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.

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 brilliant stars! This stress of this book was nearly my undoing! With clever, flawed, fully realized characters and a deceptive plot that will keep you guessing as you race through the pages, this book seemed like so much more than what I bargained for when I picked it up. In true Bardugo fashion, Crooked Kingdom was a stunningly epic conclusion to a duology that felt so much larger than the sum of its pages. I doubt I’ll ever forget these characters or how much they are a part of me now.

♥ Review: This will be SPOILER FREE, and therefore very limited in word count. I don’t know what I will miss most about departing from this duo of installments; the characters, the level of scheming and plotting, or Ketterdam and the Grishaverse? Any book would be so lucky as to have just one of those things– or even a fraction of one of these things–and yet this author managed to construct it all into one powerful show of creative brilliance. Bardugo once again wielded her magic and crafted a story and people who felt so real and yet so imaginative, that I won’t soon forget how they made me feel. From the beginning, I knew this group of Barrel thugs would be something special, and yet I think I will forever be changed by the depth of personality and how beautifully their character development flourished throughout this book and its predecessor. And then there’s the level of plotting and pacing? My brain just wants to explode at the sheer magnitude of layers Ms. Leigh has been building from the very beginning, brick by brick. The levels of treachery and betrayals and scheming . . .it was almost more than my mind can comprehend while on this journey with Kaz and his crew, and Bardugo made all of it possible. It’s a thing of beauty, and there were several times where I just sat in my seat, mouth gaping, stunned as it all unfolded. I’m not easy to fool and often guess at plots and plot twists long before they happen, and yet Crooked Kingdom and Kaz Brekker kept me on my toes the entirety of this novel. It was just. . .unapologetically dazzling and I gobbled up ever word. I could go on, waxing poetic about how Ms. Bardugo is a master story crafter–builder of worlds, creator of some of the most amazing people, breaker of hearts and souls–but we’d be here all day because her talent transcends words at times, or at least that do when it’s my words.

Overall, this novel was break-neck, death-grip of a book that will hold you captive until the final flip of the last page. Paced to keep you gargling your heart, a storyline to bolster emotions and then have you juggling your feels, and characters that wrap around you like a blanket made of the softest material on one side and the harshest on the other, eventually you will find yourself changed for the better and feeling lucky for having completed such a journey alongside such an amazing cast of characters.

♥ Teaser Quote: So many quotes could be used her to help you fall more in love with a group of kids and their shenanigans.

      Jesper rolled his eyes. “You always say that.”

“Isn’t that how things are done around here?” asks Wylan. “We all tell Kaz we’re fine and the do something stupid?”

       “Are we that predictable?” said Inej.

        Wylan and Matthias said in unison, “Yes.

        “Do you want to beat Van Eck?” Kaz asked.

         Nina blew out an exasperated breath. “Of course.”

         Kaz’s eyes scanned the room, moving from face to face. “Do you? Do you want your money? The money we fought, and bled, and nearly drowned for? Or do you want Van Eck to be glad he picked a bunch of nobodies from the Barrel to scam? Because no one else is going to get him for us. No one else is going to care that he cheated us or that we risked our lives for nothing. No one else is going to make this right. So I’m asking, do you want to beat Van Eck?
                                         – quoted from Crooked Kingdom, pg. 164-165

Book Rating Breakdown
Cover
Writing
Characters
Plot
Pacing
Degree my heart was ripped out
Overall:

♥ Rec It? Absolutely, both this book and the Six of Crows duology as a whole! Bardugo is, without question, an author I will continue to purchase just off of her name and skill of writing alone, no matter the genre or plot of the book. Do yourself a favor, don’t miss out on the wonderful opportunity to be pulled into her worlds and set upon an adventure unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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