what the characters were doing at any one time. And there were quotes like "No mourners, no funerals" that just fit the feeling of the story perfectly, and left a pang in your chest whenever you read it.
On to the characters- The friendship between the six crooks that was forged together in the first book was the most consistent thing in this book, and it was also what I loved most about it. Not only in the relationships between the ships in this book, but between every single member of the party too. Crooked Kingdom is all about how they are all for one another, and it's wonderful to see the bond that was created in the first book continue to grow as they work as a team throughout the book.
One relationship in particular that I loved to see was the friendship between Nina and Inez. It is so rare to see two women- that have completely different personalities, I might point out- become almost like sisters. You really see it when they meet after one of them has attempted something potentially life threatening, and that was lovely to see. However, the best scenes were when they all came together to plot and scheme a plan for what was next on the agenda in the next part.
Also, when the characters were going solo, when they were doing something by themselves, the bond that that character had created with the rest of the crew sort of strengthened their resolve. Despite this, each and every character still remained themselves. They used the others in the crew to motivate and inspire them to complete the task at hand, but they stayed the same people, they didn't lose their own individual character, who they were themselves, which is another point that I like to see in books such as these.
Also, if there's one thing I like to see in books is the backstory. There's nothing like a backstory to help you to sympathise to a character. It gives you something to root for the character, to see how far they have come from then to now, and if I'm honest, the lack of backstory for the characters was a bit of a negative I had for the first book.
But in Crooked Kingdom, we got a whole load of backstory. And it was one of my favourite things about this book.
Now, can we talk about the ships in this devastating finale! Love was never the thing that was going to fix all the problems that the Crows encountered in Crooked Kingdom. It was the reason for why you were fighting, your strength and courage for doing what was right. The characters were learning to live for their other half, and the love these characters had for one another was what reminded me that they were all in their late teens, and it was so easy to forget that because they all seemed so much more intimidating if they were early 20s. But the love that these characters had for one another was their reason for fighting the darkness that they encountered in this book.
One of the things that got me interested in the Six of Crows duology in the first place was the plot. There was a clear goal, as well as a bunch of interesting characters, but first and foremost, it was the premise, the plot that pulled me in. Leigh Bardugo absolutely shined in the fight scenes, the actions almost cinematic, in how clear it was. But the ticking of Kaz thinking up a plan that was dangerous, and more than a little risky when he was faced with what seemed like an unending number of setbacks was what really takes the cake. Watching Kaz and Pekka face off again and again was both heart-raking and satisfying, because you were never sure whether Kaz was going to have some master trick up his sleeve or whether Pekka was really going to win it this time. It was like a knife-edge between those too and it was so intense I was surprised that I wasn't ripping my hair out at one point.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this final book in the duology and I can't wait to see what Leigh Bardugo comes up with next because I will certainly be picking it up on release day. The ending to this amazing trilogy pretty ripped my heart out, and even though I wish it wasn't over, I'm satisfied with the ending.
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So that was my review of Crooked Kingdom! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you all on Friday!