Monday, 11 June 2018

Crooked Kingdom

Crooked Kingdom

by Leigh Bardugo

5 out of 5

When you can't beat the odds, change the game.

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 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.

Kaz and co. have accomplished the impossible, and their reward has been betrayal. They have to come up with a plan, to rescue Inej, and to survive their turning city.

I haven't had many audiobooks, and this is the first time I've listened to one with a full cast of people.
In the first book, each chapter was narrated from a different character's view; and that carries on quite brilliantly in Crooked Kingdom. I really enjoyed this audio version, and I think the narrators did an awesome job.

So, I was a little bit worried, after the big journey and major heist in the first book; that the second book being stuck in Ketterdam wouldn't be able to have the same shock factor. Luckily, I was proved wrong.
All the exciting parts of Six of Crows converged on Ketterdam, bringing magic, witch-hunters, super-charged-Grisha, slick assassins, double-crossing and a lot of plotting. Oh, the plotting...

Everyone is after Kaz and his allies, which seems increasingly small, as their enemies start to mount up.

There are seven narrators (correct me if I'm wrong); I thought I'd learnt all there was to learn in Six of Crows, but this book goes deeper. You get to learn a lot about each character and their motivations, and what you thought you previously knew gets thrown out the window.
I loved all the characters in this book, I don't think there was a single weak link. I really enjoyed watching the relationships and friendships within the group evolve. (OK, some more than others - I was really rooting for Wyla and Jesper).

The character development didn't detract from the central plot, of trying to get revenge on the sly Van Eck. Everything moved at a great pace, and I was swept along, depressed every time I had to pause the audio.
The plot... uh, I am not going to say anything, because it will spoil it. For a mastermind like Kaz, being forced to make up a scheme from scratch, after everything goes wrong... that was pretty awesome.
I was so involved with the world Bardugo made, I didn't realise how she'd been setting breadcrumbs throughout the story for this final stunt.

And I have to say I'm heartbroken.


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