Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo ☆

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“I’ve taken knives, bullets, and too many punches to count, all for a little piece of this town,” said Kaz. “This is the city I bled for. And if Ketterdam has taught me anything, it’s that you can always bleed a little more.”

Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Why you should read this book: Second and last book of this great duology, a must read!

Read the summary from Goodreads here

This riview contains many spoilers!!

I don’t think I will be able to write a review about this book because it was just too perfect. I loved everything, frustrating parts, happy parts, romantic parts, let’s kill everyone parts, everything. It’s difficult because I don’t have a clear way to express my feelings. I can be very incoherent and it is bad. I start talking about superfluous things and it’s not good.

So I decided to write about what I liked about the different parts of the story. Let’s see if this thing writes itself like I envisioned.

“Do you know what Van Eck’s problem is?”
“No honor?” said Matthias.
“Rotten parenting skills?” said Nina.
“Receding hairline?” offered Jesper.

Inej is kidnapped by that hideous man, Van Eck. Hideous man, I hate him so much! The gang of merry men is plotting thousands of ways to save her. Kaz thinks so many things at once; everything that happens is either exactly how he intended or fortuitously a nice coincidence. I am always in awe in front of Kaz’s intelligence. That man (I still refuse to believe he is a teenager, in my head he is 26, they are all from 24 to 27, don’t argue with me about that) is always a few steps ahead of everyone else and the few surprises and twisted don’t affect him much because he is already thinking of all the other ways to make things work his way. He is smart and deadly, perfect combination!

“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.”

Inej is saved and the real plan, the masterplan, is going to take place. Van Eck has to pay what he promised the gang and he is also going to pay for everything he’s done because he is a really bad man!
Twists here, twists there and I find myself afraid for everyone. Are they going to die, are they going to be badly hurt? What is going on? Why are the bad guys forming alliances?? This isn’t supposed to happen but of course it happens. It’s only half book and things are nowhere near done.

Another plan is thought (how does Kaz think these plans, anyway? I know he doesn’t sleep but still, that’s amazing) and things start moving. So many things happen and I can’t write everything down or else I start writing the whole book. I would love to do that because it’s a great book but I’m lazy and it takes a lot of time. More twists but are they really twists or are they fake twists to make us think things aren’t going as planned but indeed they are exactly how they were planned from the beginning? Come on, Kaz, share your secrets with us!

She rested her head on his shoulder. “You’re better than waffles, Matthias Helvar.”

I was sad about what happened to Matthias, one character I really loved in this book but I think I already felt he was the one who was going to be sacrificed. When I read someone maybe was going to die, the first name that came to my mind was his and it was indeed him. Too bad, he was starting to change, to grow and see things in a different way. I still want to cry, that’s not fair!

Seeing Kaz vulnerable is always painful. You see this dark figure plotting perfect plans, guiding his companions as safely as he can and then you see his fragility and all you think of is “that boy needs a hug and I’m going to give him one he’s not going to forget”. Same about Inej with her past and her insecurities. Such a strong girl, a survivor, and all you want to give her is the world and some piece of mind. It’s not much, right? They deserve happiness, all of them!

“Yes, yes, Nina Zenik is hungry. Now will someone feed me before I’m forced to cook one of you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Jesper. “You don’t know how to cook.”

Matthias and Nina. All the feelings. Matthias opening up, helping Nina with the jurda parem abstinence, with her body and power changing. Trying to make her eat, protecting her in every way he knows. A giant teddy bear! A hug for him, too! And of course a hug for Nina, she seems like a great hugger! Flirty Nina is one of the greatest gifts this book gave me! Thank you for Nina and her teasing!

“I’m teaching Matthias all about fun. He’s an excellent student. Diligent in his lessons.”
“Nina—” Matthias warned.
“Has problems with attitude. Shows room for improvement.”

Jesper and Wylan. OTP from the beginning, of course. How could they not be a very solid ship from the very first time it was mentioned they might be interested in each other? We are shown their pasts, the difficulties they had to endure and how much they still have to do to be whole. Wylan is Jesper’s rock in my opinion and he will help him be a better person. And Jesper will be Wylan’s rock, that’s pretty obvious. The first kiss was perfect and the kiss between Jesper and fake Wylan (damn you, Kuwei!) was hilarious! Poor Jesper!

“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 wrote about everything and nothing at all. It’s a complete mess and since it has spoilers it won’t be helpful to convince you to read it because if you are reading this you have already read it or you have no interest in reading it (and I don’t understand why).

If someone is reading this, I’m sorry, I tried. I loved this book. This duology has a lot of elements I love in books. I was sure from the beginning that I was going to love it and I’m so glad I wasn’t disappointed. All the stars from me! Recommended to everyone!

Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it is so great I really think you need to read it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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