BOOK REVIEW: Leigh Bardugo “Crooked Kingdom”

9781627792134_custom-87433fa92146030d7e670837720f99c53b84f112-s900-c85Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

There are definitely going to be spoilers in this review so if you have not read Crooked Kingdom, I’m begging you to leave. Like seriously, you don’t want to find out what happens from some poor sap rambling about the book on her blog. Go away.

This book freaking tore me up. Like it made me want to throw myself off a bridge and die. Just why does Bardugo want to kill me with her sad, dark endings? Why?

Yet I can’t say enough good things about this duology; I understand now why people rave about it. Six of Crows and the characters and the genius story… it’s all together a work of art. I never thought that Bardugo could write something better than the Grisha trilogy and yet fortunately, I was so wrong. She has created such a beautiful and unique world with amazing abilities, in-depth characters and the intricately weaved stories she tells.

I didn’t think that Bardugo could top the awesomeness of Six of Crows, but Crooked Kingdom was still incredible. Kaz was still coming up with amazing plans and still causing trouble and it’s just so much fun to read.

Serious spoiler warnings ahead:

So.

Matthias.

Him dying.

Can we talk about that and how much it tore me up? Like, he was definitely in my top three favorite characters, and while I so appreciate the poetic nature of his death, still why did it have to happen? I was so ridiculously heartbroken.

No, seriously. My husband has perfect timing and called me in the middle of my sob-session, and he was very alarmed.

Me: HELLOOOooOO? (obviously crying) 

Him: Babe, what’s wrong?

Me: (Unintelligible crying)

Him: Tell me what happened?! What’s going on?! (becoming slightly panicked)

Me: A CHARACTER IN MY BOOK DIIIiiIIED (continues to cry)

He proceeded to laugh at me because apparently he thinks my crying over a fictional death is funny. He comforted me over the phone but there was definitely a joking tone behind it.

Him: He’s just a book character, honey-

Me: NO THEY’RE ALL MY BABIES.

I definitely felt like I needed some therapy after that scene.

And then I’m going to be super honest, the rest of the book was a blur for me because I was still so upset. I read it, but everything had sort of resolved itself by then and none of the other characters were in danger anymore so the story closed and I was just still heartbroken over Matthias. I still feel like I need someone to console me, and it’s been several days. Literally all the tears.

So I mean, that’s how I came away from Crooked Kingdom: amazing world, amazing storytelling, amazing characters, oh my gosh Matthias is dead.

Alright, someone provide me the number of a therapist who can help me work this out because I am not alright. Why did I give this book 5 stars? Oh wait because it was still amazing. Why am I like this?

So, turns out I’m not emotionally stable enough to write this review yet, but I may never be so I’m posting it anyway because it’s a super accurate representation of my feels. You’re welcome. Come cry with me if you need to.

BOOK REVIEW: Leigh Bardugo “Six of Crows”

Six-of-Crows-Cover

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

I feel as though it’s almost pointless to include a summary here for Six of Crows seeing as I’m one of the last humans on earth to finally get around to reading it. However, for those who live under a rock, this book can be described as a high-stakes heist story with six main characters told in 5 alternating points of view featuring magic, action, violence, romance and awesomeness. This book is set in the same world as that of the Shadow & Bone trilogy, known as the “Grishaverse”. Grisha are beings that have different types of abilities and are totally cool.

This book has the most incredible, fleshed out characters I have ever seen in literature; Leigh Bardugo truly outdid herself. First we have Kaz, the leader of our mismatched crew: he’s dark, dangerous, calculating and generally unfeeling. He’s also incredibly swoony somehow, despite being such a cold character. He has quite the revenge complex which is what keeps him from being very emotional, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling for Inej, his Wraith. Kaz saved Inej from a life of prostitution when he saw her potential. She’s sneaky, quick, light on her feet, invisible. So she works for Kaz to gather secrets and inform for him.

Then there’s the sharpshooter with a gambling problem, Jesper. So deep in debt, he finds himself working for the Dregs in order to pay back those he owes, all while his father believes him to be away at school. He constantly wonders what would have happened if he had focused on his education rather than wind up in the slums. Jesper forms a reluctant connection with Wylan, a newer member of the dregs. Wylan is the estranged son of a rich mercher, with plenty of secrets and a lot to prove.

There’s also Nina, the charming Grisha Heartrender who is hopelessly in love with Matthias, a Fjerdan. Fjerdans are very prejudiced against Grisha and believe them to be unnatural, so they hunt them, give them trial and put them to death. Matthias is no different and finds Nina to be repulsive… and gorgeous, incredible, etc. He is constantly fighting his feelings for her, struggling between the desires of his heart and remaining faithful to his country and his beliefs.

Together, this band of misfits join together for the most dangerous, impossible heist they can imagine.

Everything about this book deserves an A+. Five thousand stars. Just wow. The characters are so wonderful and Bardugo does an amazing job of giving us backstories to make us even more attached to them. I became immediately invested in each of these characters, their relationships, their livelihoods, their everything. I just want to hug them all and make sure that they’re all happy and healthy and loved. And of course, they’re all so morally grey, but you can’t help but adore them.

The plot had me on the edge of my seat throughout. The writing was phenomenal; so much quotable material! Six of Crows was perfectly paced, perfectly executed, perfectly ended. And it had me dying to read Crooked Kingdom as soon as possible.

Honestly, I can’t believe it took me so long to finally read this book to completion. What an absolutely stunning, incredible read. Leigh Bardugo deserves all the praise in the world. Wow.

 

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