Spoilery Review: Crooked Kingdom (Six Of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

crooked-kingdomCrooked Kingdom (Six Of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo 

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Publication Date: September 27th 2016

Format: Hardcover

Genre: YA Fantasy

Page Count: 536 pgs

Rating: ★★★★ (3.75)




Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Crooked Kingdom is the 2nd installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Six Of Crows Duology, the conclusion we’ve all been waiting for following the huge success of Six Of Crows. This time around I participated in a buddy read with some awesome bloggers you all have probably seen around. If not allow me to introduce to you the Bookish Dregs starting with Jill @Rantandraveaboutbooks who came up with the name for our little group, Melissa @Booknerdmomo and Megan @BookSlayerReads. Now, we all went into Crooked Kingdom with high expectations since Six Of Crows absolutely delivered on Plot, Characters, Writing, and last but not least Pacing. I think it’s safe to say by now lol, that the ladies (including myself) struggled with the pacing and plot this time around. I’m the type of reader who loves character driven stories so this actually worked in my favor & I finished Crooked Kingdom sometime last week. The Bookish Dregs have not given up on this book but they are taking some time off from it.


Unlike many other readers, my wait for Crooked Kingdom was a very brief one…1 hour to be exact lol. I finished Six Of Crows on a train ride to the Leigh Bardugo book signing for Crooked Kingdom & was legit riding a high off the book when I finally met her in person. I was looking forward to bringing home this beautiful book with red deckled edges and having it sit next to its counterpart Six Of Crows with its black deckled edges. The story picks up after Inej’s kidnapping with the crew planning her rescue. Without Inej, Kaz is much more darker than usual & much more harsh to those around him. I must confess, I wasn’t a fan of this side of Kaz and was really hoping that Inej was rescued sooner rather than later cuz DAMN! the man can brood. We get to see the crew doing what they do best, carrying out the crazy schemes Kaz comes up with. We also get to see Inej in captivity where Van Eck is attempting to break her down mentally. If you’ve read Six Of Crows (hope you have if you’re reading this review lol), you know that Kaz & Inej have unspoken feelings for each other. This weighed heavy on Inej’s mind who knows Kaz Brekker a bit better than anyone. She questions whether he will chuck her off as a loss since he is driven by money & power OR whether he and the team will come to her rescue. Here is where character development comes into play, we get to learn about Inej’s time as an indentured sex slave and its after effects. As a matter of fact, this is a multiple POV story each chapter told by one of the 6 Dregs and they all seem to be reaching into their pasts to tell you their stories and how they came to cross paths with Kaz Brekker. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about each of these characters but agree that it made up the majority of this book which took a toll on the pacing & most importantly the plot.


Leigh Bardugo once again made these characters come to life & gave them so much depth & complexities that I honestly think i’ll have a hard time coming across another cast of characters I’ll love as much as them. That being said, I felt that she wanted to gives us the readers/fanbase, as much of them as possible since this is the 2nd book in a duology. In doing so, the pacing of the book is dramatically slowed down because we are spending quite a bit of time in each characters mind. The plot itself didn’t really kick into high gear until past the halfway point. If i’m being completely honest (My Dark Queen YOU know I LOVE you So LOL!) this book could’ve easily been split into two seeing as there were technically 2 jobs/heists. We have the plot & rescue of IneJ and then we have the take down of Van Eck. If you’ve read Crooked Kingdom, you know that taking Van Eck down was really a two attempt job since the unthinkable happened to our fave bad boy Kaz. Splitting  this book up some time after the 1st failed attempt would’ve ended in a cliff hanger BUT the 3rd & final installment would have us all wondering what state of mind they are all in & what if anything do they do now that they’ve met their match & have been outsmarted. Nonetheless, I am satisfied with the journey, characters, and world Leigh gifted us and I will miss the crew more than I can express. I do wish Matthias Helvar had made it to the very end, I really loved that Fjerdan lol. I did find that the way he was taken out was super ironic considering his change of heart towards Grisha & how the world views them. There’s something magical that happens to a reader when they connect with a character, but to come across a crew of 6 that you’ve come to know & love dearly is as rare as finding all 7 Horcruxes 😉


Photo Credit: Galvthynius

Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

36 thoughts on “Spoilery Review: Crooked Kingdom (Six Of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo”

  1. I love your review, Lilly! 🙂 Thanks so much for the lovely shout out. I wish we all would’ve been able to connect with this book. I swear ever since I finished SOC, I haven’t been able to get into anything I read. I think Melissa and Megan also had the same issue. The first book was just so good. Despite the warning about spoilers, I love reading your reviews and had to keep reading. Matthias? So sad. That makes me want to know how it goes down. Was he protecting Nina? I really liked them together. 😂 I just hope that Kaz and Inej end up together or I’ll be really annoyed. I think they need each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lmao! You read the review?!?! Thanks Jill even though you’ve now been spoiled. Matthias always puts Nina 1st but that’s not how he went down. It’s actually a really ironic way for him to have gone down but I won’t spoil that for you lol. I loved Nina & Matthias together 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 as for Kaz & Inej…I’m def not spoiling that goodness! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t stop myself I had to know. 🙈 And I like reading your reviews. 🙂 That’s okay that I got one spoiler. Makes me wonder why we need his POV chapters now. I definitely plan to finish the book. I have to know if Inej and Kaz end up together. If they don’t, you know I’ll be so annoyed. So bummed for Nina though. I hope she at least gets to go home. Now I need to know. Maybe I’ll open it back up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol thank you 🙂 I enjoyed his POV chapters, there’s a story in there that Gretchen pointed out to me as foreshadowing of his fate. Its a sad story & left me totally bummed to see him go & see Nina in so much pain. He plays such a big role in Nina returning to good health. Nina’s “sickness” is actually something much more darker & interesting once she figures it out (no spoilers lol). Inej also meets her match in an equally able skilled fighter. It’s not a book you should give up on if you love the characters. Also, I really doubt this is the last of this world 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely review, Lilly! (Although I tried to skip over the spoilers lol) Like Jill said, I wish we all could have connected well with this book, but that’s alright. I’m still going to finish it one day. I do have to agree with you though… I don’t think I’ll ever find another cast of characters that I’ll love as much as I love the Crows!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I recently bought SoC and it’s waiting to be read… I saw Jill parking CK on Goodreads and it was interesting to read your review… I wonder how will I get along and i look forward to comparing notes I guess 😀

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  4. Great review for this book Lilly, and I’m kind of envious as well that your wait for Crooked Kingdom was only an hour because mine was pretty much a year. I didn’t notice the slow pacing as much as you did I think, possibly because I’d waited so long for this book I couldn’t wait to jump in and any page with had part of the story, even a slow part, was one I desperately wanted to read you know.
    I loved the characters, and their story, and their relationships as well. Kaz was amazing throughout, the way he sees ten steps ahead of everyone else is just beyond brilliant. Also I agree about Matthias, god that scene broke my heart, especially because at first I thought it hadn’t actually gone down that way and then it turned out it did!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I finished Six Of Crows by the skin of my teeth 😂😂😂 I honestly enjoyed Crooked Kingdom a good deal because these characters could do no wrong in my eyes. I guess coming off the heels of having read SOC & how intense & cinematic the heist was in that book…in CK it kind of fell a bit short for me. I really do think it was a matter of Leigh giving is as much of each of these characters as possible in an almost 600 page book. I guess to me, this read like 2 books in 1. I miss them tons though & I’m not sure if I’ll ever find a cast of characters to love as much as I do them *sigh* 💭

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s the characters more than anything that make this book. The amount of development that has gone into each was unreal. Yeah see I had a good few months wait before picking up Six of Crows and picking up Crooked Kingdom so I guess it’s slightly different in that respect for me.
        I definitely miss them, I know this is going to be a series I read again and again! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s easily my favorite duology of all time! I’ll be looking in on Bardugo’s twitter every now & again for any crumb trails she leaves for a new book in this world lol. She def fleshed out all of the characters which left me feeling like I know them on a personal level…SOOOO GOOD! 😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve read some other amazing duologies so I’ll have to settle for saying this is one of mine! 🙂
        I’ll be doing the same actually. I’d love to be able to go back and see more from these characters, or even just more from the world of the Six of Crows duology and the Grisha trilogy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I FINISHED IT!!! 🎉🎊🙈
    I’m already missing the characters so much. I completely agree with you about them, I don’t think I’ll ever find a cast of characters I love as much as them. They were all so incredible and the development was phenomenal. But yeah the backstory definitely slowed down the pacing. In Six of Crows everything was moving so fast that the backstory didn’t hinder that but I think Crooked Kingdom had a more calculating atmosphere that was intense at times but not at others. And Matthias. I was so sad and still am 😢. I did notice a lot of openness at the end though so I hope we get more from this book world one day. Great review as always and thanks so much for the shoutout. 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH MY GOSH!!! YAY MELISSA!!!! *inserts confetti here* sucks not being able to use emojis on desktop WordPress lol. I’m so happy you decided to push through & that you found it satisfying. The development was on point even if it sacrificed a bit of pacing, I still enjoyed the story & multiple POV’s. I love that she kind of leaves it open for expansion. She mentioned at her book signing that she has tons of untold stories for this world but can’t say anything concrete about it. She has a few projects coming next year so imagine this is why she can’t give us hope just yet lol. Matthias…heart breaking! my poor Nina, they were my fave couple just because she knew just how to make him uncomfortable with her impropriety HAHA! he seriously loved her enough to change his world view on Grisha, she made him a better person. Still gets me how ironic it is the way he is killed smh. LOVE my NINA! hope to see her again. Thank you Melissa, I can’t wait to read your review 🙂 *hearts*


      1. I’m happy that I did too. It was so worth it when I finished it. Plus, it helped get me out my slump and I had a feeling if I wouldn’t have finished it I would still be slump central. 🙈
        That’s true and I agree. Even with the pacing the multiple POVs and the development was perfect. I have a love/hate relationship with the openness though because it makes me want more and I’m going to keep wondering about what happens next now haha.
        Well I hope that one day she does tell those untold stories.
        Yes! Those were always some of my favorite parts 😂. I don’t think I had a favorite couple but I really loved Nina and Matthias together. He really did. 😢
        Definitely ironic. There’s so much he could have accomplished given the chance though so it sucks. I hope we see her again too.
        You’re welcome!! My review will be up at noon. I scheduled it last night. 😊♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so glad to hear you’re out of your reading slump cuz there are soooOo many great books that await you haha! I hope she does expand on this world…maybe it was just me or wishful thinking but I felt like she was kind of dropping hints by mentioning new characters LIKE when Jesp’s dad mentioned to him that there’s a girl who is the best of the best Back where his mom I guess was raised…he says to Jesp…maybe she’s still there & can train you. I’m keeping my fingers crossed 😂😂😂 I agree, Matthias’ time was cut short and he could’ve accomplished much. So now it is implied that Nina will take up the cause by heading to Fjerda to bury him and see if she can make some understand that not all Grisha are bad? There’s def room for more adventures lol. I’ll be waiting for your review to post since we are an hour ahead here in NYC 😉💕

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly! I jumped straight into RoseBlood last night. Then I have Jill’s book and one other. I’m excited!
        I definitely saw those parts as dropping hints too. And with Jesper besides that when Inej mentions Ravka and him training in the end that felt like a hint too. So many possibilities that I hope she explores in the future.
        Yeah it’s implied. I felt like Nina’s ending was way more open than the others so I could really see something coming out of all of that. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha! I think we may be following the same reading schedule cuz I’m probably reading Jill’s book along with History Is All You Left Me. It’s ambitious considering the holiday madness but I’ll try nonetheless lol. Nina’s ending was def open ended, we shall see 😆😆😆

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It seems like it! I’m reading Jill’s after I finish RoseBlood and then I have Under Rose Tainted Skies. I can’t wait to see what you end up thinking of History Is All You Left Me because I’ve been seeing the cover around a lot lately. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      6. History is one that I’ve been so excited for & to get an arc seriously made my year. I’m curious to read your thoughts on Under Rose Tainted Skies lol, that’s one that I’ve been seeing around a lot lately 😊💕

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