Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
by Leigh Bardugo
Bardugo introduced us to Kaz Brekker’s crew of thieves and misfits in the first book and gave them an impossible task: break out a young Shu boy with the secret to enhancing/controlling Grisha magic from an impenetrable fortress.
They have finished that job, and now are back in their hometown of a thinly veiled alternate Amsterdam where commerce literally is a ruling god and merchants control the city…including one wily and evil Jan van Eck who double crossed them and stole away one of their number. Now they crew must come together not only to enact Kaz’s revenge plans on van Eck and his real target Pekka Rollins, but also to retrieve their beloved wraith.
The action, fist fights, cons, angsty dilemmas for the crew members who grew up in normal families, and the monetary stakes keep rolling and getting fiercer with each page. If I wasn’t already in love with Kaz and Inej, or Wylan and Jesper, I would be after this book. While Nina and Matthias experience some growth as well, it is really the other two pairs who break through some of their thickest barriers.
And the antics are incredible. There’s a breath-stealing fight for Inez on top of a cathedral that tests everything she is, there’s a mistaken kiss for Jesper, kidnapping of wives, and Kaz proves once for all what an incredible and tough scrapper he is with or without his trademarked crow cane.
There’s also some other characters from the Grishaverse making an appearance here that fans of Bardugo’s first series will really enjoy!
There’s also some closure for the original crew, and a terrible loss. I know there’s a third book but it seems to be a blend of the original series and this one following only one of our beloved crew; so I finished this book with a sense of saying farewell. Excellent and satisfying ending.