27 September 2016

Review #530: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.”

----Charles Dickens

Leigh Bardugo, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, is back with the exciting new sequel to her YA fantasy Six of Crows series, called, Crooked Kingdom and this time the group of teenage rebels are up against a politically corrupted city that is constantly scheming with their twisted minds to bring down the leader as well as the whole group of rebels.


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.

Kaz Brekker, the teenage mastermind and leader of a group of powerful teenage rebels in the city of Ketterdam in the Grisha universe and that is defined for its notorious criminals and violent crimes, is back from his mission of breaking the scientist free from the prison who made the drug called jurda parem, that can make the already magic-induced criminals more lethal, but unfortunately, he and his group of friends has been hoodwinked by a powerful and highly corrupted merchant prince and Kaz's new enemy, Van Eck, and that led to the kidnapping of Inej, the brave Suli acrobat. So can Kaz along with Wylan, Jesper, Nina, Matthias and Kuwei, save Inej as well as take the revenge that they are planning for so desperately?

Crooked Kingdom is a powerful sequel and it has completely lived up to my expectations that I had after reading the first book, Six of Crows, so fans of this series must be beware as in this book there is no place for soft actions, everything is hardcore and the rebels clash against the tide with a loud bang, more twists, more scandals, more bloodshed, in short, its a powerhouse of energy, drama, friendship, loyalty, and love. So I literally screamed with joy and excitement when I got my hands on the copy of this book. Just like the previous book, this book too pushed me to the very edge of my limit of myriad emotions and kept me glued to the pages of this book until the very end.

The writing style of the author is brilliant and extremely flawless. The narrative is exceptionally engaging and kept me turning the pages till the very end. Told in a third person POV, that will give the readers an opportunty to look at the story with their own perspectives. The progress of the story is quite fast paced that will give the readers a rush of the actions happening in the plot, the scheming and the mind games going on in the plot and also the characters' evolution. Reading Kaz's new mission will feel like riding high a roller-coaster ride filled with adrenaline-rushing action scenes, drama and romance.

Yet once again, this Geisha universe of Ketterdam outshines the characters and other contributing factors of this story. The author has already developed this world of criminals with depth in her previous book, but this time, the author has portrayed a rather dark version of Ketterdam filled with kidnappings, thievery, killings, threatening, bashing up in the dark alley ways, devious mind games and ploys to deceive one another, the divided ruler-ship, the corruption and the scandals. The world building is strong and done skillfully. The details of this world is explained with depth and strikingly that will let the readers visually imagine each and every scene.

The characters excel with their diverse and multi ethnic traits and personalities, that are blend with realism and fantasy to make them look believable in the eyes of the readers. From the main character to the supporting cast, each and every one is crafted out with depth and backstory that will help the readers contemplate with the mindset of the characters who constantly evolve through out the plot. The main character, Kaz, is a dynamic teenager whose hurtful past not only makes him a sad character, but also gives him strength to fight for the most challenging battles of his life. The characters are some fatal flaws as well as some unique skills that set them apart from one another, despite of their origin from the various races of the world. The readers are bound to root for each and every character from the group of teenage rebels till the very end. And the characters are so good in their own skins that they will exit the story with a lasting impression into the minds of the readers.

Many mysteries are unraveled and many questions are answered, as the author puts a satisfying end to this compelling, thoroughly enchanting and highly absorbing fantasy book, that is rich with magic, violence and romance. So read it only if you can handle raw violence among teenagers.

Read the review of Six of Crows

Verdict: An unputdownable YA fantasy series that has a very, very dark feel to it.

Author Info:
Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising).
She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band. Her new book, Six of Crows, arrives fall 2015.
Visit her here

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