Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

This action will have no echo

But this book and this duology and these characters have left behind a long lasting echo in my heart.

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What a splendid sequel! It’s very rare that sequels turn out to be as good or as gripping as the first of a series. I received everything I was expecting from the second book and actually even more!

*****Read further only at your own risk. Spoilers ahead!! 😊*****

All my favourite characters returned trying to win the game back but there are double crosses after double crosses! I was literally at the edge of my seat wondering will they make it or won’t they or what will happen or if anyone will get hurt?

The plot: Leigh Bardugo has outdone herself with the plot of the sequel and the finale. The build up of the story, all the mini heists embedded within the story that lead up to the epic finale, was mind blowing. I really didn’t see a lot of it coming. Even though the readers have a rough idea about the whole plan, the way mastermind Kaz Brekker wraps it up in the end made me do a whoop of joy! I also wondered about my morality at one point since I was totally rooting for Kaz Brekker and his amazing crew to unleash hell upon all the people who have wronged them and take their revenge, even if they were thieves to begin with. Maybe they had the whole Robin Hood thing going for them or maybe because we had people like Inej and Wylan who balanced out the moral compass of the group?!

The characters: I was so happy to read more about Jesper and Wylan! I wanted them to have more of a backstory and wanted to see both these characters grow from persons of self doubt grappling with different issues to men who were confident of themselves and supported each other through it and other challenges. I really loved their partnership. I know Kaz and Inej were everyone’s number one choice in terms of characters as well as where couple goals go, and they were mine too, but they were perfect. Like Lucifer with a heart and style. But Wylan and Jesper just seemed more reachable to me. Someone like you and me. And what can I say about Matthias and Nina – if Kaz and Inej were the badasses, then Matthias and Nina were the golden children, the royal warriors of this story. I was really heartbroken to see Matthias go and like Jesper, I had somehow thought that all six of them will make it out of the story alive. I guess the author had her reasons. But I was still really heartbroken for Nina. Just when the two of them had overcome so much to be together, Matthias is torn away so brutally from her. And then all the friendships – Jesper, Nina and Inej were so amazing together!

The writing: I am in love with Leigh Bardugo’s style of writing with these two books. I realised that this witty banter and philosophical dialogue was missing from the Ninth House, which was the first book I had read, making it extremely bleak. But even though the characters in the Six of Crows duology go through so much shit , not to forget they’re just teenagers at the end of the day, but their easy going nature, their faith in themselves and in each other and all the witty camaraderie, covers up the bad and the ugly completely. I just loved that so much. I wonder if I’ll get to read a similar style when I pick up the shadow and bone trilogy and king of scars.

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In conclusion and spoiler-y questions: Absolutely loved this duology and this will stay on my mind as a favorite now onwards. The only places I grappled again were the references to the Grisha trilogy books and characters – Alina Sanktov and some others. I couldn’t place the king so I didn’t get that excitement that other readers had I guess. I also wonder if the shadow and bone trilogy is a sad one? There are many references in this book that Alina is dead. In terms of timelines I thought Alina’s journey starts when she is just 17, and that the Six of Crow series takes place two years after the shadow and bone series ends? So does that mean Alina dies at the age of 19 or 20?! Gosh I don’t want to read a series where the main protagonist dies in the end. Someone please tell me that doesn’t happen, without too many spoilers! Hehe😊