Warning: This is the conclusion to the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo and the following contains spoilers for the first book.
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.
I’m dead. I died. I cannot possibly write anything that will thoroughly justify this book. This was the best thing I’ve read this year, quite possibly the best thing I read since I finished The Darkest Minds trilogy and I adore those books.
The plot was complex. The characters were phenomenal. This book met all expectations and more. SO GOOD!
I had forgotten how much of a vicious, conniving and manipulative little devil Kaz was. Kaz is a mastermind. Crooked Kingdom gave his character a level of depth that was touched on in Six of Crows but not explored too deeply. That goes for all the characters actually, every one of their story lines were explored and advanced with such intricacy,
It was just so good! (I need some new adjectives).
I said this about Six of Crows, and I’ll say it again. Out of all the YA authors (who I’ve read), Leigh Bardugo is the absolute best at multiple POVs. All her characters have a distinct voice and a distinct personality that usually doesn’t happen with multiple protagonists. No one gets put in the background which seems to happen in most YA series. Everyone has a role and brings something to the table.
EVERY SINGLE SHIP! Every one of them are dynamic, and perfect. They all grew and emotionally matured and figured out what each of them wanted in a relationship.
Not only the romantic relationships but the character relationships in general were executed perfectly. The different friendships between the characters went more in depth in this book, Kaz/Jesper, Inej/Nina, Inej/Jesper, even Kaz/Wylan to a certain extent. Their relationships were complex and just felt authentic. Bardugo doesn’t just tell us they’re friends and expect us to believe it but she shows us.
Okay, much cannot be discussed in this review without completely spoiling you. So if you haven’t read the book, get it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE because you will be blown away to bits and pieces.
“They don’t know who we are. Not really. They don’t know what we’ve done, what we’ve managed together. So let’s go show them they picked the wrong damn fight.”
I pretty much loved all parts of this book and this is about to be a full on, semi-coherent rant. Without any logical order. Full of spoilers. So feel free to skip. 😀
“We were all supposed to make it.”
I didn’t think it would happen. I, like Jesper, fully believed that they would all make it out. I’ve been too coddled with other YA series. My poor Matthias. My poor darling Nina!
“You don’t win by running one game.”
Oh, Kaz. Just, where do I even start? Kaz is so amazingly clever, I am constantly in awe. And he’s just so manipulative I don’t know whether I want to hug him for his intelligence or stab him because he’s a horrible human being. I swear, every fifty pages, my thoughts were: Kaz is SO mean but I love him so much.
“No matter the height of the mountain, the climbing is the same.”
Oh, Inej. Her faith in Kaz is seriously questioned, especially in the beginning. It’s so great to see how far this girl has come. After everything she’s gone through, her optimism towards her Saints is astounding.
Inej and Kaz are two very broken people who love each other and I have very high hopes that they will work out one day. Kaz is a better person because of her and Inej knows it. But she also gets that it isn’t her responsibility to “fix” him and she won’t try to.
Them holding hands in the end!! After I thought about it, it made sense that these two didn’t kiss. They both have long ways to go yet and they need to heal from their past first before they take a big step towards the future. But at-least we know they’re still working together and it’ll definitely happen someday (or so I choose to believe).
“A chemical weevil,” said Jesper, “But Wylan still hasn’t named it. My vote is for the Wyvil.”
“That’s terrible,” said Wylan.
“It’s brilliant,” Jesper winked. “Just like you.”
Oh, Jesper and Wylan’s relationship developed quite a bit. Many of their scenes were just pure comedic relief and then there were the deep profound ones that are still ringing in my head after a week of finishing the book. They helped each other and gave each strength when they needed it. Wylan made Jesper realize he shouldn’t hide his talent. And Jesper makes Wylan more confident in his abilities.
(One of my favorite scenes were when Matthias was watching Jesper flirt with Wylan and he sympathized with Wylan because he knew he was out of his depth just like Matthias was with Nina).
“I am grateful you’re alive”, he said. “I am grateful that you’re beside me. I am grateful that you’re eating.”
She rested her head on his shoulder.
“You’re better that waffles, Matthias Helvar.”
A small smile curled the Fjerdan’s lips.
“Let’s not say things we don’t mean, my love.”
Oh, these two! AFTER ALL THEY’VE BEEN THROUGH!!!! After how much Matthias had changed??? WHYYYYYYYYYY
From a logical perspective, Matthias’ death makes sense. If one of the six had to die, Matthias is the obvious choice because he was the most disliked character in Six of Crows. He was my least favorite too but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love him. It’s like how Half-Blood Prince is my least favorite Harry Potter book, least favorite doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely love the book, I just love it a tiny bit less than the others. Same with Matthias, I loved him but just not as much as the other five. But my first reaction to his death was just extreme sympathy for Nina. What would happen to her now? After everything these two have been through? Their relationship could’ve meant so much! They needed to get their happy ever after but instead, Nina gets to take her true love’s dead body across the ocean to his home country, full of people who hate her. That’s another thing! Their relationship would’ve been good for their two countries too! They could’ve been ambassadors of peace together or something of that sort. That whole scene was just completely depressing.
There were SO MANY memorable scenes in this book.
All those scenes with Nina and Inej bonding. Their friendship in book 1 wasn’t really shown properly but it’s clear in this book that they truly love each other.
Wylan’s mom!! I was shocked when I read that part! And of-course Kaz knew, that conniving little snake.
Jesper’s dad was such a good sport throughout this book. That man had no idea what he was getting himself into.
Alys’ scenes were hilarious! Once she started singing, she just never stopped.
Nina can raise the dead! Oh my gosh!! The scene where she tried it with Matthias but she let go because she knew it wasn’t the same with his soul gone (insert crying gif here).
Kaz brought Inej’s parents to Ketterdam. Awww… And in the end when he asked if his tie was straight.
And many, many more that made this book one of the best I’ve ever read.