Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Crooked Kingdom, the second in the Six of Crows duology, continues the story of Kaz and his gang of misfits. After being cheated out of the reward money for accomplishing a dangerous mission, Inej is kidnapped and held captive by the heartless and scheming Van Eck. If they give into the demands and trade Kuwai for Inej, Grisha everywhere would be in peril and their gifts exploited by wealthy men and corrupt governments. Kaz comes up with an intricate plan to trick Van Eck into relinquishing Inej. An elaborate chess game ensues, one step forward for the good guys and one step back as the bad guys gain ground. Each member of the crew--Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan--has talents and abilities that are tested, tried, and honed as this family of castoffs work together to rise above the limitations of the past and make their dreams a reality.
Once again Bardugo weaves a story about a different world and time with deep detail and strong characterization. She reinforces the reader’s understanding of each protagonist by showing the situation through each character's eyes a chapter at a time. Backstories of these six characters strengthens her plot and creates believability and empathy as she balances the scales of revenge and redemption. Elements and characters from the Grisha Trilogy appear in Crooked Kingdom and it would be helpful to have read these books as background before reading the Six of Crows duology. However, Crooked Kingdom is full of action and daring twists and turns that will keep the reader spellbound through its pages as it ably completes this entertaining tale. Young adults and adults as well who enjoy a good fantasy will like this book.
*Contains brothels, slavery, violence, and homosexuality.