I could have written about Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo separately, but I read them very quickly. Now it’s all squished in one giant story. I think they both hold up well on their own as individual stories, but they’re a fantastic pair. I tried to keep notes as I went to have intelligent things to say, but I just didn’t want to stop reading.

Bardugo leaves bread crumbs of information that make you want to keep reading. They don’t obviously show what will happen. What she gives is just enough to open up a thousand possibilities, so you have to move forward to see which one it is. Spoiler alert, it’s never the one you suspect.

I think one of my favorite aspects of the series is that the people with powers are good and bad. One power isn’t inherently good while the other is inherently bad. It’s realistic, and I dig it.

I love that the characters have their own slang. As a language nerd, that’s right up my alley. What I love even more is that Bardugo actually explains the terms instead of forcing the readers to puzzle it out. There’s not a glossary or anything; instead, she naturally makes it a part of the sentence/context to show what the term is.

Six of Crows is exciting, action-packed, and layered. The character development is stellar, and the book includes interesting plays on the characters’ relationships combined with their biggest fears and weaknesses. All of those things continue into the next book, but they’re set up very well in the first book.

Speaking of book 2, the continuity into Crooked Kingdom is seamless. The story continues straight from the cliffhanger in book 1, and the characters all jump into action instead of stopping to lick their wounds.

This book is fascinating because it both holds up and collapses the idea behind the phrase “no honor among thieves.” It makes you question who the thieves really are. It makes you realize the characters are definitely thieves and are both honorless and honorable. It’s very confusing but awesome.

Crooked Kingdom is just as exciting as Six of Crows. It’s quite hard to put down, especially once book 4 starts. There are so many swerves and plans within plans that it’s hard not to get whiplash trying to keep up.

At the end, as I was thinking about all of the characters, I found myself glad the person they were trying to protect wasn’t wholly good. In fact, he’s kind of a prick, so he fits in with the rest, hanging out in the border area between good and bad.

The conclusion of the duology is excellent. The cycle of vengeance is satisfying, and the end for most of the characters warms the heart. You don’t get everything you want, and some stuff is sad; that’s realistic though.

It’s a bit fantasy and a bit crime novel. There’s a little love. There’s a little heartbreak. People that like a good story would enjoy this set.

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