by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Orion Childrens Books
Book 2 in the Six of Crows Duology
Book 5 in the Grishaverse Series
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.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violence Young Adult Chaos
Crooked Kingdom is the second book in the Six of Crows duology, and follows Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan. It begins a few days after the first book ended, with Inej, taken as a hostage, and Kaz and crew scheming to get her back, get their money, and vengeance.
I liked Crooked Kingdom. I liked this duology. I didn't love it. And it's not because there is anything wrong with this book. Technically, its great. Original? Yes! Plot? Amazing! Characters? Chef's Kiss. Consistency? Flows wonderfully. The problem is with me. Specifically, my age. This is a middle grade young adult novel, and if I am going to truly enjoy a YA book, it needs to be upper/new adult.
I really enjoyed the characters further development in this book. The characters are seriously the best part of this book. They are ALL well-written, incredibly dimensional characters, which, with six POV's, and it being only a duology, is impressive. Kaz and Inej's storylines were heartbreaking, and beautiful. Their connection is one of romance and respect, which is SO rare in a YA these days. Then Nina and Matthias. I loved them in the first book, and I loved them even more in this one. ----------------> which makes Matthias's death that much more heartbreaking. <-----------. And Wylan and Jesper? Love, love, LOVE them!
Will I ever re-read these books? No. But again, it's not because these books are bad. They are enjoyable. They are well-written. It's just me. That being said, that Shadow and Bone trailer ... I got CHILLS seeing Kaz, Inej, and Jesper. <3
Jesper running into a girl he hooked up with at the university
Matthias comforting Nina during a craving
Inej is back!
Kaz smiling when Inej ditched him after letting him climb all those stairs
Kaz telling Inej that we would have come for Inej, even if she was no use to him
Nina teaching Matthias to appear non-threatening and kind, and the whole Princess and Barbarian thing
Jesper supporting Wylan when he found out about his mom
Jesper hinting to Wylan that he wants him in his life
Kaz trying with Inej, and bandaging her up
Kaz winning over the Crows
Wylan getting his face back
Jesper and Wylan kissing
Kaz telling Inej that one of Nina's stop's spreading the fake pox was the menagerie
The wolves welcoming Matthias home
Van Eck's arrest, and Wylan getting everything
Jesper deciding to stay with Wylan and help him
Inej and Kaz holding hands
Kaz having Inej's parents found, and brought to her
Matthias: "How is -"
Kaz: "Nina is fine except for me because I'm stuck with a gang of hand-wringing nursemaids. Keep a watch."
Wylan: "Why do you guys say that, anyway? No mourners, no funerals? Why not just say good luck or be safe?"
Kaz: "We like to keep our expectations low."
Kaz: "Stop gawking like you've never seen a girl in a dress before, Matthias."
Matthias: "I wasn't gawking."
Nina: "Be quiet, Brekker. I like it when he gawks."
Just a scratch, but it hurt like hell, and he was bleeding all over his new tweed jacket.
Jesper: "This is why it doesn't pay to try to look respectable."
Jesper: "Don't worry, Da. People point guns at each other all the time in Ketterdam. It's basically a handshake."
Jesper: "Madeleine? Madeleine Michaud?"
Madeleine: "You said we'd have breakfast!"
Jesper: "I had to go to Fjerda."
Jesper: "If I live, I'll buy you waffles."
Wylan: "You don't hve enough money to buy her waffles."
Nina: "I hate this. I hate you a little, druskelle."
Matthias: "I'm used to it. Come here."
Inej: "Console yourself. Even better men can be bested."
Wylan: "Always hit where the mark isn't looking."
Jesper: "Sweet Ghezen. You've been thoroughly corrupted."
Nina: "Why do you assume I know how to arrange hair?"
Matthias: "Because yours always looks so nice.
Jesper: "Wait. Is he being charming? How do we know this isn't an imposter?"
Matthias: "I don't feel anything."
She arched a brow
Matthias: "What did you try to make me do?"
Nina: "I'm trying to compel you to kiss me."
Matthias: "That's foolish."
Nina: "Why is that?"
Matthias: "Because I always want to kiss you."
Nina: "I prefer to think of the good times. Like when you held my hair as I was vomiting into a bucket."
Matthias: "Stop trying to make me laugh."
Nina: "But I like your laugh."
Nina: "Well, the story is that when a woman found out her husband had fallen in love with a girl from West Stave and planned to leave her, she came to the bridge and, rather than live without him, hurled herself into the canal."
Matthias: "Over a man with so little honor?"
Nina: "You'd never be tempted? All the fruits and flesh of West Stave before you?"
Matthias: "Would you throw yourself off a bridge for a man who was?"
Nina: "I wouldn't throw myself off a bridge for the king of Ravka."
Kaz: "What did you say to Van Eck on the bridge? When we were making the trade?"
Inej: "You will see me once more, but only once."
Matthias: "The Shu woman we faced was stronger than me, Jesper, and Wylan put together."
Jesper: "You heard right. Stronger than Wylan."
Kaz: "Where do you think the money went?"
Nina: "Political bribes?"
They all looked at Matthias.
Nina: "This is where you tell us how awful we are."
Matthias: "They all seem like practical choices."
Matthias: "I don't like speculation."
Kaz: "Of course you don't. You like things you can see. Like piles of snow and benevolent tree gods."
Inej: "Oh, there it is!"
said Inej, resting her head on Nina's shoulder and beaming at Matthias.
Inej: "I missed his glower."
Inej: "He was going to break my legs. Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn't scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn't the Wraith anymore?"
Kaz: "I would come for you. I would come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together - knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting."
Nina: "Let's go, you big goon - and I'm supposed to be your sister, stop looking at me like that."
Matthias: "Like what?"
Nina: "Like I'm made of ice cream."
Matthias: "I don't care for ice cream."
Nina: "Matthias, I'm not sure we can continue to spend time together."
Matthias: "It's not -"
Nina: "If you say natural, I'll give you giant buck teeth."
Matthias: "Can you actually do that?"
Nina: "I can certainly try."
Nina: "Then you need to calm down and try to look friendly."
Matthias shook out his arms and relaxed his features.
Nina: "Friendly, not sleep. Just ... pretend everyone you meet is a kitten you're trying not to scare."
Matthias looked positively affronted.
Matthias: "Animals love me."
Nina: "Fine. Pretend their toddlers who will wet themselves if you're not nice."
Matthias: "Very well, I'll try."
As they approached the next stall, the old woman tending to it looked up at Matthias with suspicious eyes. Nina nodded encouragingly at him.
Matthias smiled broadly and boomed in a singsong voice
Matthias: "Hello, little friend!"
Woman: "Always had a taste for Fjerdans. Ask him if he wants to play Princess and Barbarian."
Matthias: "What did she say?"
Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away.
Nina: "She said you're a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven't had proper blini in forever."
Matthias: "That word she used: babink. You've called me that before. What does it mean?"
Nina: "It means sweetie-pie."
Matthias: "Nina -"
Matthias: "I was just asking, there's no need to name-call."
Nina: "She wanted to know if you'd like to play Princess and Barbarian."
Matthias: "It's a game?"
Nina: "Not exactly."
Matthias: "Then what is it?"
Nina: "In Ravka, there's a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior -"
Matthias: "Really, he's the hero?"
Nina: "In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess -"
Matthias: "That would never happen."
Nina: "In the story it does, and -"
she cleared her throat
Nina: "they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave."
Matthias: "He lives in a cave?"
Nina: "It's a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead."
Matthias: "Ah. A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?"
Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand.
Nina: "Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look."
Matthias: "How does the story end? Do they fight battles?"
Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat.
Nina: "They get to know each other intimately."
Matthias' jaw dropped.
Matthias: "In the cave?"
Nina: "You see, he's very brooding, very manly. But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him -"
Matthias: "To civilize him?"
Nina: "Yes, but that's not until the third book."
Matthias: "There are three?"
Nina: "Matthias, do you need to sit down?"
Matthias: "This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan -"
Nina: "Calm down, Matthias."
Matthias: "Perhaps I'll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans."
Nina: "Now that sounds like a party. We could play."
Matthias: "We most certainly could not."
Nina: "At one point he bathes her."
Matthias' steps faltered
Matthias: "Why would he -"
Nina: "She's tied up, so he has to."
Matthias: "Be silent."
Nina: "Already giving orders. That's very barbarian of you."
Jesper: "This song is getting old."
Kaz: "Then learn a new refrain."
Jesper: "You're stupid about a lot of things, Wylan, but you are not stupid. And if I ever hear you call yourself a moron again, I'm going to tell Matthias you tried to kiss Nina. With tongue."
Wylan: "He'll never believe it."
Jesper: "Then I'll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue."
Matthias: "Meeting you was a disaster."
Nina: "Thank you."
Matthias: "But I am grateful every day for that disaster. I needed a cataclysm to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landside."
Nina: "I, am a delicate flower."
Matthias: "You aren't a flower, you're every blossom in the wood blossoming at once. You are a tidal wave. You're a stampede. You are overwhelming."
Nina: "The first day you showed up at my house for this proper courtship, I would have corned you in the pantry. But please, tell me more about Fjerdan girls."
Matthias: "They speak quietly. They don't engage in flirtations with every single man they meet."