Diverse Books, YA Books

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – Book Review

After my reread of Six of Crows I just had to read Crooked Kingdom and even though I knew what happens I was still not ready for that ending. This duology is one of my all time favourite books!

You can read my review of Six of Crows here

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Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.
Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.
A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

It’s no secret that I adore everything that Leigh Bardugo writes and of course this book did not disappoint. This was a reread via audiobook and I highly recommend listening as it’s a full cast and amazing!

This book starts where Six of Crows ends and it’s set entirely in Ketterdam unlike Six of Crows where they travel to Fjerda and back. So this story is a little different but no less enthralling and action packed. As usual the characters are absolutely wonderful and I love seeing their character development. I also loved seeing cameos by some of my favourite characters from the Grisha trilogy!

Once again I was completely enthralled by the story and the characters. The banter between the characters is my favourite thing ever! They always seem so much older because of what they’ve been through but then they squabble and fight and sass each other just like your regular teen and it would just remind you how young they really are.

The development of my ships was another thing I absolutely loved! The angst and the slow burn between them and how each couple is so different from the others and each go through their own journey and together as a couple and then on another growth in their gang together. Leigh had their character developments in all different areas of their life and did it so well.

My favourite ship is of course Kaz and Inej. The slow burn between them and their own hardships and barriers they’ve built that makes it hard for them to even admit their feelings for each other. It just killed me! But I really love how Leigh handles Kaz’s PTSD. He cannot touch people and I loved that he wasn’t “magically cured” because he wanted to be with Inej. He struggled with it, it prevented him from being able to be close to Inej and it felt so much more real.

This story is quite different from Six of Crows as it isn’t just one quest that they go on throughout the book. They have to make multiple plans and deal with lots of different groups of people. It was absolutely amazing to see how their plans came together. This book will take you on a wild ride!

The ending of this book is so satisfying in so many ways but will also break your heart and drag it through the mud and run it over with a truck. I first read this book in 2016 and I have never gotten over a particular thing that happens at the end. They had so much potential and it was ripped away from them. BRB going to go cry.

Anyways I highly recommend you go read this duology and all the Grishaverse books because they are amazing! I absolutely love all the grisha books but this duology will forever be my favourite!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Auto Buy Authors

Hey booknerds! I’m taking part in another week of Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. You can find more information here

So this week is all about authors that as soon as they announce a book you already need it.

Do I know what it’s about? Nope. Do I still need it? Yep.

Everyone has authors who without fail you adore their books so when they announce new books you’re already majorly excited and pre-order the book as soon as it is available.

So these are my absolute favourite authors who I will buy the book faster than my husband can say no!

1 S.A. Chakraborty – It’s no secret how much I adore The City of Brass trilogy and the last book isn’t even out yet. But let me tell you right now that I will buy every single thing Shannon writes. I have not been so thoroughly obsessed with a series since my teenage Harry Potter obsession.

2 Leigh Bardugo – I adore the Grishaverse! Six of Crows is one of my favourite duologies ever! And I am in desperate need of the second book after the ending of King of Scars!

3 Muhammad Khan – I have loved both of his books! He has written about such important issues and I really loved the way he handled them so I am definitely looking forward to reading his next book!

4 Sabaa Tahir – Her books are heartbreaking and soul crushing and I love them!

5 Renee Ahdieh – I have adored both her duologies which features diverse cultures and swoon worthy characters and her beautiful writing and I am already excited for her next book.

6 Uzma Jalaluddin – She wrote the retelling of my dreams and surpassed all expectations and I cannot wait to see what she writes next

7 Aisha Saeed – Both of her books deal with important issues which unfortunately still occur today and issues I am passionate about so it was no surprise that I not only adored the books but read them in one sitting.

8 Rick Riordan – He writes amazingly diverse books with such wonderful rep and I have loved every single one of his books!

9 Nafiza Azad – Her debut book was so beautifully written with such wonderful characters that I am already excited for her next story.

10 S.K. Ali – I loved both of her books and now she’s writing a sequel to her debut and I cannot wait for it! Her halal love story was so beautifully written and had me grinning like an idiot!

So these are my auto buy authors, books I will buy as soon as they are announced and read as soon as they release!

Who are your auto buy authors?

Booksish Discussions

Books I Want From The Villains Point Of View

I used to always root for the heroes when I read books but these YA books that I’ve been reading lately have me wanting to know more about the villains or straight up just rooting for them!

So I thought I would write about it on here as I would love to know all of your views!

Villains are being written in more complex and intriguing ways that makes me so interested in learning about them. And we’ve been getting some really great origin stories for fairy tale villains too! So it’s made me want to see how these villains and how they became who we see in the books!

So here are some villains I would love a point of view from:

The Darkling from the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

It’s no secret that I am completely and entirely in love with the Darkling. I mean you know aside from him being a mass murderer. Anyways I just want more Darkling okay?! I want to know his story from when he was a little boy to all those years he lived growing more and powerful and how he became the man that we met in Shadow and Bone. He deserves his own book!

Sebastian Morganstern from TMI by Cassandra Clare

Look he had no chance in life. His dad completely screwed him over and from before he was even born. Yet he was still a really interesting villain and I want to know what it was like for him growing up isolated and alone.

Luke Castellen from Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

I mean yes, he did make some really bad decisions which led to people dying but I still couldn’t help but feel for him. He has such a tragic story and in the end he ended up saving everyone. So I would love to read more about his life before he met Percy and how he ended up the boy we meet. I would also love to see the series from his point of view.

Bellatrix LeStrange from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

She is terrifying but I still love her! She is such an interesting character and I think it would be so interesting to see things from her point of view. Especially as we would be able to see a lot more of the death eaters and how they functioned.

The Jackal from Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Another villain who was so interesting to read about. Especially as he was the twin of one of the heroines. How did they become so different? I just want to know more about him. It would especially be interesting to read red rising from his point of view.

The Commandant from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

She is absolutely terrifying and I still cannot get over how much she hated her own son. But I do want to know more about her. I want to know who Elias’s father is, I want to know how she became so terrifying and I would love to see more about her and Laia’s mother.

So here are the villains I would love to see a point of view from or even their own book!

What villains would you love to see a point of view from?

Diverse Books, YA Books

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Book Review

Ever since I read the Grisha trilogy back in 2016 I have been dying for a Nikolai book and when this book was announced all my fangirl dreams were answered!

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Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about this book. I had some issues with it and was a little disappointed. Yet there are things that I absolutely adored about it!

Firstly I do have to say that although I dove into this book thinking it will be Nikolai’s story, it did feel more like Zoya’s. There was a lot to do with how the Grisha magic system worked and how Zoya could become more powerful than she is now. I do have to say though her point of view was some of my absolute favourites! She is a badass, sassy, doesn’t take any crap from anyone, kind of person. I did like her character in the Grisha trilogy but by the end of this book, I was completely in love with Zoya. I need to see more of her, especially after everything that happened in this book.

Nikolai was as sassy and sarcastic as ever and I adored him. Though I do wish I got to see more of him, more outside the politics. I would have loved to see him more with Genya and the others. He does suffer a lot in this book yet somehow it feels a little out of character for him. How he went along with plans made by people he couldn’t possibly trust, with no scheme or back up plan. You know, how he would have in the trilogy. I am however extremely excited to see what will happen after the events of this book, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions.

Nina had her own point of view in this book too and I have to say that as much as I adored her in Six of Crows I didn’t as much in this book. I felt her grief over certain events in Crooked Kingdom was done really well and although it was heart breaking it was so good to see that. Yet the rest of her story felt unnecessary, I guess. I didn’t really see how her story fit in with the overall arc. But I did love seeing Adrick and a new character, Leoni. They were with Nina on a mission in Fjerda and I just love them. I hope we get to see more of them in the next book.

 

*mild spoiler about a relationship ahead*

 

One of the things I loved seeing was Nikolai and Zoya’s relationship develop. Leigh really killed me with that slow burn romance, just like in Six of Crows with Kaz and Inej. By the end of the book I was literally screaming, just admit it already! I love them two together and I am so happy to see my ship become a reality! Zoya would be an amazing Queen of Ravka and I need to see that happen, okay?!

Another thing I loved was the references to the Grisha Trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. From mentioning characters names to talking about a skill they learned from a character in those books and it reignited my love for these characters. I am still holding out hope that we see some of them in the next book.

I wish we had got to spend more time with Genya and David and the others. Though what we did see of them I loved. I really loved seeing Genya’s and David’s relationship and how much they have developed in the few years since we last saw them. They were so damn adorable! I want more in the next book please!

I think my main issue with the book is the pacing, I felt the beginning was really great and I was really enjoying it then it dragged a lot in the second half and then the ending felt a little rushed. I wish we had gotten more time and more details about how everything turns out at the end of the book. And there was a lot of politics in this book, which is understandable, considering the state of Ravka, but I did feel it slowed down the plot. Hopefully now that the backstory details have been given the next book will be a lot more fast paced.

Then we get to the ending and I just…died. That ending left me in shock with my jaw hanging on the floor. I know some people may not be a fan of the ending but I was literally screeching! After that ending I just need to know what will happen next because that last line…I have no idea how I am going to wait a whole year for the next book.

I felt a little underwhelmed with the book overall but the things I loved, like Zoya and Nikolai and that mind blowing ending made up for a lot of it. And although, it may not have lived up to the exceedingly high expectations built from years of adoring the Six of Crows duology it was still a good book and I am really looking forward to seeing where we will go next.