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Six of Crows #2

Crooked Kingdom

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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.

561 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 27, 2016

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About the author

Leigh Bardugo

71 books155k followers
Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ninth House and the creator of the Grishaverse (now a Netflix original series) which spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, the King of Scars duology—and much more. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies including The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. She lives in Los Angeles and is an associate fellow of Pauli Murray College at Yale University. For information on new releases and appearances, sign up for her newsletter.

She would be delighted if you visited her at LeighBardugo.com and fairly giddy if you liked her selfies on Instagram.

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Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
August 10, 2019
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Before I start my review, can we just take a minute to admire this beautiful piece of art featuring my favorites:

“I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

This review contains *spoilers*.

The wait for this grandiose sequel has been all-consuming, I've been thinking about the Dregs for months and months now, so getting back into their lives has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

The book opens on Wylan still wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo’s features since Nina didn’t trust herself with her powers now. It had been just under a week since the Dregs reached Ketterdam, almost a month since they’d left Djerholm. And they're all fighting to get Inej back before Van Eck could have his way with her.
They were almost out of time. But none of them knew the real game Kaz "Dirtyhands" Brekker - the smooth, smart, criminal mastermind - was running.
And so, piece by piece, the plan to rescue Inej had come together.
Things were about to get dangerous.

“Why do you guys say that, anyway? No mourners, no funerals? Why not just say good luck or be safe?”
“We like to keep our expectations low.”

Literally one of my most pressing questions for the sequel was answered so quickly!!

But the days until Van Eck’s deadline were dwindling, and to get Inej back, they would need surprise on their side. Only one shot at getting the Wraith out of this situation.

But before all that can happen, we get to read from the pov of my favorite warrior: Inej Ghafa, legend of the Barrel. And let me tell you, she is one of the most strong and determined and courageous characters I've known, so watching her doubt herself and her Saints damn near broke me. What she had to go through in her first chapter left me both shaking and trembling. Ghafa has my soul, heart and my enter being wrapped around her pinky.

“When fear arrives, something is about to happen.”

Meanwhile, the Dregs have gathered enough intel to get their girl the hell out of Van Eck’s hole. I felt truly terrified for Inej because that brute managed to get into her head, but she was done being frightened of this man. And so was I—thanks to both her and the man of the hour, my favorite bastard of the Barrel: Kaz Brekker with that demonic cane.

You know, I forgot for a second there just how dark he can be when it comes down to business. But he's called Dirtyhands for a reason, and we're reminded just exactly what he had done to earn his reputation.

“Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself.”

I'm still furious at myself for believing that that smug merch son of a bitch could outthink Kaz Brekker. And with the help of his loyal Dregs, they manage to get Inej of out harm's way... but not without trouble coming their way. The kind of trouble even Jan Van Eck hadn't foreseen: Shu with wings (!!) looking to hunt and capture Grisha.

But the deal is the deal and Van Eck has to pay up—Dirtyhands is not someone to piss off. They’d set out to get Inej back from Van Eck and they had. But they're not done with the merch. And the plan the Dregs have set is so intricate that it will be the end of the Van Eck empire, without a shadow of a doubt.

Okay so, here's the official plan to both earning their thirty million kruge and obliterating the devil himself: They're going after Van Eck's sugar crop, since he controls the silos where the supply is produced:

• Thanks to Wylan’s weevil they can destroy the sugar in Van Eck’s silos without being exposed.
“My father can weather a loss. The other merchants, the ones who own the sugar in his silos, will be hit worse.”
• And once the other merchants learn that Van Eck has been buying up sugar that isn’t stored in his silos (thanks to Kaz purchasing shares on behalf of Van Eck), his reputation will be annihilated.
“Van Eck’s reputation will take a hit when the sugar is lost. But when the people who paid him to keep it safe find out he profited from their loss, they’ll look more closely at those silos.”
“And find the remnants of the weevil,” finished Wylan.
“Destruction of property, tampering with the markets,” Inej murmured. “It will be the end of him.”

• They'll get the weevil into the silos by letting tiny and ferocious Inej do what she's best at: climbing up twenty stories high and walking a high wire from one silo to the next...no biggie.
• And while doing all of the above, they're also going to get the rest of the Grisha out of the city, at Nina's request.
A ship to Ravka with twenty passengers (including Kuwei) is conspicuous, so they're going to steal Van Eck's own transport to remain obscure. They couldn’t just be smarter than their opponent, they had to be relentless.
• I just... why is everything so damn complicated with the Dregs. They're nothing if not ambitious.

“You couldn’t go to war with an upstanding merch like Van Eck, not if you were a thug with a reputation dirtier than a stable hand’s boot sole. To win, Kaz would have to level the field. He would show the world what he already knew: Despite his soft hands and fine suits, Van Eck was a criminal, just as bad as any Barrel thug—worse, because his word was worth nothing.”

It's a known fact that Kaz Brekker is a smooth, smart, criminal mastermind, but he also hurts for his big, criminally inclined family. And watching him realize just that was one of my most cherished scenes.

“He was going to break my legs ,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “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?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “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.”

I cant stop thinking about this without getting goosebumps. Damn you, Kaz.

You know, speaking of which, Wylan finding out that his mother was still alive and in an insane asylum because of rotten Van Eck, made me want to string his father up in a barren field and let the vultures have at him, to quote Jesper.

But seriously that whole situation made my heart race. I couldn't believe to what levels of evil Van Eck would sink. The only silver lining was the whole plan Kaz had in store for the devil. And hopefully seeing Wylan reunite with Marya Hendriks. I’m always weak for stories reuniting mother and son. Always.

Also, Jesper trying to cheer Wylan up made me shed a tear or two...

“Hey,” Jesper said, giving him a shake. “Hey. Your father could have made a lot of choices when he found out you couldn’t read. Hell, he could have said you were blind or that you had trouble with your vision. Or better yet, he could have just been happy about the fact that he had a genius for a son.”
“I’m not a genius.”
“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 wiped his nose on his sleeve. “He’ll never believe it.”
“Then I’ll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue.”

They seriously deserve the world and so much more. They all did.

This was them at their best.

And then halfway through the book, the plan suddenly changes because Ketterdam has turned on Kaz. “But if you couldn’t open a door, you just had to make a new one.” And that's what Dirtyhands excels at.

“I know how to do it,” Kaz said slowly. “How to get Kuwei out, get the Grisha out, get our money, beat Van Eck, and give that son of a bitch Pekka Rollins everything he has coming to him.”
Nina raised a brow. “Is that all?”
“How?” asked Inej.
“This whole time, we’ve been playing Van Eck’s game. We’ve been hiding. We’re done with that. We’re going to stage a little auction. Right out in the open.” He turned to face them, and his eyes gleamed flat and black as a shark’s. “And since Kuwei is so eager to sacrifice himself, he’s going to be the prize.”

My heart leapt like a horse clearing a jump. Kuwei is going to auction himself with the hopes that the Ravkans will end up buying him. It was the best chance they had of getting Kuwei to Ravka and saving Grisha lives. To quote Brekker, it was a mad, spiky monster of a plan, and that was what it had to be for them to succeed.

Seriously though, how does Bardugo keep up with herself? There were so many twists and turns that left my mind spinning even after having closed my eyes. The whole storyline is just so lancing—we know where the end-game is supposed to be, but to get there the Dregs would have to go through hell and back. And damn, that they did.

But before hell comes their way, Kaz and Inej share an intimate moment that left me undone. He had gone to great lengths to prove he was capable of anything.

“The sickness was there, the need to run, the need for something else too. Kaz thought he knew the language of pain intimately, but this ache was new. It hurt to stand here like this, so close to the circle of her arms. It isn’t easy for me either. After all she’d endured, he was the weak one. But she would never know what it was like for him to see Nina pull her close, watch Jesper loop his arm through hers, what it was to stand in doorways and against walls and know he could never draw nearer.”

I’ll be 100% honest, this choked me up a little bit.

“Before he even knew what he intended, he lowered his head. She drew in a sharp breath. His lips hovered just above the warm juncture between her shoulder and the column of her neck. He waited. Tell me to stop. Push me away.
She exhaled. “Go on,” she repeated. Finish the story.”

My heart should not be making that sound.

“The barest movement and his lips brushed her skin—warm, smooth, beaded with moisture. Desire coursed through him, a thousand images he’d hoarded, barely let himself imagine—the fall of her dark hair freed from its braid, his hand fitted to the lithe curve of her waist, her lips parted, whispering his name.
All of it there and then gone. ”

This is heaven, what I truly want. I have no words to thank you for this.
Seriously, Leigh can write evocative, raw and hauntingly powerful scenes like nobody's business.

“Two of the deadliest people the Barrel had to offer and they could barely touch each other without both of them keeling over. But they’d tried. He’d tried. Maybe they could try again.”

They truly deserve their happy ending.

But in the end, it all came down to this: "Brekker, his Wraith queen, his rotten little court of thugs." Because no matter what would happen, the Dregs had a way of rewriting their own rules.

I mean, that ending... that ending was every bit as epic as I had anticipated. It either would've gone brilliantly or in total disaster, but that’s generally the way this crew likes to work.

Also, one last minor thing: I was on the edge the whole time to see who would survive, even though the table of contents kind of gave away who lives, who dies, who tells their story... But I cannot, for the life in me, believe Matthias Helvar got killed off by a young drüskelle. This is not what I want. This is not what I planned.

“After all their mad escapes and close calls, he’d started to believe the six of them were somehow charmed, that his guns, Kaz’s brains, Nina’s wit, Inej’s talent, Wylan’s ingenuity, and Matthias’ strength had made them somehow untouchable. They might suffer. They might take their knocks, but Wylan was right, in the end they were all supposed to stay standing.
“No mourners,” said Jesper, surprised by the ache of tears in his throat.
“No funerals,” they all replied softly.”

My eyes burned, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was whispering "come back to me," right there with Nina.

I just... I was rooting for everyone to have their happy ending. Everyone. So this death came as such a shocking reveal. I felt sorrow dragging at my heart for hours after that. And I'm still not over it.
This Saintsforsaken book has taken away a piece of my heart with that ending. I’ve got this ache in my chest that won’t go away. I want to be free. But I know I won't be forgetting the Dregs anytime soon.

5/5 stars

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Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,096 reviews17.7k followers
August 6, 2020
I know we frown upon picking favorite books here, but you know what? This is my favorite book of all time and y'all can leave.

Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.

Okay, listen, I could talk about how much I love everything about this series forever, although I think I already did while writing my review for Six of Crows. I love the twisty and creative plot, I love the morally grey characters, I love the group dynamics and banter, I love the engaging writing, I love all three of the romance plots (yes, I just lost all my credibility as an unromantic.). This series truly is my favorite fantasy series of all time, and this book is one of the only conclusions I've ever given five stars. I think it's rare to find a book that, for me, is both entertaining and thematically satisfying.


Who's my favorite character, you ask? I DON'T KNOW. probably Inej. The point is that FIVE of these characters make my top-ten fictional-characters-ever list. There are two series which managed to get two characters on that list, but this series shoved on FIVE.

🌲 Kaz: He's the most morally black protagonist I've ever read about, and I love him to pieces. Yes, his plans go too far and get crazy here, but honestly, if Bardugo can think it up, I'm willing to accept that Kaz can too. Kaz gets even more of a human side in this book, which comes out through his relationships with Inej, Jesper, Wylan, and even Nina. Not Matthias, because Matthias somehow never makes these lists. Sorry, bud.

🍁 Inej: I asked Leigh Bardugo one question at the panel where I met her, and that was her least favorite villain. She said Tanta Helene, ruler of the menagerie, and after this book I definitely understand why. Inej went through hell and came out stronger and far more in control. I know there are those who hate how controlled she is, but I think it's realistic. She's controlled around everyone except for Helene, who's her worst nightmare come true. I love that Inej isn't a chosen one, that nothing in her blood gives her agency. None of these characters are; Jesper and Nina both neatly sidestep the chosen one archetype with every second of pagetime.

🌲 Jesper: JESPER!!!! He's developed so much and I didn't really expect it. Jesper likes living on the edge, a bit like Lila Bard from ADSoM. He's aware of his flaws and he's aware of the pain his own actions have caused him, and he's trying to work through it. His relationship with his father makes me want to cry.

🍁 Wylan: In the first book, Wylan is likable but annoyingly naive. In this book, he's fucking awesome. He's a cinnamon roll but he's also willing and able to kill you, so basically, he's a character designed for me to love. His arc essentially turns him from a naive kid into an antihero, and I love that. His relationship with his father took a front seat here, but it was almost emotionally cathartic to read their interactions.

🌲 Nina: Nina is idealistic and clever and can go from flirting to making speeches within ten seconds. She's definitely a bit of an antihero– she can be , but she's also a ton of fun to see on page. Her struggle with the Jurda was developed well here, and her powers are still fucking awesome.

🍁 Matthias: He's always been my least favorite of the dregs, but you know what, I liked him a lot here. Rereading, it struck me how much respect the narrative gives this character without romanticizing the things he's done. His arc is pitch-perfect. I still don't love him nearly as much as some of the dregs, but that's a totally unfair standard to hold any character to. I'm sorry, Matthias, in any other book you'd stand out.



Inej and Kaz were always the standout couple of this series to me. The genuine care between them despite all they've been through gets to my emotions. (Which I apparently have! Who knew.) They're even better in Crooked Kingdom. Here, the narrative addressed these two character's traumas and didn't skate over them. Neither of them are ready to kiss yet and that's okay. What matters is that they emotionally open up to each other, let each other through the walls. (source look at my children guys)
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.

Jesper and Wylan were a vaguely cute ship for most of book one until that one line at the end where Leigh Bardugo decided to start breaking my heart in two. Here, they started putting my heart back together thank god. They don't have a particularly angst-filled storyline, but their banter is hilarious and the trust in their relationship is so important to me.
“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 wiped his nose on his sleeve. “He’ll never believe it."
"Then I’ll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue.”

Matthias and Nina were honestly not that big a ship for me in book one. I absolutely understand what's appealing about their dynamic; they're sweet and have amazing relationship development. But I don't have to lie down for twenty minutes when I read their scenes.

The Dregs are such an amazing squad all together. There are so many platonic relationships here to break your heart; Jesper and Inej, Inej and Nina (although lbr they're a little gay), Kaz and Wylan, Jesper and Kaz. Jesper and Inej still have one of my favorite friendship dynamics of all time. Their banter and their genuine trust in each other and their lowkey joking about their mutual crush on Kaz... it gets to me.


All I can say is: brilliant. Every twist is pitch-perfect. This 500+ page book barely even lagged for me. I read this entire longass book in one bingeread, it was that hard to put down. Bardugo incorporates plotting and character work seamlessly into every moment without sacrificing tension or twists.


There's one thing I wanted to say about this book that I didn't say about Six of Crows: the theme of this book is hope. Crooked Kingdom is about healing from what's happened to you. Maybe these characters come out of what they've been through as different people, but they're alive and they're coping and they're happy. It's not about curing your injuries and fixing your trauma, it's about learning to cope with what you've been given. [spoilers ahead] It says so much for Leigh Bardugo's talent that she executed this narrative so perfectly.

I know many have an issue with the execution of a certain death in the book, but I honestly have no issue with said death. Yes, it's frustrating. I think it's meant to be. [spoiler] But even ignoring the death itself, I think it's done so well that I can't complain at all.

Another thing I like, and excuse me for going on so long - the fact that the narrative emphasizes bigotry and taking away another's agency as the worst crimes of humanity is so. important. The moral code of the characters in this series is both flawed and realistic. They've grown up in an environment where it's kill or be killed, and their actions often range on evil. Yet these characters still have a code. Even Kaz, who legitimately plucks someone's eye out in part of book one, is emphatically not a fan of slavery and bigotry. Some of these characters have experienced this and come out alive, and they're righteously angry. I also love the emphasis on the evil of the elite taking from the poor, because that's what these characters deal with.

I'm not even bothering to write all my ending thoughts anymore, but I went on a twitter rant about my adoration for this ending HERE if you want to check it out.

VERDICT: This is probably my favorite book of all time. I'm seriously not joking. I think this is it. I'm not ready to say goodbye to these characters, but this was a glorious conclusion and I'm glad Bardugo stuck with two books. Recommended to everyone ever.

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Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
January 23, 2018
“No mourners.
No funerals.”

Let me tell you a story about a girl I know.
For the first time in her life, she got a job, a great job, and she was happy about it. There was only one huge drawback: there was no time to read. Only stolen moments and a few pages a day, just to keep in touch with the essence of magic only words can offer. One cloudy morning, while she was in the bus to work, reading, a scene came. You know which one. There was a gunshot. A kiss. And then silence. Deafening silence. But she couldn't cry. She couldn't scream and clutch her chest to make sure she wasn't bleeding. She was going to work. She had to plaster a fake smile on her face and pretend she was interested in stocks and investments, as if her world didn't just crumble. But her heart was crying. And when she returned home, she let the floodgates open.

That was all she could offer.
She would remember.
“She was the Queen of Mourning, and in its depths, she would never drown.”

In Crooked Kingdom, Kaz is planning another stunt. Or better yet, stunts. He has to get back his “money”, destroy his enemies and take control of the Barrel. The entire Ketterdam is after him and his crew, merchants, the city guard, the rival gangs, foreign dignitaries, and everything evolves around the young scientist they rescued and the drug that can change everything for Grisha, for better or for worse. But plans can go wrong, trust can be tested, hearts can get broken, and the six thugs and thieves have not spoken their last word yet.
“Have any of you wondered what I did with all the cash Pekka Rollins gave us?"
"Guns?" asked Jesper.
"Ships?" queried Inej.
"Bombs?" suggested Wylan.
"Political bribes?" offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. "This is where you tell us how awful we are," she whispered.
He shrugged. "They all seem like practical choices.”

Every time I think I have witnessed the fullest extent of Leigh Bardugo's potential, I realize there is more. Her resourcefulness and ingeniousness will never cease to amaze me, she crafted plots and heists and schemes with such intricacy and presicion you couldn't help but feel deep admiration! And a little befuddlement, if we're being honest, because how could your own mind compete with hers?

“My mother is Ketterdam. She birthed me in the harbor. And my father is profit. I honor him daily.”

I loved how we spent so much time inside the heads of the main characters, but yet there were so many things we didn't fully know that managed to surprise us and resulted in muffled screams of triumph (or terror, there was enough insecurity and terror for a lifetime). And let's not forget that there were certain guest appearances that made us squeal like excited mating whales. The humor, the sarcasm, the witty banters, they were all there to ease the tention, to take a break before the fallouts. These characters, they were rare. Each and every one of them, with their flaws, their greed, their monstrocity and their righteousness, their dreams and secrets, they fought for a place in a world that rejected them. Kaz was brutal, vindictive, beyond salvation. Or so he thought. He was a nightmare, I recognize that, but there was a human hidden beneath his hatred and cruelness. And Inej was his weakness.
“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.”

After all those terrible things that were done to her, she never lost her faith. She was strong, she did her best to survive and wished to change things for people like her, for the nobodies and the nothings.
“I am grateful you're alive", he said. "I am grateful that you're beside me. I am grateful that you're eating."
She rested her head on his shoulder.
"You're better that waffles, Matthias Helvar."
A small smile curled the Fjerdan's lips.
"Let's not say things we don't mean, my love.”

Matthias and Nina were my precious cinnamon rolls. They were so different, two enemies who were meant to meet and fall in love and fight side by side, to set the example of peace between two nations that were bred in hatred and fear.
And Jesper and Wylan, they taught each other that they must embrace their fears and let them be their power. To accept who they were, they boy with the gift and the boy that couldn't read but was smart beyond imagination.
“He doesn't say goodbye. He just lets go.”

Let me finish this story about a girl I know.
She wished for a happier ending. She wished for pink unicorns. But Leigh Bardugo gave her something bittersweet. A taste she will carry with her wherever she goes, no matter how many days and months and years have passed. She tucked them in her heart, and sealed it with her tears.
This way, they'll never be gone.

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Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
September 21, 2023
“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?” -American songstress Katy Perry on the tragedy of finishing this duology

I do not “have emotions” very often. I am rarely “sad,” which is a personal choice because being sad is gross and unpleasant. I much prefer to exist in an emotionless vortex of my own creation.



All I want to do is dive back in (hence the “wanting to start again” part of the iconic quote above). And I don��t understand. Why am I so attached? This series, with series even being a strong word, is a mere TWO BOOKS LONG. It is divided among SIX PERSPECTIVES. I’ve spent longer amounts of time with batches of cookies than with these characters, and everyone knows I devour cookies like the ungodly Sesame Street creature/nightmare known as Cookie Monster.


I miss this gang. I miss their hijinks and heists. I miss their banter. I even miss their extremely formulaic and occasionally one-track personalities. (Yes, we get it. Nina likes food. Matthias and Wylan blush a lot. Very creative.) I miss the will they/won’t they romances even though they were more “yes, of course they will. Obviously.”

But another thing that doesn’t change in spite all of the aforementioned Feeling is...that this book is not as good as the first one.

Granted, that’s a high bar, considering I five starred Six of Crows and spent an entire review narrowly resisting the urge to just type the word “AAAAAAAAAHHHHH” until it extended for 20,000 characters and we could call it a day. But still. Not as good.

This plot was not as exciting by half. Or a third. Or a small small fraction. In fact, the only reason I’m even four starring this book is that I’m still so astonished I could like three characters from one book that it feels sacrilegious to rate it any lower.

Everything about this was less exciting and less fresh and less unputdownable. You can’t just give me a heist in the first book and then talk about a bunch of dark-magic-drug-sci-fi-type stuff. I hate the trope of magic that damages you to use/turns you evil, because magic is fun and should be used all the time in every book forever. Also I hate most sci-fi, because it’s boring. It’s science. Don’t explain science to me even if you think it seems fun and fantastical, because it’s not. It’s a waste of my time and yours.

Anti-science rant: concluded. For now. But watch yourself, science.

There was also a lot more Time With Characters I Don’t Care For, Operating Under The Assumption That I Do Care For Them, Which Is False, Because I Do Not. There is way too much Wylan in this, and way, way, way, way, WAY too much Nina and Matthias. Especially NinaandMatthias as one entity. No thanks. Not interested.

Nor am I interested in KUWEI, who manages to be a science-genius-with-magic who is also a hostage who is also in love with a person it would be messy to be in love with, and yet in spite of all of that is SO GODDAMN BORING! What the hell? It seems like you’d have to go out of your way to make the hostage boring, but there we have it. He’s a one-way ticket to snoozetown.

Anyone else a huge fan of the fact that this four-star review is majority complaining? Devastatingly on-brand for me. Loving it.

And I really don’t want to say any more nice things so. Think I’m good.

Bottom line: My only real complaint about this book is that it isn’t Six of Crows, but that alone is such a goddamn personal insult to me and my family and my loved ones and my ancestry and my future descendants that I’m tempted to one star this just for the drama.


this series is only 2 books long. the perspective is split among 6 people. if you think about it, i've barely even spent any time with these characters at all.


review to come :(

rereading updates

excuse me, FBI? i'd like to report an attempted murder. well kaz keeps thinking about inej and clearly leigh bardugo is trying to kill me with cutenes -- what? yes i'll hold


the first time I read this book I thought it was slightly disappointing, which is why I'm ROLLIN INTO THIS REREAD WITH MY EXPECTATIONS HIGH AF!!!


this reread brought to you once again by the generosity of lily
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
October 3, 2016
That’s the problem with Ketterdam, Jesper thought as they stumbled uncertainly through the dark. Trusting the wrong person can get you killed.

What's that down there on the ground, you say? Oh, it's just my heart after Bardugo callously ripped it out *sob*

Seriously, this book was such a crazy ride. The jump in quality from the Grisha trilogy to Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom is just astounding. These books have Bardugo's compelling style all over them, and yet they are so much more complex, rich, and well-written. As a person who doesn't love multiple perspectives, especially more than two, I'm amazed at how the author manages to juggle so many diverse characters and make me care about them all.

Crooked Kingdom is a beast of a book - my hardcover would make a nice murder weapon - and yet the action and tension never run dry. It's a cliche to compare a book to a rollercoaster but that's exactly what this felt like - highs and lows of emotions, equal parts humorous, sexy, entertaining, dark, violent, romantic and gritty.

The stakes just keep getting bigger. This book opens where we left off with Wylan wearing Kuwei Yul-Bo's face, and our gang must rescue Inej, get revenge, and defeat the bad guys. But that doesn't even begin to sum up all the action, adventure and craziness going on here. And as well as being dark and compelling, the characters and relationships we love become even more fascinating and developed. There are a grand total of THREE ships here and I truly adore them all.

I actually wasn't really feeling the Kaz/Inej chemistry in the first book, but it just came crashing down in a wave of feels here:
“He was going to break my legs ,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “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?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “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.”


In the end, though, Leigh Bardugo is EVIL. Don't forget it. There are so many satisfying things in this book - like watching Kaz Brekker just be fucking awesome, like all the twists and turns, like the wonderful gay romance - but it also hits you in the heart. And it hits hard.

The ending was just epic perfection. It was the kind of ending a story like this deserves - the kind that leaves you wanting more, but knowing that it finished in exactly the right place.

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Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews815 followers
September 30, 2016

First thing first, meet Kaz Brekker's crew:


#1 Storytelling at its best
This book will literally keep you on the edge of your seat, your toes curling and your heart racing. There was not a single boring moment. On contrary! I flew through this book and wish it was even longer than 546 pages.

#2 Parade of twists
Leigh Bardugo is a genius. I can't even count how many times during this book I thought "No way! I didn't see this coming". The level of awesomeness of twists was beyond this world amazing.

#3 Leigh Bardugo = Queen of banters
Seriously, if I wasn't nervously biting my nails waiting for outcome of this or that situation, I was smiling like lunatic whenever these precious characters were bantering among each other. And believe me, it was quite often.

#4 All the feels
If someone told me month ago that Crooked Kingdom was going to make me cry (multiple times), I wouldn't believe it. But it happened. Mrs. Bardugo brought out big guns = raw emotions. And I loved it! (even though my heart broke couple of times)

#5 Simply perfect
Crooked Kingdom has all qualities that make it outstanding and unforgettable novel. I just have nothing to complain about. Story was addictive, all main characters grew on me big time, ending was realistic and there was even cameo of my favorite character from Grisha trilogy. Now all I can do is re-read it to find all those details that I missed when I read it for the first time and hope that this is not the last novel by Leigh Bardugo set in Grisha world.

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing


"No mourners. No funerals." to Kaz and his crew in CROOKED KINGDOM!

I can't wait to have this book in my hands!

Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
553 reviews60.5k followers
June 8, 2019
(3.75?) I have such a complicated relationship with this duology.

I WANT to love it. I do care about the characters but not nearly as much as the Fandom seems to.

I wish there was more about the magic system which was my favorite part in the Grisha trilogy and is sadly lacking in here. I still think things seem so easy for Kaz, that he seems to be able to plan elaborate plans to double-cross everyone in a matter of second...

Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
December 28, 2020
chapter 40 will always ruin me. nina and matthias deserve their own series.

things i need in order to survive: air, food and water, this book.

this book obviously being the most important item on that list.

wow. i will tell you what, i must have been a saint in another life because i do not feel worthy of this book. i laughed, i cried, i yelled, i loved, i cheered, i swooned, i died. i felt every emotion humanly possible. i am so grateful to live in a world where this duology exists. <3

5 stars
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
July 6, 2019
oops i slipped and re-read this for a second time this year. :o


I really enjoyed this re-read! There are so many things that happen in this book that I completely forgot about. I still feel like the oddball with this one though, because I prefer Six of Crows over Crooked Kingdom. It's a great finale, but I feel like there are times when things drag out quite a bit. Regardless, I still love it!
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
February 10, 2017
Review/discussion: https://youtu.be/aFX-hrVHFus

My favourite part of reading this was that as I took review notes every time I wrote Kaz it autocorrected to Kazoo

This freaking book oh my goodness. I LOVED IT, even more than the first one actually. I adore this characters and I must see them again. A Nina spin off perhaps? YES PLEASE.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
October 25, 2019
This might be my favorite book of all time. It’s heart wrenching and funny and well rounded and beautiful. The development and emotional journeys of all the characters are amazing. I was a sobbing mess by the end of this book and my heart felt heavy for hours afterward. (It is the next day and I'm still very emotionally frayed.)
Profile Image for Regan.
457 reviews110k followers
June 9, 2023
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
September 23, 2017

This was my first thought when I finished to read “Crooked Kingdom” and after thinking about it, I decided to leave it at that! It’s true! This amazing woman gave me all the feels and played me like a fiddle! There were so many twists and turns that my head actually started to spin and whenever I thought something would be alright, everything, literally everything changed once again!

How did you do this Leigh?
How can you be such a talented manipulator?
And why? Please tell me WHY!!??, did you have to rip my heart out?!

I’m shattered and broken, I can’t stop to think about your book! And I can’t stop to cry whenever I think about it!!! You destroyed me!!!!
And the worst part is that I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I loved to read your book!!! I loved Kaz’s scheming face, Inej’s silent justice, Jesper’s epiphany, Nina’s strength, Matthias’ transformation and Wylan’s sassy demeanor!!!

I hate love you Leigh Bardugo!!!!

Jeez, this book gave me such a hangover, but I’m still trying to write this review! I need to get those emotions off my chest and once I did, I might continue to cry an ocean or I might be able to move on. Either way I need to write this down now and I hope you’ll keep me company and stay with me throughout this, no doubt, very long review! *lol*

”Brick by brick."

The plot:

”That’s the problem with Ketterdam, Jesper thought as they stumbled uncertainly through the dark. Trusting the wrong person can get you killed.”

After pulling the most remarkable heist of mankind’s history, the crew of Kaz Brekker should be swimming in kruge and coins, yet everything it gained them is an empty pocket and an abducted member of their crew. Of course Kaz can’t accept the fact that Van Eck has not only betrayed them but also has taken Inej as a hostage and since we all know “Dirtyhands” we can already guess where this is heading. The bastard of the barrel is determined to get his money and even more importantly to get his Wraith! Kaz won’t rest until he finally got what he wants and Pekka Rollins as well as Jan Van Eck will have to pay with the only currency the Barrel knows… their blood! ;-)

”Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”

The characters:

” She thought of Jesper toying with his guns, Nina squeezing the life from a man with the flick of a wrist, Kaz picking a lock in his black gloves. Thugs. Thieves. Murderers. And all worth more than a thousand Jan Van Ecks.”

Warning: The characters section as well as the rest of the review is going to contain A LOT of spoilers! If you don’t want to read them you might stop now!


”She realised he’d stopped to change his coat and it clung to him in perfectly tailored lines. He stood leaning on his cane, hair neatly pushed back from his pale brow, a black glass boy of deadly edges.”

I love Kaz Brekker! This man is so awesome, I almost have no words! He always tries to show himself as a monster but deep down within him he’s probably the kindest and most honourable man anyone can wish for! I admired his pickpocket skills, his determination to get everything right, his strength and his wish to change the circumstances in which they live. He has such a sharp mind and his plans are so cunning, I can’t help but have to adore him for it! *lol* His background story still breaks my heart and I hated to see how much it shaped him, how hard it made it to love his crew. And yes, he loves every single one of them, not just Inej. The things he did for them! His little gestures that turned out to be a tornado in the aftermath, gosh once the dust settled it was so obvious that he truly cares! And that moment when he went to the Dregs?! OH GOD!! It killed me!!! He sacrificed himself in order to save the others and I almost died when I read this chapter!!! I think I have no more words, just deep love and endless affection that fill my heart whenever I think about this kind boy who was forced to live in a cruel world!!! <333

”He wasn’t Dirtyhands or Kaz Brekker or even the toughest lieutenant in the Dregs. He was just a boy fuelled by a white flame of rage, one that threatened to burn the pretense of the hard-won civility he maintained to ash.”

”That’s where you’re wrong,” said Kaz. “I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins.”

”I’ve taken knives, bullets, and too many punches to count, all for a little piece of this town,” said Kaz. “This is the city I bled for. And if Ketterdam has taught me anything, it’s that you can always bleed a little more.”


”Inej made a silent promise. Even if her plan failed, even if he smashed her legs to pulp, even if she never walked again, she’d find a way to pay him back in kind. She didn’t know how, but she’d manage it. She’d survived too much to let Jan Van Eck destroy her.

My brave, small and deadly girl! Oh, how much I suffered with her when she was in the captivity of Jan Van Eck!!! I swear when he threatened to break her legs my heart skipped a beat and I almost couldn’t bear to read her thoughts about Kaz! I wanted to tell her that he loves her, I wanted to scream it in her face!!! It was maddening! Still, I loved how strong Inej became, how she decided that she’d lead another life and would dedicate it to hunt the slave traders that took her away from her family! I think by killing Dunyasha she finally freed herself and was able to accept the person she has become and in some strange way I was even really proud of her! XD

”Inej was whole, unharmed. She bore no scars or trauma from her ordeal on Eil Komedie that food and sleep would not ease. But Van Eck had taken something from her nonetheless. I’ll be no use to him anymore. Words torn from some hidden place inside her, a truth she could not unknow. She should be glad of it. Better terrible truths than kind lies."


”Big, blond, and blind,” Jesper said. “The Fjerdan way.”

Oh god, Matthias! I can’t even write his name without forcing myself to hold back my tears! Such a waste. Such a terrible, terrible waste of a man that could have become someone great! I loved his character development in this book! I loved the way he adored Nina, how he treated her, took care of her, how he decided to ignore everything he was taught because he finally realised that it was all a lie! He tried to overcome his prejudices and he worked so hard to become a better man! Why, Leigh?! Why did you have to kill this wonderful man?!!! He died because he tried to help a young boy and his death was so useless and unnecessary! But then again, death always is. It makes no difference between young and old, kind or cruel, it’s just death and he always gets what he wants. =((
I’m mourning for the man Matthias could have become, for the wasted potential and for the boy that never got a chance to truly love! RIP Matthias Helvar! You’ve been better than waffles, it’s true!

“Meeting you was a disaster.”
She raised a brow. “Thank you.”
Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful for that disaster. I needed a catastrophe to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.”

”Do not be afraid. Fear is how they control you.” We’ll find a way to change their minds. The boy had only been with the order for six months. He could be reached. “There’s so much in the world you don’t have to be afraid of, if you would only open your eyes.”


”She was dressed in a sheer lavender gown rigged with some kind of corset that pushed her cleavage to alarming heights, and though she’d lost weight since her battle with parem, there was still plenty of her for Smeet to grab onto."

My beautiful and fierce Grisha!!! My heart aches so much for her! Gosh! She was so brave and strong when she fought her addiction for jurda parem! I can’t even say how much I love this woman!! Life wasn’t kind to her but she still managed to joke, she still tried to deal with the cards destiny had dealt her and she always believed in Matthias! XD I wish I could hug her, cradle her, that I could tell her that everything is going to be alright, that she’ll overcome the loss of Matthias, that it will hurt and rip her heart out, but also that it will become better with time. She was SO. DAMN. STRONG. when she let him go and gosh I can’t even… I feel so sorry for her… because I know how it feels, because Leigh Bardugo managed to hit a nerve… Leigh, I think I’ll never forgive you for hurting Nina so much! T_T

”You have your own problems right now, Zenik, said a voice in her head. Stop worrying about saving the world and save your own ass. Sometimes her inner voice could be very wise.”

”Nina had grieved for her loss of power, for the connection she’d felt to the living world. She’d resented this shadow gift. I thad seemed like a sham, a punishment. But just as surely as life connected everything, so did death. It was that endless, fast-running river. She’d dipped her finger into its current, held the eddy of its power in her hand. She was the Queen of Mourning, and in its depths, she would never drown."


”Jesper focused on the bullet, sensed the smallest parts of it. Maybe he was the same. A bullet in a chamber, spending his whole life waiting for the moment when he would have direction.”

Oh boy did he struggle in this book! My poor sharpshooter had to deal with so many different things and even though his own life was a more than just complicated mess, he still tried everything possible to help Wylan and the others as best as he could! His relationship with his father was pretty rocky and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. His inner fight resonated so much with me and I could understand why he’s so restless and reckless all of the time! Jesper was forced to suppress an essential part of him, a part that would have needed an outlet and caused him to end up searching the thrill. It made me sad that his father saw his gift as a curse and tried to squash it, but it also made me proud that Jes finally decided to stand up for himself! XD In the end he took responsibility for his actions and he tried to change his life! And when it comes down to it, this actually means everything!!! =)

”There’s a wound in you, and the tables, the dice, the cards – they feel like medicine. They soothe you, put you right for a time. But they’re poison, Jesper. Every time you play, you take another sip. You have to find some other way to heal that part of yourself.”

”I didn’t raise you to be a gambler, Jesper. I certainly didn’t raise you to be a criminal.”
Jesper released a bitter huff of laughter. “I love you, Da. I love you with all my lying, thieving, worthless heart, but yes, you did.”


”Always hit where the mark isn’t looking,” Wylan had murmured.
“Sweet Ghezen,” said Jesper. “You’ve been thoroughly corrupted.”

Awww Wylan, my precious cinnamon roll!!! GOSH! How much I adored him in this book!!! *lol* He became so strong and independent and it was a pleasure to see him evolve!!! His background story broke my heart and I swear when he found out that his mother was still alive I was devastated!!! How could his father do this to him? To his own child?!! I don’t get it!!! Still, I loved how strong Wylan became, how he sharpened his mind and learned to take Kaz’s advice! And god, when they started to beat him I wanted to jump into the book and save my little boy!!!! I can’t believe he let them break his ribs just to make it convincing and oh my god that moment when he turned on his father at the auction!! It was priceless!!! XD I love, love, love the new sassy and reckless Wylan!!!! And I want more!!! Leigh do you hear me?! I WANT MORE!!!

”Wylan Van Eck, you lied to Kaz Brekker.” Jesper clutched a hand to his chest. “And you got away with it! Do you give lessons?”
Wylan felt ridiculously pleased – until he thought about Kaz finding out. Then he felt a little like the first time he’d tried brandy and ended up spewing his dinner all over his own shoes.

”Wylan wanted to scream. The closet was crammed with paintings – landscapes, different views of the hospital grounds, a lake in sun and shadow, and there, repeated again and again, was the face of a little boy with ruddy curls and bright blue eyes.”

Jesper leaned in and said, quietly enough that no one else could hear, “I can read to him.”
“He has a very soothing baritone,” added Wylan, and then the guards were hauling his father down the aisle.

The ships:

”We meet fear, he’d said. We greet the unexpected visitor and listen to what he has to tell us. When fear arrives, something is about to happen."

Inej & Kaz:

”I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “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.”

Those two killed me once again!!! Their chemistry, the promise of their love!!! OH. MY. GOD!!! I loved how fierce and passionate Kaz became whenever he thought of Inej! He never said anything but damn, his thoughts!!! His thoughts!!! They were full of Inej!!! Full of his love for her!!! I died about a thousand deaths when they were in the bathroom together!!! He tried to overcome his phobia and his fears because he loved her so much and finally, FINALLY Inej realised how much it truly cost him to be so close to her!!! ARGH!! I’m still not over the bathroom scene or the fact that he actually paid her indenture!!! He even bought her a ship for Christ’s Sake!!! I just love those two and I really hope they’ll manage to be together!! The anticipation of what they could become, of what they could be together!!! I’m already fainting by just thinking about it!!! XD

”The silence between them was dark water. He could not cross it. He couldn’t walk the line between the decency she deserved and the violence this path demanded. If he tried, it might get them both killed. He could only be who he truly was – a boy who had no comfort to offer."

”Before he even knew what he intended, he lowered his head. She drew in a sharp breath. His lips hovered just above the warm juncture between her shoulder and the column of her neck. He waited. Tell me to stop. Push me away.
She exhaled. “Go on,” she repeated. Finish the story.
The barest movement and his lips brushed her skin – warm, smooth, beaded with moisture. Desire coursed through him, a thousand images he’d hoarded, barely let himself imagine – the fall of her dark hair freed from its braid, his hand fitted to the lithe curve of her waist, her lips parted, whispering his name.”

”She felt his knuckles slide against hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm was pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly he let their fingers entwine.”

Nina & Matthias:

”At one point he bathes her.”
Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he –“
“She’s tied up, so he has to.”
“Be silent.”
“Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.”
“How about I bite your lip?”
“Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.”

The ship has sunk! T_T WHY!? They were so cute together, they should have been happy and they should have gotten a chance to make things right!!! They only kissed!!! They never got an opportunity to date properly; they never even did more than kiss!!!! WHY, LEIGH!? WHY??!!! You destroyed me! You deprived me of all the happiness they could have had!! They deserved so much better than to be parted by death!!! After everything they’ve been through they should have had a happy ever after!!! I’ll never be over Matthias death! Never! Their love was a delicate flower that never even got a chance to bloom! =( *sobs uncontrollably*

”You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.”

”How many rules have you broken since you met me? How many laws? They won’t be the last. Nothing about us will ever be proper,” she said. She tilted her face up to his. So close now it was as if they were already touching. “Not the way we met. Not the life we lead. And not the way we kiss.”

Wylan & Jesper:

”Yes, this is what I want,” said Jesper. Wylan looped his satchel over his shoulder, and without thinking, Jesper reached out and untwisted the strap. He didn’t let go. “But it’s not all that I want.”

I’ll never forget the moment Jesper called Wylan, Wy! They were so sweet to each other, their gentle gestures, their little sexual innuendos! Oh god how hard I shipped them! I wanted them to kiss and they never did!! *lol* And then the thing with Kuwei happened and I was like: NUUUUUU!!!! WHY??!!! I already saw the shipwreck but then they managed to get their act together!! They were adorable!!! The way Jesper took care of Wylan after he found out about his mom!! It was amazing!! It was cute, it meant everything to me!!! And their first kiss!!?? OH GOD!!! It was sooo perfect!!! It was worth the painful wait and I’m so damn happy they are finally together!!! <333 Jesper and Wylan forever!!! I’ll ship them until I die!!!! XD

”Wy, listen to me. You have to pull yourself together. Can you do this? We can leave. I can tell her you’re not up to it, or I can just go in myself. We can try to come back some – “

”There was only the reality of Wylan’s mouth, the press of his lips, then the fine bones of his neck, the silky feel of his curls as Jesper cupped his nape and drew him nearer. This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gunshot. It was prairie fire. It was the spin of Makker’s Wheel. Jesper felt the pounding of his heart – or was it Wylan’s? – like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh."

Jesper’s eyes travelled from the top of Wylan’s red-gold curls to the tips of his toes and back again. “But I do charge a pretty steep fee.”
Wylan flushed a magnificent shade of pink. “Well, hopefully the medic will be here to fix my ribs soon,” he said as he headed back into the parlor.
“Yes,” said Wylan, glancing briefly over his shoulder, his cheeks now red as cherries. “I’d like to make a down payment.”

My conclusion:
Leigh Bardugo’s “Crooked Kingdom” is a masterpiece of high emotions! It will destroy you and rip your heart out, but what’s even worse is that it’s like jurda parem. Once you read it, it will leave you gasping and craving for more! ;-)
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews559 followers
October 13, 2021
"Better terrible truths than kind lies."

Wow! Just wow! Here, I was thinking it couldn't get better than Six of Crows. I mean, you wouldn't expect it to, after the flawless SoC, and boy was I wrong! This is the best sequel of all time. This is incredible. Magnificent. Phenomenal. There aren't enough words. This is the kind of book that makes you feel like there aren't enough stars to give a proper rating.

"Bad situations happen to be my area of expertise."

The main plot is as thrilling and dramatic as ever, with never ending twists keeping the reader immersed in a sea of suspense. One cannot guess how something is going to turn out the next moment, but nothing ever feels unrealistic no matter how it does turn out at the end. Story is much longer, complex and rich in details than first, with many little side quests paving the way to the big ending. Bardugo outperforms herself with Cooked Kingdom, improving upon the perfect writing style that made SoC special, and introducing every bit of flavor one could hope for.

"But of course, nothing was sacred to Kaz Brekker."

The setting of Kerch (and Ketterdam) is amazing. The atmosphere is maintained in such a way that reader will feel addicted to the plot. The inevitable chaos reigns over everything else, but it's a chaos that one would easily fall in love with. Even the heartbreaking events feel very much in harmony with the flow, intensifying everything. It's difficult to describe what makes it so, but for, me, Bardugo's world building is nothing short of perfect.

"Never underestimate the public's desire to get something for nothing."

The author effortlessly makes one feel right at home with our beloved gang, again, who are getting ready to write the wrongs that came with the ending Six of Crows. If you thought the characters were great before, wait till you're done with this, for Crooked Kingdom will help each one of them make it to your hall of fame. Kaz's scheming capabilities reach a whole new level - a level where you'd be clueless throughout the most part of the book - with all other characters getting further refined. We get to be more personal this time around, especially understanding the emotional side of each one, allowing the reader to empathize on a deeper level. SoC might've inclined me a little towards Kaz, Inej and Nina as my favorites, but I no longer have a preference among them. Author makes sure each character gets ample opportunity to prove each one deserves the best spot in their own way.

"To be fair, Matthias, you don't like much."

It's hard to resist sharing particulars of the plot, but doing so would spoil it for future readers. So I'm gonna stop at saying that everyone should give this series a try. And if you're any kind of fantasy fan, this duology is a must read. You are not going to find many books that will surpass Six of Crows, which has become a yardstick to measure future fantasy books for me. Though most of the things did end in a satisfying way, I do hope there will be a third book (at least) for this series. With the seemingly unimportant loose ends that Bardugo has left behind, it won't be difficult. But again, how can one top this?

"Matthias was dreaming again. Dreaming of her. The storm raged around him, drowning out Nina's voice. And yet his heart was easy. Somehow he knew that she would be safe, she would find shelter from the cold. He was on the ice once more, and somewhere he could hear the wolves howling. But this time, he knew they were welcoming home."

"You're all right. You're all right."
Profile Image for Warda.
1,208 reviews19.7k followers
April 27, 2019
My 2nd reread and a few things to take note.

*Leigh Bardugo is a demjin.
*All the mediocre YA fantasy that are being released these days need to read this book to know what quality YA fantasy actually is. (I'm feeling petty and I'm in mourning right now, so I had to go there, so leave me alone.)
*Though I worship all these characters, Kaz and Inej are my gods.
*Finding out this was going to be a trilogy was a blessing, because I felt robbed and deprived by the end of this book. We wanted more and we are getting more.

Over and out.

I am not okay. I am in pain. I feel sick. My heart... I need more! I feel deprived!

In spite of all this, this book was better than waffles!

I'm in awe, to be honest. I'm blown away by how good this book was. What Leigh Bardugo has crafted is nothing short of spectacular. This is definitely going on my all-time favourite list.

This duology is more than just a heist story. It's a group of people coming together, who were brought together by this heist, which eventually led to them accepting each other, forming a bond that was stronger than their circumstance, their background, even though the world was set on putting them against one another.
It's acceptance. Tolerance. Ingraining in the readers that people are not just black and white, but fluctuate between the two. To not discard certain group of people because society manipulates you to do so. It questioned your morals, values, pushed them and forced you to understand a person first rather than coming to a judgemental conclusion, because of some choices they decided to make.
You've no idea what led to them making that choice in the first place.

The character development was exquisite. Leigh Bardugo took her time exploring the characters and making the readers feel beyond invested; they became a part of you. When I wasn't reading, my heart and mind were with those characters. They were multi-faceted, had so much substance and background that made them come alive.

The world-building was epic and grand. All the plot points felt calculated, smart. I thought at first that they would always get out a tricky situation, just because they could. It's fiction. But that was not the case, neither did the plot points and the scheming read like a cop-out. It was well thought out. It's the way the mind of a genius would work and Kaz Brekker was a fuckin' genius! Or should I say Leigh Bardugo?!
And I liked how even though they were put in a box to figure out how to escape an impossible situation, they found a way. They found a solution that worked. They thought outside of that tight-fitting box they were forced into and never gave up.
There's strength in that. Something that the reader can take away with them. To know that possibilities are always endless. And to know there's always hope.

Leigh Bardugo has blessed the world of literature with these books. I'll be in love with this duology for a long time.
Profile Image for the burning dreamer..
266 reviews556 followers
August 15, 2018
*heaves deep breath in*

Where do I even begin?

Leigh friggin' Bardugo. You really, truly outdid yourself with this one. Never in my life have I been more severely anxious over a novel than this right here— would it live up to the hype's madness? Could it surpass the sheer awesomeness that was Six of Crows? Will anything ever compare? Was I just digging my own grave of unfulfilled hopes and dreams like this?

Yes, yes, yes and NO, thank the Saints (or well, Inej will).

Crooked Kingdom is one of those rare masterpieces that manages to get 98% of the things right in a sequel. On my watch, at the very least.

Let me start off by talking about one of the best aspects of this book: the character development. If tackling six major character arcs wasn't already grueling enough, giving them all intricate backstories and emotional integrity should be downright onerous. But that, my friends, is precisely where Leigh hits the mark.

It's no secret that our misfit gang of delinquents is the reason most of us fell in love with this series so hard. Of course, there's also the world-building, the one-liners, the adrenaline rush that comes with every heist, with every twist and turn and tumble; they're all part of the package. But to me, it's our Dregs that made this a real game-changer.

We live in a time where standing out in a sea of recycled literature is an author's greatest challenge, with the young adult genre at the very forefront of this ocean. And with Kaz, Inej, Wylan, Jesper, Nina and Matthias, it's like being hit with a motherfucking tsunami. As we get to know them more and more with every layer peeled back, there's no helping the deep-rooted connection one starts to form with each one. Leigh does this evil little thing where just as a chapter begins to get intense, she switches to the next one. The weird part is that this didn't even bother me much since I cared about ALL of their perspectives. (Especially my precious cinnamon roll Wylan, adding his POV was the greatest thing to happen to this book ♡)

In terms of plot, hoooo boy did shit go down! Cons upon cons thrown at every corner, it never keeps you off your toes or silently going fuck yeah with every tiny victory— then just as quickly turning that into oh fuck no as things go awry. I can see why some may have a hard time picturing a bunch of ragtag teenagers doing the things they do (not to forget Kaz's impeccable scheming abilities) but honestly, that's exactly what I signed up for. It's meant to be make-believe and it sure as hell does a good job making me believe it.

Now I'd like to take a moment and say: AHOY, THE SHIPS HAVE SET SAIL! One of them may still be learning how to steer while another met with a certain iceberg, but all aboard! I came for the feelz and I left with more than I could handle.

So after all that raving, you must be wondering: where did that 2% go then, hmmm? Well. You know it. I know it. We all know it. (Unless you haven't read the book yet, in which case, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE YOU WEIRDO GO PICK IT UP.) Spoilers incoming, y'all.

Scratch that, make it a 5%. Another minor issue of mine stems from -believe it or not but- Kaz. Throughout the whole thing, there felt an undercurrent of him just being so, I dunno, disconnected from the rest? Let it be known that apathy becomes Kaz Brekker, but where I hoped to see his walls crumble down, it isn't until welllll into the second half that we do. More overcoming personal demons, less pretending not to care, please. But the final result still makes me want to jump around in song and twirl his aloof (and secretly-concerned) ass.

“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.”

If I could, I'd list all my favourites lines here but then I'd be quoting half the damn book. Her wonderous way with words has made sure that I will always be coming back for more Bardugo.

To conclude, Six of Crows has easily been one of my most fulfilling reads quite possibly EVER. All I can do now is hope to live till time machines exist, perhaps then I could go back and experience it all over again.

*lets deep breath out*

I...I need a moment. Or two.

Or thirty million.

But my life is now complete.
*curls in fetal position and weeps*

Book song: Nara by Alt-J


Triple Edit: So the city I live in has a total of two bookstores that most certainly won't be stocking this anytime close to September 27th and expected shipment will arrive four weeks after release. I AM IN PAIN.


Edit: Don't mind me, just hyping myself up with all this gorgeous fanart...







Okay I'm like six months late but LOOK WHAT I JUST CAME ACROSS:



Normally I would tend to forget about the agonizing wait of a much-anticipated book as the months trickle by– but this? Oh HELL no, 3028273 weeks later and I am still eagerly counting down the days until I can FINALLY GET MY HANDS ON THIS PRECIOUSSSSSS GIVEITTOMENOWISAY
Profile Image for Hannah Azerang.
130 reviews98.4k followers
October 19, 2016
MY VIDEO REVIEW IS NOW LIVE: https://youtu.be/ehlUs9b3JZs


I don't have the words to describe how absolutely perfect this is. Hands down the best book I've read this year and one of the best books I've EVER read.

I loved the first book, but Crooked Kingdom took the bones of Six of Crows and gave them life. Not only is it the perfect sequel in terms of expanding the world and further developing the themes and characters, but it can absolutely stand alone as it's own story.

This series has just about everything I could ever want: an intricately developed fantasy world with well rounded and diverse characters, complex romantic and platonic relationships, social commentary on humanity and society, and meaningful messages about love, family, and morality, all wrapped up in a beautifully written and compelling plot.

There were so many moments throughout this book where I started crying because of how much some of the themes and characters resonated with me. I can't even begin to express how happy I am that this book exists.

Nothing has ever rivaled my love for The Night Circus, but Crooked Kingdom might just top it.

Full video review to come!
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
April 14, 2022
It's unpopular opinion time, you guys. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I didn't love Crooked Kingdom.

After I finished Six of Crows, I couldn't wait to start on this book, but I wonder if jumping into the sequel so soon had been a mistake. Without a doubt, this duology is complex and complicated, filled with a long and epic mission, lots of lovable if flawed characters, and so many twists and turns that you'll get whiplash. But it was just too much of a good thing and it felt never-ending.

Part of the issue for me is that the sequel is essentially an extension of the first book, but without its laser-focused mission. Instead, the mission of this book was meandering, cleaning up all the loose ends and getting to things that were not achieved in the first book. Now there are multiple purposes driving the gang forward: rescue, vengeance, money, reputation, and staying alive. And so the mission became muddled and rambling.

It didn't help that this is a huge book at 500+ pages. Our gang lays out elaborate plans, then things go wrong, then they lay out other elaborate plans, then more things go wrong, repeated ad nauseam. I think for someone who loves this universe and these people, having such a drawn out plot is a good thing, but it wasn't for me. I didn't need to read every little detail about this universe or what happens when things go wrong again and again. I feel this book could easily have cut out 200 pages, and still delivered the same story.

It took me so long to get through this book. Every time I thought about reading some more, I just got this feeling of fatigue. If I took any individual chapter of this book, I can say that it was great fun and well-written. But put together, it was just too much. Instead of feeling exhilarated by this ride, I felt exhausted and spent, and relieved to have reached the end.

See also, my thoughts on:
Six of Crows

Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,862 reviews30.1k followers
November 23, 2019
What would have been 5 stars...I now leave at merely 3...

I ADORED book one. And, being that for years now I have heard nothing but how book two was even better and so supposedly beyond amazing, I was fully expecting to adore this one too.

And, welp...


I wish I could say the story fell apart and slogged along or that I was bored. But again...


The plot here was just as rousing as the first book, I loved the characters, etcetera, etcetera...

So why am I not rating it 5 stars you ask?

***spoiler alert***

Because, folks, I am BITTER.

I am bitter that Bardugo, for whatever ill-advised reason, decided she would try to be George R. Martin and kill off a main character. And, unlike GRR, it just didn't fit. It served the story in NO way. In fact, it was SO beyond random that it felt like it was added on later. Truly though, it was so utterly senseless that I just couldn't even believe it happened after I read it and saw no "just kidding" footnote at the bottom of the page.

And, quite frankly, it just took the wind right out of my Love For This Series Sails.

I felt like Bardugo betrayed the reader, her characters, and the series as a whole.

And to anyone who says, "But Val, it's completely unrealistic for ALL of the crew to have lived through it all," I say I DON'T CARE. I don't read Young Adult FANTASY for the "realism" of it.

In addition to that, I also felt like Kaz wasn't as magnetic in this book as he was in the first book. The team didn't feel as "team-like" as it did in the first book. And I just wasn't happy with the way the whole thing ended. It felt kind of abrupt and unfinished and I felt like the characters were all left unmoored instead of bound together, especially poor Nina.

But as I said, I'm mostly just bitter.
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
180 reviews1,242 followers
February 24, 2022
The luxury of being able to review this book evades me. Every corner, every detail of the book was so flawless it should not be possible. My heart feels heavier, my thoughts are bestrewed with even the most miniscule of details that went down.
I can say no more, I need a moment or two to process what happened and possibly let out a stifling sob.

"They might suffer. They might take their knocks, but in the end they were all supposed to stay standing.
“No mourners,” said Jesper, surprised by the ache of tears in his throat.
“No funerals,” they all replied softly."
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,173 reviews98.8k followers
March 16, 2023

1.) Six of Crows ★★★★

“Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary.”
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
947 reviews2,712 followers
June 27, 2022
everyone :- kaz brekker is the best

literally everyone :- he is man of my heart

meanwhile me *in the corner* :- but my heart skips skips skips , skips skips a beat when I see this

And this


And this

This too

Don't ignore this

All the credits to the owners💙❤️
Profile Image for Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》.
293 reviews725 followers
January 17, 2018

What went wrong the first time:

1) The plot was very different than what i had on mind. This just threw me off. For some reason, i expected CK to be about Grisha rising & the crows helping out Nina to win the war. I wanted it to be grander than just Kaz and his greed. I was waiting for Ravka to rebel.

2) The hype! Too much hype is a huge turn off for me. Always.

3) Got spoiled about the ending & apparently i wasn't the only one. Some fangirl didn't like the way Leigh wrapped things up, so she decided to protect us (SoC fans) from the cruel faith that was waiting for us. She spoiled many readers on purpose just to save us "the heartache and the betrayal". Bitch, what?!

This time i'm going in with an open mind. Work your magic, Kaz Brekker. Let's see what you've got.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
851 reviews3,881 followers
June 15, 2021

One day later, I still can't believe that I didn't love this. I still can't believe that I've waited a year, seen all my friends adoring it, and ended disappointed and alone in my shameful corner. I still can't believe that I almost wish I didn't read it, because I can't forget that while I did like it, Crooked Kingdom :

Yep, that's Kaz. Hear me out : it's no secret that I have a soft spot for cunning and ruthless thieves who may or may not be hiding their vulnerabilities. As much as I do realize that it's a complete cliché, I strive for it, okay?! Hence my intense fangirling about Kaz in the first book. I LOVED HIM. In the first part here? He was GLORIOUS. Sadly, I fell out of love as I grew fed up of his ability to outsmart ANYONE. The guy's a Gary Stu, okay? A ruthless, cunning, unapologetic one, but a Gary Stu all the same. When does he freaking FAIL? Why is he the only one who doesn't have to fight against his demons? More than 3 pages, I MEAN? Nope. I don't believe for one second that the "growth" he showed in Crooked Kingdom was handled smoothly. It wasn't. Perhaps I felt that way because he was BARELY THERE? Or because most of his interactions consisted of orders like the commander in chief he is? I won't lie, some of his repartee made me really happy (because I'm a psycho), but I can't brush away the feeling that he was the shell of himself. As far as I'm concerned, Kaz was present, but not alive. Hate me now.

I know that many readers loved her, and I'm glad for you, I really am, but for me she was transparent. That's why I didn't care for her relationship with Kaz either. Boo.

- Can we have such things as too fast-paced novels?
- Yes, I think we can.

(don't mind me, I answer my own questions - sorry it's a teacher thing, oops)

You're free to disagree with me. Take Fitz for example : a non negligible number of readers would find his stories boring and I can definitely see why. Yet I'm never bored because the slow pacing contributes to multiply my feelings exponentially when something shocking happens. Crooked Kingdom, in another hand, flourishes in never-ending action and for most readers, it means the destruction of all boredom - I can also see why. Yet for me, a story that is too fast-paced, where action never stops, fails to reach that upper level when it comes to my FEELINGS. Perhaps I don't like heists as much as I thought I did. Perhaps it was the multiplication of cons that did it. Perhaps the novelty ran out, in that aspect. Perhaps I didn't care about Van Eck's fate as much as I should have. I do think that my reaction (*cough* underwhelmed *cough*) had something to do with the way the villains were handled : I'm sorry, but I don't know them. For me to feel engrossed, I needed something more than a one-dimensional, twisting moustache villain I barely interacted with. Sue me.

YET. I wouldn't have rated Crooked Kingdom a three if there weren't slices of AWESOMENESS to balance what I didn't like :

His chapters were, shockingly, part of my favorites. There's just something so interesting in following the sidekick, okay? Also, he's adorable and a red-head. It counts. As for Jesper, he was more fleshed-out and the added complexity made for one of the best character development, as far as I'm concerned. His flaws and fears felt so real to me. THEIR RELATIONSHIP BROUGHT ME LIFE.

I loved her spirit, her wit, her strength, her doubts, her fight against withdrawal - everything. AND SHE RAISED THE DEAD. HOW AWESOME IS THAT.

"Matthias smiled broadly and boomed in a singsong voice, "Hello, little friend!"
The woman went from wary to baffled. Nina decided to call it an improvement."


Now, I wouldn't take my word on it if I were you, given that everyone on earth loved it. I can't even say that I'm in the minority, because for that a minority would have to EXIST? I don't know? AM I ALONE? And it didn't influence my rating, but I will never understand why this book is YA. In which world are these characters teenagers?! (in the Grisha's world, I know, smartass) Trying to picture Kaz or Nina or MATTHIAS as 17s years old makes my head ache.

I missed reviewing and making picts, can you tell? XD AND! Buddy-read with the one and only, Chelsea <3 (I ALSO MISSED BUDDY-READING WITH YOU!)

Birds credit

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
November 20, 2020
“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”

A nearly perfect conclusion to a mindblowing and breathtaking duology. I promise you, I've never read a better example for diversity and representation. This series features characters of multiple cultures, faiths, and sexualities, suffering from mental or physical illness and battling different handicaps. And it all comes so natural and feels so real.

I love my Crows. All of them. Even thoug Kaz has some serious issues to sort out. And it's stunning how round they are, how much work was put into them. Each has their own background, fears, passions, etc. All of them go through character developement and nobody is left behind. It's really impressing how Leigh Bardugo manages such a large and multi-layered cast.

Unpredictable and heartstopping, Leigh Bardugo pulled some really mean but genius stunts. To be honest, it took me way longer to read this book than I thought it would. Sometimes I was not in the mood to keep reading and I'm not sure why. Often the plot dragged a little. Then again it was rather tiring, seeing them go through one disappointment after the other, each one more and more hopeless, until Kaz has a perfect but risky idea to save them all. It's an old hat (but yes, a pretty nice one).
Anyway, the ending was satisfying and everything I could have wished for, except for one thing. This situation and its effects didn't move me, by the way. It was too much melodrama, too unoriginal.
Something else, that bugged me were loose ends.
1. The Kherguud. Winged, unbeatable guys chasing Grisha. On one hand this subplot had lots of potential, on the other hand it was a bit overwhelming and the book would have worked just as well or maybe even better without.
2. Nina's new abilities and the effect jurda parem has on its survivors produced a slight plothole and a few unaswered questions.

Anyway, this book was wicked and thrilling, vicious and triumphant. It wasn't perfect, but pretty damn close.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 20, 2018
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best YA fantasy & science fiction category 2016!

 photo IMG_6823_zpso5odeitt.jpg

But wasn't that what every girl dreamed? That she'd wake and find herself a princess? Or blessed with magical powers and a grand destiny? Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren't chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.

if that isn't downright anthemic, then i didn't learn a thing from 80's music...

and i'm gonna say it - i know this is intended as a duology, but COME ON! sure, some of the dramatic arcs have been tied up (some quite conclusively), but there is SO MUCH MORE potential for story. (and i'm not just talking about the thing that i know a lot of people want. i'm more than fine without getting a neat bow tied onto that situation). what i want is more (spoiler tagged in case you don't wanna know who makes it outta this one alive.)

i must confess, i'd forgotten some of the things that happened in Six of Crows, specifically the parts involving wylan and kuwei yul-bo, and i started this book a little confused. but thank goodness for internet - i went to this site and it helped me fill in my blanks.

overall, it was a little slower going than Six of Crows, which may have been because i had to think back and work through my hazy memory, but once the things start thinging, man. so tight, again! plots! schemes! peril! double crossery! working the angles! quick thinking! revenge and regret and the spilling of blood. oh, kaz. oh, inej. such excellent characters. the rest of them are very appealing, but those two really stand out as special creations.

“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.”

kaz is such a wonderful leader, always thinking nine moves ahead, and it's so heart-in-throat watching it all come together. and inej is so clever, loyal, sad, stealthy, brave, skillful - but i never wanted to roll my eyes at her even once the way i do with some intensely capable heroines, because she seems so human and breakable, despite being so damn good at what she does. i was gripping the book so hard whenever she was in danger, wanting to scoop her up out of harm's way.

there's a lot of time spent with wylan and jasper, which is fine - i'm a fan of jasper, at least, but wylan is a little dull, so i kept wanting the focus to shift back to the rest of the pack because countryside family seeeecrets field trip is not nearly as cool as criminal mastermindery.

i got nothing else to say about this book (sorry i failed you, anmiryam) - if you haven't read the first one, there's no sense in me rehashing plot, but there's so much sense in me urging you to go grab a copy, quickly.

i am not ready to leave this cast of characters behind. i'm assuming bardugo isn't done with this world, since she has invested so much time and imagination to developing it, and it was nice to see some of the characters from the "other" grisha series make appearances in this book, so i suppose it's possible that a new series could branch off and some characters from this one could find new storylines there, but i am emphatically not cool if this is the last we will see of these guys.

no funerals, no mourners, no duologies.

good god, that COVER!

now i'm like one of those teenagers clogging up your feed. you're welcome and can you drive me to the mall?

review to come!

come to my blog!
Profile Image for vee!.
120 reviews2,830 followers
July 31, 2023
— 5 stars ✰

heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, soul-crushing

if you thought we already got a lot of banter in six of crows, then be prepared for crooked kingdom bc i caught myself giggling multiple times just bc the combination of these six idiots is just truly amazing. the way kaz intimidates everyone by looks only, nina’s beaming and funny comments, matthias‘ observations and his constant thoughts of “how did i ended up here?”, jesper’s unhinged remarks on everything & wylan’s puppy-character makes this book so enjoyable.

kaz really makes his name justice. dirtyhands is cruel and unhinged and we love him for that. i want his genius brain, i want to be ahead of everyone else, i want to have a backup plan for the backup plan. everytime i thought someone has caught up to kaz, he proved me otherwise because kazzle dazzle truly is the smartest out there.

kaz and inej. dirtyhands and the wraith. they have my entire heart. all of it. inej might think kaz doesn’t really care about her but only about her abilities, but we all know she‘s way off with that because this man has one soft spot and one only, and that is inej. he knows he can’t give her what she needs to hear, what she deserves.. but he tries to give her all he can. i was living off of these crumbs, i want more, i need more.

“i would come for you.
and if i couldn’t walk, i’d crawl to you.”

matthias pov’s we’re one of my favorites. not only did he make me laugh because of his “what the hell am i doing with these lunatics?”, but he also made me giggle with his “my-mind-only-knows-nina” thoughts. nina nina nina. my heart literally went 🩷💞💗💕

“what did you try to make me do?”
“i’m trying to compel you to kiss me.”
“that’s foolish.”
“why is that?”
“because i always want to kiss you.”

god, their banter was everything to me. the amount of times nina made matthias blush, it was the sweetest und purest thing ever. i will never ever get over helnik. ever. speaking of nina, thank you for always making me laugh. thank you for giving me a comfort. thank you for being the most hilarious out there.

wylan, my poor baby boy. sometimes i just wanted to jump into the book and turn his fathers neck. honestly, who treats their own son like that? thank the stars he has our favorite gambler jesper by his side 🤭

you know what my favorite moments are? everytime kaz asks the crew a question and everyone comes back with an absurd answer. like, they’re hilarious without meaning to be and that’s the best part about it, honestly.

kaz leaned back.
“what’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“knife to the throat?” asked inej.
“gun to the back?” said jesper.
“poison in his cup?” suggested nina.
“you’re all horrible,” said matthias.
— six of crows

kaz had tapped his crow’s head cane.
“do you know what van eck’s problem is?”
“no honor?” said matthias.
“rotten parenting skills?” said nina.
“receding hairline?” offered jesper.
— crooked kingdom

i just love their dynamic so much, never fail me make me laugh, never fail to bore me, never fail to amaze me. & let’s not forget the appearance of our favorite king, soldiers, grisha, whatever — nikolai, zoya and genya 💗💕🩷💞 *sighs* 🥰🥹 i’ve missed my favorite privateer & this makes me even more excited for king of scars.

“do you really have a flying ship?”
“i have several.”

more quotes i loved 🫶🏼💗

“why do you assume i know how to arrange hair?”
“because yours always looks so nice.”

her fingers slid into his hair and matthias’ focus shattered.
it felt like she was touching him everywhere.

“nina, i am with you because you let me be with you.”

“you're better that waffles, matthias helvar.”
“let's not say things we don't mean, my love.”

“there is no one i want more; there is nothing I
want more than to be overwhelmed by you.”

spoiler zone !!! ⚠️⚠️

“matthias was dreaming again. dreaming of her.”

“go,” said nina. “we’ll wait here for matthias.”

“i promise, matthias. i’ll take you home.”
“nina,” he said, pressing her hand to his heart.
“i am already home.”

i am unwell. no one look at me. no one talk to me. i seriously don’t know how how i am ever supposed to move on from helnik. they’re were perfect. just perfect. my heart shattered into a million pieces and nothing can piece it together as of now 🥲 although i already saw the spoiler of his death, i was still so shocked on how it happened. and even if i wish i could revive him, it made sense for him to die since he and nina were practically doomed to be star crossed lovers 😭 i. am. unwell.

“his knuckles brushed against her skin and lightning cracked through him, left him paralyzed, rooted to the earth”

MY HEART WAS BEATING SO FAST. i knew that kaz and inej weren’t going to kiss in this duology, so i assumed they never got together BUT THEIR ENDING WAS PERFECT. i couldn’t have imagined it better and my heart literally went boom boom boom when he appeared to their meet-up without gloves 😭

and please let’s not forget jesper and wylan, the softest couple out there. my favorite boys. THEY’RE SO CUTE AND ADORABLE and the way wylan let’s jesper gamble a bit at the end of the book but still looks out for him so he won’t get sucked into a rabbit hole 🫠🫠
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