We’re going to do a little something different with this review, it will be a dual review from both myself (Mina) and Amelia! 🙂 Amelia has already read “Six of Crows” and you can find her review here! So, here is my short and sweet review of “Six of Crows“!!
Six of Crows (#1) by Leigh Bardugo
Oh. My. Goodness!!! I am so mad at myself for waiting this long to FINALLY pick this up!! I was nervous going in because I’ve heard such mixed reviews of Leigh Bardugo’s first trilogy, set in the same world, AND this book was so hyped! But, let me tell you…this book DEFINITELY lives up to the hype. My short and non-spoiler review for this book is: GREAT CHARACTERS, a fast-paced heist that leaves you guessing page to page and a world so immersive that you can’t help but feel like you’re running alongside the characters. I do believe the strong point of this book was the characters and their depth. You knew just enough about their backstories to make you feel for them, but not enough to still leave you guessing if any of them are going to turn to their criminal ways. I loved it – I loved the heist plot, I thought it was so engaging and so different from your typical heist plot. And…that ending though!!! So good! So good! PICK THIS UP NOW!!
Now, if y’all are ready – we will be heading onto a spoiler-y review from myself and Amelia for “Crooked Kingdom“. It will inherently be spoiler-y because it is a sequel. So, go pick up “Six of Crows” and then come back! 🙂
Crooked Kingdom (#2) by Leigh Bardugo
(rated by Mina and Amelia)
Mina: I mean, where do I even begin?! I am so grateful that I was gifted this for Christmas because I was able to pick it up straight away as soon as I was finished with “Six of Crows“. This kept me super engaged in the world and in what was going on. Can we first admire the beauty that is this cover?! I mean, come on!!! And like “Six of Crows“, this one has red edging around the book and it is breathtakingly beautiful!! I was obsessed. Anyways…moving past the outer beauty and heading into the inner beauty.
Like I said about “Six of Crows“, I continued to love the characters in this sequel and the continuing character development that we got throughout. We learned more about everyone’s backstories which was all heartbreaking, to say the least. I really appreciate when books are written from the perspective of someone deemed a criminal and you get to learn their backstory, it reminds me that we all come from somewhere – no matter what people may think of us in the present state. I fell in love with all of these characters – I definitely couldn’t pick just one. Though, I do think that Matthias tugged at my heartstrings quite a bit…especially at the end… One of the things that stood out the most to me was the friendship between Inej and Nina. YAAASS to a quality female friendship between two badass female protagonists!! Both of them badass in their own way and their ability to look out for one another and support one another. My heart! All my feelings!!! And how can we ignore the budding and growing relationship between Jesper and Wylan?! Again! My heart! Not only is Wylans’ backstory just absolutely heartbreaking and tragic, but I loved the vulnerability of their relationship. You definitely saw something there during “Six of Crows“, but to be honest…you couldn’t tell if Jesper was being honest or not, but then this book happened and BAM! There goes all the feelings to my heart!
Just like in the first book, the “heist” aspect was definitely still there. I loved the way Kazs’ mind worked and how he was always one step ahead of just about everyone else. Once the auction started, I couldn’t put this book down! The dominoes just start falling piece by piece, until everything was in place. It was fascinating and so immersive!!
Amelia: After loving Six of Crows, I went into the sequel worried that it wouldn’t live up to all that the first had to offer. Amazingly, this book was even better than the first!
To start with, all the characters I fell in love with in the first book continue to shine in all their glory. We continue to learn more of each one’s backstory, making them even more sympathetic and real to us readers. None of them are cookie-cutter in any way, and the interactions between them all is so genuine and vulnerable and real. And all that witty banter still peppers the page without being over the top (unlike Gilmore Girls…there, I said it!). I also want to bring up what Mina mentioned, which was that there are many different types of relationships happening among the group, both romantic and platonic. It was incredibly refreshing for a genre can rely too heavily on three or four “typical” ones–the romantic interest, the sidekick, the best friend, etc.
Even though I was prepared for a well-developed, intricate plot based on Bardugo’s writing in the first, I was still on the edge of my seat for most of the book. I even tried to predict how this would end, certain that it would go one direction (and already getting mad about it lol) but I was completely wrong! There were twists that came out of nowhere, details I had completely forgotten about. And it all came together seamlessly into a wonderfully engaging finale.
Oh yeah, that finale. I think it can be so so hard to end a series, whether it includes two books or three or seven. Again, I think Bardugo did an incredible job of tying everything up. It wasn’t the sort of ending where everything turns out so perfectly that it feels a little false, but it doesn’t overwhelm with sadness either. All in all, I thought it was a perfectly satisfying, well-balanced ending. I am definitely looking forward to Bardugo’s next books, and may give the Grisha trilogy another shot!