Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - CookieBreak Skip to content

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo


“Kaz Brekker and his crew 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 left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, 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 magic in the Grisha world.”


What I thought:

I thought I’d give myself a bit of time before writing the review to get over my hangover, but it didn’t work. I’m still madly in love with Crooked Kingdom, so expect a lot of gushing and incoherent rambling up ahead! 🙂 I’ll try to be vague and let a couple of quotes make up for it.

Where do I start? This isn’t an easy review to write because most of the things I want to talk about are either spoilers or profess my undying love for Jesper and Wylan. It was so nice to be back in Bardugo’s world and read about my favourite characters again that I flew through this.

“Vile, ruthless, amoral. Isn’t that why you hired Kaz in the first place? Because he does the things that no one else dares? Go on, Van Eck. Break my legs and see what happens. Dare him.”

Crooked Kingdom starts right where Six of Crows left off – Inej taken hostage, and with plots for vengeance forming. Bardugo does what she does best – plot twists at every corner, brilliant character development and the banter was to die for! Especially between Nina and Matthias, and Jesper and Wylan. Their constant flirting and innuendos were fantastic and made my day, even more so because innocent Matthias didn’t get the innuendos.

There were a few parts I loved especially, such as the story of how Matthias’ met his wolf Trass, Wylan’s character development, seeing Inej afraid because she’s such a strong character, and the ending. Word of warning: One of the six dies. While I really wanted all of them to make it out alive I do think that a death makes more sense than none, given the danger they keep putting themselves in. If anything I think we’re lucky to loose only one of them, but I’m happy that no one else has to die.

Matthias was running through the streets of a foreign city, into dangers he did not know, but for the first time since he’d looked into Nina’s eyes and seen his own humanity reflected back at him, the war inside him quieted.

And of course the writing is brilliant.

This duology is one of my favourite things. I learnt so much from it for my own writing, and love it all the more for it. Bardugo’s world will be my happy place if I’m ever stuck for inspiration.

So, just in case you were wondering – I recommend this duology. Read it now!


Have you read Crooked Kingdom, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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  1. I didn’t actually realise this was a duology until this morning. I kind of feel like the story isn’t finished and I want to know what happens next.

    I was expecting that not everyone would make it but who doesn’t did catch me by surprise although once I thought about it it does make sense.

    I loved that there was so much more Wylan and Jesper this time as I felt they were a little overlooked in Six of Crows and they are probably my favourite characters.

    • I haven’t read The Grisha trilogy the duology is set in the same world, and it tied up all the character arcs nicely. I would love more, too, but hopefully her next series will be set in the same world again 🙂
      They were my favourite characters, too, I’d love more just for that reason alone! <3

      • I saw Leigh Bardugo on Thursday night and she’s said she’s taking a break from the Grisha world for a bit and working on something completely different.

        There were however hints that there may be another Grisha series in the future. Possibly featuring a certain privateer/king who popped up in Crooked Kingdom.

        • What do you mean, you saw her!! :O
          That’s exciting, I’m certainly keeping an eye out for whatever she publishes it. She’s on my insta-buy list.

          • She was on tour with Rainbow Rowell last week in the UK. Nicest people ever and possibly the funniest author event ever. They acted out a scene between Matthias and Nina which I don’t think I’ll ever forget 🙂

          • I knew they’ve just been on tour together. I would have loved to see them, it sounds incredible <3 Which scene did they act out?

          • It was the scene where they’re walking through the market to try to contact the other Grisha and Nina is trying to distract him. Think Princess and the barbarian 🙂

          • I love pretty much every scene with Matthias and Nina but then I also love every scene with Jesper and Wylan and Kaz and Ines. OK I love pretty much every scene 😀

  2. Sounds like a great halloween read!

    • It’s not a scary read in the Halloween sense, but I’m all in favour of you reading it! 🙂

      • I’m sure you are, Ill have a look ☺

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