How are you guys doing? For those of you in Canada, happy Thanksgiving!
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)?
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 wait 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 🙂
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.
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.
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 Wylan’s stories a bit better. 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 family’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 family’s secrets and what it meant to stand up for what he believed in. I didn’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 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, “wait WHAT just happened?”
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 I’d read all year (and you guys all know how I feel about long books!) and yet it didn’t feel long at all. Instead when I was reading the book, I wished it would never end.
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.
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?