So my February mission was to try and start finishing some series which I was part-way through before every plot from every book I’ve ever read starts bleeding into each other. I read Six of Crows towards the end of 2018 and knew immediately that I wouldn’t be waiting very long before getting my hands on Crooked Kingdom.
I enjoyed this duology much more than the Shadow and Bone trilogy. To me, Bardugo’s writing was really well developed in terms of the clever plot and the characters’ interactions (and as an Ocean’s movie fan I was bound to love a good heist).
With an ending like Crooked Kingdom there is no way that I can keep this review completely spoiler-free so if you haven’t read these books yet then what are you waiting for? Go buy them, read them, then come back so we can talk about this!
Here’s just five of the many things I thought after reading Crooked Kingdom (I can’t promise that some of them won’t sound garbled, rant-ish or fangirly. Sorry, not sorry!):
Domhnall Gleeson would be my dream casting for Sturmhond/Nikolai…
Seriously, does anyone else visualise Domhnall Gleeson as Sturmhond? Now the image is in my head, I can’t unsee it. I think he’d be absolutely perfect for the role. However as this is now a Netflix TV show I’m not really sure he’d be in the frame but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled on the casting news nevertheless. Who would be your dream Crow Club cast? Let me know below!
What is the deal with Kaz and Inej?
This is a ship I am constantly conflicted over. I was so happy at the end of Crooked Kingdom that Inej stays in Ketterdam and Kaz helps to reunite her with her family etc etc, but I can’t really see them as a couple, even though I want them to end up together and be happy – does that make sense? What is this confusion?!
I really like Inej. Her morals, her intuition, her integrity, her ability to blend into darkness or walk on tightropes in the air…this girl has a major coolness factor.
Then I think, what in Ghezen’s name makes her stick with Kaz Brekker?
BUT THEN, I also really like Kaz! He is so clever how he thinks of all of his schemes and plots. I can see how his actions and determination are due to the trauma and sadness in him from his brother’s death. He is a tragic kind of flawed-hero who reminds me in part of Severus Snape (one of my all-time literary heroes) and deserves that happy ending…just rip off the gloves Kaz and tell her how much you love her!!
Is Dunyasha an alien from another planet?
Dunyasha – some exotic ninja-warrior whose only real part in the story is to give Inej a run for her money. So who is she, where does she come from? It’s like she doesn’t fit in the Grishaverse at all. With a moniker such as the White Blade of Ahmrat Jen, this Ravkan assassin who was trained at a Shu monastery (of all places) and believes she’s some sort of Lansov heir…I need more on her! Some kind of novella or back story or something…pretty please? 🙏 Anyone else get this?
From a rushed ending to a proposed book 3?
The build-up in this book felt massive compared to the fast paced nature of Six of Crows. A fair portion of it was character development and setting the scenes for the showdown at the end which I understand, but by the time of the auction it all felt like it was over so quickly. They’re escaping the Church, then Matthias gets shot, then the bad guys go away, then Kaz saves the day, then they all disperse and that’s the end? I wanted just a little…bit…more before I parted ways with characters that I had been made to grow attached to! And now I’m told that there might be a third book but it may not happen until many years down the line…Leigh Bardugo, you are the Corporalki messing with my heartstrings! Good thing we have King of Scars to read whilst we’re waiting! 🙂
Poor, poor Matthias!
I guessed that at least one character might die as it seemed a little too twee that the whole group would come out unscathed, but not Matthias! Are you kidding me? 😱
‘Mattina’ was my favourite Six of Crows couple and to kill him off by a bullet wound to the stomach from a junior Drüskelle rather than in the midst of big action AND when they’re all about ready to ride off into the Ketterdam sunset?! It brought tears to my eyes when he died in Nina’s arms, especially as I thought he’d managed to escape the stupid junior Drüskelle guy. Then I cried again when they said goodbye to him and put him on the barge. #gutted
Someone out there needs to write a fanfiction where Matthias never really dies, he and Nina go to Fjerda, rescue his wolf Trassel and then live happily ever after. Any takers…?
So there we have it; my own rambled musings about this fantastic “duology-rumoured-to-be-a-trilogy”. I’m really glad the hype surrounding this book swayed me into reading it. I’m now definitely a Grisha fan, not sure how much longer I’ll be able to hold back from buying King of Scars. 🙈
As always, drop me a comment below if you want to chat books!
Happy Sunday bookish friends! ☺️ Keep reading!