5 Biblioshelf Musings about… Crooked Kingdom

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!

T xx

Friday 56 – Crooked Kingdom

Happy 1st March Bibliophiles!

I cannot believe how fast 2019 seems to be going, where did January and February go…?

It’s Friday 56 time! In a bid to start finishing some of the book series I’m still part-way through I’m currently reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I’m enjoying this series much more than the Shadow and Bone trilogy as it seems to have many more layers to its story and is more dark and twisty.

‘And yet amid the clamor of suspicion, she could hear the soft chiming of another bell, the sound of What if? What if she let herself be comforted, gave up the pretence of being beyond the things she’d lost?’

I really like Inej’s character. She has strength but shows vulnerability at the same time and I really think this quotation sums that up. Here’s to hoping her story has a happy ending! I’m so close to the end and it’s getting towards the stage where I’m late leaving the house for work because I just can’t put it down…!

Any other Grishaverse fans out there? If you could be in any Grisha Order which would you want to be in and why?

I always thought I’d want to be something to do with the elements, like an Inferni or a Tidemaker. Being late to the Bardugo party, I only recently realised that there is an actual Grisha quiz you can take on www.grishaverse.com to find out what Order you would be suited to. Typically I didn’t get Inferni or Tidemaker…turns out I’m a Heartrender and the character I am most like in the Grishaverse is Nina – which now makes sense the further through these books I go…

Hosted by Freda’s Voice Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Have a super weekend guys! My friend is getting married today so we’ll be partying in style tonight!

T xx

Happy New Year! 2017 Review and 2018 Aspirations

Happy New Year Bookish Friends!

What a successful reading year 2017 was for me!
I began doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge about two years ago to try and get me back into reading. I had the reading appetite of Matilda when I was a child but since getting a job and adulting happened, reading dropped right off my radar! Unfortunately my book-buying habit had not subsided and I found myself with shelves full of books which had hardly been touched! Therefore I began my initial challenge at 25 books working at about two per month with an extra one as I prefer the number 24 to 25 (don’t ask me why!). It definitely motivated me as I read 34 books that year and so I decided to up my challenge each year by 10 books. Last year’s target of 35 was smashed as well as I ended up reading about 47 books. So perhaps 2018’s target of 45 is a little conservative but at least I know I can definitely reach it and it feels like an achievable goal.

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When I started properly reading again, I wanted to find a book series or author that had given me as many feels as the Harry Potter series; like so many I am a complete and utter Potterhead and grew up alongside Harry and the books. I really wanted to find a series where I’d be able to get back that eager anticipation of waiting for the next instalment to be released and I definitely found that in Sarah J Maas. The Bookstagram community was full of such love and adoration for SJM that when I heard she was hosting a talk and a book signing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2016 I booked a ticket straight away to see what all the fuss was about! The queue to get into the event was one of the longest I’ve ever seen and some of the fangirls in the queue for the event looked at me gone out as if to say “What do you mean you’ve never read Throne of Glass?!” Needless to say that for that whole hour listening to SJM talk, the only thing I had any real understanding of was her love for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, plus I’d managed to get a seat right at the front so I felt really awkward surrounded by all these teenage lexicons swooning over people called Rhysand and Rowan whom I obviously knew nothing about. The complete buzz around both TOG, ACOTAR and Sarah herself made me buy the starter books from both series from the book tent right after the event and then spend more time in another really long queue to get her to sign those books. These were the series I had been waiting for. I was completely sucked into the worlds of Prythian and Erilea! I’d read both ACOTAR and ACOMAF ready for the release of ACOWAR in 2017 and I’ve now also read all of TOG up to Tower of Dawn which is on my TBR list for 2018. I’m trying to pace it out so I don’t gorge them all in one go! 🙈

Other bookish highlights of 2017 include:

  • Subscribing to the Fairyloot book box (since Feb 2017). It’s the only book box I subscribe to and I’m definitely never relinquishing my subscription. It has been one of the factors in helping me get back into reading and the whole community surrounding it is full of such lovely people who love to talk about books just as much as me! I’ve received so many gorgeous books I’d never have picked up on my own and discovered some brilliant new writers.
  • Ploughing through The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I managed to pick up this box set for about £10 from The Works and again it was one of those purchases based purely on the hype surrounding those infamous Shadowhunters.
  • Discovering Leigh Bardugo. I wrote my university dissertation on fairytales; I own copious books on fairytale criticism and theory; Angela Carter is one of my all-time favourite writers. So when I received an exclusively red-foiled copy of The Language of Thorns in my October Fairyloot box it felt like Leigh Bardugo had given me a little bit of Carter back in a Bloody Chamber-esque way! Her tales were so exquisitely told and full of such intrinsic imagery; both dark and twisty yet light and pure at the same time. It really was one of my favourite reads of 2017.

Bookish targets for 2018 include:

  • Reading Tower of Dawn ready for TOG7 and ordering A Court of Frost and Starlight.
  • Completing The Grishverse and starting the Six of Crows duology.
  • Purchasing and reading The Infernal Devices.
  • Reading books from authors I haven’t heard of or read before (enter Fairyloot!)
  • Clearing more of my TBR and not buying quite as many books, particularly e-books because I don’t actually enjoy reading them as much as physical books.
  • And the biggest challenge…Focusing on improving this blog (any constructive tips are welcome, I know that pictures are lacking!) and getting my new bookstagram account off the ground. You can follow me on Instagram @cotswoldbookaholic

So that’s me for this year! What are some of your 2017 reading highlights or goals for 2018? Let me know and happy reading!