When you can’t beat the game, change the odds.

So, yesterday I finished reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo and it did not disappoint. I knew that tragedy at the end was coming but I still cried.

I think a book review is long overdue seeing as how I’ve reviewed films and music here but had not yet written about my favorite pastime. So without further ado, I present to you the Six of Crows duology, without spoilers! ^^

Characters

The Crows are my children. I haven’t read a book that I loved all the protagonists since The Raven Cycle. I feel like my description won’t do them justice even if I tried so here are some fictional Instagram feeds I made and my favorite quotes of theirs so you can judge them for yourself:

Kaz Brekker

Kaz Brekker’s fictional IG feed

“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.” 1I hate to reduce Kaz to a sappy romantic but these are the most emotional lines he’s ever said.

Inej Ghafa

Inej Ghafa’s fictional IG feed

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.

Nina Zenik

Nina Zenik’s fictional IG feed

Maybe she should feel ashamed, maybe even frightened. But she hadn’t been made for shame.

Matthias Helvar

Matthias Helvar’s fictional IG feed

“I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.”

Jesper Fahey

Jesper Fahey’s fictional IG feed

“If you aren’t born with every advantage, you learn to take your chances.”

Wylan Van Eck

Wylan Van Eck’s fictional IG feed

“Music. Numbers. Equations. They’re not like words. They…they don’t get mixed up.”

Plot

What separates this young adult fiction novel from the others is that it is set in a fantasy world and yet it represents reality so accurately. Racism, discrimination, and poverty are alive and well. The world runs on money, or at least the country of Kerch does. Fjerdans hunt down Grishas because they think having powers is unnatural. Most of the protagonists didn’t grow up with privilege and had to work for a living. People die and life moves on–no mourners, no funerals.

Both books are, of course, comprised of a heist, although the second one has many more. What I liked about these heists is that they’re not predictable. You’re rooting for them to succeed, but you don’t know how they’ll pull off infiltrating the most secure country in their world and kidnapping the most valuable person. So how did they do it? I’m not spoiling you so you’ll have to read it :lol: 2Most of it was by predicting every outcome and sheer dumb luck.

I also love how the story is told in different points of view. However, I would’ve loved it more if Kaz and Inej had longer chapters. Most of the others had up to 40 pages while Kaz and Inej had 20 at best. But I guess that was effective because I couldn’t put the book down 3So to speak, because I was reading the ebook version. and kept wanting for more and so I read into the wee hours of morning.

As for their backstories, I have a love-hate relationship with how they were told because they made the chapters so long. However, it was effective because I got to know each character more as the story progressed.

I also resented the jargons that were thrown at me at the start of Six of Crows. It assumes that I have read The Grisha Trilogy and I haven’t. I was left to fend for myself by using context clues to guess what they mean. The author should’ve at least explained in a short sentence or included a glossary.

I hated the tragedy at the end of Crooked Kingdom. Like I said, I knew it was coming but I can’t help but cry because they’ve done impossible things, there’s no way it could end bad. Wrong. However, it does make one particular character stronger and I’m sure it’s because s/he is made for greatness.

Lastly, the ending is perfect. And by that I mean I’m mad that it’s only two books but I don’t see a possible third book even though the open ending leaves room for it :lol:

I haven’t read the other books in the Grishaverse but if any of you have read them, would you recommend them to me? The Grisha Trilogy characters that had cameo in the duology are interesting enough but I like second opinions.

Add me on Goodreads or comment yours below so I can add you! I’d love to know what you’re reading and follow your reviews ^^

What’s the last book you read?

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I hate to reduce Kaz to a sappy romantic but these are the most emotional lines he’s ever said.
2. Most of it was by predicting every outcome and sheer dumb luck.
3. So to speak, because I was reading the ebook version.


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20 Comments | Leave one? ⇡

    On March 19th, 2017, Sasha said,
  1. Very nice review, it sounds like an interesting read. :)

    I tried Spotify’s free app on my ipad, but it was so packed with ads I couldn’t listen to pretty much a single song without it being interrupted by ads – even worse than YouTube – and I can’t dish out € 10-12/mo for the premium version. :(
    At this point, I’ll wait until I get money on my card and I’ll buy it on Amazon.

    [Reply]


  2. On March 20th, 2017, Lucien said,
  3. I didn’t say I don’t like Ziva. ^^
    I was simply meaning her story in the series had run its course imo, I didn’t see it going anywhere so introducing a new female character in her place was a good idea to me.

    [Reply]


  4. On March 20th, 2017, Chynna said,
  5. The sign of a good book is when it illicits a lot of emotion from you. Except if it is frustration because it’s written badly (I’m looking @ u 50 Shades…).

    This duo looks really good! The quotes really drew me in, and now I definitely want to read it. I love when books draw from real life because as much as I love escaping in a book, I also like to see reflections in what I read.

    The last book I read was Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty but a woman who is trial for murder, which boiled down simply stemmed from the affair she had. Easy read, but it was really good! I’m currently reading Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes, which is if Hitler didn’t die by somehow ended up in 2011 and ends up becoming famous through YouTube. Craaazy, so far!
    Chynna recently posted Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in ConversationMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On March 20th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Chynna, omg 50 shades! I read it just so I can say I’m qualified to judge it because I suffered through reading it :lol:
    Ooooh, interesting book! And Hitler as a vlogger? Sign me up. Will add them on my to-read list ^^

    [Reply]


  6. On March 20th, 2017, Eena said,
  7. I haven’t really read much fiction books recently but they make fictional instagram feeds now? What??

    cabin twenty-four
    Eena recently posted My Patch AffairMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On March 20th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Eena, I made the IG feeds, sorry I didn’t make that clear :lol:
    I made them because I feel like my descriptions would’ve not done the characters justice ^^

    [Reply]


  8. On March 20th, 2017, Gretch said,
  9. Urban fantasy books has been all over the place and usually they’re too one-dimensional nowadays. I would love to read this book though, it seems like the overall atmosphere is cynical and somewhat dark, and not at all romantic (which is very much overrated and overused), and I usually love how they use crows in fantasy books.

    Great review!

    – Gretch of GG Memochou

    [Reply]

    On March 20th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Gretch, it is! Couldn’t have said it any better ^^
    Crows in fantasy books: Game of Thrones, anyone? :)

    [Reply]


  10. On March 20th, 2017, Airish Abella said,
  11. Great review, Gillan! The last book I read? Hmm. I think Looking for Alaska, though I haven’t finished it yet :( But I’m planning to read it again anytime soon ♥ Following you now on Bloglovin! Btw, if you’re looking for dresses you may check out this link: https://goo.gl/glwHDg Hope to hear from you soon! x

    Love, Airish
    Gorgeous Glance
    http://www.airishabella.blogspot.com
    Airish Abella recently posted StyleWe Bag WishlistMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On March 20th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Airish Abella, I love John Green and his works! Followed you back ^^ Thanks for the link, btw :)

    [Reply]


  12. On March 20th, 2017, Taislany Gomes said,
  13. Such a lovely review. Need to check it out.

    Thanks for sharing it with us. 💛

    Happy Monday Doll! Kisses,
    BLOG | TAISLANY

    [Reply]


  14. On March 21st, 2017, Rezina said,
  15. I love the fictional Instagram feeds you made for he characters! What a great and creative way to approach a book review. I have read Six of Crows but it’s been a while since I’ve read it, so I may have to reread it before I tackle the Crooked Kingdom. That’s great you enjoyed it though – makes me more motivated to read the series!

    If you enjoy reading books with heists, I recommend the Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch (if you haven’t already read them). They’re also fantasy but the heists are really interesting and the characters are really interesting as well!
    Rezina recently posted Movie Review: LoganMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On March 24th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Rezina, thank you! I hope you have fun reading the two and I’m glad to find that someone else has read this book around here ^^
    Ooh, thank you for the recs! I’ll add them on my to-read list <3

    [Reply]


  16. On March 21st, 2017, Jeanne said,
  17. Wow, you must have loved this book so much! Interesting.

    http://www.jeannieinabottleblog.com
    Jeanne recently posted 5 Things You Must Do In Yorke PeninsulaMy Profile

    [Reply]


  18. On March 23rd, 2017, Yuki Motokane said,
  19. I love the instagram feeds you made! They make you understand the personalities of the characters more. The quotes with them make them even more lovelier. Will definitely add them to my read list <3

    [Reply]


  20. On March 24th, 2017, Cat said,
  21. I haven’t heard of these books, but they sound interesting! (And thanks for making the review spoiler-free!) I like how the story covers real issues, even though it’s in a fantasy world. That’s good to know about the jargon from another trilogy too. I agree that’s confusing and even little footnotes would help. I don’t read as often as I used to, but I’ll have to keep these in mind!
    Cat recently posted Birthday week in photosMy Profile

    [Reply]


  22. On March 24th, 2017, Merel said,
  23. Interesting read, thanks for sharing. <3

    X Merel
    http://www.andathousandwords.com

    [Reply]


  24. On March 24th, 2017, Gellie said,
  25. This is interesting. I’d love to check out this book. My sister is into YA and dystopian so she might find this interesting. I’m currently reading a classic, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” since my sisters and I just started our own “book club” so we need to read this and then discuss what we thought about it over coffee. :)

    xoxo,
    Gelleesh.com
    Gellie recently posted #ManilaFoodTrip2017: Bugis Singapore Street FoodMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On March 24th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Gellie, I’m ashamed I haven’t read that classic yet! Thanks for reminding me I should read it :lol:
    Wow, it’s so cool that you have your own book club! <3

    [Reply]


  26. On March 31st, 2017, Gillan said,
  27. […] Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom – Six criminals, one impossible heist. I love this duology’s characters so much, they’re like my own children. I have reviewed these two before and you can read it here […]