October 3, 2016

Review + Launch: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
by Leigh Bardugo
pub 9/27/16 by Henry Holt & Co
YA - Fantasy
It's hard to pull off six point-of-views. It's even harder to pull off many small heists for one long takedown. And yet, Leigh Bardugo makes it seem effortless. The truth is, as much as I really liked Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom is the book I completely loved in this duology. It made me realize the depth of which Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Wylan and Jesper had each gotten under my skin. I was laughing at all the banter, swooning at the romances and gripping the book every time one of them was in danger. (Which, let's be honest, was most of the time.)

As one can expect from a Leigh Bardugo book, the storytelling was impeccable. There are no throwaway details, which shows in many clever reveals throughout the plot. It's so smart and surprising. But what elevated this book for me were the characters. There were so many things I wanted to see coming into Crooked Kingdom. I wanted to see more cracks in Kaz's armor. I wanted more of Inej's backstory and for her to keep chasing her dreams. I wanted to see Nina and Matthia's love blossom despite being complete opposites. I wanted to know more about Jesper and Wylan's childhoods and how they ended up where they are. I wanted it all and I'm happy to say Bardugo delivers in ways that I both hoped for and didn't expect. It was an amazing end to the story she began.

*** 

I was lucky enough to attend the sold out Crooked Kingdom launch held at The Strand with Leigh Bardugo and Jesse the Reader last week. And by lucky, I mean Alexa and I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale like the fangirls we are. I've already mentioned what a fantastic writer I think Leigh is but if you've never heard her speak at a panel, fix that as soon as you can. She's so funny and engaging. But more importantly, I think she's a great voice among aspiring authors. One girl in the audience asked if she had advice and I'm still thinking about what she said. Which was (and I'm slightly improvising here):

"There's no expiration date on your talent." 
"A badly written but finished draft is more important than a perfect first sentence."
"Revise, revise, revise." (She is all about revisions and constant editing.)

The whole night was just a lot of fun! Aside from talking about Six of Crows and the Grisha trilogy, she also talked about taking on the Wonder Woman icon and how that process has been different. (So excited for this!) And she hinted at another book being in the works but couldn't say anything more than that.

Then once the interview part was over, we had to wait for our books to get signed and Macmillan did a great job of organizing everything. They had cookies and tattoos for everyone. There were full-size cutouts of the characters to take pictures with. And finally, meeting Leigh herself. I was inwardly freaking out when I walked up and she was like, you look familiar. I said we had met before and as soon as I mentioned my blog, she was all oh yes! Which made me very happy.

***

What did you guys think of Crooked Kingdom?
And do you love Leigh Bardugo as much as I do?

2 comments:

  1. Yay for loving Crooked Kingdom! It's seriously an incredible novel. And it's pretty much safe to say that I'm obsessed with this duology <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. The launch was so fun (and I'm glad we ran into each other!) and I loved hearing Leigh talk more--it was my first time seeing her talk about her books. I really enjoyed Six of Crows. It's one of those books that I becan to love more the longer I thought about it (which is why I was at the launch to begin with) but like you I might have loved Crooked Kingdom even more. It was amazing seeing how everything came together for these characters.

    ReplyDelete