“I would have 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.”
Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows # 2
Publication: September 27th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
MY BABIES ARE BACK! My goodness, reading this was like walking through the doors of home and suddenly being coddled by pure insanity. Crooked Kingdom was brilliant, thoughtful, evocative, and intoxicating. Not only did Crooked Kingdom do its predecessor,Six of Crows, justice, it stands tall on its own two determined feet and gives you a whole new adventure with a beloved cast of characters. I adored Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom destroyed me in the best way that a book possibly can.
“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 are, we’d fight our way out together — knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”
“Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us?
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.”
“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”
Nina’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t remember saying you could give away my biscuits.”
“It’s for a good cause,” Matthias said, retrieving the tin. “Besides, you’ve barely touched them.”
“I’m saving them for later,” said Nina with a sniff. “And you should not cross me when it comes to sweets.”
Jesper nodded. “She’s like a dessert-hoarding dragon.”
“One one condition,” said Nina, arms crossed.
“This is not a negotiation.”
“Everything is a negotiation with you, Brekker. You probably bartered your way out of the womb.”
“You’re better that waffles, Matthias Helvar.”
A small smile curled the Fjerdan’s lips.
“Let’s not say things we don’t mean, my love.”
“Meeting you was a disaster.”
She raised a brow. “Thank you.”
Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful for that disaster. I needed a catastrophe to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.”
“I,” she said, planting a hand on her hip, “am a delicate flower.”
“You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.”
Jesper tapped his fingers restlessly on his thighs. “Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”
“Don’t worry, Da. People point guns at each other all the time in Ketterdam. It’s basically a handshake.”
“You’re stupid about a lot of things, Wylan, but you are not stupid. And if I ever hear you call yourself a moron again, I’m going to tell Matthias you tried to kiss Nina. With tongue.”
Wylan wiped his nose on his sleeve. “He’ll never believe it.”
“Then I’ll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue.”
“I just don’t get it. I’ve spent my whole life hiding the things I can’t do. Why run from the amazing things you can do?”
Crooked Kingdom reaches out and grabs you, dangles you by your ankles over a sea of chaos, and threatens your livelihood all in one go. (Actually, that’s just Kaz, but I digress). Crooked Kingdom is an intricate dance of cogs and gears, plots and twists, fate, and ingenuity. It is a brilliant, enchanting mess of schemes and cons and love. Crooked Kingdom isn’t a pretty read, it is very dark – and I wouldn’t expect anything less. However, though Crooked Kingdom flirts shamelessly with Darkness like Nina does with shoes and waffles, there are moments of light that pierce you straight to the core. The gang is back at it again, and this time they will leave their mark on history.