A Band of Thieves

Crooked Kingdom: Review

While this review contains no spoilers, do not read if you have not read the first book, Six of Crows. See Six of Crows review here.

The motley crew of the Dregs returns in the ferocious, fast-paced sequel to Six of Crows: Crooked Kingdom. All our favorite characters are back and performing deadly heists once again, this time with a little more urgency as each character finds themselves in life-threatening situations. This is a typical night for the Dregs, however, and we could expect nothing less than to be sitting on the edge of our seats with anything written by Leigh Bardugo. 

There are two major differences between the first book of the duology and the second: Crooked Kingdom finally has a little more romance involved, and while our characters are all performing deadly missions, there is a sense of finality to it. You start to realize things are going to come to an end early on in the book, which makes each precious scene even more enjoyable. This book contains more main characters, and even more instances where Kaz is left to be admired by his impeccable ability to navigate heists and business deals.

Bardugo does not miss a beat when giving the readers what they want. Spilling with tragic backstories yet unique, unordinary characters, Bardugo incorporates disability, LGBT+, and racial diversity into a genre that is typically filled with simply straight white characters. In her plot, I often found myself reading along and wishing this one twist would happen, or this one scene that bloomed in my head would somehow find its way onto the pages. By some strange ability, Bardugo seemed to include nearly every possible situation I wished would make it into the book. 

Even so, at times it felt as though Bardugo’s dialogue felt a little unnatural, or as though she was trying a little too hard to make her characters appear edgy or tough. Even with the most cruel character with the most unfortunate backstory, it still sometimes seemed a little overboard on the cynical-ness of some characters. It almost came off as cliché, as though I read the dialogue quote somewhere on Tumblr but could never imagine someone saying it in real life. 

At this point, however, I’m picking at threads trying to find something to criticize. Crooked Kingdom, and Six of Crows for that matter, is a masterpiece. Any Young Adult lover will adore this book, and the fantasy-world building, down to every detail, is flawless. For any reader that prioritizes character-building, this is the book for you. Each character has enough background and depth that an entire series could be written about each one. And if Bardugo ever decided to attempt such a thing, I’ll be the first in line to buy myself a copy.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Click here to listen to my Six of Crows Spotify playlist to listen as you read!

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