Review: Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 3 out of 5

I really liked the first part of this duology. This conclusion, however, was unsatisfactory in several ways. I think I was also exhausted quite quickly by Ms Bardugo’s style which sped up the pace of the story continuously while also escalating the stakes.

Firstly, the main problem seemed to be that none of the characters really changed by the end of the book. Not every story needs to be a journey of progression, but in this case the conclusion most characters seemed to reach that if whatever action had not succeeded previously, the right solution would be to double-up and try two times harder.

This is also weird as in most cases I should really enjoy a criminal mastermind story, them and their team against the world. In this case, the previous book’s tone of ‘Cataclysmic disasters up until the successful end’ continued and became increasingly predictable. In this way, even the supposed failures in the plan seemed to become a part of the original plan, whether or not that had been the main character’s intention (as it definitely was the author’s intention).

Overall, this concludes the story, and that is what I wanted from it. While not the best book ever, it was still enjoyable and entertaining.

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