Crooked Kingdom // A breath-taking finale

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Hello everyone!

How are you guys doing? For those of you in Canada, happy Thanksgiving!

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On Saturday, my fiance and I cooked a 5-course meal (minestrone soup, pineapple fried rice, green onion pancakes, stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce, and matcha crepe cake)… and we kind of just ate it ourselves because I was sick and our families are on the other side of the country. On Sunday, we went to a potluck and board game party with our friends. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your culture (or have an equivalent holiday)?

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Anyway! Today I present a review for Crooked Kingdom which is the sequel to Six of Crows. After reading Six of Crows, I couldn’t waitย to read Crooked Kingdom right away. There were several of you who have told me that Crooked Kingdom was even more epic than Six of Crows and I thought… how’s that even possible!? But IT WAS. Okay, all right, rant over ๐Ÿ™‚

Please note that this is a spoiler-free review for Crooked Kingdom. However, there are some spoilers for Six of Crows which were hard to avoid as I was writing this review. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out my review for Six of Crows here.

22299763When 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 asย 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 streetsโ€•a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

The Characters

There were six main characters in the Six of Crows series but despite this they were all well-developed. They each had their own strengths and flaws and personality quirks. I liked that there was character growth in this series. Each character faced their worst fears and learned to be better people. Even after finishing this series, I missed the characters and wished the series was longer.

In this sequel, Inej, Kaz, Nina and Matthias’ stories continued but I loved that we got to know Jesper and Wylanโ€™s stories a bit better.ย Jesper was the best sharpshooter in the dregs. He was in constant motion and he loved the thrill of a fight or a card game. In this book, Jesper confronted his past and his familyโ€™s expectations of him. Wylan was a demolitionist in the Dregs but it was no secret that he came from one of the richest families in Ketterdam. Wylan discovered more about his familyโ€™s secrets and what it meant to stand up for what he believed in. I didnโ€™t think much about Jesper or Wylan in the beginning of Six of Crows but by the end of this book they were my favourite characters in the series.

As in Six of Crows, the tension between the romantic relationships was palpable. I liked that the romances were subtle and slow-burning. They didn’t take centre stage but they enhanced the story and they let us get to know the characters better.

The Plot

The plot heated up more than ever in Crooked Kingdom. Now that Van Eck cheated them of the 40 million Kreuger that he promised, Kaz and his crew were willing to do whatever it took to get the money back, and they had everything to lose. I liked that the plot took unpredictable twists and turns- just when I thought I knew what was going on, it pulled the rug out from under me! There were parts when I had to pause or rewind the audiobook because I was thinking, โ€œwait WHAT just happened?โ€

The pacing was spot on. The story was fast paced, there was always something going on and I never felt bored or disengaged. This was one of the longest books that Iโ€™d read all year (and you guys all know how I feel about long books!) and yet it didnโ€™t feel long at all. Instead when I was reading the book, I wished it would never end.

The Writing

The world building was magnificent. In this second book of the series, we learned more about the Kerch, Ravkans, Shu, Zemeni, etc, and the dynamics between these regions. They each had their own language, culture, fashion style, religion, economy and even food. The world of the Six of Crows series was vast and endlessly complex, and I felt that I was just scraping the surface in this book.

I was in love with the writing style. It was fast paced with just the right amount of description. I loved the imagery and the creative metaphors that were used. The dialogues were witty and natural. Despite several emotional moments, it never became melodramatic. The writing style made me forget that I was reading a book (or in this case, listening to an audiobook).

The audiobook was amazing. There were 6 different narrators, one for each MC. They all did a good job in portraying the tone and personality of the characters.

The Bottom Line: 5/5 stars!

Crooked Kingdom was a brilliant finale to the Six of Crows duology. The relatable characters and the mind-bending plot made this a fast-paced, edge of the seat read.

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How do you celebrate Thanksgiving (or an equivalent holiday)? What is one fantasy read that kept you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end? Do you often like the sequel/finale of a series better than the first book?

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25 thoughts on “Crooked Kingdom // A breath-taking finale

  1. Margaret @ Weird Zeal says:

    I’m so glad you liked this book!! I remember hearing that it was even better than SoC and wondering how that was possible, then being absolutely blown away. The character development! The romance! The action! The worldbuilding! The pacing! All perfection. This duology truly is amazing ๐Ÿ˜„

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  2. Marie says:

    Fantastic review, Sophie! I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed this sequel so much – I just love this series, especially because all of the characters felt so well and individually fleshed out, I rooted for all of them individually and together โค I also loved that we got to know Jesper and Wylan a bit more in that one, too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. castlesandhurricanes says:

    Oh wow, there were six different narrators for the audiobook? Iโ€™m not much into audiobooks but that seems like it would be fun to listen to! I read Crooked Kingdom a few months ago and loved it! I definitely enjoyed how well all of the characters were developed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Yup! It’s one of those rare audiobooks that have a full cast, which I really appreciate. I feel that each narrator does a great job of bringing out the character’s personality ๐Ÿ™‚ If you ever want to re-read this series, I would recommend giving the audiobook a try!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. MichaelK says:

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here and we don’t really have anything similar. On the other hand, Halloween is gaining popularity! However 28th of October is a national day celebrating the start of WW2 for Greece (quite curiously we celebrate the start of the war instead of its end).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Oooh! I remember we talked about Halloween before I think (or is it a similar Greek holiday?) Are you planning to do anything for Halloween? We might dress up in costumes but not sure what yet ๐Ÿ™‚ That is interesting that you guys celebrate the start of WW2!

      Liked by 1 person

      • MichaelK says:

        You remember correctly! In Greece we have started celebrating Halloween the last few years but in an unofficial, private way with no religious context. In our home we have been throwing a halloween party for our daughter and her friends for the past three years and we have a good time!
        If you ask me we celebrate the start of WW2 instead of the end because the end coincided with the start of a bitter civil war in Greece.

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      • Sophie Li says:

        That’s great ๐Ÿ™‚ To be honest I had to look up the religious origins of Halloween. I think not many are aware of it and it’s celebrated more as a commercial holiday here ๐Ÿ™‚
        Those halloween parties sound fun! Hope you enjoy the celebration this year.
        It was interesting to learn about this historical tidbit about Greece ๐Ÿ™‚ How do you guys celebrate Oct 28?

        Liked by 1 person

      • MichaelK says:

        Halloween is definitely commercial here too!
        October 28th is a public holiday and it is an official state celebration. There are official ceremonies and speeches and it culminates with a parade. In each city the schools are parading (which is hotly debated the last years) and in the big cities a military parade is also held. Of course there are also documentaries and relevant movies in the TV.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. tasya @ the literary huntress says:

    Happy thanksgiving Sophie! We don’t have thanksgiving in my country, but I’d love to eat the thanksgiving-inspired food here ๐Ÿ˜€ I love Crooked Kingdom more than SoC, maybe because there are more Jesper and Wylan, but also bc I feel the pacing is better than SoC as there are not many set up needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Tasya ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes the parts about Jesper and Wylan are some of my favourites in the book. I agree that the pacing is better here and in general it was easier to get into compared to the first book. Glad that you enjoyed this series as well!

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  6. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Oh man that five-course meal sounds intense, and it sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving too Sophie. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but I wish we did, basically any holiday that has that much food is something I want to be a part of. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Also great review for Crooked Kingdom, this is a book I loved more than Six of Crows too (and I didn’t think that would even be possible) and I loved the extra level of development we got especially when it came to Jesper and Wylan’s characters. While I won’t say they were underdeveloped in Six of Crows it was great seeing them expanded on in this book.
    I’ve been looking for audiobook recommendations (I want to try and audiobook before the end of this year) and maybe I should check out this duology, I never thought about it but it sounds like you enjoyed it. Is it one you’d recommend?
    Again great review. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Haha yes I love holidays that involve lots of food ๐Ÿ™‚
      The parts about Jesper and Wylan are some of my favourites in this book. I also loved how Inej and Kaz’s relationship developed!
      I would definitely recommend this duology as an audiobook! I loved that there was a full cast (one voice actor for each character) and I thought each of the character were done well. Another recommendation is the Illuminae series which even has some sound effects and occasional background music haha ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Zoie says:

    Woah, a five course meal? That’s some serious skill right there… I hope I can one day achieve that when I start adulting ๐Ÿ˜‡ And for me in the U.S., Thanksgiving Break is at the end of November, so I’m eagerly looking forwards to the break & seeing family again!

    This review makes me want to reread (for the third time) the SoC duology again. I still can’t wrap my mind around how intricately Leigh Bardugo designed, well, everything! ๐Ÿ˜Š And I agree, weren’t the romances in this book so perfect? They took up just enough of the story so that we were left wanting more, but it didn’t interrupt the plot at all. Gaaah the entire duology is just so beautiful ๐Ÿ˜

    Great review, Sophie! I had a lot of fun reading it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Haha adulting is a process. I don’t think I’ve fully adulted yet lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish you a happy Thanksgiving as well!

      Yes! I feel like SOC has the perfect amount of romance- just enough to leave us wanting more, and not too much that it takes over the story. It is definitely a series that I want to reread in the future as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you Zoie โค

      Liked by 1 person

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