Title – ‘Crooked Kingdom’
Author – Leigh Bardugo
Published – September 27th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
Pages – 536
Format – Paperback
Book Summary –
‘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.’
*Warning – Contains spoilers*
This book though! This book was such an unbelievably awesome wrap up and conclusion to the Six of Crow duology. It was full of action and mischief and wondrous planning and intricate detail. I genuinely couldn’t have been more happy with the way this novel played out, although I didn’t expect a death, I think it needed to end in the way it did. The amount of scheming in this book most certainly was on a completely different level to Six of Crows and it made me simply want to get hold of Kaz’s brain and pick it apart.
I adored everything about this book… particularly with Kaz and Wylans character development. Those two in particular were my favourite characters and I think in reality, for them, this book took on a far more personal level compared to the others. At first it was very much on a personal level for Wylan in terms of rebelling against his farther and all he’d essentially known. Young Wylan with all his innocence… turnt into a true Dreg member. Despite Wylan being rather innocent and not particularly brute in his actions I could most certainly see an element of Kaz within him. And I don’t think that was a bad thing. And then Kaz and his dark past came into play far more and so the scheming and the planning took a far more personal turn once Rollin’s character got involved far more deeply.
I do seriously just want to pick apart Kaz’s brain… all of their brains in fact. The whole gang was made up of sure incredible characters, all diverse and unique in their own ways. All battling their own demons and/or trying to forget the past. I loved how dark and gritty it was without being overwhelming. Things went wrong for them, they got beaten up, the got outsmarted (unbelievably!) and they played some of their moves wrong… but it shows that none of them were perfect. And it showed that despite being imperfect they’d got through together and would continue to do so despite their differences in personality, opinion and a whole range of other things.
I just can’t get other how incredible the scheming in this book was… how well written it was and just how amazing it really made Kaz Brekker seem! I massively enjoyed that whilst we knew when some of Kaz’s scheming was going down we never quite knew just how deep the ties would run. To a point where even some of the members of the crew didn’t know what was going on… it was superbly written and once the whole story of a certain plan finally came into place it was easy to understand each element. It was nice that we got to learn the full extent of the plans with the characters who also where completely in the dark about certain elements. It was definitely successful in keeping me on my toes, I never knew just what direction a plan would go in… and when things seemed to be going badly Kaz still managed to turn them around to his favor. A skill indeed. Although there was still one thing he couldn’t and didn’t predict.
I had a feeling deep in my gut that someone was going to die from the start… it would have been too perfect if they’d all survived so whilst Matthias’ death hit me hard… it didn’t surprise me. I’m just glad he held on long enough to get back to Nina to say his goodbyes. It was so sad seeing everything the two of them, Matthias and Nina, had worked so hard to overcome so that they could be together just completely tossed aside. But I think no matter what the two will bound together… through spirit or whatever else I think the two of them will always be together. I think the idea that Matthias learnt to except the Grisha and came to terms with the fact that the ideas he’d been brought up on should be altered played massively on Nina’s heart. I think if the story had been continued that Nina would have seen it as her personal quest to help Matthias’ vision come true.
To flip it round from a moment of sadness to a moment of triumph… I’m beyond glad Van Eck got what was coming for him. And I’m sure glad that Wylan got to deliver some of the blow personally. When Kaz said he was going to completely tear him open and rid him of his title and everything he’d worked for he really meant it. I’m glad Wylan came to terms with the fact his father was evil and that despite been seen as a broken boy he was far stronger, smarter and more capable than he ever realised… I’m glad the gang helped him see that in himself. Equally I’m glad Wylan was also able to be a shoulder to lean on for Jesper… and with all the flirting I’m not surprised it was taken slightly further and I’ve got to admit it made me giddy as hell. Their relationship was adorable.
And whilst I’ve mentioned two of the main relationships in the book I figure I should probably mention the development between Inej and Kaz. I’ve got to admit I didn’t think anything major would happen for the two of them by the end of the book… and in some sense it didn’t. However what did happen was a major, major step for both of them. Considering just how broken they both were. But I think that’s what made the story better… they were two broken people… and you never knew if they were just too broken for anything to happen. Luckily it didn’t seem like it.
I’m sad that this wonderful series has now been closed but I think the way it ended was right. It didn’t leave too many questions unanswered but still left bit and pieces open enough that the reader could wonder about certain things. It wasn’t the happiest of endings, with Matthias’ death and the crew essentially heading in their own directions, but it was a solid end to a horrid battle. In reality the war will never be over in Ketterdam, of which I think Kaz is all too aware of, but for now the battle has been won.
Two of my favourite quotes from the book (one on the more comical side and the other taking a rather dark turn);
“Pick up the pace,” Kaz said, eyeing his watch.
“If I spill a single drop of this, it will burn straight through the floor onto my father ’s dinner guests.”
“Take your time.”
“You duped us out of everything. We ended up on the streets and then we died. Both of us in our own way. But only one of us was reborn.”
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms? Oh my god that’s a massive yes!!
Am I completely in love with this book? Yes!!
[I rate this book 10/5 stars]