Crooked Kingdom: Better than the first, but still not my favorite.

I didn’t love Six of Crows, the first in the Six of Crows duology, but I liked the ending enough that I knew I had to read Crooked Kingdom. I went into the sequel (and finale) with lower expectations, because I knew heisty books aren’t my thing (these books are basically Ocean’s Eleven set in a fantasy world). I’d say that overall my expectations were met, and while this may not be my favorite book series ever, I can see why most people absolutely adore these books.

Crooked Kingdom: Better than the first, but still not my favorite.Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #2
Published by Orion Children's Books on September 27th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 536
Format: Hardback
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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 left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, 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 magic in the Grisha world.

What I liked:

  • There was a bit more focus on the social/cultural aspects of the six main characters in this book. We got to learn a lot more about their history and their relationships with their families. There was also a lot more relationship building with each other. Yay!
  • I really do love these characters. Bardugo did a fantastic job making them three dimensional and she gave them just enough unique qualities that they felt like real people.
  • My superficial two cents: This book aesthetic is on point! The cover, painted edges and section dividers are gorgeous!

crooked kingdom

What I didn’t like (in which I say the word “heist” 1 million times):

  • This is definitely one of those “It’s not you, it’s me” things: I HATE heist books (I learned that reading Six of Crows). I find them so epically boring, because I truly don’t care how you broke into someone’s home, I just want to know if you did it and what the ramifications were. There is a lot of the “how” in these books, so if you’re not much of an action person, you’re going to find yourself yawning through a lot of the scenes.
  • Kind of along the same lines, I felt like the heists NEVER ENDED. We’d be nearing one, and then something would go slightly wrong and they’d have to figure out a whole new plan. When they were almost done executing that plan, something else would go wrong and then they’d have to develop something new. I had a lot of eye-roll moments. (Again, this might not be something that bothered you if you didn’t hate action/heists as much as I do.)
  • At the end of the day, these characters are just unbelievably young. I forget that this novel is supposed to be young adult, because I read it and all of the characters are in their 20’s in my head. There is just no way that teenagers are executing these elaborate crimes.
  • And finally: Kaz and InejView Spoiler »

final star count
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I am most definitely in the minority on this one. People LOVE these books. If you don’t mind heists, I think there’s a good chance you’d love the book, too.

See my review of Six of Crows here.

six of crows duology

chime in
I know a lot of my book blogger friends have read this one. Anyone else not obsessed with these books? Or did you love it? If you haven’t read the series, think you’ll pick it up?

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  1. I read your review of Six of Crows and I’ve been trying to read that novel for a while now but it keeps putting me in a slump because of how slowly it progresses at the start – as you also mentioned. Your review makes Crooked Kingdom sound more like my kind of book based on the relationships angle though! Guess I’ll have to suck it up and finish Six of Crows at some point 😂

    1. Hahah. Yes, it’s better, but if I had known I would have struggled through them both so much I wouldn’t have read them. I enjoyed CK at the end, but it was such an effort to get there! So I’d say if you’re not that into SoC when you finish, don’t bother with CK (unless you’re the type that just has to give it a try :D)