Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows, #2
Page Count: 561
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Original Publication Date: 2016
Genre(s): Young adult, Fantasy
Kaz Brekker and his gang of Crows have just pulled off the most impossible heist—but the end bit didn’t go as planned. Double-crossed, rewardless, and low on hope, they must now work to rescue Inej from Van Eck’s clutches. But that’s only one part of the new plan. Not only does Kaz intend to save Inej, but he also plans to get his revenge on Van Eck and somehow take claim to the money they earned. But with every gang member, Barrel boss, and staadwatch officer on their tails, it may prove even more difficult than their last heist…
I AM SOBBING. Honestly I read the last page, turned off my Kindle, and just stared at the ceiling and cried. I cried for so many reasons and felt so many different emotions. What a story!!! What an ending!!! Shadow and Bone pales in comparison to this epic duology. I feel so empty having finished these two books that I just may need to reread them very soon. Like, what do you even read after finishing a book like Crooked Kingdom? How do you not fall into a book hangover? Anyway.
Crooked Kingdom picks up immediately after the end of Six of Crows. It’s told in the same third-person alternating POV chapters as the previous book, featuring all of our favorite shady characters. Kaz has a master plot to come out on top, even after being double-crossed. It will take a lot to pull off, though, and for most of the book, I truly have no idea if they’ll succeed. I love these books because they’re unpredictable. They’re dark and gritty violent with a smattering of happy moments sprinkled throughout. The action and suspense is amazing, but yet for me, it comes second to watching the characters grow. Each and every one of them has a place in my heart, and to finally see some of them mature or overcome something is ridiculously rewarding.
You probably noticed in Six of Crows there’s practically no romance. What a bummer, right? There’s lots of tension, though, and I couldn’t wait to see what would come of these budding relationships in Crooked Kingdom. I won’t go into specifics, but let me just say I loved every second of it all and only wanted more. Though I have to say the Inej and Kaz scenes were the best. Listen, that bathroom scene had my heart racing. And their final chapter together left me teary. I cannot get enough of these characters, guys!!!
I would read seventy books following these characters. But I knew it was ending with Crooked Kingdom, so I tried to make peace with that. Honestly a perfect ending except for one thing. I won’t mention it because it’s a big spoiler, but I will say it seemed random, out of place, and unnecessary. I’m not just saying that because it made me cry, I just didn’t think it needed to happen. But alas, Leigh Bardugo wanted to rip my heart out anyway, so fine. Other than that, a very fitting ending, one I enjoyed even more than the end of the Shadow and Bone trilogy.
This book, and of course its predecessor, are new favorites of mine. I am so glad I read them and can’t wait to see how the Crows will be incorporated into the Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone. I also can’t wait to read the next duology in the Grishaverse, King of Scars. I suppose that’s the only thing I can pick up after a book like this. Anything else would be uninteresting and a let down. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to return to staring at the ceiling and thinking about my baby Crows.