Crooked Kingdom 88/100 Leigh Bardugo

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Overview: Crooked Kingdom picks up shortly after Six of Crows.  We follow back up with Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Jesper, Wylan, and now Kuwei.  In Six of Crows, we get glimpses of the main characters, but we don’t really get a good idea of who they are.  In Crooked Kingdom we get all their back story and so much more.  There’s something to be said of writing characters when they’re not in action.  Just writing the downtime between events where the characters are relaxed and showing their true selves.  It’s refreshing and it really makes you feel like you are getting to know these characters.

This book really goes through all the paces for Kaz to take back Ketterdam.  It has so many great twists and turns as well as some really great writing to accompany the killer story.

Review:

  1. Concept: 10/10 Following street thugs through a corrupt town doesn’t sound too appealing, but this story really gives you an idea of what it’s like to live in a beaten down society as a nobody.  Each of the main characters come from such a diverse and unique background, but all end of in the same predicament through various circumstances.  We get to see them all, with their different motivations, put everything aside for the greater good and work together to truly achieve something incredible.
  2. Writing: 8/10 I loved this book, but there were times where it seemed like there were a couple of pages of writing without a whole lot being accomplished.  I would get past a section and realize that the characters hadn’t done anything, but I just spent 5 minutes reading about what equated to nothing.  It gave the book some great depth, but got a little slow at times.
  3. How long did it take to get into the book: 9/10 I was really excited to get this book and it picks right up.  The first chapter gives us a glimpse of the Shu’s Glusturaad as they capture a Grisha, which seems completely out of place, but it does come back later.  That being said, I was hoping to pick right up with Kaz and see what was going to happen next with the Wraith.
  4. Character Development: 10/10 Watching Matthias overcome his deep prejudices was amazing.  What was even better was his charge to Nina to go to Fjerda and teach them that the Ravkans were nothing to hate.   Kaz still has some growing to do to overcome what happened with him and Jordie, but to watch him turn from just another barrel boss into someone that deeply cared for his team was awesome.  Each character matured greatly, and it was hard to imagine them as just teenagers.
  5. Plot: 10/10 Throughout the book, it gave you an idea of what was going to happen, but not really how you were going to get there.  Even after Kaz explained his plans, it still was exciting to not only watch them all unfold, but also watch how he predicted things would happen and also planned for it to work out anyway.
  6. Pacing: 7/10 The book overall was great, but as I mentioned before things got a little slow at times for no apparent reason.  It was like Leigh was trying to meet a word count so started adding fluff.
  7. Ending:  10/10 I’m not going to say I got a little teary eyed at the ending, but there was definitely some dust in my eye to say the least.  This book wraps pretty nicely, but I wish there had been a little more for a couple of characters which mention at the end.
  8. Cover Art: 6/10 When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.  The cover was pretty cool, but I wish they had done more than just a simple crow.
  9. World Building:  8/10 Ketterdam is a dark dingy place, and I really felt like I knew what it looked like and sounded like.  It reminded me of Amsterdam’s red light district.
  10. Would I read other books by the Author:  10/10 I read somewhere that there’s a spinoff with the Ravkan army, and I really gotta track that down and add it to my list.  I’d love to see Nina in action as well as Zoya.

 

Follow-up Questions:
Who are the council of tides and what are they going to want of Kaz in the future?
Did Nina get to Fjerdholm?
How did the Grisha get out of Ketterdam?
Was Jespers gambling addiction really all because he wasn’t using his Grisha powers?
Did Colm just go back to his farm?
Did Wylan revert back to looking like Shu, even just a little?

 

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