I’ve done it, friends! It took me a eleven days and two sleepless nights, but I read my first book of 2017! Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo took me by surprise (in both a good and a bad way), but in the end it holds the place of “favorite book of the year.” (ha. ha. get it? it’s the only book I’ve read this year? ha)
First, I want to go back and reference my #DAReadAThon sign up post in which I said, “My feels are prepared.” About that…. Yeah. I lied.
A Slow Start
Crooked Kingdom was just so slow for me, especially at the beginning. After having read Six of Crows, I sort of knew to expect that there would be *insert plan* followed by *insert unfolding of plan* and then there would be *insert plan going haywire* throughout the entire story. I mean, the book is over 500 pages long. This pattern kept repeating itself and bored me a bit. So much that I almost put it down. Almost. But this book is a favorite of so many people and I didn’t want to DNF my very first book of the year, so I kept going. I’m glad I pulled through and finished the story.
Why I’m Glad
Crooked Kingdom was even more character driven than the first book in the duology. Which is a thing I know that most people love, but I prefer action. It’s why I almost DNFed. That said, the character development, the redemption arcs, and the diversity in this book are what make the story. We start the series with six random characters and we end the series with six people who have become friends. And then when we close the final chapter, there is a moment of disconnect between reality and fiction in which we must remind ourselves that we’ve never actual met these people.
Oh, but we have. A monster, a wraith, a strongman, a weapon, a chemist, and a sharpshooter. The six crows are us, all of us. Every reader who has taken in this story is now a member of the Dregs. A bit of crow has latched itself onto our souls and will be there forever.
But how can I think this of a book that I almost didn’t finish? A book that I found slow and had to drag myself through? Honestly, I have no idea. But I know that this story has become a part of who I am.
– Oh, and a cross over with the Grisha and Shades of Magic would be amazing –
A Call to Help
There are so many real life issues addressed in these books that I could probably write a thesis on it. Some are problematic while others are spot on. But one in particular is mentioned in the acknowledgements and I’m going to share it here. Even if you’ve never read this duology, today, January 11, is Sex Trafficking Awareness Day. It breaks my heart that this is a reality in our world, and not just a fiction designed for the city of Ketterdam. Here are Leigh’s words:
And finally, if you’d like to help stop human trafficking and forced labor in our world, you don’t need a schooner and heavy cannon. GAATW.org offers online resources and information on reputable organizations that would welcome your support.
“But Ketterdam had taught Inej well. If you couldn’t beat the odds, you changed the game.”
I’ve read 546 pages of Crooked Kingdom for the Lumos badge (54 points), completed my first book (5 points), posted this review (5 points), and cross-posted it to Amazon (1 point). Plus lots of tweeting.
Not bad for one book!