Crooked Kingdom Review: My Heart Will Never Be The Same Again

October 14, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

Crooked Kingdom Review: My Heart Will Never Be The Same AgainCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Orion Children's Books on September 27th 2016
Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off the most daring heist imaginable.But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, they're low on resources, allies and hope.While a war rages on the city's streets, the team's fragile loyalties are stretched to breaking point. Kaz and his crew will have to make sure they're on the winning side... no matter what the cost.

This review does not contain spoilers for Crooked Kingdom (but does for Six of Crows). 

I’m the worst at writing reviews for books I absolutely LOVED, they just end up being a fangirling mess, so here we go again.

Crooked Kingdom is the best book I’ve read this year, if not ever. I delved into it after my Six of Crows re-read which was the best decision ever because of that cliffhanger and everything was still fresh in my mind.

Leigh Bardugo is a freaking genius guys. This wonderfully expansive world of the Grisha was again brought to life so vividly through the pages, with its Grisha classes, the different characteristics of each race and country, their language, mannerisms and customs. Whilst Six of Crows had the crew travelling across terrain, more of Ketterdam was brought to life in this one. I loved how each area of Ketterdam had it’s own personality, from the mysterious Council of Tides, to the impenetrable Hellgate, to the opulent Van Eck Mansion and of course, The Barrel housing the city’s criminals and no-gooders. The map at the front really brings to life this amazing world.

crookedkingdomWhile Crooked Kingdom doesn’t have the same impossible heist story as the first book, it’s filled with drama, intrigue and action as Kaz Brekker plots to get his fortune – and just revenge – from Van Eck, while keeping Pekka Rollins at the forefront of his mind. If there’s anyone that you never, ever want to cross, it’s Kaz. He’s absolutely ruthless, cold-hearted and goes for the jugular and seeing him lay down his plans throughout the book was magnificent. Kaz is like a genius mastermind that sees everything unfolding in his head with the rest of us mere human beings witnessing his greatness. Yet somewhere, in that cruel, cold heart there’s a glimmer of hope for him and Inej. Kaz Brekker has my heart, guys. Can you tell?

As the infamous Wraith who can climb on thin air and with supreme dagger and thieving skills, Inej meets her match in this book in a stunning display of strength. Her struggle between whether she should stick with the Dregs (and Kaz) or whether she should pursue her pirate plundering dreams was at the forefront of her mind in this book.

“What is wrong with him?” – Nina
“Same thing that’s always wrong with him. He’s Kaz Brekker.” – Jesper

Much of the book is focused on revealing Jesper’s past and finding out his roots and where he came from, along with more character development for the sweet, rougish Wyland. As they both kind of faded into the background in Six of Crows, I loved hearing more about the pair of them and just how far they have come, suffering together. Although Jesper gets himself into quite a lot of mischief, gambling and not being able to say no to risk, his happy demeanour and unwavering loyalty just makes me warm and fuzzy. Things would be so much heavier with Jesper around.

Wyland’s complicated background with his father hurt my heart. Although he’s illiterate, Wyland’s bombs, chemical manipulation and pure intellect alone has saved the crew so much. The fact that his father can’t give him the time of the day is both cruel and really shows the weight of his personality. Wyland and Jesper were so cute in this book guys, I want to wrap them up in a furry blanket to hold them together forever.

She was the Queen of Mourning, and in its depths, she would never drown.

I don’t want to just talk about ships, because this book has a LOT of them literally and figuratively. But Nina and Matthias were so, so cute this time around and I’m glad they were able to experience some semblance of happiness. Nina is like a freaking Warrior QUEEN that just gets more badass even though she’s coming down from a heavy dose of jurda parem. I loved all the scenes at Ravka seeing her meet her Grisha idols where she belongs and I feel like there’s so much more to hear from her yet. Matthias is also like a big wolf puppy whose heart has literally been melted and is finally letting his softer side come out – all because of Nina. Gosh, I just LOVE ALL OF THESE PEOPLE. SO MUCH.


It’s not often that a book has me absolutely SCREAMING at it and bursting into tears but Crooked Kingdom has done it guys. It’s absolutely broken me and I don’t think my heart will ever be the same. Crooked Kingdom was just…incredibly satisfying and A FREAKING AWESOME READ. So if you haven’t picked this up yet guys, what are you waiting for?

Rating: 5 out of 5


I may or may not have stroked/stared at the cover for more than a few times instead of reading. The gold lettering is even more beautiful in person.

Thanks Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy!

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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28 responses to “Crooked Kingdom Review: My Heart Will Never Be The Same Again

  1. lydiaisawriter

    Crooked Kingdom was so wonderful it has left me with an odd, bookish hangover. I can't make myself commit to anything else because I still miss the crows so much! Leigh Bardugo might be an actual genius.
    My recent post Crooked Kingdom

  2. Puput

    I AM ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK TOO, JEANN! <3 it' so so so good! I love all the complexity, the intricate plot twists, the jokes, but especially the characters. Kaz would always be my favorite characters and I love reading his POV the most, but I was also glad to see ALL the crews got the chance to shine in this book. Everyone has their own problems and pasts to deal with and that makes them all so relatable. I loved loved loved them so much! <3 and YES TO THE SHIPS! I'm glad it didn't overshadow the plot but it was SO THERE! You just could feel it… those stolen glances and everything <3 I'm so gonna do a reread soon. Lovely review! 😀
    My recent post Review: Crooked Kingdom // I’m a whirlwind of emotion!

    • YESSS I am so glad that you love the book! There are so many fantastic characters and they are all developed nicely and the plot is so amazing. It\’s one where the romance doesn\’t take over the plot too but the subtle-ties are just done so well you know! LOVE it, I re-read SoC beforehand and it was sooo good.

  3. The characters in this series are what made me love the first book in the first place, so I'm eager to hear that they are amazing and they develop even more. I'm especially looking forward to getting to know Jesper and Wylan better because like you said, they were more in the background. I did read a spoiler about the end that has left me feeling a little heartbroken. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to the book right away because of that, but it's definitely in my future.
    Lovely review, Jeann!
    My recent post Novellas, Hate-To-Love & A Comparison Gone Wrong : Romance Bites

    • Oh my gosh Nick that spoiler left my heart broken! I'm glad I didn't stumble upon any before I read the book. I'm glad you can prepare for it all though because seriously THIS BOOK HAS MY HEART.

  4. IT'S NOT OUT YET IN MY COUNTRY *wails* I can't wait to experience the feels trip myself omg. And Kaz! I feel okay with him in SoC, but I do have soft spot for ruthless mastermind, so we'll see how it goes. AND IM SO GLAD FOR THE WYLAN POV. I really want to see what's in his head! Amazing review Jeann!
    My recent post The Raven Cyce Book Tag

    • Oh man, I hope you get your hands on it soon because it's sooo good! Omgg there's so much about Wylan in here, I bet you will love it 😀

  5. I haven't read this yet. I'm so scared!! I'm glad it's good, but breaking your heart? That's so not good! I loved the heist so that's too bad there isn't another one. Still Kaz should have some crazy plans, right?

  6. OMG I KNOW RIGHT?! I struggled so much with this review but omg, I love each and every one of them so much. I am hoping there's a spin-off or something! MY HEART NEEDS IT.

  7. Esther

    I am halfway through this and IT HAS ALREADY RUINED ME. Literally. I have cried like 10 times already and I don't want this book to end. PLEASE DON'T LET IT END. I am already fangirling harder than ever and definitely flopping around. I THOUGHT SIX OF CROWS WAS AMAZING. BUT LEIGH BARDUGO HAS EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATION. Now excuse me while I go let Crooked Kingdom ruin me some more.
    My recent post Book Review: Six of Crows (AAAAHHHHH!!!)

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