- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 10 - 12
- Lexile Measure: 810 (What's this?)
- Series: Six of Crows (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 27, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781627792134
- ISBN-13: 978-1627792134
- ASIN: 1627792139
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 700 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows Hardcover – September 27, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Teens will be excited to return to Bardugo's marvelous world, first visited in her "Grisha Trilogy" and in this duology's previous Six of Crows. They will be treated to a visit from old friends—the graceful (and deadly) Inej; Nina, the Grisha Heartrender; Wylan, the discarded, illiterate merchant's son; and the mysterious and vengeful Kaz. Characters from the original trilogy (most notably Stormhund, prince-turned-privateer) also make an entrance in the heart of the slums of Ketterdam. Plots to take control of the city's underworld abound as Kaz rallies his allies and takes on the might of the rapacious merchant class and Pekka Rollins, King of the Barrel and ruler of the dregs of the city. Following the death of his brother, the antihero has surrounded himself with the castoffs of Ketterdam, all of them very young, defective in some way, and abandoned. Together they will either rule the city victoriously or fail magnificently. While it isn't absolutely necessary to have read the other titles in Bardugo's series, readers will be better served by this continuation if they are already familiar with the complex world and characters. This fast-paced dive into the Barrel, where fortunes are made and lost and life itself hangs in the balance, will keep readers enthralled long past bedtime. VERDICT A must-purchase for all YA collections.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Praise for Crooked Kingdom:
"A delicious blend of masterfully executed elements... Bardugo outdoes herself in this exhilarating follow-up, and series fans will have their eyes glued to every page.”―Booklist, starred review.
"Un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end"―Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
"Bardugo’s ingenious plotting that characterized Crows is again on full display, and the backstories, loyalties, flaws, and romantic alliances….are richly developed.”―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB) starred review
Praise for Six of Crows:
"This has all the right elements to keep readers enthralled: a cunning leader with a plan for every occasion, nigh-impossible odds, an entertainingly combative team of skilled misfits, a twisty plot, and a nerve-wracking cliffhanger."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Cracking page-turner with a multi ethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Set in a world that will be familiar to fans of the author, this book can be fully enjoyed without having read any previous title. . . . This is an easy choice for teens who enjoyed The Grisha Trilogy, Diviners, or any of the Shadowhunter books."―VOYA, starred review
"The whirlwind pace, along with some witty banter, burgeoning romance, and high-stakes action, makes this series opener a surefire crowd-pleaser."―Booklist
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This was so delicious. It was. Fulfilling, never disappointing, it whetted my appetite for a last job/heist story and satisfied with the level of a Shawshank Redemption-style smack down. It gave me spine-shiveringly-fingers-grazing-slightly-hungrily romantic moments, sweet first love moments, hungry lip-devouring moments. It gave me moments where I wanted to fist pump the hell out of every character, and then clutch them to my chest.and make soothing crooning moments.I read the entire thing in 6 hours. Then I re-read the ending. Multiple times. Tears and shivers and laughing and crying all at the same time. Every time.
I CANNOT ENUNCIATE ENOUGH MY APPRECIATION FOR THIS BOOK. I literally gasped at the presentation of one character who I didn't see coming (literally or figuratively) but was so delighted at the brilliance of the author's move. Everything fit. A perfect puzzle of a story that comes to the most resounding satisfying snap at the ending. I AM NOT KIDDING. BUY THIS BOOK. Actually, buy Six of Crows first, devour that (if you have't) and then BUY THIS BOOK. And if you're like me, voraciously devour it. Then as soon as you hit the ending, immediately go back and start re-reading, because you know you've missed details the first time around because the pacing of the story wouldn't allow you to slow down and appreciate the nuances. That's what 2nd readings are for. And 3rd. AND CAN I GET A HALLELUJAH FOR NO LOVE TRIANGLES?!!!?!!?! (THAT didn't count. IT doesn't count. I'm not counting IT.)
Thank you Leigh Bardugo, for this duology. Thank you for adding to my miserly BEST READS EVAR pile. Thank you for Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina, Matthias, Sprecht, Rotty and every other brilliant character you've made so readable and loveable/hateable.
Although, could someone please help me out? Most of the lands are pretty obviously references to real life places. Can I get an assist on Novyi Zem? I know I should be able to figure it out - I feel like it staring at me RIGHT IN THE FACE, not mad, just....disappointed.
First of all, the characters. They were the ones who captivated me in the first place--each one was uniquely talented and capable. Of course none of them were squeaky clean (with the exception of Wylan, and even he has a secretive past) because its a book about the dregs of society, but I fell in love with them all the same. In Crooked Kingdom, I didn't click with them like I did before. One in particular was very irksome (warning, minor rant ahead). Nina's dialogue is filled with unapologetic self-admiration and supposed female-empowerment, which was ok at first but it got old very quickly. There's a line in the book about her being "all talk but no action" which I must agree with. Her relationship with Matthias consisted of her being all sass and boldness, with Matthias as her faithful dog, readily agreeing with everything. It seems to me that in recent YA books with "strong" heroines, they have similar characteristics: lots of attitude, sass, and arrogance, and their romantic partner is very deferent (example: Aelin Galanthius from ToG series). I wish authors would empower women without feeling the need to obnoxiously portray them as egotistical with a love interest who fawns over them.
Inej was my favorite character because she is so talented, yet she doesn't heap praise on herself all the time--rather, she's dignified and is just plain awesome being herself. Kaz is a close second because he is NOT all talk, no action. He has earned his reputation, everyone could rely on his deviousness and ability to get out of any situation. Sometimes his schemes fit together too perfectly, as in there were spots where it wasn't believable or realistic. But they were certainly elaborate and exciting.
I also had an issue with how Bardugo used a painfully obvious tactic over and over again. The character would be doing their assigned task, something would go wrong at the last second, and then the chapter ends grimly with a cliffhanger. Now, lots of authors do this--first one to come to mind is George RR Martin in GoT--but I found myself getting irritated with this repetitive ploy. I understand that these books are about heists, but I wish that the suspense had been built up in a more subtle or sophisticated way.
Looking back, I see a lot of similarities to the Game of Thrones series, like the multiple perspectives, gritty environment, and dark characters. I can't say that Bardugo pulls it off as well. Martin's world is truly unapologetic--no fancy tricks to save his characters. This world is reminiscent of that, especially with (*****MAJOR SPOILER******) Matthias's death. Which, by the way, dropped out of nowhere within the last 100 pages and was given very little depth and discussion. What was the point? Even Nina, his lover, doesn't treat his death with very much gravity.
Overall, I kept reading to see the relationships develop and the heists go on. It's not as bad as I might have made it seem--I'm just sort of disappointed. The hard copy is beautiful; great cover art and the edges of the pages are tinted red. It's very striking--sometimes, however, I got bored with the story and my attention wandered to the prettiness of the book.