United By Pop received a free copy of Crooked Kingdom in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.
Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Overall rating: 5/5
Themes: Young adult, high fantasy, kingdom fantasy, political intrigue, action
Review: So when ‘Six of Crows‘ was released in 2015, everyone kept telling me how much I was going to love this series. When its sequel, ‘Crooked Kingdom’, was released at the end of 2016 everyone kept repeating to me how much I was going to love this series. It’s 2017 and I’m here to say that they were not wrong!
This duology is set in the same fantastical world as Leigh Bardugo’s initial Grisha trilogy. Whilst either series can be read without the other, it is recommended that the trilogy is read prior to this as characters from there play a minor role here.
The unforgettable cast of characters from ‘Six of Crows’ return in this duology’s epic culmination. Criminal prodigy from The Barrel, Kaz Brekker, and his motley crew of outcast lawbreakers reunite after their initial heist’s tragic ending.
The group, as well as beginning on their most recent of impossible missions, are also given more of an individual voice as they each recount their tragic back stories. This not only gave a depth of character that heightened this already mesmerising tale, but added an emotional level that was missing from ‘Six of Crows’. The action, that made the first book so unputdownable, remained but was offset by slower moments that allowed more of an affinity to form between reader and character.
Bardugo also proved herself, yet again, as a master storyteller. As well as penning some of the most beautiful prose I have ever had the pleasure of reading, it was the order the story was recounted in, that was truly where her genius lay. For the reader does not become privy to one single fact before she is absolutely ready to divulge them. The story really benefited from this heightened suspense and made for some sleepless nights and breathless reading!
This was an absolutely faultless book that delivered enchanting writing, suspenseful plot, unique characters, rich world-building, astounding amounts of action, and the diversity that is sorely lacking in the fantasy genre. I am not ready to say goodbye to this world, and I hope Bardugo isn’t either!