Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
While I don't think I loved this one quite as much as the previous one, it was a pretty solid hit for me, full of revenge and real angst in the troubled aftermath of the heist that had been so beautifully pulled off.
We're left breathless with betrayal and the spiriting away of one of my personal favorites, leaving us to question, nearly until the very end, whether Brekker would live up to his promises or whether he'd cut his losses.
There was also a very huge and rather surprising focus upon Jesper in this one, taking up perhaps the majority of the pages in the book, making us wonder whether he'd be redeemed to himself and to others, or if he'd always be the loser gambler.
Other than this, there's a decent amount of romance on the table, but probably not too much, thank goodness, for that would take out the sting of the basic Revenge core of the novel. More than anything, though, the heart of the tale was really the makeup and the world-building of this dirty old town, of which I heartily approve. Variety is the spice of life, and we did get a lot of everything.
Complaints, though? Yeah, well, perhaps I wanted a lot more of a Heist novel, again. There was a bit, and this part of the story was more or less satisfying, but I miss the feel of the truly enormous stakes and the pull-together of the previous novel. This one felt rather more like everything was falling apart and nothing would put humpty dumpty back together again. New friends are always a good thing to have, though, and I can't complain of that direction.
So, over all, this was really impressive and a fun read. :) I did hesitate a bit between giving it a 4 and a 5, though, only to land on a 5 because of the satisfying end.
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