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Leigh Bardugo does not disappoint in Crooked Kingdom the sequel to Six of Crows. It is the ending of the duology which could have easily been a trilogy...my selfish want as I love the world Leigh has built. As with Six of Crows the book continues with each character providing their POV. Not my favorite style of writing but Leigh pulls it off well in both books.
Don't want to provide any spoilers but the journey to the end is worth it. Ok..one tiny spoiler which made me VERY HAPPY is Kaz and the crew get help from some very special characters of the Grisha trilogy. Yeah it felt a bit gratuitous on Leigh's part but I enjoyed it anyway.
Now for the narrators...anytime it gets past 2 narrators I find it distracting. Elizabeth Evans (Nina) and Lauren Fortgang (Inej) were brilliant and well cast to the characters. Their last scenes at the end of the book were AMAZING and worth the whole listen! As for the men...returning narrators Fred Berman (Kaz), Brandon Rubin (Jesper), Jay Snyder (Matthias), Roger Clark (Pekka) gave very consistent performances to Six of Crows and matched the characters well. Jay Snyder made me fall in love with Matthias or maybe with Jay himself ;-). New to Crooked Kingdom...Kevin T Collins (Wylan) and Peter Ganim (Jan). I don't think Kevin gave a bad performance but he had almost all the pronunciations of the characters and the world incorrect which made his performance distracting. I kept correcting him while I was listening. Don't let it deter you from choosing to the book. Just know that it is coming and you will have to suck it up a bit when you listen.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Loved it. This book leaves me with that rare feeling that I don't know what to read next. Actually, the even rarer condition that I need a break from reading so I can continue to savor this book a little longer. I don't think I can review it properly. However, it's a story intricately wound and wonderfully wicked. I loved getting to know each of the characters, even though Kaz is the star, you learn to appreciate all six of the gang. The settings and fantasy elements were great - sometimes helter skelter and at other times melodic. The ending. That was perfect. It's worthy of recommendation!
PS - Agree with others that Wylan's narrator was terrible for the part, and still this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful
More of an enunciation contest than a performance. While a few of the narrators do a great job, most of them emphasize the wrong words in the sentences and make it difficult to keep the thread of the action. And while some of these improve a little, or maybe I became accustomed, as the story goes on, whoever is narrating Wylan's chapters sounds like he is doing a practice exercise for elocution lessons, and failing.
Luckily the story is so well constructed that it can cope with the mauling, the characters are well developed, and it is usually clear how the author intended the passage read.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
In Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo introduces us to the Ocean's Eleven of the fantasy world. The only difference is they are brimming with more character and oozing more cool than George Clooney and his pals ever could. There's also magic. Danny Ocean couldn't do that. Crooked Kingdom takes an already rich cast and focuses on adding to their depth rather than their number. This was a pleasant surprise, as many authors tend to dump extra characters into the reader/listener's lap and hope it makes us feel all happy about what we've been given. Not here. Here we are given a truly deeper feeling of every character. We knew them before in Six of Crows, but now we are given an almost intimate connection with each one in Crooked Kingdom. And it felt good. Better than good.
The story, as with Six of Crows was a complex plan hidden within another complex plan buried deep within the twistedly brilliant depths of Kaz Brekker's mind. He really is one of those characters that you can't help but love but also can't help but thank your lucky stars he isn't a real person. He's equal parts bad ass and just bad all at once. But he's just the right mix that you can't help but wonder why you can't stop yourself from loving him.
For me, I felt Crooked Kingdom played upon a range of emotions, more so than Six of Crows. There is one scene in particular that I did not expect to happen but DAMN, if it didn't hit me where I didn't want to be hit!
As with the vast majority of my seemingly praise-gushing reviews, this one will not be all niceties. There is one crime against my ears that I just cannot keep hidden. I rarely use the word 'hate' but in this instance, and the instance of Six of Crows, I genuinely hate the voice used as the main narrator for Kaz Brekker's bits. His voice is so bad, so gravelly, so 'I've been smoking for fifty years and swallowing glass for another ten' that I just hated it when Kaz's bits came on. Honestly, his voice is so grating on the ear that I, an author myself, struggle to put into words how unsuitable it was for ANY character to have that as their actual voice. I couldn't take it seriously. That fact was upsetting due to Kaz being one of my favourites. The rest of the vocals were on point and, dare I say, perfect. Matthias is very well-done, gives you the image of a strong man attached to the voice. Nina's makes you think of a sexy young girl who knows exactly how to get what she wants. Jesper sounds effortlessly cool and cocky. Kaz just sounds ... wrong.
But enough about my Kaz-voice hating. We can't all be happy 100% of the time so I will be content with the 99% of the time in this book. I am sure there are some (admittedly odd people) who thought Kaz's voice was just ... lovely.
Another good point about Crooked Kingdom is that Leigh brings back a few characters from her previous trilogy (Grisha Trilogy), so fans of that series will get that little happy moment when reading about characters they remember fondly.
All in all, I am very glad to have listened to the Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom duology. Kaz Brekker's band of thieves have made for excellent literary companions and I hope they make appearances in future books from Bardugo.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I have listened to this book series over and over. Crooked Kingdom managed to be even better than its predecessor, upping the ante with twists and turns right through to the finish. There was never a dull moment, and each new crazy scheme was better than the last.
Bardugo managed to give even more depth and character to her protagonists. Every new thing we learned added to their individual journies, and well as their complex and heartfelt relationships to each other. I cannot recommend this series more.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
An absolutely amazing story with an amazing cast of voice actors to bring the story to life. i love every second of it!