book review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo


CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt & Co, 2016
(Six of Crows #2)

I LOVED THIS. Crooked Kingdom is everything that was great about Six of Crows – fast paced action, characters getting out of impossible situations in unexpected ways – but it built something even better upon its already solid foundation, thanks to some truly phenomenal character development. In Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo digs into her characters’ backstories to create even more depth and dimension to this already flawed and fascinating group of individuals, and I came out of it with an even greater appreciation of each of them.

Where the plot in Six of Crows is much more straightforward and I can see where some people may prefer it for that reason, Crooked Kingdom is where Bardugo shows her complete mastery of weaving together intricate plot threads. I was mesmerized by the fact that every time there appeared to be a straightforward outcome to a situation, Bardugo still managed to veer the narrative in an unexpected direction. And it was never a cheap trick or a deus ex machina – just Bardugo cleverly staying one step ahead of the rest of us.

I wasn’t really fond of That One Thing that happens toward the end – I thought it was sort of rushed and thrown in for shock value, and I think Bardugo could have been capable of writing that in a much more satisfying way.

But on the whole, I loved this. I love Kaz. I love Inej. I love Wylan. I love this group of flawed characters looking out for each other and wreaking utter havoc. This duology was such a fun ride, and I’m sad for it to be over.

20 thoughts on “book review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Yesterday I finished Six of Crows, and immediately after ordered Crooked Kingdom. I cannot wait to see how it pans out — though considering it is the final book, I imagine it might be quite sad! I’m so used to longer series by now that a duology amazes me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed SoC! It’s not my normal genre at all so I was a bit wary going into it, but I ended up loving it a lot. Crooked Kingdom is a lot different, plot-wise, but I liked it even better. I hope you enjoy it!! I’m actually surprised that she’s keeping it to a duology – there’s a very satisfying ending here, but still a lot of potential for more books, I thought!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was the same. I tried reading it a year ago, but abandoned it because it didn’t draw me in, but I tried again a few weeks ago and loved it! Perhaps she’s write more books within that universe that cross-over with them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really struggled to get into SoC at first just because I initially wrote it off as being too fantasy for my tastes, but a few chapters in the characters finally started winning me over. Maybe she will! I still haven’t read her Grisha trilogy and I’m undecided if I’m going to… on the one hand I can’t get enough of her writing, but on the other hand, I’m going to miss these characters 😦

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      • That’s exactly how I feel! I do have the first book of the Grisha series, but I’m reluctant. I’m so attached to these characters that I only want more books with them in!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. YES!! I knew you’d love this! 🙂 Bardugo is releasing a book of fairy-tales kinda thing soon called Language of Thorns should you want to fill the void left by finishing the duology!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Me too! I was pleased with the way all the characters developed, and I understand what you mean about the thing at the end.

        It’s a book that might break my book buying ban…

        Liked by 1 person

      • WOW the cover is absolutely stunning, definitely a book worth breaking your ban over!!! It’s been about twenty four hours since I last bought a book I don’t need, so I can’t judge.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. YES YES YES I LITERALLY AGREE WITH EVERYTHING. Especially the “one thing” and the fact that Bardugo is always one step ahead of us. Like even when you think it’s going one way or they’re done for, THERE’S ALWAYS ANOTHER PLAN. Anyway this is a fantastic review and I need to get home asap so we can discuss this in more detail on GR.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SO MANY TIMES I was like ‘literally how are they gonna get out of this one, it’s just impossible, there is no way’ AND THEN SUDDENLY THERE IS A WAY it’s so amazing. This is exactly how I feel when I read Agatha Christie novels too, I have so much writing envy!!! Like HOW do these authors think up these crazy plots and leave me feeling totally baffled but not tricked at all, just like ‘why didn’t I think of that’????

      See this is why leaving the house is just generally a bad idea, you never know when your friends are going to send you a novel length message about CK, best to stay home and not take any chances tbh!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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