An Impossible Feat | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Friday, December 03, 2021

 Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: 9/20/16
Pages: 546
Source: purchased
Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts 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. Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

In Six of Crows, Kaz and his gang complete the impossible by breaking into the Ice Court and kidnapping a scientist’s son, bent upon making a drug that could change the world forever. In this sequel that will blow you away, the Dregs expect to receive the money that they are due for completing the impossible. Instead, the Councilman, who hired them, pulls the wool over their eyes and kidnaps one of their own. Two can play at that game. Kaz Brekker intends to rescue his Spider and get the money they are due. In an incredibly feat, Leigh Bardugo cleverly weaves a sequel that will knock your socks off (or maybe even, knock your gloves off).

Living Up to Expectations

  • I haven’t read many Leigh Bardugo books. The only one being Six of Crows, but that doesn’t leave me in total darkness of what I may expect. Bardugo is a fabulous writer that grips you from page one, pulling you into her world and refusing to let you go no matter how dark the plot may get. There will be deaths, there will be torture, and the rainbows may be limited. Before starting Crooked Kingdom, I had to mentally prepare myself for her level of intensity.
  • And as expected, Bardugo gives us another dark and intense plot that we can’t say no to. It is as if we are in as deep as the characters and have no choice but to follow along.
  • Crooked Kingdom definitely lives up to its expectations. Six of Crows is a masterpiece and Crooked Kingdom can be found on its own canvas, proudly next to its previous.
  • The plot is one surprise after the other. Just like the first, I am floored how well Bardugo keeps us in the dark on what the next plan of action may be. It’s as if Kaz Brekker is always one step ahead of even the readers. It’s a genius move.
  • The bare bones of the plot is very similar to that of the first one. The series is based on these plans that Kaz concocts and as much as the plans show little resemblance to one another, each execution is done so expertly that I am still flabbergasted to how Bardugo pulled off such an amazing feat. 

Well-rounded Characters

  • Kaz is consistent in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s fantastic when we get things from his perspective because with his back story and development, it makes the whole story rich with layers it wouldn’t have otherwise. As much as the Dregs make up a wonderful cast of characters, Kaz is the one that makes you read further.
  • Bardugo blesses us with some major back stories in Crooked Kingdom. It answers several questions and continues to round out the characters further. It just made me love all of the characters even more. As the story progresses, the characters become more in-depth, more real than ever before.
  • I wasn’t much of a fan of Wylan in Six of Crows. I had nothing against him, just that he had such a small role and we didn’t really know him that well. However, Wylan is given a much bigger role in Crooked Kingdom. Some pieces begin to fall into place and Wylan quickly became one of my favorite characters.
  • The relationships the characters have with one another are amazing. It is a sure sign of great writing. Each characters shapes into a life beyond the book, it seems, sprouting friendships and enemies along the way.

My Fear of Sequels

  • I was extremely hesitant to start Crooked Kingdom. Sequels are always difficult to read because there is always the disadvantage of comparison. What if Crooked Kingdom wasn’t as good as the first? What if she kills off my favorite characters?  I had many concerns revolving around the sequel, because Six of Crows was spectacular and I did not need a sequel to ruin it. Crooked Kingdom did quite the opposite in that it continues the story almost seamlessly as if the two books are one.
  • The big question looming is always about the ending. The ending can make or break all of the series for you. With Crooked Kingdom, no one needs to worry because the ending is absolutely magnificent. Bardugo wraps everything up, answers all our questions, and even gives us a glimpse of what the characters’ futures are beyond the book series. It was so amazing; Crooked Kingdom is definitely a book to add to your favorites shelf.


Six of Crows was a fantastic start to a duology that not only is diverse, funny, but also endlessly entertaining. Crooked Kingdom is the sequel that does not disappoint. With flawless writing, well-rounded characters and a plot that keeps you on your toes, Crooked Kingdom gives you plenty of reasons to read the series and keep coming back for more.

Six of Crows (9/29/15): 5 stars
Crooked Kingdom (9/20/16): 5 stars

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