Crooked Kingdom

Crooked Kingdom

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 Ke...

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Title:Crooked Kingdom
Author:Leigh Bardugo
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Crooked Kingdom Reviews

  • Cait (Paper Fury)

    I don't know. What are words. What is air. WHAT IS TYPING AFJDSKALFDAJSKDLJD. Okay okay, I will calm myself and wrote some (semi)coherent thoughts but basically all you need to know is

    Hence the "WHAT IS AIR" question because fjakldfsad if I fangirl anymore I will lose my miiiiiiind.

    (Just kidding hhaha. I lost my mind YEARS AGO.)

    Also this review

    I don't know. What are words. What is air. WHAT IS TYPING AFJDSKALFDAJSKDLJD. Okay okay, I will calm myself and wrote some (semi)coherent thoughts but basically all you need to know is

    Hence the "WHAT IS AIR" question because fjakldfsad if I fangirl anymore I will lose my miiiiiiind.

    (Just kidding hhaha. I lost my mind YEARS AGO.)

    Also this review

    so don't go having a heartattack just looking at it. I mean there

    be spoilers but ALL IN HIDDEN TAGS.

    . Just mild, unavoidable ones. But I'll do my best.

    So the story picks up a week later after book 1. And it's VERY heavy on the complex plot. Which I really truly did enjoy, even though I got befuddled a bit towards the middle with plans collapsing and being remade all the time.

    Not I. And I 1000% intended to re-read this via audio, because my SoC reread with audio was

    . And I always understand the twists of the heists better on audios. ANYWAY.

    BUT STILL GOOD. We stay in Ketterdam (yaaas) and it gets a bit political with Kaz intending to bring down Van Eck's kingdom and reputation as well. So less lock-picking. More mind games.

    Kaz is downright vicious in this one and if you thought he was a cold dark melon in book one...hahhaahah. HE GETS MEANER. #BlessHim And Nina + Matthias = my heart is just melting into gloop they are so cute and adorable. Jesper had a lot of character development which was

    . And Wylan gets his on POV!! Which leads me to conclude that: Wylan is adorable and must be protected at all costs. Inej remains my least favourite. The "holier than thou" attitude just riles me so the wrong way. Don't get me wrong! I still like her. But I really felt disinterested in her story line because she never

    because she's always spouting holy Suli proverbs and being better than everyone else.

    Kaz, Wylan, and Jesper all WIN for the development here.

    Omg. O.M.G. You will laugh, cry, shriek, and probably melt. Just FYI. Have fun with this.

    Usually big books scare me witless. But this time, I thought it needed EVERYTHING. or I am just obsessed. Hahahah. Why would you think that???

    Which is glorious! Because it managed to mix in the

    feels in with the

    feels. I forgot to breathe several times, but who even needs air? Eh. Optional. But least to say: this book

    several times and I looooove it for doing that. It's just as dark as book one and that be glorious.

    Bless Nina Zenik who is my soul sister with her love for food. And there are so many WAFFLES. This book is literally built on Kaz's evil scheming face + waffles.

    Like they're just

    things and obviously didn't stop me from (A) rating this book ALL THE STARS, and (B) putting it on my "best of the year" shelf so afjdkslafd cAN YOU NOTICE HOW MUCH I LOVED IT YAS?

    Anyway. Negatives.

    I mean, he had a big part in the PLOT obviously. But not as a character.

    Like I was enjoying it, but severely worried it'd only be 4-stars. I wish it'd pressed more exciting stuff into the beginning.

    We don't even get his first chapter till 100+ pages in! WUT IS THIS. I love Kaz and I wanted more of his dark little twisted mind.

    ...now

    . Because it's SPOILER CHAT SECTION TIME WOOOO.

    (It was perfect.) I'm so so happy it didn't disappoint! I'm so so SO SAD it's over. I could read eternal books about my precious little sociopath Kaz Brekker. <3 He reamins one of my TOP favourite antihero/protagonists of all time andf asdjfkalda I love him so much it's probably a problem BUT I DON'T CARE. I'm really happy

    and that I laughed out loud and nearly cried. I mean BOTH emotions?!? My Vulcan heart doesn't know what to do with itself.

    Also I want more Grishaverse books. Neeeeeeed.

    OKAY WHAT I REALLY WANT IS MORE KAZ BREKKER. PLEASE.

    I'M OVER HERE STILL FANGIRLING PSYCHOTICALLY IF YOU NEED ME.

    [distant shrieking]

    *** QUOTES ***

  • Victoria Aveyard

    HOW DARE YOU LEIGH

  • Emily May

    What's that down there on the ground, you say? Oh, it's just my heart after Bardugo callously ripped it out *sob*

    Seriously,

    . The jump in quality from the Grisha trilogy to

    and

    is just astounding. These books have Bardugo's compelling style all over them, and yet they are so much more complex, r

    What's that down there on the ground, you say? Oh, it's just my heart after Bardugo callously ripped it out *sob*

    Seriously,

    . The jump in quality from the Grisha trilogy to

    and

    is just astounding. These books have Bardugo's compelling style all over them, and yet they are so much more complex, rich, and well-written. As a person who doesn't love multiple perspectives, especially more than two, I'm amazed at how the author manages to juggle so many diverse characters and make me care about them all.

    is a beast of a book - my hardcover would make a nice murder weapon - and yet the action and tension never run dry. It's a cliche to compare a book to a rollercoaster but that's exactly what this felt like - highs and lows of emotions, equal parts humorous, sexy, entertaining, dark, violent, romantic and gritty.

    The stakes just keep getting bigger. This book opens where we left off with Wylan wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo's face, and our gang must rescue Inej, get revenge, and defeat the bad guys. But that doesn't even begin to sum up all the action, adventure and craziness going on here. And as well as being dark and compelling, the characters and relationships we love become even more

    . There are a grand total of THREE ships here and I truly adore them all.

    I actually wasn't really feeling the Kaz/Inej chemistry in the first book, but it just came crashing down in a wave of feels here:

    *shivers*

    In the end, though, Leigh Bardugo is EVIL. Don't forget it. There are so many satisfying things in this book - like watching Kaz Brekker just be fucking awesome, like all the twists and turns, like the wonderful gay romance - but it also hits you in the heart. And it hits hard.

    . It was the kind of ending a story like this deserves - the kind that leaves you wanting more, but knowing that it finished in exactly the right place.

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  • Katerina

    Let me tell you a story about a girl I know.

    For the first time in her life, she got a job, a great job, and she was happy about it. There was only one huge drawback: there was no time to read. Only stolen moments and a few pages a day, just to keep in touch with the essence of magic only words can offer. One cloudy morning, while she was in the bus to work, reading, a scene came. You know which one. There was a gunshot. A kiss. And then silence.

    But

    Let me tell you a story about a girl I know.

    For the first time in her life, she got a job, a great job, and she was happy about it. There was only one huge drawback: there was no time to read. Only stolen moments and a few pages a day, just to keep in touch with the essence of magic only words can offer. One cloudy morning, while she was in the bus to work, reading, a scene came. You know which one. There was a gunshot. A kiss. And then silence.

    But she couldn't cry. She couldn't scream and clutch her chest to make sure she wasn't bleeding. She was going to work. She had to plaster a fake smile on her face and pretend she was interested in stocks and investments, as if her world didn't just crumble. But her heart was crying. And when she returned home, she let the floodgates open.

    That was all she could offer.

    She would remember.

    In

    , Kaz is planning another stunt. Or better yet, stunt

    . He has to get back his “money”, destroy his enemies and take control of the Barrel. The entire Ketterdam is after him and his crew, merchants, the city guard, the rival gangs, foreign dignitaries, and everything evolves around the young scientist they rescued and the drug that can change everything for Grisha, for better or for worse. But plans can go wrong, trust can be tested, hearts can get broken, and the six thugs and thieves have not spoken their last word yet.

    Every time I think I have witnessed the fullest extent of

    's potential, I realize there is more. Her

    and

    will never cease to amaze me, she crafted plots and heists and schemes with such intricacy and presicion you couldn't help but feel deep admiration! And a little befuddlement, if we're being honest, because how could your own mind compete with hers?

    I loved how we spent so much time inside the heads of the main characters, but yet there were so many things we didn't fully know that managed to

    us and resulted in muffled screams of triumph (or terror, there was enough insecurity and terror for a lifetime). And let's not forget that there were certain guest appearances that made us squeal like excited mating whales. The humor, the sarcasm, the witty banters, they were all there to ease the tention, to take a break before the fallouts. These characters, they were

    . Each and every one of them, with their flaws, their greed, their

    and their

    , their dreams and secrets, they fought for a place in a world that rejected them. Kaz was

    , vindictive, beyond salvation. Or so he thought. He was a nightmare, I recognize that, but there was a human hidden beneath his hatred and cruelness. And Inej was his weakness.

    After all those terrible things that were done to her, she never lost her faith. She was strong, she did her best to survive and wished to change things for people like her, for the nobodies and the nothings.

    Matthias and Nina were my

    . They were so different, two enemies who were meant to meet and fall in love and fight side by side, to set the example of peace between two nations that were bred in hatred and fear.

    And Jesper and Wylan, they taught each other that they must embrace their fears and let them be their power. To accept who they were, they boy with the gift and the boy that couldn't read but was smart beyond imagination.

    Let me finish this story about a girl I know.

    She wished for a happier ending. She wished for pink unicorns. But

    gave her something

    . A taste she will carry with her wherever she goes, no matter how many days and months and years have passed. She tucked them in her heart, and sealed it with her tears.

    This way, they'll never be gone.

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  • Lucia

    COMPLETELY SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:

    First thing first, meet Kaz Brekker's crew:

    5 REASONS WHY CROOKED KINGDOM IS THE BEST SEQUEL EVER

    This book will literally keep you on the edge of your seat, your toes curling and your heart racing. There was not a single boring moment. On contrary! I flew through this book and wish it was even longer than 546 pages.

    Leigh Bardugo is a genius. I can't even count how many times during this book I thought "No way! I didn't s

    COMPLETELY SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:

    First thing first, meet Kaz Brekker's crew:

    5 REASONS WHY CROOKED KINGDOM IS THE BEST SEQUEL EVER

    This book will literally keep you on the edge of your seat, your toes curling and your heart racing. There was not a single boring moment. On contrary! I flew through this book and wish it was even longer than 546 pages.

    Leigh Bardugo is a genius. I can't even count how many times during this book I thought "No way! I didn't see this coming". The level of awesomeness of twists was beyond this world amazing.

    Seriously, if I wasn't nervously biting my nails waiting for outcome of this or that situation, I was smiling like lunatic whenever these precious characters were bantering among each other. And believe me, it was quite often.

    If someone told me month ago that Crooked Kingdom was going to make me cry (multiple times), I wouldn't believe it. But it happened. Mrs. Bardugo brought out big guns = raw emotions. And I loved it! (even though my heart broke couple of times)

    Crooked Kingdom has all qualities that make it outstanding and unforgettable novel. I just have nothing to complain about. Story was addictive, all main characters grew on me big time, ending was realistic and there was even cameo of my favorite character from Grisha trilogy. Now all I can do is re-read it to find all those details that I missed when I read it for the first time and hope that this is not the last novel by Leigh Bardugo set in Grisha world.

    MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG

    PRE-REVIEW:

    I can't wait to have this book in my hands!

  • Saania Zee Jamal ϟ

    Where do I even begin?

    Leigh friggin' Bardugo. You really, truly outdid yourself with this one. Never in my life have I been more severely anxious over a novel than this right here— would it live up to the hype's madness? Could it surpass the sheer awesomeness that was Six of Crows? Will anything ever compare?

    Yes, yes, yes and

    , thank the Saints (or well, Inej will).

    is one of those

    Where do I even begin?

    Leigh friggin' Bardugo. You really, truly outdid yourself with this one. Never in my life have I been more severely anxious over a novel than this right here— would it live up to the hype's madness? Could it surpass the sheer awesomeness that was Six of Crows? Will anything ever compare?

    Yes, yes, yes and

    , thank the Saints (or well, Inej will).

    is one of those rare masterpieces that manages to get 98% of the things right in a sequel. On my watch, at the very least.

    Let me start off by talking about one of the best aspects of this book: the

    . If tackling six major character arcs wasn't already grueling enough, giving them all intricate backstories and emotional integrity should be downright

    . But that, my friends, is precisely where Leigh hits the mark.

    It's no secret that our misfit gang of delinquents is the reason most of us fell in love with this series so hard. Of course, there's also the world-building, the one-liners, the adrenaline rush that comes with every heist, with every twist and turn and tumble; they're all part of the package. But to me, it's our Dregs that made this a real game-changer.

    We live in a time where standing out in a sea of recycled literature is an author's greatest challenge, with the young adult genre at the very forefront of this ocean. And with Kaz, Inej, Wylan, Jesper, Nina and Matthias, it's like being hit with a motherfucking

    As we get to know them more and more with every layer peeled back, there's no helping the deep-rooted connection one starts to form with each one. Leigh does this evil little thing where just as a chapter begins to get intense, she switches to the next one. The weird part is that this didn't even bother me much since I cared about ALL of their perspectives. (Especially my precious cinnamon roll Wylan, adding his POV was the greatest thing to happen to this book ♡)

    In terms of

    , hoooo boy did shit go down! Cons upon cons thrown at every corner, it never keeps you off your toes or silently going

    with every tiny victory— then just as quickly turning that into

    as things go awry. I can see why some may have a hard time picturing a bunch of ragtag teenagers doing the things they do (not to forget Kaz's impeccable scheming abilities) but honestly, that's exactly what I signed up for. It's meant to be make-believe and it sure as hell does a good job making me believe it.

    Now I'd like to take a moment and say:

    One of them may still be learning how to steer while another met with a certain iceberg,

    but all aboard! I came for the feelz and I left with more than I could handle.

    So after all that raving, you must be wondering: where did that 2% go then, hmmm? Well. You know it. I know it. We all know it. (Unless you haven't read the book yet, in which case, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE YOU WEIRDO GO PICK IT UP.) Spoilers incoming, y'all.

    Scratch that, make it a 5%. Another minor issue of mine stems from -believe it or not but- Kaz. Throughout the whole thing, there felt an undercurrent of him just being so, I dunno, disconnected from the rest? Let it be known that apathy becomes Kaz Brekker, but where I hoped to see his walls crumble down, it isn't until welllll into the second half that we do. More overcoming personal demons, less pretending not to care, please. But the final result still makes me want to jump around in song and twirl his aloof (and secretly-concerned) ass.

    If I could, I'd list all my favourites lines here but then I'd be quoting half the damn book. Her wonderous way with words has made sure that I will always be coming back for more Bardugo.

    To conclude,

    has easily been one of my most fulfilling reads quite possibly EVER. All I can do now is hope to live till time machines exist, perhaps then I could go back and experience it all over again.

    ____________________

    I...I need a moment. Or two.

    Or thirty million.

    *curls in fetal position and weeps*

    ____________________

    Nara by Alt-J

    ____________________

    ONE.

    MORE.

    DAY.

    HOLY.

    -

    : So the city I live in has a total of two bookstores that most certainly won't be stocking this anytime close to September 27th and expected shipment will arrive four weeks after release.

    -

    : WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS LEIGH PLEASE SHOW MERCY

    -

    Don't mind me, just hyping myself up with all this gorgeous fanart...

    Okay I'm like six months late but LOOK WHAT I JUST CAME ACROSS:

    *INSANE SQUEALING ENSUES*

    _________________

    Normally I would tend to forget about the agonizing wait of a much-anticipated book as the months trickle by– but this? Oh

    no, 3028273 weeks later and I am

    eagerly counting down the days until I can FINALLY GET MY HANDS ON THIS PRECIOUSSSSSS

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  • Nat

    Before I start my review, can we just take a minute to admire this beautiful piece of art featuring my favorites:

    This review contains

    .

    The wait for this grandiose sequel has been all-consuming, I've been thinking about the Dregs for months and months now, so getting back into their lives has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

    The book opens on Wylan still wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo’s features since

    Before I start my review, can we just take a minute to admire this beautiful piece of art featuring my favorites:

    This review contains

    .

    The wait for this grandiose sequel has been all-consuming, I've been thinking about the Dregs for months and months now, so getting back into their lives has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

    The book opens on Wylan still wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo’s features since Nina didn’t trust herself with her powers now. It had been just under a week since the Dregs reached Ketterdam, almost a month since they’d left Djerholm. And they're all fighting to get Inej back before Van Eck could have his way with her.

    They were almost out of time. But none of them knew the real game Kaz "Dirtyhands" Brekker - the smooth, smart, criminal mastermind - was running.

    And so, piece by piece, the plan to rescue Inej had come together.

    Things were about to get dangerous.

    Literally one of my most pressing questions for the sequel was answered so quickly!!

    But the days until Van Eck’s deadline were dwindling, and to get Inej back, they would need surprise on their side. Only one shot at getting the Wraith out of this situation.

    But before all that can happen, we get to read from the pov of my favorite warrior: Inej Ghafa, legend of the Barrel. And let me tell you, she is one of the most strong and determined and courageous characters I've known, so watching her doubt herself and her Saints damn near broke me. What she had to go through in her first chapter left me both shaking and trembling. Ghafa has my soul, heart and my enter being wrapped around her pinky.

    Meanwhile, the Dregs have gathered enough intel to get their girl the hell out of Van Eck’s hole. I felt truly terrified for Inej because that brute managed to get into her head, but she was done being frightened of this man. And so was I—thanks to both her and the man of the hour, my favorite bastard of the Barrel: Kaz Brekker with that demonic cane.

    You know, I forgot for a second there just how dark he can be when it comes down to business. But he's called Dirtyhands for a reason, and we're reminded just exactly what he had done to earn his reputation.

    I'm still furious at myself for believing that that smug merch son of a bitch could outthink Kaz Brekker. And with the help of his loyal Dregs, they manage to get Inej of out harm's way... but not without trouble coming their way. The kind of trouble even Jan Van Eck hadn't foreseen: Shu with wings (!!) looking to hunt and capture Grisha.

    But the deal is the deal and Van Eck has to pay up—Dirtyhands is not someone to piss off. They’d set out to get Inej back from Van Eck and they had. But they're not done with the merch. And the plan the Dregs have set is so intricate that it will be the end of the Van Eck empire, without a shadow of a doubt.

    Okay so, here's the official plan to both earning their thirty million

    and obliterating the devil himself: They're going after Van Eck's sugar crop, since he controls the silos where the supply is produced:

    • Thanks to Wylan’s weevil they can destroy the sugar in Van Eck’s silos without being exposed.

    • And once the other merchants learn that Van Eck has been buying up sugar that isn’t stored in his silos (thanks to Kaz purchasing shares on behalf of Van Eck), his reputation will be annihilated.

    • They'll get the weevil into the silos by letting tiny and ferocious Inej do what she's best at: climbing up twenty stories high and walking a high wire from one silo to the next...no biggie.

    • And while doing all of the above, they're also going to get the rest of the Grisha out of the city, at Nina's request.

    A ship to Ravka with twenty passengers (including Kuwei) is conspicuous, so they're going to steal Van Eck's own transport to remain obscure. They couldn’t just be smarter than their opponent, they had to be relentless.

    • I just... why is everything so damn complicated with the Dregs. They're nothing if not ambitious.

    It's a known fact that Kaz Brekker is a smooth, smart, criminal mastermind, but he also hurts for his big, criminally inclined family. And watching him realize just that was one of my most cherished scenes.

    I cant stop thinking about this without getting goosebumps. Damn you, Kaz.

    You know, speaking of which, Wylan finding out that his mother was still alive and in an insane asylum because of rotten Van Eck, made me want to string his father up in a barren field and let the vultures have at him, to quote Jesper.

    But seriously that whole situation made my heart race. I couldn't believe to what levels of evil Van Eck would sink. The only silver lining was the whole plan Kaz had in store for the devil. And hopefully seeing Wylan reunite with Marya Hendriks. I’m always weak for stories reuniting mother and son. Always.

    Also, Jesper trying to cheer Wylan up made me shed a tear or two...

    They seriously deserve the world and so much more. They all did.

    This was them at their best.

    And then halfway through the book,

    because Ketterdam has turned on Kaz. “But if you couldn’t open a door, you just had to make a new one.” And that's what Dirtyhands excels at.

    My heart leapt like a horse clearing a jump. Kuwei is going to auction himself with the hopes that the Ravkans will end up buying him. It was the best chance they had of getting Kuwei to Ravka and saving Grisha lives. To quote Brekker, it was a mad, spiky monster of a plan, and that was what it had to be for them to succeed.

    Seriously though, how does Bardugo keep up with herself? There were so many twists and turns that left my mind spinning even after having closed my eyes. The whole storyline is just so lancing—we know where the end-game is supposed to be, but to get there the Dregs would have to go through hell and back. And damn, that they did.

    But before hell comes their way, Kaz and Inej share an intimate moment that left me undone. He had gone to great lengths to prove he was capable of anything.

    I’ll be 100% honest, this choked me up a little bit.

    My heart should not be making that sound.

    This is heaven, what I truly want. I have no words to thank you for this.

    Seriously, Leigh can write evocative, raw and hauntingly powerful scenes like nobody's business.

    They truly deserve their happy ending.

    But in the end, it all came down to this: "Brekker, his Wraith queen, his rotten little court of thugs." Because no matter what would happen, the Dregs had a way of rewriting their own rules.

    I mean, that ending... that ending was every bit as epic as I had anticipated. It either would've gone brilliantly or in total disaster, but that’s generally the way this crew likes to work.

    Also, one last minor thing: I was on the edge the whole time to see who would survive, even though the table of contents kind of gave away who lives, who dies, who tells their story... But I cannot, for the life in me, believe Matthias Helvar got killed off by a young drüskelle.

    My eyes burned, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was whispering "come back to me," right there with Nina.

    I just... I was rooting for everyone to have their happy ending.

    . So this death came as such a shocking reveal. I felt sorrow dragging at my heart for hours after that. And I'm still not over it.

    This Saintsforsaken book has taken away a piece of my heart with that ending. I’ve got this ache in my chest that won’t go away. I want to be free. But I know I won't be forgetting the Dregs anytime soon.

    ,

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    Review/discussion:

    My favourite part of reading this was that as I took review notes every time I wrote Kaz it autocorrected to Kazoo

    This freaking book oh my goodness. I LOVED IT, even more than the first one actually. I adore this characters and I must see them again. A Nina spin off perhaps? YES PLEASE.

  • Regan

    UGHHHHH I NEEEEDDD MORRRREEEEEE

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