Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Blabber

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Hardback
546 pages
YA Fantasy
Six of Crows duology, book 2
Read Jan 11 – Jan 23
Spoiler-free blabber

I picked this book up right after having finished Six of Crows. The first book suffered from over-hype, and having read it and been a bit disappointed, I went into this one with a much more realistic mindset. Because of that, I enjoyed it more than the first one.

This book picks up immediately after the finale of book one, and the characters have to deal with the new situation they find themselves in. The plot set-up for this book I think is more realistic than the first one was, and the ways the characters go about completing their objectives are much more believable. I stated in my blabber for the first one that one of my biggest problems with the book was that I found it hard to suspend my disbelief. It was easier this time around, as the motivations and actual skill sets of the characters had been more developed, and those of the enemy were less all-encompassing. It made the idea that the bad guy could potentially be overthrown feel more possible.

In addition to the plot, the characterization in this book was much more fleshed out. I griped in Six of Crows that Kaz was built up to be this ruthless, cold, vicious person, that he had this huge reputation for it, but we didn’t get to see it. Well, in this one, I was expecting more of the same, but thirty pages in, I went ‘Oh there it is’. The characters acted more how they’ve been described in this one, and it was nice to see a bit of cohesion there instead of ‘say one thing do another’. The other characters developed nicely as well. I particularly liked how Wylan grew – he became more sure of himself and his abilities, and ended up being one of my favorite characters by the end of the book. This book was funnier than the first one too. The humor wasn’t all over in-your-face, but there were a few times were I laughed. This book was fun to read.

Just like in the previous book, the main issue I had with this book was the pacing. The pacing, while a bit better than in Six of Crows, was still stilted and awkward. The beginning part of the book zooms, comes to a mini-climax, and then stagnates. It’s slow then, for about a hundred pages, and then it zooms again until the end of the book. The middle of the book isn’t supposed to make the reader want to put it down. And that’s what almost happened – I almost set it aside for a different book. I wasn’t going to stop reading it all together, but the way the plot progression was going, I was losing interest big time. That’s uh, that’s not a good thing when you’re building up to the finale of a series.

So that’s my biggest complaint. All the other complaints I had in book one have either solved themselves or they were improved on at least a little bit. If I remember, I think the Grisha trilogy had some pacing issues as well, so I’m hoping it doesn’t continue into the next series set in the same world.

So overall: This book was better than the first one. The characterization was improved, the plot was more believable, the humor was better, the characters were more likeable. It was all just better. If you read the first book and loved it, you’ll love this too. If you were luke-warm to it like me, I suggest picking this one up. Odds are, you’ll like it more.

4/5 stars

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