Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
Welcome to the world of the Grisha.Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts 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 badly weakened, 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 the Grisha world.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) Details

TitleCrooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 27th, 2016
PublisherOrion Children's Books
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) Review

  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    Before I start my review, can we just take a minute to admire this beautiful piece of art featuring my favorites: Source“I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”This review contains *spoilers*.The wait for this grandiose sequel has been all-consuming, I've been thinking about the Dregs for months and months now, so getting back into their lives has been one of the most rewarding experiences.The book opens on Wylan still wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo’s features since Before I start my review, can we just take a minute to admire this beautiful piece of art featuring my favorites: Source“I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”This review contains *spoilers*.The wait for this grandiose sequel has been all-consuming, I've been thinking about the Dregs for months and months now, so getting back into their lives has been one of the most rewarding experiences.The book opens on Wylan still wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo’s features since Nina didn’t trust herself with her powers now. It had been just under a week since the Dregs reached Ketterdam, almost a month since they’d left Djerholm. And they're all fighting to get Inej back before Van Eck could have his way with her.They were almost out of time. But none of them knew the real game Kaz "Dirtyhands" Brekker - the smooth, smart, criminal mastermind - was running. And so, piece by piece, the plan to rescue Inej had come together.Things were about to get dangerous. “Why do you guys say that, anyway? No mourners, no funerals? Why not just say good luck or be safe?”“We like to keep our expectations low.”Literally one of my most pressing questions for the sequel was answered so quickly!!But the days until Van Eck’s deadline were dwindling, and to get Inej back, they would need surprise on their side. Only one shot at getting the Wraith out of this situation. But before all that can happen, we get to read from the pov of my favorite warrior: Inej Ghafa, legend of the Barrel. And let me tell you, she is one of the most strong and determined and courageous characters I've known, so watching her doubt herself and her Saints damn near broke me. What she had to go through in her first chapter left me both shaking and trembling. Ghafa has my soul, heart and my enter being wrapped around her pinky.“When fear arrives, something is about to happen.”Meanwhile, the Dregs have gathered enough intel to get their girl the hell out of Van Eck’s hole. I felt truly terrified for Inej because that brute managed to get into her head, but she was done being frightened of this man. And so was I—thanks to both her and the man of the hour, my favorite bastard of the Barrel: Kaz Brekker with that demonic cane.You know, I forgot for a second there just how dark he can be when it comes down to business. But he's called Dirtyhands for a reason, and we're reminded just exactly what he had done to earn his reputation. “Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself.”I'm still furious at myself for believing that that smug merch son of a bitch could outthink Kaz Brekker. And with the help of his loyal Dregs, they manage to get Inej of out harm's way... but not without trouble coming their way. The kind of trouble even Jan Van Eck hadn't foreseen: Shu with wings (!!) looking to hunt and capture Grisha.But the deal is the deal and Van Eck has to pay up—Dirtyhands is not someone to piss off. They’d set out to get Inej back from Van Eck and they had. But they're not done with the merch. And the plan the Dregs have set is so intricate that it will be the end of the Van Eck empire, without a shadow of a doubt. Okay so, here's the official plan to both earning their thirty million kruge and obliterating the devil himself: They're going after Van Eck's sugar crop, since he controls the silos where the supply is produced:• Thanks to Wylan’s weevil they can destroy the sugar in Van Eck’s silos without being exposed.• “My father can weather a loss. The other merchants, the ones who own the sugar in his silos, will be hit worse.”• And once the other merchants learn that Van Eck has been buying up sugar that isn’t stored in his silos (thanks to Kaz purchasing shares on behalf of Van Eck), his reputation will be annihilated.“Van Eck’s reputation will take a hit when the sugar is lost. But when the people who paid him to keep it safe find out he profited from their loss, they’ll look more closely at those silos.”“And find the remnants of the weevil,” finished Wylan.“Destruction of property, tampering with the markets,” Inej murmured. “It will be the end of him.”• They'll get the weevil into the silos by letting tiny and ferocious Inej do what she's best at: climbing up twenty stories high and walking a high wire from one silo to the next...no biggie.• And while doing all of the above, they're also going to get the rest of the Grisha out of the city, at Nina's request. A ship to Ravka with twenty passengers (including Kuwei) is conspicuous, so they're going to steal Van Eck's own transport to remain obscure. They couldn’t just be smarter than their opponent, they had to be relentless.• I just... why is everything so damn complicated with the Dregs. They're nothing if not ambitious. “You couldn’t go to war with an upstanding merch like Van Eck, not if you were a thug with a reputation dirtier than a stable hand’s boot sole. To win, Kaz would have to level the field. He would show the world what he already knew: Despite his soft hands and fine suits, Van Eck was a criminal, just as bad as any Barrel thug—worse, because his word was worth nothing.”It's a known fact that Kaz Brekker is a smooth, smart, criminal mastermind, but he also hurts for his big, criminally inclined family. And watching him realize just that was one of my most cherished scenes.“He was going to break my legs ,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”I cant stop thinking about this without getting goosebumps. Damn you, Kaz. You know, speaking of which, Wylan finding out that his mother was still alive and in an insane asylum because of rotten Van Eck, made me want to string his father up in a barren field and let the vultures have at him, to quote Jesper.But seriously that whole situation made my heart race. I couldn't believe to what levels of evil Van Eck would sink. The only silver lining was the whole plan Kaz had in store for the devil. And hopefully seeing Wylan reunite with Marya Hendriks. I’m always weak for stories reuniting mother and son. Always.Also, Jesper trying to cheer Wylan up made me shed a tear or two...“Hey,” Jesper said, giving him a shake. “Hey. Your father could have made a lot of choices when he found out you couldn’t read. Hell, he could have said you were blind or that you had trouble with your vision. Or better yet, he could have just been happy about the fact that he had a genius for a son.”“I’m not a genius.”“You’re stupid about a lot of things, Wylan, but you are not stupid. And if I ever hear you call yourself a moron again, I’m going to tell Matthias you tried to kiss Nina. With tongue.”Wylan wiped his nose on his sleeve. “He’ll never believe it.”“Then I’ll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue.” They seriously deserve the world and so much more. They all did. This was them at their best.And then halfway through the book, the plan suddenly changes because Ketterdam has turned on Kaz. “But if you couldn’t open a door, you just had to make a new one.” And that's what Dirtyhands excels at.“I know how to do it,” Kaz said slowly. “How to get Kuwei out, get the Grisha out, get our money, beat Van Eck, and give that son of a bitch Pekka Rollins everything he has coming to him.”Nina raised a brow. “Is that all?”“How?” asked Inej.“This whole time, we’ve been playing Van Eck’s game. We’ve been hiding. We’re done with that. We’re going to stage a little auction. Right out in the open.” He turned to face them, and his eyes gleamed flat and black as a shark’s. “And since Kuwei is so eager to sacrifice himself, he’s going to be the prize.”My heart leapt like a horse clearing a jump. Kuwei is going to auction himself with the hopes that the Ravkans will end up buying him. It was the best chance they had of getting Kuwei to Ravka and saving Grisha lives. To quote Brekker, it was a mad, spiky monster of a plan, and that was what it had to be for them to succeed.Seriously though, how does Bardugo keep up with herself? There were so many twists and turns that left my mind spinning even after having closed my eyes. The whole storyline is just so lancing—we know where the end-game is supposed to be, but to get there the Dregs would have to go through hell and back. And damn, that they did. But before hell comes their way, Kaz and Inej share an intimate moment that left me undone. He had gone to great lengths to prove he was capable of anything.“The sickness was there, the need to run, the need for something else too. Kaz thought he knew the language of pain intimately, but this ache was new. It hurt to stand here like this, so close to the circle of her arms. It isn’t easy for me either. After all she’d endured, he was the weak one. But she would never know what it was like for him to see Nina pull her close, watch Jesper loop his arm through hers, what it was to stand in doorways and against walls and know he could never draw nearer.”I’ll be 100% honest, this choked me up a little bit. “Before he even knew what he intended, he lowered his head. She drew in a sharp breath. His lips hovered just above the warm juncture between her shoulder and the column of her neck. He waited. Tell me to stop. Push me away.She exhaled. “Go on,” she repeated. Finish the story.”My heart should not be making that sound.“The barest movement and his lips brushed her skin—warm, smooth, beaded with moisture. Desire coursed through him, a thousand images he’d hoarded, barely let himself imagine—the fall of her dark hair freed from its braid, his hand fitted to the lithe curve of her waist, her lips parted, whispering his name.All of it there and then gone. ”This is heaven, what I truly want. I have no words to thank you for this. Seriously, Leigh can write evocative, raw and hauntingly powerful scenes like nobody's business.“Two of the deadliest people the Barrel had to offer and they could barely touch each other without both of them keeling over. But they’d tried. He’d tried. Maybe they could try again.”They truly deserve their happy ending.But in the end, it all came down to this: "Brekker, his Wraith queen, his rotten little court of thugs." Because no matter what would happen, the Dregs had a way of rewriting their own rules.I mean, that ending... that ending was every bit as epic as I had anticipated. It either would've gone brilliantly or in total disaster, but that’s generally the way this crew likes to work. Also, one last minor thing: I was on the edge the whole time to see who would survive, even though the table of contents kind of gave away who lives, who dies, who tells their story... But I cannot, for the life in me, believe Matthias Helvar got killed off by a young drüskelle. This is not what I want. This is not what I planned.“After all their mad escapes and close calls, he’d started to believe the six of them were somehow charmed, that his guns, Kaz’s brains, Nina’s wit, Inej’s talent, Wylan’s ingenuity, and Matthias’ strength had made them somehow untouchable. They might suffer. They might take their knocks, but Wylan was right, in the end they were all supposed to stay standing.“No mourners,” said Jesper, surprised by the ache of tears in his throat.“No funerals,” they all replied softly.”My eyes burned, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was whispering "come back to me," right there with Nina. I just... I was rooting for everyone to have their happy ending. Everyone. So this death came as such a shocking reveal. I felt sorrow dragging at my heart for hours after that. And I'm still not over it. This Saintsforsaken book has taken away a piece of my heart with that ending. I’ve got this ache in my chest that won’t go away. I want to be free. But I know I won't be forgetting the Dregs anytime soon. 5/5 stars*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Crooked Kingdom, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!* Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with http://Ko-fi.com/bookspoils This review and more can be found on my blog.
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    That’s the problem with Ketterdam, Jesper thought as they stumbled uncertainly through the dark. Trusting the wrong person can get you killed. What's that down there on the ground, you say? Oh, it's just my heart after Bardugo callously ripped it out *sob*Seriously, this book was such a crazy ride. The jump in quality from the Grisha trilogy to Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom is just astounding. These books have Bardugo's compelling style all over them, and yet they are so much more complex, r That’s the problem with Ketterdam, Jesper thought as they stumbled uncertainly through the dark. Trusting the wrong person can get you killed. What's that down there on the ground, you say? Oh, it's just my heart after Bardugo callously ripped it out *sob*Seriously, this book was such a crazy ride. The jump in quality from the Grisha trilogy to Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom is just astounding. These books have Bardugo's compelling style all over them, and yet they are so much more complex, rich, and well-written. As a person who doesn't love multiple perspectives, especially more than two, I'm amazed at how the author manages to juggle so many diverse characters and make me care about them all.Crooked Kingdom is a beast of a book - my hardcover would make a nice murder weapon - and yet the action and tension never run dry. It's a cliche to compare a book to a rollercoaster but that's exactly what this felt like - highs and lows of emotions, equal parts humorous, sexy, entertaining, dark, violent, romantic and gritty.The stakes just keep getting bigger. This book opens where we left off with Wylan wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo's face, and our gang must rescue Inej, get revenge, and defeat the bad guys. But that doesn't even begin to sum up all the action, adventure and craziness going on here. And as well as being dark and compelling, the characters and relationships we love become even more fascinating and developed. There are a grand total of THREE ships here and I truly adore them all.I actually wasn't really feeling the Kaz/Inej chemistry in the first book, but it just came crashing down in a wave of feels here: “He was going to break my legs ,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.” *shivers*In the end, though, Leigh Bardugo is EVIL. Don't forget it. There are so many satisfying things in this book - like watching Kaz Brekker just be fucking awesome, like all the twists and turns, like the wonderful gay romance - but it also hits you in the heart. And it hits hard.The ending was just epic perfection. It was the kind of ending a story like this deserves - the kind that leaves you wanting more, but knowing that it finished in exactly the right place.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store
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  • Regan
    January 1, 1970
    UGHHHHH I NEEEEDDD MORRRREEEEEE
  • Victoria Aveyard
    January 1, 1970
    HOW DARE YOU LEIGH
  • Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
    January 1, 1970
    Review/discussion: https://youtu.be/aFX-hrVHFusMy favourite part of reading this was that as I took review notes every time I wrote Kaz it autocorrected to Kazoo This freaking book oh my goodness. I LOVED IT, even more than the first one actually. I adore this characters and I must see them again. A Nina spin off perhaps? YES PLEASE.
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  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    Read 2 | March 2019so my chief thought going into this reread was: maybe if I reread it the ending will be different? And I'm here to say the tYPO of that ending with That Character still remains and i am a mess. Also I actually remembered so so little of this, so the reread was basically like reading something fresh. I missed my dregs. I loved getting wrapped in the harsh details, the wanting, the found-family, the hope and betrayal and wickedly clever schemes. Kaz's schemes within schemesw wer Read 2 | March 2019so my chief thought going into this reread was: maybe if I reread it the ending will be different? And I'm here to say the tYPO of that ending with That Character still remains and i am a mess. Also I actually remembered so so little of this, so the reread was basically like reading something fresh. I missed my dregs. I loved getting wrapped in the harsh details, the wanting, the found-family, the hope and betrayal and wickedly clever schemes. Kaz's schemes within schemesw were incredible. (Which makes me even more in awe of Leigh Barudgo. She is a clever goddess and we are here to be awed and also suffer in her presence.)Also the audiobook...the ending...look don't read emotional books with audio narrators who are going to get chocked up. It's nOT FAIR 😭😭 I'm a stone cold statute, don't make me ruin my book street cred by getting emotional.(fyi this book is bloody brilliant)*:·゚✧*:·゚✧Read 1 | Sept 2016HOW DO I EVEN ACCURATELY REVIEW THIS MASTERPIECE??? I don't know. What are words. What is air. WHAT IS TYPING AFJDSKALFDAJSKDLJD. Okay okay, I will calm myself and wrote some (semi)coherent thoughts but basically all you need to know is this book is a magnificent villainous piece of genius that I love so so so so much. Hence the "WHAT IS AIR" question because fjakldfsad if I fangirl anymore I will lose my miiiiiiind.(Just kidding hhaha. I lost my mind YEARS AGO.)Also this review will not contain spoilers so don't go having a heartattack just looking at it. I mean there will be spoilers but ALL IN HIDDEN TAGS. But it WILL possibly contain spoilers for Six of Crows. Just mild, unavoidable ones. But I'll do my best.WHERE EVEN TO START, OMG?!!? So the story picks up a week later after book 1. And it's VERY heavy on the complex plot. Which I really truly did enjoy, even though I got befuddled a bit towards the middle with plans collapsing and being remade all the time. But the finale was freaking brilliant plot-wise, so who's complaining? Not I. And I 1000% intended to re-read this via audio, because my SoC reread with audio was life. And I always understand the twists of the heists better on audios. ANYWAY. The heist is very very different to book 1. BUT STILL GOOD. We stay in Ketterdam (yaaas) and it gets a bit political with Kaz intending to bring down Van Eck's kingdom and reputation as well. So less lock-picking. More mind games.And the characters?!? My precious darlings were perfect in every way. Kaz is downright vicious in this one and if you thought he was a cold dark melon in book one...hahhaahah. HE GETS MEANER. #BlessHim And Nina + Matthias = my heart is just melting into gloop they are so cute and adorable. Jesper had a lot of character development which was glorious. And Wylan gets his on POV!! Which leads me to conclude that: Wylan is adorable and must be protected at all costs. Inej remains my least favourite. The "holier than thou" attitude just riles me so the wrong way. Don't get me wrong! I still like her. But I really felt disinterested in her story line because she never grows because she's always spouting holy Suli proverbs and being better than everyone else. I just always fall harder for characters who have better development. Kaz, Wylan, and Jesper all WIN for the development here.AND THE SHIPS!?!? THE SHIIIIIPS?!? Omg. O.M.G. You will laugh, cry, shriek, and probably melt. Just FYI. Have fun with this.I actually didn't even mind that it was 500 pages! Usually big books scare me witless. But this time, I thought it needed EVERYTHING. or I am just obsessed. Hahahah. Why would you think that???Also feels. THERE WILL BE FEELS. Which is glorious! Because it managed to mix in the funny-hilarious-black-comedy feels in with the plot-twist-omg-omg-omg feels. I forgot to breathe several times, but who even needs air? Eh. Optional. But least to say: this book did stab me several times and I looooove it for doing that. It's just as dark as book one and that be glorious.Also a moment for the sheer amount of food appreciation here?!? Bless Nina Zenik who is my soul sister with her love for food. And there are so many WAFFLES. This book is literally built on Kaz's evil scheming face + waffles.Okaaay but there were a few things I'm not a huge fan of. Like they're just tiny things and obviously didn't stop me from (A) rating this book ALL THE STARS, and (B) putting it on my "best of the year" shelf so afjdkslafd cAN YOU NOTICE HOW MUCH I LOVED IT YAS?Anyway. Negatives.• One of the biggest plot points seemed too easy. (view spoiler)[They got Inej back in the first few hundred pages, which is fine. But I expected that to be more of the plot? So that might be just misplaced expectations. But I did think Kaz's kidnapping of Van Eck's wife and forcing a trade was super simple and why didn't they do that sooner?? And why didn't Van Eck prevent it? Idek. It seemed to easy/obvious. (hide spoiler)]• I thought Kuwei would have a bigger part? I mean, he had a big part in the PLOT obviously. But not as a character.• It took me a few hundred pages to get INTO it. Like I was enjoying it, but severely worried it'd only be 4-stars. I wish it'd pressed more exciting stuff into the beginning.• I'm really angry at how LITTLE of Kaz's POV we got. We don't even get his first chapter till 100+ pages in! WUT IS THIS. I love Kaz and I wanted more of his dark little twisted mind....now onwards. Because it's SPOILER CHAT SECTION TIME WOOOO.SPOILER SECTION:About the ships:(view spoiler)[ So omgg HOLD ME I can't believe all the ships sailed so well! Obviously Nina/Matthias really sorted their crap out in book #1. So they were good to cuddle already.But Jesper/Wylan needed a lot of work. One thing I loved about their relationship is how the fact that they're gay never surprised anyone. There was exactly no "omg you don't like girls waaah??!" moments. Everyone was like, "Oh Jesper and Wylan, yup." And that was that. It was nice! I love when fantasy worlds make their own prejudices/cultures and don't drag ALL of ours into it. Anyway, SO GLAD THEY SAILED SO WELL.And I'm also super happy about how Kaz and Inej turned out because they did not end up in each other's arms professing undying love. In fact, I don't even know if you can consider them "sailed". They held hands. THEY FREAKING HELD HANDS and that was such a big step for either of them. They both acknowledged that they hated to be touched (due to Kaz's trauma of floating on dead bodies and Inej's being raped in the pleasure house) and they both acknowledged that this was okay for now and I loooooooove that. It wasn't unrealistic. It was sweet and slightly hopeful. Inej dropped all of her holier-than-thou act of "don't have your armour Kaz or you can't have me" WHICH I HATED IN THE FIRST BOOK. Inej has armour too. And she was ignoring that Kaz has severe mental illness due to the PTSD of his past. That's not something you can just put aside so you can kiss a girl you like, okay?!?!? So I'm glad this book acknowledged that. ANYWAY. Kaz is too precious for this world and I love him. <333 (hide spoiler)]About the finale:(view spoiler)[I was kiiind of thinking Leigh Bardugo wouldn't kill anyone, because she didn't in the Grisha books. BUT HAHAHH. SHE DID. WOOOO. I mean, ahem. I'm not a psychopath. I'm SAD. But also relieved becuase it would've been unrealistic without a death. I'm sad Matthias went *SOBS* because I loved Matthias and Nina and they would've had a beautiful life together and actually been at peace, I think?!? But Matthias was definitely probably the best-hearted out of all of them, so obviously he had to die. Always kill of the good 'uns. That's the way to do it, sir.I was also surprised that both Van Eck and Rollins technically stayed alive. I mean, they were both RUINED. Van Eck's empire was destroyed and Rollins would live in fear for the rest of his life, basically. And I guess that's worse than dying? (hide spoiler)]About cameos:(view spoiler)[STURMHOND IS IN THIS BOOK AFJDSKAFLDJA. YES. King Nikolai appears in his roguish pirate form and makes a deal with Kaz and it just made me so so happy. (hide spoiler)]TO CONCLUDE: was this book perfect OR WAS IT PERFECT. (It was perfect.) I'm so so happy it didn't disappoint! I'm so so SO SAD it's over. I could read eternal books about my precious little sociopath Kaz Brekker. <3 He reamins one of my TOP favourite antihero/protagonists of all time andf asdjfkalda I love him so much it's probably a problem BUT I DON'T CARE. I'm really happy my feels got totally wrung around the universe and that I laughed out loud and nearly cried. I mean BOTH emotions?!? My Vulcan heart doesn't know what to do with itself. I had super high expectations and they were firmly met. Also I want more Grishaverse books. Neeeeeeed.OKAY WHAT I REALLY WANT IS MORE KAZ BREKKER. PLEASE.I'M OVER HERE STILL FANGIRLING PSYCHOTICALLY IF YOU NEED ME.[distant shrieking]*** QUOTES ***"I would prefer to go to Ravka," he repeated more firmly. Kaz's flat black gaze fastened on Kuwei and held. Kuewei squirmed nervously. "Why is he looking at me this way?""Kaz is wondering if he should keep you alive," said Jesper. "Terrible for the nerves. I recommend deep breathing. Maybe a tonic." Jesper tapped his fingers restlessly on his thighs. "Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?""So?" said Kaz."Well, usually it's just half the city."Nina's eyes narrowed. "I don't remember saying you could give away my biscuits.""It's for a good cause," Matthias said, retrieving the tin. "Besides, you've barely touched them.""I'm saving them for later," said Nina with a sniff. "And you should not cross me when it comes to sweets."Jesper nodded. "She's like a dessert-hoarding dragon.""Where do you think the money went?" he repeated."Guns?" asked Jesper."Ships?" queried Inej."Bombs?" suggested Wylan."Political bribes?" offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. "This is where you tell us how awful we are," she whispered."Isn't that how things are done around here?" asked Wylan. "We all tell Kaz we're fine and then do something stupid?""Are we that predictable?" said Inej.Wylan and Matthias said in unison. "Yes.""So I'm asking, do you want to beat Van Eck?""Yes," said Inej. She wanted some kind of justice."Soundly," said Nina."Around the ears with Wylan's flue," said Jesper."One one condition," said Nina, arms crossed."This is not a negotiation.""Everything is a negotiation with you, Brekker. You probably bartered your way out of the womb.""I would come for you," he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. "I would come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we are, we'd fight our way out together -- knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.""You're very welcome, Nina Zenik. You may repay me in the customary way.""Waffles?""Lots of them.""Let's go, you big goon -- and I'm supposed to be your sister, stop looking at me like that.""Like what?""Like I'm made of ice cream.""I don't care for ice cream.""Matthias," Nina said, "I'm not sure we can continue to spend time together.""You approach from the canal. Jesper, you're tall, brown, and conspicuous --""All synonyms for delightful.""And that means you'll have to be twice as careful.""There's always a price to pay for greatness.""Try to take this seriously," said Kaz.[Jesper] But how the hell did you apologise for that? Sorry I almost got you stabbed to death. Who wants waffles?She folded one of the waffles in half and took a huge bite, wiggling her toes in bliss."I'm sorry, Matthias," she said with her mouth full. "I've decided to run off with Jesper's father. He keeps me in the deliciousness to which I have become accustomed."She rested her head on his shoulder. "You're better than waffles, Matthias Helvar."A small smile curled the Fjerdan's lips. "Let's not say things we don't mean, my love."Inej cocked her head to one side. "Jesper Llewellyn Fahey?""Shut up," said Jesper. "It's a family name."Inej made a solemn bow. "Whatever you say, Llewellyn.""Kaz?" Jesper said tentatively.But Kaz was staring into the middle distance. Wylan thought he knew that look"Is that --?" asked Wylan."Scheming face?" said jesper.Matthias nodded. "Definitely." HELLO. I DEFINITELY WANT TO CHAT WITH YOU ABOUT THIS BOOK BUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PUT YOUR COMMENTS IN SPOILER TAGS IF YOU'RE MENTIONING ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY SPOILERY. IF IN DOUBT: PLEASE PUT IT IN A TAG. I DON'T WANT MY REVIEW TO BE THE REASON SOMEONE GETS SPOILED.
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  • Katerina
    January 1, 1970
    “No mourners.No funerals.” Let me tell you a story about a girl I know.For the first time in her life, she got a job, a great job, and she was happy about it. There was only one huge drawback: there was no time to read. Only stolen moments and a few pages a day, just to keep in touch with the essence of magic only words can offer. One cloudy morning, while she was in the bus to work, reading, a scene came. You know which one. There was a gunshot. A kiss. And then silence. Deafening silence. But “No mourners.No funerals.” Let me tell you a story about a girl I know.For the first time in her life, she got a job, a great job, and she was happy about it. There was only one huge drawback: there was no time to read. Only stolen moments and a few pages a day, just to keep in touch with the essence of magic only words can offer. One cloudy morning, while she was in the bus to work, reading, a scene came. You know which one. There was a gunshot. A kiss. And then silence. Deafening silence. But she couldn't cry. She couldn't scream and clutch her chest to make sure she wasn't bleeding. She was going to work. She had to plaster a fake smile on her face and pretend she was interested in stocks and investments, as if her world didn't just crumble. But her heart was crying. And when she returned home, she let the floodgates open. That was all she could offer.She would remember. “She was the Queen of Mourning, and in its depths, she would never drown.” In Crooked Kingdom, Kaz is planning another stunt. Or better yet, stunts. He has to get back his “money”, destroy his enemies and take control of the Barrel. The entire Ketterdam is after him and his crew, merchants, the city guard, the rival gangs, foreign dignitaries, and everything evolves around the young scientist they rescued and the drug that can change everything for Grisha, for better or for worse. But plans can go wrong, trust can be tested, hearts can get broken, and the six thugs and thieves have not spoken their last word yet. “Have any of you wondered what I did with all the cash Pekka Rollins gave us?""Guns?" asked Jesper."Ships?" queried Inej."Bombs?" suggested Wylan. "Political bribes?" offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. "This is where you tell us how awful we are," she whispered.He shrugged. "They all seem like practical choices.” Every time I think I have witnessed the fullest extent of Leigh Bardugo's potential, I realize there is more. Her resourcefulness and ingeniousness will never cease to amaze me, she crafted plots and heists and schemes with such intricacy and presicion you couldn't help but feel deep admiration! And a little befuddlement, if we're being honest, because how could your own mind compete with hers? “My mother is Ketterdam. She birthed me in the harbor. And my father is profit. I honor him daily.” I loved how we spent so much time inside the heads of the main characters, but yet there were so many things we didn't fully know that managed to surprise us and resulted in muffled screams of triumph (or terror, there was enough insecurity and terror for a lifetime). And let's not forget that there were certain guest appearances that made us squeal like excited mating whales. The humor, the sarcasm, the witty banters, they were all there to ease the tention, to take a break before the fallouts. These characters, they were rare. Each and every one of them, with their flaws, their greed, their monstrocity and their righteousness, their dreams and secrets, they fought for a place in a world that rejected them. Kaz was brutal, vindictive, beyond salvation. Or so he thought. He was a nightmare, I recognize that, but there was a human hidden beneath his hatred and cruelness. And Inej was his weakness. “I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.” After all those terrible things that were done to her, she never lost her faith. She was strong, she did her best to survive and wished to change things for people like her, for the nobodies and the nothings. “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.” Matthias and Nina were my precious cinnamon rolls. They were so different, two enemies who were meant to meet and fall in love and fight side by side, to set the example of peace between two nations that were bred in hatred and fear.And Jesper and Wylan, they taught each other that they must embrace their fears and let them be their power. To accept who they were, they boy with the gift and the boy that couldn't read but was smart beyond imagination. “He doesn't say goodbye. He just lets go.” Let me finish this story about a girl I know.She wished for a happier ending. She wished for pink unicorns. But Leigh Bardugo gave her something bittersweet. A taste she will carry with her wherever she goes, no matter how many days and months and years have passed. She tucked them in her heart, and sealed it with her tears.This way, they'll never be gone.Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookNest
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  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this re-read! There are so many things that happen in this book that I completely forgot about. I still feel like the oddball with this one though, because I prefer Six of Crows over Crooked Kingdom. It's a great finale, but I feel like there are times when things drag out quite a bit. Regardless, I still love it!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    I know we frown upon picking favorite books here, but you know what? This is my favorite book of all time and y'all can leave. Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the wo I know we frown upon picking favorite books here, but you know what? This is my favorite book of all time and y'all can leave. Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway. Okay, listen, I could talk about how much I love everything about this series forever, although I think I already did while writing my review for Six of Crows. I love the twisty and creative plot, I love the morally grey characters, I love the group dynamics and banter, I love the engaging writing, I love all three of the romance plots (yes, I just lost all my credibility as an unromantic.). This series truly is my favorite fantasy series of all time, and this book is one of the only conclusions I've ever given five stars. I think it's rare to find a book that, for me, is both entertaining and thematically satisfying. 🌺 THE CHARACTERS 🌺 Who's my favorite character, you ask? I DON'T KNOW. probably Inej. The point is that FIVE of these characters make my top-ten fictional-characters-ever list. There are two series which managed to get two characters on that list, but this series shoved on FIVE. 🌲 Kaz: He's the most morally black protagonist I've ever read about, and I love him to pieces. Yes, his plans go too far and get crazy here, but honestly, if Bardugo can think it up, I'm willing to accept that Kaz can too. Kaz gets even more of a human side in this book, which comes out through his relationships with Inej, Jesper, Wylan, and even Nina. Not Matthias, because Matthias somehow never makes these lists. Sorry, bud. 🍁 Inej: I asked Leigh Bardugo one question at the panel where I met her, and that was her least favorite villain. She said Tanta Helene, ruler of the menagerie, and after this book I definitely understand why. Inej went through hell and came out stronger and far more in control. I know there are those who hate how controlled she is, but I think it's realistic. She's controlled around everyone except for Helene, who's her worst nightmare come true. I love that Inej isn't a chosen one, that nothing in her blood gives her agency. None of these characters are; Jesper and Nina both neatly sidestep the chosen one archetype with every second of pagetime. 🌲 Jesper: JESPER!!!! He's developed so much and I didn't really expect it. Jesper likes living on the edge, a bit like Lila Bard from ADSoM. He's aware of his flaws and he's aware of the pain his own actions have caused him, and he's trying to work through it. His relationship with his father makes me want to cry. 🍁 Wylan: In the first book, Wylan is likable but annoyingly naive. In this book, he's fucking awesome. He's a cinnamon roll but he's also willing and able to kill you, so basically, he's a character designed for me to love. His arc essentially turns him from a naive kid into an antihero, and I love that. His relationship with his father took a front seat here, but it was almost emotionally cathartic to read their interactions. 🌲 Nina: Nina is idealistic and clever and can go from flirting to making speeches within ten seconds. She's definitely a bit of an antihero– she can be , but she's also a ton of fun to see on page. Her struggle with the Jurda was developed well here, and her powers are still fucking awesome. 🍁 Matthias: He's always been my least favorite of the dregs, but you know what, I liked him a lot here. Rereading, it struck me how much respect the narrative gives this character without romanticizing the things he's done. His arc is pitch-perfect. I still don't love him nearly as much as some of the dregs, but that's a totally unfair standard to hold any character to. I'm sorry, Matthias, in any other book you'd stand out. 🌺 RELATIONSHIPS, ROMANTIC AND NOT 🌺 Inej and Kaz were always the standout couple of this series to me. The genuine care between them despite all they've been through gets to my emotions. (Which I apparently have! Who knew.) They're even better in Crooked Kingdom. Here, the narrative addressed these two character's traumas and didn't skate over them. Neither of them are ready to kiss yet and that's okay. What matters is that they emotionally open up to each other, let each other through the walls. (source look at my children guys) I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting. Jesper and Wylan were a vaguely cute ship for most of book one until that one line at the end where Leigh Bardugo decided to start breaking my heart in two. Here, they started putting my heart back together thank god. They don't have a particularly angst-filled storyline, but their banter is hilarious and the trust in their relationship is so important to me. “You’re stupid about a lot of things, Wylan, but you are not stupid. And if I ever hear you call yourself a moron again, I’m going to tell Matthias you tried to kiss Nina. With tongue."Wylan wiped his nose on his sleeve. “He’ll never believe it." "Then I’ll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue.” Matthias and Nina were honestly not that big a ship for me in book one. I absolutely understand what's appealing about their dynamic; they're sweet and have amazing relationship development. But I don't have to lie down for twenty minutes when I read their scenes. The Dregs are such an amazing squad all together. There are so many platonic relationships here to break your heart; Jesper and Inej, Inej and Nina (although lbr they're a little gay), Kaz and Wylan, Jesper and Kaz. Jesper and Inej still have one of my favorite friendship dynamics of all time. Their banter and their genuine trust in each other and their lowkey joking about their mutual crush on Kaz... it gets to me. 🌺 PLOTTING AND WRITING 🌺 All I can say is: brilliant. Every twist is pitch-perfect. This 500+ page book barely even lagged for me. I read this entire longass book in one bingeread, it was that hard to put down. Bardugo incorporates plotting and character work seamlessly into every moment without sacrificing tension or twists. 🌺 BUT WHY DOES IT STAND OUT? 🌺 There's one thing I wanted to say about this book that I didn't say about Six of Crows: the theme of this book is hope. Crooked Kingdom is about healing from what's happened to you. Maybe these characters come out of what they've been through as different people, but they're alive and they're coping and they're happy. It's not about curing your injuries and fixing your trauma, it's about learning to cope with what you've been given. [spoilers ahead] (view spoiler)[ Kaz isn't magically cured of his touch sensitivity– him and Inej never kiss, and yet they still make it work, and somehow them HOLDING HANDS was the most intimate passage I've read ever. Wylan never learns to read, but he gets to drag his father to hell and back for all the trauma he's been through, and it was both the funniest and most cathartic thing I've ever read. I'm writing this Nov 6th and I've already reread this scene three times. (hide spoiler)] It says so much for Leigh Bardugo's talent that she executed this narrative so perfectly. I know many have an issue with the execution of a certain death in the book, but I honestly have no issue with said death. Yes, it's frustrating. I think it's meant to be. [spoiler] (view spoiler)[This is a character that has done terrible things due to his upbringing, brought down by a boy doing terrible things due to his upbringing. It's horrifying and poetic all at once. Bardugo has also implied said death may have occurred so another character might get their own spinoff, which I am completely here for. (hide spoiler)] But even ignoring the death itself, I think it's done so well that I can't complain at all. (view spoiler)[Rereading his scene, it struck me just how sad it made me, despite the character being by far my least favorite character. (hide spoiler)]Another thing I like, and excuse me for going on so long - the fact that the narrative emphasizes bigotry and taking away another's agency as the worst crimes of humanity is so. important. The moral code of the characters in this series is both flawed and realistic. They've grown up in an environment where it's kill or be killed, and their actions often range on evil. Yet these characters still have a code. Even Kaz, who legitimately plucks someone's eye out in part of book one, is emphatically not a fan of slavery and bigotry. Some of these characters have experienced this and come out alive, and they're righteously angry. I also love the emphasis on the evil of the elite taking from the poor, because that's what these characters deal with.I'm not even bothering to write all my ending thoughts anymore, but I went on a twitter rant about my adoration for this ending HERE if you want to check it out. VERDICT: This is probably my favorite book of all time. I'm seriously not joking. I think this is it. I'm not ready to say goodbye to these characters, but this was a glorious conclusion and I'm glad Bardugo stuck with two books. Recommended to everyone ever.Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • Lucia
    January 1, 1970
    COMPLETELY SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:First thing first, meet Kaz Brekker's crew:5 REASONS WHY CROOKED KINGDOM IS THE BEST SEQUEL EVER#1 Storytelling at its bestThis book will literally keep you on the edge of your seat, your toes curling and your heart racing. There was not a single boring moment. On contrary! I flew through this book and wish it was even longer than 546 pages.#2 Parade of twistsLeigh Bardugo is a genius. I can't even count how many times during this book I thought "No way! I didn't s COMPLETELY SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:First thing first, meet Kaz Brekker's crew:5 REASONS WHY CROOKED KINGDOM IS THE BEST SEQUEL EVER#1 Storytelling at its bestThis book will literally keep you on the edge of your seat, your toes curling and your heart racing. There was not a single boring moment. On contrary! I flew through this book and wish it was even longer than 546 pages.#2 Parade of twistsLeigh Bardugo is a genius. I can't even count how many times during this book I thought "No way! I didn't see this coming". The level of awesomeness of twists was beyond this world amazing. #3 Leigh Bardugo = Queen of bantersSeriously, if I wasn't nervously biting my nails waiting for outcome of this or that situation, I was smiling like lunatic whenever these precious characters were bantering among each other. And believe me, it was quite often.#4 All the feelsIf someone told me month ago that Crooked Kingdom was going to make me cry (multiple times), I wouldn't believe it. But it happened. Mrs. Bardugo brought out big guns = raw emotions. And I loved it! (even though my heart broke couple of times)#5 Simply perfectCrooked Kingdom has all qualities that make it outstanding and unforgettable novel. I just have nothing to complain about. Story was addictive, all main characters grew on me big time, ending was realistic and there was even cameo of my favorite character from Grisha trilogy. Now all I can do is re-read it to find all those details that I missed when I read it for the first time and hope that this is not the last novel by Leigh Bardugo set in Grisha world.MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing PRE-REVIEW:"No mourners. No funerals." to Kaz and his crew in CROOKED KINGDOM!I can't wait to have this book in my hands!
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  • Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
    January 1, 1970
    *heaves deep breath in*Where do I even begin? Leigh friggin' Bardugo. You really, truly outdid yourself with this one. Never in my life have I been more severely anxious over a novel than this right here— would it live up to the hype's madness? Could it surpass the sheer awesomeness that was Six of Crows? Will anything ever compare? Was I just digging my own grave of unfulfilled hopes and dreams like this?Yes, yes, yes and NO, thank the Saints (or well, Inej will).Crooked Kingdom is one of those *heaves deep breath in*Where do I even begin? Leigh friggin' Bardugo. You really, truly outdid yourself with this one. Never in my life have I been more severely anxious over a novel than this right here— would it live up to the hype's madness? Could it surpass the sheer awesomeness that was Six of Crows? Will anything ever compare? Was I just digging my own grave of unfulfilled hopes and dreams like this?Yes, yes, yes and NO, thank the Saints (or well, Inej will).Crooked Kingdom is one of those rare masterpieces that manages to get 98% of the things right in a sequel. On my watch, at the very least.Let me start off by talking about one of the best aspects of this book: the character development. If tackling six major character arcs wasn't already grueling enough, giving them all intricate backstories and emotional integrity should be downright onerous. But that, my friends, is precisely where Leigh hits the mark.It's no secret that our misfit gang of delinquents is the reason most of us fell in love with this series so hard. Of course, there's also the world-building, the one-liners, the adrenaline rush that comes with every heist, with every twist and turn and tumble; they're all part of the package. But to me, it's our Dregs that made this a real game-changer.We live in a time where standing out in a sea of recycled literature is an author's greatest challenge, with the young adult genre at the very forefront of this ocean. And with Kaz, Inej, Wylan, Jesper, Nina and Matthias, it's like being hit with a motherfucking tsunami. As we get to know them more and more with every layer peeled back, there's no helping the deep-rooted connection one starts to form with each one. Leigh does this evil little thing where just as a chapter begins to get intense, she switches to the next one. The weird part is that this didn't even bother me much since I cared about ALL of their perspectives. (Especially my precious cinnamon roll Wylan, adding his POV was the greatest thing to happen to this book ♡)In terms of plot, hoooo boy did shit go down! Cons upon cons thrown at every corner, it never keeps you off your toes or silently going fuck yeah with every tiny victory— then just as quickly turning that into oh fuck no as things go awry. I can see why some may have a hard time picturing a bunch of ragtag teenagers doing the things they do (not to forget Kaz's impeccable scheming abilities) but honestly, that's exactly what I signed up for. It's meant to be make-believe and it sure as hell does a good job making me believe it.Now I'd like to take a moment and say: AHOY, THE SHIPS HAVE SET SAIL! One of them may still be learning how to steer while another met with a certain iceberg,(view spoiler)[iceberg cause it was at the hands of a Fjerdan. Gettit? Haha, I'm gonna go cry myself to oblivion now. (hide spoiler)] but all aboard! I came for the feelz and I left with more than I could handle. (view spoiler)[Okay maybe not all of it, I still want that Kanej kiss one day! *shakes fists of frustration* Props to keeping it realistic though. (hide spoiler)]So after all that raving, you must be wondering: where did that 2% go then, hmmm? Well. You know it. I know it. We all know it. (Unless you haven't read the book yet, in which case, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE YOU WEIRDO GO PICK IT UP.) Spoilers incoming, y'all.(view spoiler)[Matthias. My sweet, tortured, better-than-waffles Matthias. You had the most significant transformation of them all and after everything you went through, you did not deserve to go out this way. But you know what? No matter how much my heart aches (and will continue to do so), the harsh reality remains that such is life. A split second, one meaningless, avoidable, STUPID little second is all it takes to snatch it away, and that is why it is so hard to come to terms with the fact. However, part of me does feel as if justice was not fully served. Was Matthias treated to feel like the most dispensable option? What becomes of Nina? Yes, there is a lingering sense of sorrow after his passing, but in her attempt to avoid a devastating ending, Leigh makes his death feel a bit like it's been kicked to the curb. Had it been Kaz, Inej or Wylan in his place (three favourites of mine), I know I wouldn't have been too happy with the way she handled it. Even so, that remaining 98% keeps me more than satisfied. (hide spoiler)]Scratch that, make it a 5%. Another minor issue of mine stems from -believe it or not but- Kaz. Throughout the whole thing, there felt an undercurrent of him just being so, I dunno, disconnected from the rest? Let it be known that apathy becomes Kaz Brekker, but where I hoped to see his walls crumble down, it isn't until welllll into the second half that we do. More overcoming personal demons, less pretending not to care, please. But the final result still makes me want to jump around in song and twirl his aloof (and secretly-concerned) ass. “I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.” If I could, I'd list all my favourites lines here but then I'd be quoting half the damn book. Her wonderous way with words has made sure that I will always be coming back for more Bardugo. To conclude, Six of Crows has easily been one of my most fulfilling reads quite possibly EVER. All I can do now is hope to live till time machines exist, perhaps then I could go back and experience it all over again.*lets deep breath out*____________________I...I need a moment. Or two.Or thirty million.But my life is now complete.*curls in fetal position and weeps*____________________Book song: Nara by Alt-J____________________ONE.MORE.DAY.HOLY. SHIT. -Triple Edit: So the city I live in has a total of two bookstores that most certainly won't be stocking this anytime close to September 27th and expected shipment will arrive four weeks after release. I AM IN PAIN. -Double Edit: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS LEIGH PLEASE SHOW MERCY-Edit: Don't mind me, just hyping myself up with all this gorgeous fanart...Okay I'm like six months late but LOOK WHAT I JUST CAME ACROSS:*INSANE SQUEALING ENSUES*_________________Normally I would tend to forget about the agonizing wait of a much-anticipated book as the months trickle by– but this? Oh HELL no, 3028273 weeks later and I am still eagerly counting down the days until I can FINALLY GET MY HANDS ON THIS PRECIOUSSSSSS GIVEITTOMENOWISAY
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  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    This is finally happening... reading vlog in the making as promised!
  • Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
    January 1, 1970
    LEIGH BARDUGO IS A RELENTLESS DEMJIN!!! This was my first thought when I finished to read “Crooked Kingdom” and after thinking about it, I decided to leave it at that! It’s true! This amazing woman gave me all the feels and played me like a fiddle! There were so many twists and turns that my head actually started to spin and whenever I thought something would be alright, everything, literally everything changed once again! How did you do this Leigh? How can you be such a talented manipulator? LEIGH BARDUGO IS A RELENTLESS DEMJIN!!! This was my first thought when I finished to read “Crooked Kingdom” and after thinking about it, I decided to leave it at that! It’s true! This amazing woman gave me all the feels and played me like a fiddle! There were so many twists and turns that my head actually started to spin and whenever I thought something would be alright, everything, literally everything changed once again! How did you do this Leigh? How can you be such a talented manipulator? And why? Please tell me WHY!!??, did you have to rip my heart out?! I’m shattered and broken, I can’t stop to think about your book! And I can’t stop to cry whenever I think about it!!! You destroyed me!!!! And the worst part is that I thoroughly enjoyed it!I loved to read your book!!! I loved Kaz’s scheming face, Inej’s silent justice, Jesper’s epiphany, Nina’s strength, Matthias’ transformation and Wylan’s sassy demeanor!!! ARGH!!! I hate love you Leigh Bardugo!!!! Jeez, this book gave me such a hangover, but I’m still trying to write this review! I need to get those emotions off my chest and once I did, I might continue to cry an ocean or I might be able to move on. Either way I need to write this down now and I hope you’ll keep me company and stay with me throughout this, no doubt, very long review! *lol*”Brick by brick."The plot:”That’s the problem with Ketterdam, Jesper thought as they stumbled uncertainly through the dark. Trusting the wrong person can get you killed.”After pulling the most remarkable heist of mankind’s history, the crew of Kaz Brekker should be swimming in kruge and coins, yet everything it gained them is an empty pocket and an abducted member of their crew. Of course Kaz can’t accept the fact that Van Eck has not only betrayed them but also has taken Inej as a hostage and since we all know “Dirtyhands” we can already guess where this is heading. The bastard of the barrel is determined to get his money and even more importantly to get his Wraith! Kaz won’t rest until he finally got what he wants and Pekka Rollins as well as Jan Van Eck will have to pay with the only currency the Barrel knows… their blood! ;-)”Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”“So?” said Kaz.“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”The characters:” She thought of Jesper toying with his guns, Nina squeezing the life from a man with the flick of a wrist, Kaz picking a lock in his black gloves. Thugs. Thieves. Murderers. And all worth more than a thousand Jan Van Ecks.” Warning: The characters section as well as the rest of the review is going to contain A LOT of spoilers! If you don’t want to read them you might stop now! Kaz:”She realised he’d stopped to change his coat and it clung to him in perfectly tailored lines. He stood leaning on his cane, hair neatly pushed back from his pale brow, a black glass boy of deadly edges.”I love Kaz Brekker! This man is so awesome, I almost have no words! He always tries to show himself as a monster but deep down within him he’s probably the kindest and most honourable man anyone can wish for! I admired his pickpocket skills, his determination to get everything right, his strength and his wish to change the circumstances in which they live. He has such a sharp mind and his plans are so cunning, I can’t help but have to adore him for it! *lol* His background story still breaks my heart and I hated to see how much it shaped him, how hard it made it to love his crew. And yes, he loves every single one of them, not just Inej. The things he did for them! His little gestures that turned out to be a tornado in the aftermath, gosh once the dust settled it was so obvious that he truly cares! And that moment when he went to the Dregs?! OH GOD!! It killed me!!! He sacrificed himself in order to save the others and I almost died when I read this chapter!!! I think I have no more words, just deep love and endless affection that fill my heart whenever I think about this kind boy who was forced to live in a cruel world!!! <333”He wasn’t Dirtyhands or Kaz Brekker or even the toughest lieutenant in the Dregs. He was just a boy fuelled by a white flame of rage, one that threatened to burn the pretense of the hard-won civility he maintained to ash.” ”That’s where you’re wrong,” said Kaz. “I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins.””I’ve taken knives, bullets, and too many punches to count, all for a little piece of this town,” said Kaz. “This is the city I bled for. And if Ketterdam has taught me anything, it’s that you can always bleed a little more.”Inej:”Inej made a silent promise. Even if her plan failed, even if he smashed her legs to pulp, even if she never walked again, she’d find a way to pay him back in kind. She didn’t know how, but she’d manage it. She’d survived too much to let Jan Van Eck destroy her.My brave, small and deadly girl! Oh, how much I suffered with her when she was in the captivity of Jan Van Eck!!! I swear when he threatened to break her legs my heart skipped a beat and I almost couldn’t bear to read her thoughts about Kaz! I wanted to tell her that he loves her, I wanted to scream it in her face!!! It was maddening! Still, I loved how strong Inej became, how she decided that she’d lead another life and would dedicate it to hunt the slave traders that took her away from her family! I think by killing Dunyasha she finally freed herself and was able to accept the person she has become and in some strange way I was even really proud of her! XD ”Inej was whole, unharmed. She bore no scars or trauma from her ordeal on Eil Komedie that food and sleep would not ease. But Van Eck had taken something from her nonetheless. I’ll be no use to him anymore. Words torn from some hidden place inside her, a truth she could not unknow. She should be glad of it. Better terrible truths than kind lies."Matthias:”Big, blond, and blind,” Jesper said. “The Fjerdan way.”Oh god, Matthias! I can’t even write his name without forcing myself to hold back my tears! Such a waste. Such a terrible, terrible waste of a man that could have become someone great! I loved his character development in this book! I loved the way he adored Nina, how he treated her, took care of her, how he decided to ignore everything he was taught because he finally realised that it was all a lie! He tried to overcome his prejudices and he worked so hard to become a better man! Why, Leigh?! Why did you have to kill this wonderful man?!!! He died because he tried to help a young boy and his death was so useless and unnecessary! But then again, death always is. It makes no difference between young and old, kind or cruel, it’s just death and he always gets what he wants. =((I’m mourning for the man Matthias could have become, for the wasted potential and for the boy that never got a chance to truly love! RIP Matthias Helvar! You’ve been better than waffles, it’s true!“Meeting you was a disaster.”She raised a brow. “Thank you.”Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful for that disaster. I needed a catastrophe to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.””Do not be afraid. Fear is how they control you.” We’ll find a way to change their minds. The boy had only been with the order for six months. He could be reached. “There’s so much in the world you don’t have to be afraid of, if you would only open your eyes.”Nina:”She was dressed in a sheer lavender gown rigged with some kind of corset that pushed her cleavage to alarming heights, and though she’d lost weight since her battle with parem, there was still plenty of her for Smeet to grab onto."My beautiful and fierce Grisha!!! My heart aches so much for her! Gosh! She was so brave and strong when she fought her addiction for jurda parem! I can’t even say how much I love this woman!! Life wasn’t kind to her but she still managed to joke, she still tried to deal with the cards destiny had dealt her and she always believed in Matthias! XD I wish I could hug her, cradle her, that I could tell her that everything is going to be alright, that she’ll overcome the loss of Matthias, that it will hurt and rip her heart out, but also that it will become better with time. She was SO. DAMN. STRONG. when she let him go and gosh I can’t even… I feel so sorry for her… because I know how it feels, because Leigh Bardugo managed to hit a nerve… Leigh, I think I’ll never forgive you for hurting Nina so much! T_T”You have your own problems right now, Zenik, said a voice in her head. Stop worrying about saving the world and save your own ass. Sometimes her inner voice could be very wise.””Nina had grieved for her loss of power, for the connection she’d felt to the living world. She’d resented this shadow gift. I thad seemed like a sham, a punishment. But just as surely as life connected everything, so did death. It was that endless, fast-running river. She’d dipped her finger into its current, held the eddy of its power in her hand. She was the Queen of Mourning, and in its depths, she would never drown."Jesper:”Jesper focused on the bullet, sensed the smallest parts of it. Maybe he was the same. A bullet in a chamber, spending his whole life waiting for the moment when he would have direction.”Oh boy did he struggle in this book! My poor sharpshooter had to deal with so many different things and even though his own life was a more than just complicated mess, he still tried everything possible to help Wylan and the others as best as he could! His relationship with his father was pretty rocky and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. His inner fight resonated so much with me and I could understand why he’s so restless and reckless all of the time! Jesper was forced to suppress an essential part of him, a part that would have needed an outlet and caused him to end up searching the thrill. It made me sad that his father saw his gift as a curse and tried to squash it, but it also made me proud that Jes finally decided to stand up for himself! XD In the end he took responsibility for his actions and he tried to change his life! And when it comes down to it, this actually means everything!!! =)”There’s a wound in you, and the tables, the dice, the cards – they feel like medicine. They soothe you, put you right for a time. But they’re poison, Jesper. Every time you play, you take another sip. You have to find some other way to heal that part of yourself.””I didn’t raise you to be a gambler, Jesper. I certainly didn’t raise you to be a criminal.”Jesper released a bitter huff of laughter. “I love you, Da. I love you with all my lying, thieving, worthless heart, but yes, you did.”Wylan:”Always hit where the mark isn’t looking,” Wylan had murmured.“Sweet Ghezen,” said Jesper. “You’ve been thoroughly corrupted.”Awww Wylan, my precious cinnamon roll!!! GOSH! How much I adored him in this book!!! *lol* He became so strong and independent and it was a pleasure to see him evolve!!! His background story broke my heart and I swear when he found out that his mother was still alive I was devastated!!! How could his father do this to him? To his own child?!! I don’t get it!!! Still, I loved how strong Wylan became, how he sharpened his mind and learned to take Kaz’s advice! And god, when they started to beat him I wanted to jump into the book and save my little boy!!!! I can’t believe he let them break his ribs just to make it convincing and oh my god that moment when he turned on his father at the auction!! It was priceless!!! XD I love, love, love the new sassy and reckless Wylan!!!! And I want more!!! Leigh do you hear me?! I WANT MORE!!!”Wylan Van Eck, you lied to Kaz Brekker.” Jesper clutched a hand to his chest. “And you got away with it! Do you give lessons?”Wylan felt ridiculously pleased – until he thought about Kaz finding out. Then he felt a little like the first time he’d tried brandy and ended up spewing his dinner all over his own shoes.”Wylan wanted to scream. The closet was crammed with paintings – landscapes, different views of the hospital grounds, a lake in sun and shadow, and there, repeated again and again, was the face of a little boy with ruddy curls and bright blue eyes.”Jesper leaned in and said, quietly enough that no one else could hear, “I can read to him.”“He has a very soothing baritone,” added Wylan, and then the guards were hauling his father down the aisle.The ships:”We meet fear, he’d said. We greet the unexpected visitor and listen to what he has to tell us. When fear arrives, something is about to happen."Inej & Kaz:”I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together – knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”Those two killed me once again!!! Their chemistry, the promise of their love!!! OH. MY. GOD!!! I loved how fierce and passionate Kaz became whenever he thought of Inej! He never said anything but damn, his thoughts!!! His thoughts!!! They were full of Inej!!! Full of his love for her!!! I died about a thousand deaths when they were in the bathroom together!!! He tried to overcome his phobia and his fears because he loved her so much and finally, FINALLY Inej realised how much it truly cost him to be so close to her!!! ARGH!! I’m still not over the bathroom scene or the fact that he actually paid her indenture!!! He even bought her a ship for Christ’s Sake!!! I just love those two and I really hope they’ll manage to be together!! The anticipation of what they could become, of what they could be together!!! I’m already fainting by just thinking about it!!! XD”The silence between them was dark water. He could not cross it. He couldn’t walk the line between the decency she deserved and the violence this path demanded. If he tried, it might get them both killed. He could only be who he truly was – a boy who had no comfort to offer."”Before he even knew what he intended, he lowered his head. She drew in a sharp breath. His lips hovered just above the warm juncture between her shoulder and the column of her neck. He waited. Tell me to stop. Push me away. She exhaled. “Go on,” she repeated. Finish the story.The barest movement and his lips brushed her skin – warm, smooth, beaded with moisture. Desire coursed through him, a thousand images he’d hoarded, barely let himself imagine – the fall of her dark hair freed from its braid, his hand fitted to the lithe curve of her waist, her lips parted, whispering his name.””She felt his knuckles slide against hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm was pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly he let their fingers entwine.”Nina & Matthias:”At one point he bathes her.”Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he –““She’s tied up, so he has to.”“Be silent.”“Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.”“How about I bite your lip?”“Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.”The ship has sunk! T_T WHY!? They were so cute together, they should have been happy and they should have gotten a chance to make things right!!! They only kissed!!! They never got an opportunity to date properly; they never even did more than kiss!!!! WHY, LEIGH!? WHY??!!! You destroyed me! You deprived me of all the happiness they could have had!! They deserved so much better than to be parted by death!!! After everything they’ve been through they should have had a happy ever after!!! I’ll never be over Matthias death! Never! Their love was a delicate flower that never even got a chance to bloom! =( *sobs uncontrollably*”You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.””How many rules have you broken since you met me? How many laws? They won’t be the last. Nothing about us will ever be proper,” she said. She tilted her face up to his. So close now it was as if they were already touching. “Not the way we met. Not the life we lead. And not the way we kiss.”Wylan & Jesper:”Yes, this is what I want,” said Jesper. Wylan looped his satchel over his shoulder, and without thinking, Jesper reached out and untwisted the strap. He didn’t let go. “But it’s not all that I want.”I’ll never forget the moment Jesper called Wylan, Wy! They were so sweet to each other, their gentle gestures, their little sexual innuendos! Oh god how hard I shipped them! I wanted them to kiss and they never did!! *lol* And then the thing with Kuwei happened and I was like: NUUUUUU!!!! WHY??!!! I already saw the shipwreck but then they managed to get their act together!! They were adorable!!! The way Jesper took care of Wylan after he found out about his mom!! It was amazing!! It was cute, it meant everything to me!!! And their first kiss!!?? OH GOD!!! It was sooo perfect!!! It was worth the painful wait and I’m so damn happy they are finally together!!! <333 Jesper and Wylan forever!!! I’ll ship them until I die!!!! XD”Wy, listen to me. You have to pull yourself together. Can you do this? We can leave. I can tell her you’re not up to it, or I can just go in myself. We can try to come back some – “”There was only the reality of Wylan’s mouth, the press of his lips, then the fine bones of his neck, the silky feel of his curls as Jesper cupped his nape and drew him nearer. This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gunshot. It was prairie fire. It was the spin of Makker’s Wheel. Jesper felt the pounding of his heart – or was it Wylan’s? – like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh."Jesper’s eyes travelled from the top of Wylan’s red-gold curls to the tips of his toes and back again. “But I do charge a pretty steep fee.”Wylan flushed a magnificent shade of pink. “Well, hopefully the medic will be here to fix my ribs soon,” he said as he headed back into the parlor. “Yeah?”“Yes,” said Wylan, glancing briefly over his shoulder, his cheeks now red as cherries. “I’d like to make a down payment.”My conclusion: Leigh Bardugo’s “Crooked Kingdom” is a masterpiece of high emotions! It will destroy you and rip your heart out, but what’s even worse is that it’s like jurda parem. Once you read it, it will leave you gasping and craving for more! ;-)
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  • Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》
    January 1, 1970
    What went wrong the first time:1) The plot was very different than what i had on mind. This just threw me off. For some reason, i expected CK to be about Grisha rising & the crows helping out Nina to win the war. I wanted it to be grander than just Kaz and his greed. I was waiting for Ravka to rebel. 2) The hype! Too much hype is a huge turn off for me. Always.3) Got spoiled about the ending & apparently i wasn't the only one. Some fangirl didn't like the way Leigh wrapped things up, so What went wrong the first time:1) The plot was very different than what i had on mind. This just threw me off. For some reason, i expected CK to be about Grisha rising & the crows helping out Nina to win the war. I wanted it to be grander than just Kaz and his greed. I was waiting for Ravka to rebel. 2) The hype! Too much hype is a huge turn off for me. Always.3) Got spoiled about the ending & apparently i wasn't the only one. Some fangirl didn't like the way Leigh wrapped things up, so she decided to protect us (SoC fans) from the cruel faith that was waiting for us. She spoiled many readers on purpose just to save us "the heartache and the betrayal". Bitch, what?!This time i'm going in with an open mind. Work your magic, Kaz Brekker. Let's see what you've got.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best YA fantasy & science fiction category 2016! But wasn't that what every girl dreamed? That she'd wake and find herself a princess? Or blessed with magical powers and a grand destiny? Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best YA fantasy & science fiction category 2016! But wasn't that what every girl dreamed? That she'd wake and find herself a princess? Or blessed with magical powers and a grand destiny? Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren't chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.if that isn't downright anthemic, then i didn't learn a thing from 80's music...and i'm gonna say it - i know this is intended as a duology, but COME ON! sure, some of the dramatic arcs have been tied up (some quite conclusively), but there is SO MUCH MORE potential for story. (and i'm not just talking about the thing that i know a lot of people want. i'm more than fine without getting a neat bow tied onto that situation). what i want is more (view spoiler)[inej (hide spoiler)] (spoiler tagged in case you don't wanna know who makes it outta this one alive.)i must confess, i'd forgotten some of the things that happened in Six of Crows, specifically the parts involving wylan and kuwei yul-bo, and i started this book a little confused. but thank goodness for internet - i went to this site and it helped me fill in my blanks.overall, it was a little slower going than Six of Crows, which may have been because i had to think back and work through my hazy memory, but once the things start thinging, man. so tight, again! plots! schemes! peril! double crossery! working the angles! quick thinking! revenge and regret and the spilling of blood. oh, kaz. oh, inej. such excellent characters. the rest of them are very appealing, but those two really stand out as special creations.“I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”kaz is such a wonderful leader, always thinking nine moves ahead, and it's so heart-in-throat watching it all come together. and inej is so clever, loyal, sad, stealthy, brave, skillful - but i never wanted to roll my eyes at her even once the way i do with some intensely capable heroines, because she seems so human and breakable, despite being so damn good at what she does. i was gripping the book so hard whenever she was in danger, wanting to scoop her up out of harm's way. there's a lot of time spent with wylan and jasper, which is fine - i'm a fan of jasper, at least, but wylan is a little dull, so i kept wanting the focus to shift back to the rest of the pack because countryside family seeeecrets field trip is not nearly as cool as criminal mastermindery. i got nothing else to say about this book (sorry i failed you, anmiryam) - if you haven't read the first one, there's no sense in me rehashing plot, but there's so much sense in me urging you to go grab a copy, quickly. i am not ready to leave this cast of characters behind. i'm assuming bardugo isn't done with this world, since she has invested so much time and imagination to developing it, and it was nice to see some of the characters from the "other" grisha series make appearances in this book, so i suppose it's possible that a new series could branch off and some characters from this one could find new storylines there, but i am emphatically not cool if this is the last we will see of these guys. no funerals, no mourners, no duologies.******************************************good god, that COVER!now i'm like one of those teenagers clogging up your feed. you're welcome and can you drive me to the mall? review to come!come to my blog!
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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    My 2nd reread and a few things to take note. *Leigh Bardugo is a demjin.*All the mediocre YA fantasy that are being released these days need to read this book to know what quality YA fantasy actually is. (I'm feeling petty and I'm in mourning right now, so I had to go there, so leave me alone.)*Though I worship all these characters, Kaz and Inej are my gods. *Finding out this was going to be a trilogy was a blessing, because I felt robbed and deprived by the end of this book. We wanted more and My 2nd reread and a few things to take note. *Leigh Bardugo is a demjin.*All the mediocre YA fantasy that are being released these days need to read this book to know what quality YA fantasy actually is. (I'm feeling petty and I'm in mourning right now, so I had to go there, so leave me alone.)*Though I worship all these characters, Kaz and Inej are my gods. *Finding out this was going to be a trilogy was a blessing, because I felt robbed and deprived by the end of this book. We wanted more and we are getting more. Over and out. ------------------------I am not okay. I am in pain. I feel sick. My heart... I need more! I feel deprived! In spite of all this, this book was better than waffles! I'm in awe, to be honest. I'm blown away by how good this book was. What Leigh Bardugo has crafted is nothing short of spectacular. This is definitely going on my all-time favourite list. This duology is more than just a heist story. It's a group of people coming together, who were brought together by this heist, which eventually led to them accepting each other, forming a bond that was stronger than their circumstance, their background, even though the world was set on putting them against one another. It's acceptance. Tolerance. Ingraining in the readers that people are not just black and white, but fluctuate between the two. To not discard certain group of people because society manipulates you to do so. It questioned your morals, values, pushed them and forced you to understand a person first rather than coming to a judgemental conclusion, because of some choices they decided to make. You've no idea what led to them making that choice in the first place. The character development was exquisite. Leigh Bardugo took her time exploring the characters and making the readers feel beyond invested; they became a part of you. When I wasn't reading, my heart and mind were with those characters. They were multi-faceted, had so much substance and background that made them come alive. The world-building was epic and grand. All the plot points felt calculated, smart. I thought at first that they would always get out a tricky situation, just because they could. It's fiction. But that was not the case, neither did the plot points and the scheming read like a cop-out. It was well thought out. It's the way the mind of a genius would work and Kaz Brekker was a fuckin' genius! Or should I say Leigh Bardugo?! And I liked how even though they were put in a box to figure out how to escape an impossible situation, they found a way. They found a solution that worked. They thought outside of that tight-fitting box they were forced into and never gave up.There's strength in that. Something that the reader can take away with them. To know that possibilities are always endless. And to know there's always hope.Leigh Bardugo has blessed the world of literature with these books. I'll be in love with this duology for a long time.
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  • Jessica Edwards
    January 1, 1970
    She's only gone and done it again! Fantastic
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    1.) Six of Crows ★★★★ “Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary.” First and foremost, can we talk about the diversity and representation in this book?- Main characters are POC.- LGBTQ main characters.- Disabled main characters. - Body positivity.- Abusive family dynamics. - 1.) Six of Crows ★★★★ “Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary.” First and foremost, can we talk about the diversity and representation in this book?- Main characters are POC.- LGBTQ main characters.- Disabled main characters. - Body positivity.- Abusive family dynamics. - Trauma survivors (rape, abuse, loss.)- Addictions (drug withdrawal and gambling.)- Learning disabilities.- Human trafficking awareness!And Leigh Bardugo does all of this in a way that doesn't feel exploitative. She just writes believable characters, in believable situations, that represent our world and the vast spectrum of human lives. She is honestly Queen, and every author should strive to write characters like her. Her books mean so much to so many people, and they are so very important and needed in today's world. This diversity and representation is what more books need.And she does this with only six characters! How many popular authors out there have a cast of twenty-plus characters that are all white and straight? Too many! This story is so character driven and focused, and those characters are so expertly written. Praise and bless Leigh Bardugo; I will read everything she ever writes. To say a quick summary of this book, basically Six of Crows is about a group of unconventional young-adults that are running a heist that is much, much bigger than them. Well, Crooked Kingdom is about what happens after that heist, and the consequences from it. I know this is just a duology, but both of these books live up to one another. They are both wonderful, action packed, witty, funny, self explorative books, which are filled with twists and turns. Leigh Bardugo also writes some of the best quotes I've ever laid eyes upon. I will also very much recommend reading the Grisha trilogy before this duology, too, because some very big plot points will be spoiled from this book. Again, you'll be able to follow everything in these books, but you will get major spoilers for the Grisha trilogy, since they share the same world and many of the characters make cameos in Crooked Kingdom! Now, I can't really say much more without SPOILERS, so please DO NOT continue on with this portion of the review if you have NOT read this book or Six of Crows!This book broke me. I thought I was prepared, but I was so not prepared. Okay, I guess we will get the biggest spoiler out of the way: I was not expecting that death. I knew, before reading this, that one of the main six would die, but I was completely blindsided on whom. From page one, I was prepared to say goodbye to Kaz. It seemed so likely, especially with the Grisha trilogy ending, but it never came. Kaz is, hands down, my favorite character. His growth and development speaks to something inside of me. His trauma, pain, loss, inability to let anyone get close to him, it all resonates with something inside of me. I am speechless that Leigh Bardugo was able to create Kaz Brekker, and it truly is a testament to her skill as a writer. Okay, I'm rambling, but I honestly thought he was going to die, but my little cinnamon roll lived! Instead, I bawled my eyes out reading Matthias die, and Nina having to let him die in her arms. I see so many people saying they are upset, because they feel Matthias died for nothing, but, in my eyes, Matthias death represented so much. I mean, he was basically killed by a young version of himself, filled with hate and decimation. Matthias dying showed us what this world is truly like, how segregated it is, and how much work is left to be done.I also think this showed us how helpless we really are to death. The irony of Nina losing her healing powers, and now is a powerful necromancer, broke my soul. But, that's how death is, we don't get to choose when we lose people we love, and we have to cherish the limited amount of time we do have. Just like in real life, we don't always get happy endings.Also, this is totally not the last we will see of Nina. Jesper and Wylan's relationship gave me life! The fact that their relationship was never, not once, looked down upon for being gay, and no one even made a big deal about it, seriously was the thing in this book that made me the happiest. They are both such amazing characters, and I am eternally thankful that they both were kept safe. I also loved seeing Jesper's father, and I need to know who his mother healed. Like, I'm going to look up theories after this, because I won't be able to sleep tonight. Obviously, Kaz and Inej are my favorite couple. They both have such painful pasts, but are such a perfect representation of how we are never truly broken, and we can love again after unspeakable trauma. They are so perfect for each other, and make such a great team. They truly build each other up and grow together, and I can't get enough of them. “And that was what destroyed you in the end: the longing for something you could never have.” I feel like they are even more satisfying than they should be, because they represent, to me, what the the Grisha trilogy ending should have been. Be still, my heart. This is probably the only series I've read, where everyone gets paired up together and it doesn't bother me. It's done so believable and so well, it just makes my heart happy and it doesn't make my eyes roll like everyone other series that does this. The romance in this doesn't feel forced, and it definitely takes a back seat to the rest of the plot.And the friendships are also extraordinarily done, especially Nina and Inej's. Their friendship was so pure and I have no words for the joy that seeing them saving each other gave me. Please, authors, give me more female friendships like this. I loved all the cameos in this book, especially Nikolai (I was jumping up and down when Sturmhond, made an appearance!) Then, seeing Genya and Zoya again made me legitimately squeal! You have no idea how much I need more from this world! Please, oh please, Leigh Bardugo! This is easily one of the best books I've read this year, and will for sure make it on my "Best of 2016" list. Kaz and Inej are relationship goals, and Leigh Bardugo is writing goals. I love this Grisha world, and I cannot wait to be back in it. “I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.” When I saw this piece, I lost my breath. Thank you, hainex, for creating this masterpiece. Now, excuse me while I scour every inch of the internet for Kaz and Inej fan-fiction. Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    MY VIDEO REVIEW IS NOW LIVE: https://youtu.be/ehlUs9b3JZsThat was INCREDIBLE!I don't have the words to describe how absolutely perfect this is. Hands down the best book I've read this year and one of the best books I've EVER read.I loved the first book, but Crooked Kingdom took the bones of Six of Crows and gave them life. Not only is it the perfect sequel in terms of expanding the world and further developing the themes and characters, but it can absolutely stand alone as it's own story.This se MY VIDEO REVIEW IS NOW LIVE: https://youtu.be/ehlUs9b3JZsThat was INCREDIBLE!I don't have the words to describe how absolutely perfect this is. Hands down the best book I've read this year and one of the best books I've EVER read.I loved the first book, but Crooked Kingdom took the bones of Six of Crows and gave them life. Not only is it the perfect sequel in terms of expanding the world and further developing the themes and characters, but it can absolutely stand alone as it's own story.This series has just about everything I could ever want: an intricately developed fantasy world with well rounded and diverse characters, complex romantic and platonic relationships, social commentary on humanity and society, and meaningful messages about love, family, and morality, all wrapped up in a beautifully written and compelling plot.There were so many moments throughout this book where I started crying because of how much some of the themes and characters resonated with me. I can't even begin to express how happy I am that this book exists. Nothing has ever rivaled my love for The Night Circus, but Crooked Kingdom might just top it. Full video review to come!
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    “Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”A nearly perfect conclusion to a mindblowing and breathtaking duology. I promise you, I've never read a better example for diversity and representation. This series features characters of multiple cultures, faiths, and sexualities, suffering from mental or physical illness and battling dif “Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”A nearly perfect conclusion to a mindblowing and breathtaking duology. I promise you, I've never read a better example for diversity and representation. This series features characters of multiple cultures, faiths, and sexualities, suffering from mental or physical illness and battling different handicaps. And it all comes so natural and feels so real.Characters:I love my Crows. All of them. Even thoug Kaz has some serious issues to sort out. And it's stunning how round they are, how much work was put into them. Each has their own background, fears, passions, etc. All of them go through character developement and nobody is left behind. It's really impressing how Leigh Bardugo manages such a large and multi-layered cast.Plot:Unpredictable and heartstopping, Leigh Bardugo pulled some really mean but genius stunts. To be honest, it took me way longer to read this book than I thought it would. Sometimes I was not in the mood to keep reading and I'm not sure why. Often the plot dragged a little. Then again it was rather tiring, seeing them go through one disappointment after the other, each one more and more hopeless, until Kaz has a perfect but risky idea to save them all. It's an old hat (but yes, a pretty nice one).Anyway, the ending was satisfying and everything I could have wished for, except for one thing. (view spoiler)[Matthias's death. It was so random. He didn't even die during an actual mission, by taking a bullet for someone he loved or fighting an enemy. For me, it felt like Leigh found it too unlikely that all of the Crows could survive, so she had to kill one off, and Matthias was the most expendable. One moment I'm thinking about Matthias's amazing character developement, turn the page and bam he gets shot. (hide spoiler)] This situation and its effects didn't move me, by the way. It was too much melodrama, too unoriginal.Something else, that bugged me were loose ends.1. The Kherguud. Winged, unbeatable guys chasing Grisha. On one hand this subplot had lots of potential, on the other hand it was a bit overwhelming and the book would have worked just as well or maybe even better without.2. Nina's new abilities and the effect jurda parem has on its survivors produced a slight plothole and a few unaswered questions.Anyway, this book was wicked and thrilling, vicious and triumphant. It wasn't perfect, but pretty damn close.Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Adam Silvera
    January 1, 1970
    Leigh Bardugo's stories are masterful. I'm such a slow reader with a mountainous TBR, so to have read ALL FIVE of her books is a huge sentiment in my life. I love the Grisha world so much and welcome any and all additions to it. Also, GIMME A TV SHOW WITH THESE CHARACTERS. This world is so epic.
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  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    January 1, 1970
    One day later, I still can't believe that I didn't love this. I still can't believe that I've waited a year, seen all my friends adoring it, and ended disappointed and alone in my shameful corner. I still can't believe that I almost wish I didn't read it, because I can't forget that while I did like it, Crooked Kingdom : Yep, that's Kaz. Hear me out : it's no secret that I have a soft spot for cunning and ruthless thieves who may or may not be hiding their vulnerabilities. As much as I do realiz One day later, I still can't believe that I didn't love this. I still can't believe that I've waited a year, seen all my friends adoring it, and ended disappointed and alone in my shameful corner. I still can't believe that I almost wish I didn't read it, because I can't forget that while I did like it, Crooked Kingdom : Yep, that's Kaz. Hear me out : it's no secret that I have a soft spot for cunning and ruthless thieves who may or may not be hiding their vulnerabilities. As much as I do realize that it's a complete cliché, I strive for it, okay?! Hence my intense fangirling about Kaz in the first book. I LOVED HIM. In the first part here? He was GLORIOUS. Sadly, I fell out of love as I grew fed up of his ability to outsmart ANYONE. The guy's a Gary Stu, okay? A ruthless, cunning, unapologetic one, but a Gary Stu all the same. When does he freaking FAIL? Why is he the only one who doesn't have to fight against his demons? More than 3 pages, I MEAN? Nope. I don't believe for one second that the "growth" he showed in Crooked Kingdom was handled smoothly. It wasn't. Perhaps I felt that way because he was BARELY THERE? Or because most of his interactions consisted of orders like the commander in chief he is? I won't lie, some of his repartee made me really happy (because I'm a psycho), but I can't brush away the feeling that he was the shell of himself. As far as I'm concerned, Kaz was present, but not alive. Hate me now. I know that many readers loved her, and I'm glad for you, I really am, but for me she was transparent. That's why I didn't care for her relationship with Kaz either. Boo. - Can we have such things as too fast-paced novels? - Yes, I think we can. (don't mind me, I answer my own questions - sorry it's a teacher thing, oops)You're free to disagree with me. Take Fitz for example : a non negligible number of readers would find his stories boring and I can definitely see why. Yet I'm never bored because the slow pacing contributes to multiply my feelings exponentially when something shocking happens. Crooked Kingdom, in another hand, flourishes in never-ending action and for most readers, it means the destruction of all boredom - I can also see why. Yet for me, a story that is too fast-paced, where action never stops, fails to reach that upper level when it comes to my FEELINGS. Perhaps I don't like heists as much as I thought I did. Perhaps it was the multiplication of cons that did it. Perhaps the novelty ran out, in that aspect. Perhaps I didn't care about Van Eck's fate as much as I should have. I do think that my reaction (*cough* underwhelmed *cough*) had something to do with the way the villains were handled : I'm sorry, but I don't know them. For me to feel engrossed, I needed something more than a one-dimensional, twisting moustache villain I barely interacted with. Sue me.(view spoiler)[ Can we talk about how anticlimactic Matthias's death was? No, really. Can we. Some of my favorite series ever pictured my favorite characters being killed off, so the death itself I can handle. I swear. After a lot of sobbing, I can. Here, though? I can't even fathom what the fuck happened. I can't accept the way it happened, and that sickly bad taste I got in my mouth because I couldn't help but think that Matthias was treated as EXPENDABLE. As an easy risk, for the sake of the epic-drama feast. It came out of NOWHERE, and for me Matthias had already fought his demons in SoC when he rescued Nina from the Ice Court. It makes me sad and angry. (hide spoiler)]YET. I wouldn't have rated Crooked Kingdom a three if there weren't slices of AWESOMENESS to balance what I didn't like : His chapters were, shockingly, part of my favorites. There's just something so interesting in following the sidekick, okay? Also, he's adorable and a red-head. It counts. As for Jesper, he was more fleshed-out and the added complexity made for one of the best character development, as far as I'm concerned. His flaws and fears felt so real to me. THEIR RELATIONSHIP BROUGHT ME LIFE.I loved her spirit, her wit, her strength, her doubts, her fight against withdrawal - everything. AND SHE RAISED THE DEAD. HOW AWESOME IS THAT. "Matthias smiled broadly and boomed in a singsong voice, "Hello, little friend!"The woman went from wary to baffled. Nina decided to call it an improvement." HOW CAN I NOT LOVE THEM??Now, I wouldn't take my word on it if I were you, given that everyone on earth loved it. I can't even say that I'm in the minority, because for that a minority would have to EXIST? I don't know? AM I ALONE? And it didn't influence my rating, but I will never understand why this book is YA. In which world are these characters teenagers?! (in the Grisha's world, I know, smartass) Trying to picture Kaz or Nina or MATTHIAS as 17s years old makes my head ache.For more of my reviews, please visit: ________I missed reviewing and making picts, can you tell? XD AND! Buddy-read with the one and only, Chelsea <3 (I ALSO MISSED BUDDY-READING WITH YOU!)Birds creditFor more of my reviews, please visit:
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    "Better terrible truths than kind lies."(ALL SPOILERS ARE HIDDEN)Well, that was emotional. I love these characters so much it's ridiculous. I mean, I thought they were incredible in Six of Crows, but that love just got taken to a whole new level. They became six of the strongest, most defined characters I've ever seen and I cannot choose a favorite. I pretty much ship everyone, too... so many adorable couples.Oh my goodness I just went 30 seconds without talking about Nikolai... if you haven't a "Better terrible truths than kind lies."(ALL SPOILERS ARE HIDDEN)Well, that was emotional. I love these characters so much it's ridiculous. I mean, I thought they were incredible in Six of Crows, but that love just got taken to a whole new level. They became six of the strongest, most defined characters I've ever seen and I cannot choose a favorite. I pretty much ship everyone, too... so many adorable couples.Oh my goodness I just went 30 seconds without talking about Nikolai... if you haven't already seen the spoiler, I'll hide it: (view spoiler)[NIKOLAI APPEARS! AS STURMHOND! THIS IS EVERYTHING I WANTED. 5 STARS FOR NIKOLAI. (hide spoiler)]Anyways, every single one of these precious characters brings something crucial to the group and the story. And I love how you get to know them so well that you can predict their reactions. I was seriously laughing so much throughout this book at everyone dealing with each other: "Matthias rolled his eyes heavenward. These lunatics all needed a solid six months in boot camp and possibly a sound beating."They've all grown so much since the beginning of Six of Crows and each have their own heartbreaking journey here. There's the drama of the larger plot's twists and turns, but then it kind of all comes back to each character's personal battles. And everyone gets a POV so you really get into their heads a lot more here. Most of them have a lot more backstory as well.Oh, and I really liked Inej's thoughts on the "chosen one" narrative:"But wasn't that what every girl dreamed? That she'd wake and find herself a princess? Or blessed with magical powers and a grand destiny? Maybe there were people who lived those lives... but what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary." I won't summarize the plot because that would have too many spoilers for the entire duology. (By the way - I would recommend reading The Grisha Trilogy before Six of Crows now because there were some spoilers in this book). I'll just say that I'm pretty sad satisfied with the ending... still processing things I guess. I can't decide if it was anticlimactic or if I just didn't want that to happen.Other random things I liked:- Inej meets up with Celaena Sardothien Jr.- Nina's interesting new power- Zoya and Genya are back!!!- Leigh Bardugo's writing is amazing- the awesome world- all of the action scenes!- that scene by the piano with Kuwei... I laughed out loud- the sheer diversity of this crew- characters had to actually grapple with the effects of a gambling addiction, forced prostitution, and drug withdrawal instead of those things merely being used as plot devicesCrooked Kingdom wrapped everything up well, but there are still so many stories I want to hear more about in this world! Maybe I'm just desperately hoping for a Nikolai book/series, but I felt like there were a ton of casual comments about Ravka thrown in here that could lead into an awesome spinoff. About Nikolai. Did I mention I'm a fan of Nikolai...
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    My original review is below BUT OKAY OH BOY LET ME TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK (ramble ahead)fuck !!! i love everyone so much. this book means the world. I swear to god I just love every character and all their interactions so much. I don't understand how Leigh Bardugo made me love these characters so much. Like, they're fake but I swear to god they feel SO REAL. It's actually physically painful thinking about how it's over and I can't get more of them (if they don't appear in King of Scars I'll find L My original review is below BUT OKAY OH BOY LET ME TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK (ramble ahead)fuck !!! i love everyone so much. this book means the world. I swear to god I just love every character and all their interactions so much. I don't understand how Leigh Bardugo made me love these characters so much. Like, they're fake but I swear to god they feel SO REAL. It's actually physically painful thinking about how it's over and I can't get more of them (if they don't appear in King of Scars I'll find Leigh and fight her personally)I just love the way in which each characters narratives are handled. THEY ALL GET SUCH GOOD ENDINGS. LEIGH PUTS SO MUCH LOVE AND INTEGRITY INTO THEIR CHARACTERS. Don't ask me who's my favourite, I love them all (ok it's inej BUT ITS A CLOSE THING)This book literally brought me to tears multiple times which NEVER HAPPENS, and it actually made me more emotional the second time through. I feel like the more I reread, the more invested I get in everyone. God this whole duology is just so clever. I love that Kaz is running a scam on everyone, you included. Like the book dupes the reader which is SO COOL. It's kind of sad that I can't read for the first time and get that absolutely thrill from a plot twist like I did the first time. God I just adore this series so much, honestly the best thing ever. May do a full second review laterORIGINAL REVIEWY'all. Y'ALL. I'M DOING IT I'm reviewing Crooked Kingdom, my most anticipated book of 2016, the BEST BOOK I read in 2016 (AND GODDAMN I READ SOME GOODIES) I have so much to say, and yet not enough words to say them. LISTEN ! THIS BOOK FUCKING SLAYED ME I WAS D E S T R O Y E D okay. OKAY. I wanna do this review justice, I wanna do this book justice. It deserves it, these characters are more then just characters to me - they mean alot. This world means alot. IT ALL MEANS ALOT ok god, I gotta do this. I wanna focus mainly on the characters because, the characters make this. Like the plot is GREAT don't get me wrong, but the characters are what really elevate it, what make it so fucking memorable and because of that I will focus on them. But I do wanna shout out to the plot first because it deserved kudos. AMAZINGLY, I liked Crooked Kingdom MORE than I liked Six of Crows. And that's a big call...... Six of Crows was .... *wipes a tear* so good There was SO MUCH going on, and just when I thought I'd figured it all out, just when I thought I knew what the HECK was going on, another curveball would be thrown in and I'd be helplessly lostOne thing I LOVED about Six of Crows is that it plays the audience, as a reader y'all about as clueless as everyone else in this goddamn book and I lOOVE IT. The crew is playing on the other characters, but they're also playing you and it's amazING. So many times I realised I'd be conned into expecting something and when it didn't happen I was blown away. Seriously, it's so clever. I was on the edge of my SEAT (okay, I read this in the relative safety of my bed) BUT STILL I was living in a constant state of anxiety reading this and ... I love that I love it.There was no point in this that was boring, or unimportant everything was so well planned, detailed, executed. The plot flowed continuously and it FELT like it knew exactly where it was going and just GHLFGHL fgh EVERYTHING WAS SO PERFECTOn top of that, I feel like it was carefully thought out, I felt like many scenes were so important and were perfectly written to show exactly what the author wanted to show and it was just MASTERFULLY CREATED Like seriously, I don't take a single thing back THIS. BOOK. IS. A . MASTERPIECE. ▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂ CHARACTERS ! ▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂ “At some point, Jesper realized Kaz was gone. "Not one for goodbyes, is he?" he muttered."He doesn't say goodbye," Inej said. She kept her eyes on the lights of the canal. Somewhere in the garden, a night bird began to sing. "He just lets go.” Kaz. KAZ my trash son, like he's a bad person and kind of a dick BUT I LOVE HIM. No but, he's trash but he's also so goshdang good ? and important ? and compelling ? I adore his characterisation so much.Like y'all. Kaz Brekker is beautifully written. He's neither this or that, white or black -- true grey characterization. And done SO well. I thought that Six of Crows had delivered the majority of Kaz Brekker's characterisation but I was wrong. Crooked Kingdom somehow goes even more into depth, explores his psyche even more. Kaz is an interesting character because you can never predict what he'll do or what he's thinking. And I think he's interesting because he's unapologetically nasty while wishing he wasn't. He's definitely an enigma, and that makes him incredibly interesting. The ambiguousness of his nature, and the way he deals with those around him makes him so incredibly complex and he's just SO INTERESTING. (Also, lmao HE'S ACTUALLY SO FUNNY?) god, I love Kaz I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins.” Kaz's PTSD is a big aspect of his characterization and I felt like Leigh Bardugo wrote it and incorporated it so well. (view spoiler)[ on Kaz and Inej, I loved their ending. Yes the ship hasn't sailed, but it's complicated. They are both complicated characters with many issues that they are still facing and coming to terms with. I felt like it was respectful and realistic that they didn't completely end up together - but the beautiful development they did have had me heart going (hide spoiler)] I also felt like his physical disability was so well written and portrayed so well and ghl EVERYTHING ABOUT KAZ IS AMAZING /?? he's such a beautifully written character I'm gonna choke I hate myself but I would not hesitate to call Kaz Brekker daddy I love him so much “She was Inej Ghafa, and she would not quiver like a rabbit in a snare.” Oh, time to talk about my #WIFE. Seriously, we're married. Inej Ghafa could punch me in the face and I would THANK HER I love her so much. Inej Ghafa has my respect, as a woman, as a character, She's incredibly strong, brave. She's dealt with alot, too much evil and awful things and it's somehow made her stronger and braver and I love her so much ?? and yes, she's done bad things but despite everything she looks for the good in others, and she trusts her friends and she lets herself be vulnerable DESPITE ALL THE THINGS SHE WENT THROUGH and I love her so much. She !! Had !! So !! Much !! Important !! Development !! So, so much. Her conversations with Kaz, especially the one on the boat at the beginning and their one toward the end (view spoiler)[ JUST BEFORE THEY KISSED I WAS FUCKING YELLING (hide spoiler)] anyway, yeah that, so important. Inej Ghafa is an abuse & rape survivor. She doesn't forget it, and I am so glad it wasn't forgotten. Too often abuse / rape is used as a plot with no consequence. Inej is not perfect and she's not okay and I think it was important that was shown. “When fear arrives, something is about to happen.” I love that Inej stands for what she believes in, and I love that she's neither good or bad. Her and Kaz restored my faith in het ships. And I love the Suli culture that we see through her, and her proverbs and her closeness with her family and she has so much HOPE I love love her so much hold me (view spoiler)[ WHEN KAZ BROUGHT HER PARENTS TO HER I LEGITIMATELY FUCKING CRIED (hide spoiler)] “Where do think the money went?" he repeated. "Guns?" asked Jesper. "Ships?" queried Inej. "Bombs?" suggested Wylan. "Political bribes?" offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. "This is where you tell us how awful we are," she whispered. oml. Nina is so ? special. I love her character so much. DON'T EVEN TALK TO ME. I'm so shook by Nina because she's such a refreshing character, such a refreshing female character and I love her.I love that she's the most "beautiful" character and she's also !!!!!! not skinny. She's described as "chubby" and I'm ... we were #blessed. Honestly we were blessed when it comes to everything about Nina's character. Her strength, her patriotism, Y'ALL DO U REMEMBER WHEN SHE TOLD KAZ FREAKIN BREKKER HOW IT WAS GONNA BE BC I DO *fans self*No but, Nina stands up for what she wants and she don't take shit from nobody and it's amazing. Like, be my mum Nina. Her and Matthias are too good and she's just so flirty and wild and precious, and everything she does she does with determination and integrity and I can't believe her and Matthias invented enemies to lovers trope. No but seriously, Nina is so incredible in this book. Pulls herself out of some genuinely awful SHIT, takes it in her stride. Works with the shit, makes the shit her own. Saves everyone's lives a few times, deals w/ so much with dignity and strength whilst remaining positive and DID I MENTION HER AND INEJ HAVE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP actually #married. I was SO HAPPY about Inej and Nina it was amaz !! “I don't like this.""To be fair, Matthias, you don't like much.” Y'all. Remember my Six of Crows review when I was all "eh, I don't like Matthias much" BOY HAVE THE TABLES TURNED.Matthias chapters went from being the ones I didn't care about to THE ONES I REALLY DID. I LOVED his development, I loved him taking on a bigger role in the crew. I loved him coming to regard everyone as his friends, I loved him realising more and more the error of his ways. I loved his relationship with Nina. I loved his friendship with Wylan and Jesper. I loved the way he took a controlling role in the crew. I loved that he became ONE OF THE CROWS. I loved him.and on the thing (view spoiler)[ Look. everyone is mad about him dying. I kind of ... like it (forgive me father for I have siNNED BY SAYING THAT) but ok. Hear me out. Matthias character arc obviously pointed out the fault of the Fjerdan people's and the reasons why unjustified prejudice is NOT OK. The Druskelle are really, really militant. And there's a good argument that they are a metaphor for white supremacy in the real world. ANYWAY, Matthias getting shot by some kid worked for me for a few reasons1: it was pointless. It was so pointless. Just like the whole thing, the prejudice, the Fjerdan attitudes. It's all so pointless and it doesn't lead to anything except more fear and more hate. I think his death at the hands of his "friends" really drove that home for me, because these people were ones Matthias still cared for despite everything. Matthias recognised that his attitudes were carefully cultivated in his mind as a result of the brainwashing and fear-mongering attitudes he grew up with. His death at the hands of his own people, and especially by a child, highlights to me exactly everything that was wrong with the Fjerdan's - that little kids are so consumed by the ideology they would blindly murder someone who was their own. 2: it was a kid. Like yeah, no matter how big and strong we are - we're all human. That was a big theme. The humanity and the mortality of the characters was explored throughout - all of them experienced or talked about how they could die at any moment, how no one would remember them. and speaking of number 3 : no mourners, no funerals. In Crooked Kingdom, it's revealed they have this phrase because no one would remember or mourn the dregs.Y'ALL! Matthias was mourned. He got a funeral. They undermined their own saying, and with who? someone who wasn't their own, someone who joined them and became a dreg. In the end I think it showed the growth of the crew and the development of their characters. I don't know, maybe I see his death less tragically then others because he was the one I would have "chosen" to die but, yeah, I'm okay with it. (hide spoiler)] “This action will have no echo.” Oh, shit. Jesper. SHIT. I don't know what to say. I'm OVERWHELMED. Ok, silly me thinking Jes was comic relief in Six of Crows SILLY ME. He's so much more. I was in love with Jesper in Crooked Kingdom - so many aspects of his character were introduced. So. Many.Jesus omg the parallels with Jordie . HOLD. ME. There were a whole bunch of things about Jes I liked in this. I liked him coming to terms with his Grisha powers, and his childhood. I LOVED his and Wylan's relationship (obviously)But Jesper just dealt with and overcame so much, his character development was ?? incredible ?? (view spoiler)[ WHEN HE DIDN'T TAKE THE MONEY OML (hide spoiler)]But, Jes is such a good guy. Like, even though he done some nasty things he's trying to redeem himself and the way he treats Wylan is so beautiful and the things between him and Kaz and Inej urgh(view spoiler)[ the fight between Kaz and Jesper on the roof was really important to me. It was so important. Kaz calling Jesper Jordie, Jesper demanding to know why Kaz was so unfair to him, (also the lowkey tension since we know Jes was in love with Kaz) and just everything fjghdf I LOVED IT (hide spoiler)]But seriously, I think Jesper had the MOST development and I really loved his arcs. His chapters became my second favourite (behind my love Inej) and I found his whole arc so interesting. I loved he was able to redeem himself and I loved his relationship with ALL the crew. “Until this moment, Wylan hadn't quite understood how much they meant to him. His father would have sneered at these thugs and thieves, a disgraced soldier, a gambler who couldn't keep out of the red. But they were his first friends, his only friends, and Wylan knew that even if he'd had his pick of a thousand companions, these would have been the people he chose.” WYLAN. VAN. FUCKIN. SUNSHINE. Oh god, OH GOD. My heart is racing just thinking about him I am alot in love with him. He was given so much backstory and fleshed out so much from Six of Crows He makes me weep, he's so precious. I HATE JAN VAN ECK !!!! And I can't get over what he did to Wy and how awful he was. But I also can't get over how Wy came back from it and how he got his giant FUCK YOU to Jan and ...... him and Jesper. No but honestly, Wylan is a real good person. He's put up with alot, dealt with more then he deserves and he's just come back better for it?? (view spoiler)[OH GOD WHEN THEY BEAT HIM UP AND IT'S LIKE "WYLAN WASN'T KAZ OR INEJ. HE TOLD THEM EVERYTHING. I CRIED, I REALLY DID. I WAS SO WORRIED AND UPSET FOR HIM BECAUSE HE DESERVED SO MUCH BETTER THANK GOD THAT WAS FAKE (hide spoiler)]I loved his and Kaz development and that they understood eachother by the end. And I'm so glad Wylan got his revenge and got everything he FUCKING DESERVED. He's so precious, TOO PURE. My bb cinnamon bun I love him so much. ▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂ LISTEN !!!▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂ I loved the ending. I know some people say it was unresolved, and that some characters didn't deal with everything but I like that. These are complex characters, and sometimes things don't get to be wrapped up perfectly in a neat little bow. I wish I knew what they were up to now, and I want so much more of the Dregs but I'm also so, so satisfied with how this left off. This duology is so important. It's about so much more then just criminals and a heist. And even though it's about that, the characters and their development and how they overcome their own personal trials make me cry. I literally cried. There were times when I had to stand up and pace for a minute because I was so anxious, or annoyed, or frustrated. I WAS CONSTANTLY SHOOK. I don't think I've EVER been so absorbed and shaken while reading a book. Crooked Kingdom and Six of Crows are honestly two of the BEST BOOKS I've ever read. And I don't say that lightly. I love everything about it, the plot, characters, events, dialogue. Even the covers and the red/black stained pages and the chapter headers and EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL. Easiest five stars I've ever given. This deserved 50. There are too many emotions. Everything, from the world, the characters, the plot. The jokes, the swindles and the relationships. It was all perfect, like seriously perfect. I somehow ended up liking this more than Six of Crows, and even though it tore my heart out over and over and made me emotional and now has me depressed it's all over I love it. I love it love it love it. Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Jesper Fahey, Wylan Van Eck, Nina Zenik and Matthias Hevlar are names to remember.
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  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    ‘no mourners, no funerals.’did you mean: (view spoiler)[five mourners, one funeral. (hide spoiler)]hahaha....ha ha....h [slowly fades into nothingness]anyway it’s 1 year later and here comes the memory I thought I had successfully suppressed!! I'm really excited to not severely hate myself every time I make the conscious decision to remember that ending but I swear the sour memory is still keeping me here in the salt pentagram Leigh Bardugo has surrounded my house inhonestly?? fuck. my feelings ‘no mourners, no funerals.’did you mean: (view spoiler)[five mourners, one funeral. (hide spoiler)]hahaha....ha ha....h [slowly fades into nothingness]anyway it’s 1 year later and here comes the memory I thought I had successfully suppressed!! I'm really excited to not severely hate myself every time I make the conscious decision to remember that ending but I swear the sour memory is still keeping me here in the salt pentagram Leigh Bardugo has surrounded my house inhonestly?? fuck. my feelings don't deserve to be dragged into hermitage with me. free them to seek romance in Paris, preferably with Kaz Rietveld
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  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?” -American songstress Katy Perry on the tragedy of finishing this duologyI do not “have emotions” very often. I am rarely “sad,” which is a personal choice because being sad is gross and unpleasant. I much prefer to exist in an emotionless vortex of my own creation.However.I AM SO VERY SAD THAT THIS DUOLOGY IS OVER.All I want to do is dive back in (hence the “wanting to start again” part of the iconic quote “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?” -American songstress Katy Perry on the tragedy of finishing this duologyI do not “have emotions” very often. I am rarely “sad,” which is a personal choice because being sad is gross and unpleasant. I much prefer to exist in an emotionless vortex of my own creation.However.I AM SO VERY SAD THAT THIS DUOLOGY IS OVER.All I want to do is dive back in (hence the “wanting to start again” part of the iconic quote above). And I don’t understand. Why am I so attached? This series, with series even being a strong word, is a mere TWO BOOKS LONG. It is divided among SIX PERSPECTIVES. I’ve spent longer amounts of time with batches of cookies than with these characters, and everyone knows I devour cookies like the ungodly Sesame Street creature/nightmare known as Cookie Monster.And yet that DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT I AM SAD.I miss this gang. I miss their hijinks and heists. I miss their banter. I even miss their extremely formulaic and occasionally one-track personalities. (Yes, we get it. Nina likes food. Matthias and Wylan blush a lot. Very creative.) I miss the will they/won’t they romances even though they were more “yes, of course they will. Obviously.”But another thing that doesn’t change in spite all of the aforementioned Feeling is...that this book is not as good as the first one. Granted, that’s a high bar, considering I five starred Six of Crows and spent an entire review narrowly resisting the urge to just type the word “AAAAAAAAAHHHHH” until it extended for 20,000 characters and we could call it a day. But still. Not as good.This plot was not as exciting by half. Or a third. Or a small small fraction. In fact, the only reason I’m even four starring this book is that I’m still so astonished I could like three characters from one book that it feels sacrilegious to rate it any lower.Everything about this was less exciting and less fresh and less unputdownable. You can’t just give me a heist in the first book and then talk about a bunch of dark-magic-drug-sci-fi-type stuff. I hate the trope of magic that damages you to use/turns you evil, because magic is fun and should be used all the time in every book forever. Also I hate most sci-fi, because it’s boring. It’s science. Don’t explain science to me even if you think it seems fun and fantastical, because it’s not. It’s a waste of my time and yours.Anti-science rant: concluded. For now. But watch yourself, science.There was also a lot more Time With Characters I Don’t Care For, Operating Under The Assumption That I Do Care For Them, Which Is False, Because I Do Not. There is way too much Wylan in this, and way, way, way, way, WAY too much Nina and Matthias. Especially NinaandMatthias as one entity. No thanks. Not interested.Nor am I interested in KUWEI, who manages to be a science-genius-with-magic who is also a hostage who is also in love with a person it would be messy to be in love with, and yet in spite of all of that is SO GODDAMN BORING! What the hell? It seems like you’d have to go out of your way to make the hostage boring, but there we have it. He’s a one-way ticket to snoozetown.Anyone else a huge fan of the fact that this four-star review is majority complaining? Devastatingly on-brand for me. Loving it.And I really don’t want to say any more nice things so. Think I’m good.Bottom line: My only real complaint about this book is that it isn’t Six of Crows, but that alone is such a goddamn personal insult to me and my family and my loved ones and my ancestry and my future descendants that I’m tempted to one star this just for the drama.--pre-reviewthis series is only 2 books long. the perspective is split among 6 people. if you think about it, i've barely even spent any time with these characters at all.SO WHY IS THE FACT THAT IT'S OVER SO GODDAMN SAD.review to come :(--excuse me, FBI? i'd like to report an attempted murder. well kaz keeps thinking about inej and clearly leigh bardugo is trying to kill me with cutenes -- what? yes i'll hold--the first time I read this book I thought it was slightly disappointing, which is why I'm ROLLIN INTO THIS REREAD WITH MY EXPECTATIONS HIGH AF!!!--this reread brought to you once again by the generosity of lily
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Wah… Once again I’m at the end of the road with a bunch of pals I hate to see go. Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations for Six of Crows before starting it; I’ve learned over the past few years that most books being overly hyped tend to let me down, so I adjusted my expectations and decided to read it just to say I had. I was wrong about this one. If I had read Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy first, I probably would have gotten through it more quickly, but since I hadn’t I had to go slowly and get Wah… Once again I’m at the end of the road with a bunch of pals I hate to see go. Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations for Six of Crows before starting it; I’ve learned over the past few years that most books being overly hyped tend to let me down, so I adjusted my expectations and decided to read it just to say I had. I was wrong about this one. If I had read Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy first, I probably would have gotten through it more quickly, but since I hadn’t I had to go slowly and get straight all the details of this mesmerizing fantasy world the author has created. I knew ahead of time that she planned to only write two books in this set, and for some reason I was ok with that until I reached the end of Crooked Kingdom and wanted to throw my book across the room because WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME BARDUGO?!I was extremely pleased with the way LB decided to split these books up; she left us wanting more and kept us hooked by the end of book one without making it such a jagged cliffhanger that we wanted to start a riot. (Or maybe I should just speak for myself.) The depth of these characters are something I haven’t seen in most YA I’ve read; the quality of writing is high and these books aren’t just trashy fluff produced to “keep teens in the library and off the street”. We have the chance to go on a real adventure, the kind our old time fairy tales are made of, and while there are snippets of romance along the way, they are by no means the central focus of the book and are actually quite subtle and clean. Each relationship, whether romantic or platonic, is written with such care and precision; it’s like the cast comes off paper and becomes a part of your life, walking around in your head with you as you go about your daily activities.Speaking of, Jesper is STILL my favorite character; he’s mine and you can’t have him. The development in his story was by far the most complex and his personality and sense of humor are divine. I love how diverse all the characters are without being in your face; everyone seems normal and accepted for who they are as opposed to LOOK AT ME I’M INCLUDING ALL RACES AND GENDERS AND SEXUALITY AND DISABILITIES AND I’M SUPER ACCEPTING AND INCLUSIVE DAGGIT! I’m still a little sore about the ending; I can’t believe we lost someone that valuable and my little heart is still shattered. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the ending; was she letting us use our imagination of how things will go on or leaving a window open for new material perhaps? Either way, I think it’s fair to say these books are some of the best around and if you don’t think so you’re wrong. If you haven’t started these yet, don’t make the mistake of buying or checking out the ebook. The physical copies are gorgeous; the dip-dyed edges, blacked out pages, and stunning cover art are well worth holding and enjoying. If you can’t afford to purchase them then check them out at the library. Highly recommended for fans of adventure and amazing books. Well worth your time invested!
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  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    things i need in order to survive: air, food and water, this book. this book obviously being the most important item on that list. wow. i will tell you what, i must have been a saint in another life because i do not feel worthy of this book. i laughed, i cried, i yelled, i loved, i cheered, i swooned, i died. i felt every emotion humanly possible. i am so grateful to live in a world where this duology exists. <3↠ 5 stars
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  • Cody
    January 1, 1970
    Behold the beautiful cover!!!Title: EMPIRE OF CROWS We've been Kaz Brekkered it's actually CROOKED KINGDOMOhhhhh I like love it!THOSE LAST FEW CHAPTERS OF SIX OF CROWS I just can't cope, there aren't words for how much I need book 2, it's been over a week since I read SoC and I still can't get over it!This book has ruined all others, where do I throw my money for the next one?
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  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    January 1, 1970
    Updated *Full Review* only minor spoilers..Wowow. Spoiler free initial thoughts.. 1. Holy blazers this is the most in depth clever plot I've ever read. 2. Bless you, Leigh, bless you.3. If you haven't read Grisha.. i highly recommend it.. because it will make this book that much more awesome. Not only is Grisha one of my ALL TIME favorite trilogies, but I absolutely adored this and the two series weave together SO well. Why? (view spoiler)[ Because there are returning characters that ROCK THIS W Updated *Full Review* only minor spoilers..Wowow. Spoiler free initial thoughts.. 1. Holy blazers this is the most in depth clever plot I've ever read. 2. Bless you, Leigh, bless you.3. If you haven't read Grisha.. i highly recommend it.. because it will make this book that much more awesome. Not only is Grisha one of my ALL TIME favorite trilogies, but I absolutely adored this and the two series weave together SO well. Why? (view spoiler)[ Because there are returning characters that ROCK THIS WORLD. Sturmhond STURMHOND AHHH, Genya, Zoya... Tamar... LIKE I'M STILL FREAKING OUT OVER THIS!! Oh my gosh and the references... wowza. (hide spoiler)]-----Spoilers Below------I feel like I'm still coming off the high of this book. Honestly, I loved the first but this was LEAGUES better. I have no idea how Leigh plotted a story this in depth. I'm not even sure I fully comprehended all that happened because SO MUCH happens. The plot was incredibly rich and fast paced. Such a wild ride. I was racing through because I was so worried about all my beloved characters. The Cast In the first book, I definitely had some feels for everyone but this took it to a new level. SO MUCH MORE is revealed about each of their pasts making them so much more complex this time around. As if they weren't before. “I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.” KAZ YOU BLOODY MESS I LOVE YOU. Inej my darling.. I have no words for your perfection.Wylan? I LOVE YOUR FACE. Also, Wylan and Alina Starkov would be BFFS... just saying. Jesper... bro I did not expect those levels of depth.Nina needs to move in with me because I need a bff like her. Also (view spoiler)[GIRL WUT IS THIS NEW POWER I NEED MORE?? (hide spoiler)]Matthias, you really grew on me. I can't. I can't.And I just need to dedicate an entire section of this review to my ALL TIME FAVORITE CHARACTER ON THIS EARTH........NIKO. King.King Nikolai.[Sturmhond.]I literally shrieked... because his intro was THE BEST and I'm still over here like freaking out because THAT REALLY JUST HAPPENED. And no, it is NOT just a small little appearance. HOOOLY MOTHER HOLY MOTHER. AND GENYA AND ZOYA AND TAMAR LWKEJGS:LDKFJS:LDKFJS:DLKFJS:LDFKJDS:LFJK.Please guys, you are seriously missing out on so much if you haven't read the original trilogy. No you don't technically have to, but holy wow you are missing out. The plotFan-freaking-tastic. I don't even know how else to describe it. I recommend savoring this instead of rushing through it like I did (out of worry for my darlings)- just absorb and enjoy. YES it is hella stressful but so cleverly done. Completely hysterical at times, even. I'll admit the pacing is a little nuts - but again, SO much happens.. just take it slow. I was originally assuming the entirety of this book would be on getting Inej back, but boy oh boy was I wrong. This book picks up right after the first one ends. We dive right back in to where the characters left off - Kaz is in scheming mode and mad hysteria over Inez, of course. Nina is still suffering from Jurda Parem... and everyone is trying to figure out how to keep them calm and figure out a rational plan. To no surprise, so many things go wrong, and there are SO many surprises. Twists and turns around every bend. The situation with Kuwei and Jurda Parem obviously is threatening the entire grisha civilization, therefore all the countries have gotten involved. That means new enemies... and new allies. So be excited.Not to mention, this has all the grishaverse vibes... pirates/mobs/gangs/badassery/magic/The EndingLegit. There are things that I'm really sad about, and I did want a *little more* for a few people but I really can't complain. Leigh did not let anyone go to waste.Honestly I don't even know what to say. I don't want to tell the Grishaverse goodbye. I'm PRAYING for a Nikolai book/series. I just can't kiss this world goodbye yet. Please, Queen Leigh, don't let it end here!!! If you haven't yet, I made a playlist for 6oC and I've updated it a bit since for the Crooked Kingdom release!! You can check it out here. OR here for the spotify URL! Not only that, but I'm working on creating more 60C/Crooked Kingdom fan art for my etsy- so keep an eye out! My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
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