A Bittersweet End to the Duology: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Review


Published: September 20th, 2016 by Henry Holt and Company

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Fiction

Recommended to: those who love a good plot and interesting characters



Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts 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 badly weakened, 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 the Grisha world.

RATING: ★★★★★

That was one hell of an ending and yet, I don’t think it was wrong. Still, I would be lying if I say it didn’t break my heart into pieces.

I think the best thing about this series is how close the characters were to my heart. They’re a crew that I loved fiercely. It’s hard to think of them as only characters. Leigh Bardugo breathed life into them. They have feelings, fears, goals, and weaknesses. I prayed that everything will work out for them. But try as I might, even in this fantasy world, perfect endings don’t exist.

six of crows fanart
Six of Crows fanart by Mel

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.

While I finished Six of Crows really fast, I dragged reading Crooked Kingdom. I didn’t want it to end. But most importantly, I didn’t want to get to the part I feared the most (I accidentally read a spoiler so I knew). Although it might have ruined things a bit, it was a really good book.

What Leigh Bardugo did so well in the Six of Crows duology is the plot. Just when I think I know what to expect, she proves me wrong. No page in this book is wasted. As I said in my review of Six of Crows, Bardugo’s transition between the different character POVs is remarkable. It was smooth and the endings will leave you on the edge.

While I think the terrible thing that happened in the ending was a little bit unfair (this might be my bias talking but a girl is sad), I also understand why it had to happen. Everything about the ending made perfect sense. If this was another book, if this was another crew, a perfect happy ending would suffice. But there are no happy endings in the Barrel. There are only losses or victories and sometimes a combination of both.

And that was what destroyed you in the end: the longing for something you could never have.

I’m sorry if this is less of a review and more of a coping mechanism for my grief. I have suffered countless times before this and I will recover. But for now, let me just go cry in a corner, read fanfiction, and pretend some things never happened.

3 thoughts on “A Bittersweet End to the Duology: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Review

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