Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #2
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 45
(see below for breakdown)
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.
I adore stories about cons and heists. One of my all time favourite, watch it over and over TV shows is the BBCs comedy Hustle. But there are very few books I have come across that do the Scheme upon Scheme, back up plan on top of back up plan all, where all the pieces slide into place at the final moments as well as that show. This is one of the books that get that element perfect. We get a taste of every kind of con, scam and scheme imaginable and we are constantly guessing if it is going to go well or fall apart. We have no idea whom has the better of whom. This keeps it so fast paced as we move between all the different plots and plans. It gives you enough information to try and guess and then throws a spanner at you and it goes off course and I just love that.
This is all housed in the back drop of Bardugo’s awesome world building. I really enjoy Bardugo’s writing. She has a brilliant way of getting you into the heads of her characters, giving you large amounts of information without it feeling forced. It makes everything really clear and solid. I do wish there were a couple of fewer perspectives, as we jumped around between the perspectives of most of the gang I found that occasionally I would get lost and have to check who was narrating this chapter particularly as a couple of the voices mingled.
I love that this one was set in Ketterdam. We got to know the city so well seeing all its different areas. We get so much about its history, culture and diversity and how that is reflected in the characters. I also much preferred the characters in this book than Six of Crows. I felt we got to know them so much better and I fell in love with them all a little in this book that I didn’t in Six of Crows.
Overall I really just enjoyed this book. I think it was a great ending to the duology.