The much-anticipated sequel to Six of Crows finally arrived this week, and it’s fabulous. Like reading the final installment in any great series, I devoured it with a single-minded focus to find out what’s next accompanied by the reluctant awareness that I would be closing the final page on Kaz and his crew sooner than I would like. (Thankfully, one can always re-read favorite series…) But here are my thoughts:
What it’s about: Crooked Kingdom picks up where Six of Crows left off: Inej is captured, the crew is unpaid, and Kaz is livid. While hiding Kuwei and his dangerous knowledge of jurda parem and trying to rescue their Wraith, the crew discovers a deeper plot rooted in the Merchant Council of Ketterdam. They find themselves in a few tight spots as Barrel bosses band together with the upper class to root out Kuwei, Kaz, and the others. Bardugo delves deeper into the twisty streets of Ketterdam and the pasts of the (now beloved) criminals to give us a tale as captivating as the last.
Why I liked it: Crooked Kingdom has the same ‘heist appeal’ of Six of Crows, but also delves more into the deliciously gothic city of Ketterdam. While the story is less single minded in its objective than the first book, it takes time to elaborate on characters and build up backstories for our favorite characters. Bardugo’s humor and ability to keep the reader guessing speeds her audience through the 500+ pages, though she still takes time to give us the iconic moments we love– Kaz brawling through the Crow Club, Inej fighting an assassin on high-wire, and Jesper making a truly impossible shot.
As difficult as it is, Bardugo has managed to land the ‘triple axle with a backflip hamzawi spinoff’ that she set in motion with Six of Crows. As sad as I am that it’s over, I’m so grateful to have been along for the journey. I can’t wait to return to Ketterdam again.
Read if you liked:
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (obviously)
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Wool by Hugh Howie
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo