So this month it was my ambition to read the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo and having read Six of Crows earlier in July I moved onto Crooked Kingdom and was excited to continue the stories of Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Jesper, Waylan and Nina the gang of misfits who managed to break into the unbreakable Ice Palace to rescue a Sui boy a secret so dangerous it could change the world.
Crooked Kingdom picks up immediately after the end of Six of Crows with our characters having just arrived back in Ketterdam and been double crossed by Waylan’s mercher father who has reneged on his payment for the job they did on his behalf. Inej has been captured by him and is being held until Kaz hands over the boy he broke out of the Ice Palace.
Now after Six of Crows we know what to expect, we can look forward to lots of double crossing and criminal genius from Kaz and his associates as they come up with another elaborate plan that will allow them to gain their revenge on the evil Van Eck and get the payment they have all staked their futures on. This book did not disappoint and from very early on we are cheering as Kaz makes his first genius move of the book in order to recover his friend and wraith Inej.
I loved the multiple points of view in this book, as with Six of Crows the different chapters allowed us to continue to explore the individual stories of all the characters and to develop our love for them that began in Book 1. For me my favourite character remains Kaz because of the different complex emotions he keeps bubbling just below his surface. The wonderful way he just does the unexpected and always comes out on top and his management of the people around him.
The relationship I loved most was Jesper and Waylan, from the first book when they were just discovering each others criminal skills and jokingly having Jesper drive Waylan crazy it has become one of the gems where they will do anything for each other, Jesper is helping Waylan to adjust to the fact he is now wearing the face of Sui escaped prisoner Kuwei and the ongoing rejection and double crossing from his father Van Eck. Jesper in this book reveals more about his background with the arrival of his father in Ketterdam and now Waylan is helping him to reveal the truth about his present criminal activities to his father. Their growing closeness and eventual unbreakable bond was beautiful to read about.
This whole duology was so exciting, the way the story arced across both books and took so many crazy twists and turns, the breathtaking moments of suspense and then the literally arm pumping punching the air times when the gang came through were just amazing. It is a series I will look back on very fondly and would highly recommend anyone to read.