Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
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 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.
"Where do you think the money went?" he repeated.
"Guns?" asked Jesper.
"Ships?" queried Inej.
"Bombs?" suggested Wylan.
"Political bribes?" offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias "This is where you tell us how awful we are," she whispered.
He shrugged. "They all seem like practical choices."
This was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. It was everything the first book was and, somehow, even more. I can't believe that's actually possible. If you haven't read Six of Crows yet you should definitely amend that negligence right now and if you haven't read Crooked Kingdom yet I'd strongly suggest doing the same.
"We're going to take Van Eck's money, and then we're going to take his reputation. We're going to make sure he can never do business in Ketterdam or anywhere in Kerch ever again."
I loved everything about this book: the characters (the same as in the first book but I feel in love with them all over again, even more severely than last time), the plot (not quite as pompous as last time but unbelievably gripping, nonetheless), the humor (surprisingly prominent and wonderfully effective), the continued world building (or city building?), the writing itself (truly amazing), and everything else I can't think of right now. And, as in the first book, once you start reading there is no resting anymore. This story is filled to the brim with all the awesomeness you could possibly hope for in a book.
"Do you know what Van Eck's problem is?"
"No honor?" said Matthias.
"Rotten parenting skills?" said Nina.
"Receding hairline?" offered Jesper.
I, honestly, couldn't put this book down – unless I was nearly chocking from laughing so hard and/or I was gasping for air (I even had to walk around a few times to jog my brain and get my heartbeat down). On several occasions I had to skim through a couple of chapter names to check/make sure a character would survive (why is everyone always trying to kill Inej???) and every blow to the characters hurt really bad. Frankly, if anything I was too invested in this book – and that really isn't a bad sign at all it just makes writing a coherent review even harder.
"I like singing," said Alys.
Wylan shook his head frantically, mouthing, No, no, no.
"Shall I sing?" Alys asked hopefully. "Bajan says that I'm good enough to be on the stage."
"Maybe we save that for later–" suggested Jasper.
Alys' lower lip began to wobble like a plate about to break.
"Sing," Matthias blurted, "by all means, sing."
And then the real nightmare began.
What I loved most about this book however, wasn't the relentless action or the scheming but the characters. Especially Nina is just lovely and funny and amazing. It really didn't matter whom Nina was talking to, the banter would be hilarious and make me laugh so much it hurt (I shrieked with breathless laughter for a couple of minutes when Matthias talked to this woman as if she were a baby). Naturally, Jesper's company wasn't too shabby, either (I adored all the Wylan/Jesper scenes). Inej is, obviously awesome as ever, Kaz never even has the chance to take his scheming-face off, and Matthias/Wylan continue to try educating the others about morals (only Inej ever succeeds at doing so). But that isn't even the end of it! Because all of the characters go through so much development and we really learn so many new things about them. Just observing the changes in their characters was such a joy.
He'd broken countless blockades on behalf of the Ravkans, and there were rumours that … "Do you really have a flying ship?" blurted Jesper.
"I have several."
"Take me with you."
Since this is the last book of the Six of Crows series I also want to quickly address the nature of the end: it was brillant. I laughed, I cried, I laughed and cried at the same time, you should totally try it out sometime.
No question: 5/5 stars and a new favorite.
Name: Crooked Kingdom
Series: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Previous Books in this Series: Six of Crows
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company