Crooked Kingdom. Leigh Bardugo. Fantasy/Young Adult. 2016. 536 pages. 5 stars. [Source: Bought]
“No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose.”
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 left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, 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 magic in the Grisha world.
Crooked Kingdom is the continuation of Six of Crows, which centers around getting Inej back. Just like the first book, we get a lot of scheming from Kaz Brekker and the heist-like feelings of this book has somewhat decreased, but it’s still there. It’s the same diverse crew, but with now a different goal.
What’s fun about this book is that we can see them all start to pair up visibly, rather than vaguely as seen in Six of Crows. They do, however, stand in different stages with each other: while some pairs are more open about their feelings for each other, the rest are still teetering on the edge wondering if they should act on their desires or not. These characters are so complex that the narrative allows us to delve deeply into their train of thought that most of us can relate to! The mission may seem to be for people who are nothing but strong-willed and heartless, these characters show strengths and weaknesses that are human in essence. It takes quite an effort to stay attached to the narrative though because the writing style caters to the way the characters think and with the changing POV’s, some chapters are easier to read than others.
If I were to compare the two, I would prefer Six of Crows more because in Six of Crows I really felt the about-to-commit-a-serious-crime vibes more than in Crooked Kingdom.
I highly recommend this duology especially if you’ve read The Grisha Trilogy! I read Six of Crows before reading the Grisha and it did take me a while before I could fully submerge myself into the world. Nonetheless, I still loved it!
No mourners, no funerals.