Mini Reviews: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

20/01/2017 Reviews 10

I’ve been meaning to review these books for simply ages, but have been struggling to decide how to put into words my absolute adoration of this duology…so prepare for some serious gushing!

It actually took me a long time to get round to reading Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, even though they’ve been on my book radar for some time. I think a large part of the delay was my fear of the hype – a few well hyped series I’ve read haven’t lived up to my expectations (ahem, The Raven Boys, I’m looking at you!), and I really didn’t want to be disappointed in this series! Thankfully that wasn’t the case, so check out my mini-reviews to find out why (although beware: there may be spoilers!)!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Mini Reviews: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo“No Mourners.
No Funerals.”

Kaz Brekker is a criminal mastermind, notorious round Ketterdam for his cruelty and cunning. When he’s offered a chance to earn an insane amount of money he jumps at the chance…but has to find a crew of people crazy enough to attempt a heist on the impenetrable Ice Court.

First things first: I absolutely adored the characters! The six main characters are a varied bunch – Kaz is dark and dangerous, Inej is calm and capable, Jesper is fun-loving and reckless, Nina is vibrant and irreverent, Matthias is loyal and fierce, and Wylan is innocent and naive – and I loved every single one of them! I really enjoyed seeing the friendships and relationships between them grow as they transform from a ragtag group of misfits and criminals, with little trust between them, into a strong and resourceful team capable of defying the odds.

The witty banter between them and combination of personalities was really engaging and kept the moments of light conversation just as interesting as the more action-packed moments of the book. In a somewhat predictable way, the group did split quite neatly into couples, but I didn’t mind this, as all of their relationships felt convincing and were suitably complex (especially Kaz and Inej’s!), and I found myself shipping them all (but especially Jesper and Wylan! They were super cute, and definitely my two favourite characters!).

I also really liked the world of this book, with its’ combination of classic fantasy aspects and a much more modern and fresh twist: whilst there’s magic and merchants and fortresses aplenty, there’s also guns and pistols and bombs. I definitely intend to read the Grisha books that precede this series at some point just to see more of the world of Six of Crows, although I’ve heard they aren’t quite as good.

I also loved the heist aspect of this book, and when I really thought about it, I realised that whilst I’ve seen plenty of heist films I’ve never actually read a heist book! I think it was a plot device that really worked as a book, as there is the slow build of the characters plotting the heist, yet it never feels boring because you know you are heading towards a truly epic showdown at the end. I definitely finished this book absolutely desperate to read the second, anyway, so I got to Crooked Kingdom pretty quickly!

Rating: 5/5

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Mini Reviews: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo“I would have 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.”

Kaz Brekker’s crew have done the impossible, but things are far from perfect. Having been betrayed and with one of their crew captured they have to scramble to recover, and start making plans for their revenge.

I worried with this second book that it wouldn’t be quite as exciting as the first, what with the whole ‘heist’ thing that was such a selling point with the first book being done with, but thankfully I was totally wrong! The plots Kaz Brekker and his crew start conjuring up in this second instalment are even more daring and dangerous that their trip to the Ice Court in Six of Crows, and I love the way their plans keep being unexpectedly foiled and then completely turned on their head.

I definitely kept being surprised anyway by the many turns in the plot, but more than anything I liked returning to the characters as their friendships and relationships continued to develop and blossom, and in some cases, become more complicated. I loved getting more backstory on the characters as well, especially the history between Wylan and his father, as the matter of their estrangement was one unanswered question I had from Six of Crows. I also liked seeing Kaz get darker and more dangerous in his rage at having been double crossed, as well as his brotherly protectiveness towards Jesper starting to show, and his conflicted feelings for Inej and their future.

Overall I loved this book just as much as Six of Crows, and whilst I like this as a two-book series (and I can’t actually think of any other series with only two books in it off the top of my head!), I would have loved it to have been a trilogy just so I could get more of Kaz and his crew! For me this series really did live up to the hype, but I am a pretty big fan of anti-heroes, fantasy and heists (fictional ones, not committing actual ones, obviously!), which probably helped!

Rating: 5/5

Have you read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom? What did you think?

10 Responses to “Mini Reviews: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo”

  1. Michelle @ FaerieFits

    I totally put off reading these too for fear of hype let-down, and I’m kind of glad that I did because it meant I could read them back to back! I love love LOVE the characters, and I particularly love watching their plans unfold and adapt. These books are high up on my list of favorites 🙂

    I read the Grisha Trilogy as they came out. I honestly wasn’t impressed with the first one by itself, but the world of Ravka & the Darkling continued to haunt me so much that I had no choice but to finish the trilogy, and books 2 and 3 were quite good. I have never felt so compelled to continue a series that I gave a low rating to the first book of, but I am so glad I did! They’re still not as good as Six of Crows, in my opinion, but they have a wonderful villain! 😉

    • Laura

      I was scared of being let down by these, so I’m so relieved I loved them so much! They definitely live up to the hype, and they’re now firmly on my favourites list too 🙂
      I’m definitely going to give the Grisha trilogy a try! And at least now if I’m not that blown away by the first book I know that it’s worth persevering with books 2 and 3. And I do love a good villain, so that’s definitely a plus! 🙂

  2. Greg

    Glad to hear the witty banter is a high point, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a heist story either, come to think of it. But with all the hype these are getting I probably will break down and read them at some point! Glad these were both great!

  3. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I just recently became interested in these books, but I wasn’t sure if it was ok to read these without reading the other Grisha books first, and you seem to have answered that question for me lol. Your review makes the books sound amazing! I love all those things you mentioned. Definitely putting these on my TBR now!

    • Laura

      Yeah, I was a bit confused by that too, but thankfully it turns out you can just jump right in with these, and don’t need to have already read the Grisha series. I hope you enjoy these when you get round to them! 🙂

  4. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I haven’t read these books yet mostly because I have been really hesitant after the disappointment which was Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. I was really interested and loved the premise but then the characters ended up annoying too much. That being said, a lot of bloggers whose opinions I trust have said much the same as you and really enjoyed it so I feel like I should give Bardugo another chance. Especially as this involves witty banter and a daring heist. What’s not to love?

    • Laura

      Yeah, I really do recommend these! I haven’t read the Grisha books, but so many people say that these are much better, so maybe you’ll like these a lot more too? The heist thing is definitely a great plot-line, and I loved the characters so much! 🙂

  5. Prabhleen

    The whole world has read this series! I want to do so and hop onto the train too! This was a great review 🙂 I want to read the Grisha trilogy before this but that is kinda getting hard because I absolutely hate Mal. Ugh.

    • Laura

      I hope you enjoy these books! I really would recommend them! 🙂
      I may give the Grisha trilogy a try, although I know a lot of people have said they have found the characters annoying. It has made me kind of curious why though! 🙂

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