Book Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

22299763-2.jpgTitle: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Type: Duology (Book 2)

Pages: 536

Rating: 5 stars

Kaz Brekker and his crew 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 left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, 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 magic in the Grisha world.

Spoilers Ahead!

So. This. Book. Was. Amazing.

Six of Crows was so fabulous, with it’s ruthless characters, high action, twists at every turn and the ultimate heist. And Crooked Kingdom is just as good. The plans were just as daring and exciting, the cast of characters was everything you’d expected them to be after the first book and action and excitement was never ending in this book.

I loved that we really got to see Ketterdam in this book. In the first book we’re there briefly before we’re whisked away to Fjerda for the rest of the story. In this book we really get to see all the various areas of Ketterdam and learn more about the Kerch people.

Now of course this story picks up where we left off, with Inej being taken. And I’m very glad that we didn’t have to spend the entire book getting her back. In fact, the story can really be broken down into 3 heists. 1) Getting Inej back, 2) The Sugar Mill Plan and 3) The Grand Finale. So it was great to see Kaz and the crew succeed in their first plan. It was everything we’d expect from one of Kaz’s plans: everything was planned for, he had backup plans for everything, and when you thought everything was going wrong, it was really all going right.

So it seemed like we were on track to take down Van Eck and Rollins all at once but then plan 2 is not what we expect from a glorious Kaz Brekker plan. Literally everything goes wrong and since we were jumping back and forth between POVs I could not put the book down until everyone was safely in that hotel room after the entire plan fell apart. When Inej fell of the wire I swear my heart stopped.

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Crooked Kingdom is Here!

img_3104I am so excited that the second book the the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo, Cooked Kingdom is finally here! I read Six of Crows last year and was absolutely hooked! I followed it with the Grisha trilogy, which I didn’t like as much so I am extremely excited for Crooked Kingdom.

The first book ended in such a cliffhanger and was so exciting the entire way through that I cannot wait to see what happens in this book. Plus what really makes this book amazing is its strong cast of characters. They are all so different but go together so well and they are definitely squad goals. Not to mention we have a lot of strong OTPs forming in these books and I can’t wait to see their love blossom.

Plus can we just talk about how beautiful this book is? It’s got red pages! RED! Which look phenomenal next to Six of Crows black pages. I’m super excited to get started on this book and I just learned that it’s only a duology so I’m super sad that this is the end of the series because I could read about these characters forever. 

Thanks for Reading

-maggie

Six of Crows Bracelet

Thank you EmiesNook for this fantastic Six of Crows themed bracelet

Emie's Nook

With the upcoming release of Crooked Kingdom, the second book in the Six of Crows Duology, I figured it was time to buckled down and read the first book. Although I am only a few chapters in, I absolutely love it! I am a total sucker for heist stories and I can’t wait to see where Kaz takes the team.

By request from Maggie at Massachusetts Novel, I made this lovely “No Mourners. No Funerals” bracelet inspired by the quote found throughout Six of Crows!

If you like what you see, check out my Etsyshop for more bookish bracelets! You can view pictures of my product in the Picture Catalog above, as well as follow the link directly!

As always, thank you for reading!

Emily

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Goodreads Book Tag

So I love Goodreads. I discovered it in 2012 and have been using it religiously ever since. I first saw this tag on the hangingwithamanda blog so without further delay here is the Goodreads book tag.

What was the last book you marked as read | Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Empire of Storms by SJM came out on Tuesday and it has been an exciting 3 days reading it but alas as always with her books its over too soon and no spoilers but the end has wrecked me and I don’t know how I’ll make it to next fall.

What are you currently reading | The Bricks that Build the Houses by Kate Tempest 

This was a book I found at a used bookshop for $3. I had never heard of it but it had a nice bright pink cover so I bought it. So far it’s ok. It’s a contemporary following the lives of a few people in London who’s lives are all interconnecting and weaving together throughout the book. It reminds me a little of Let the Great World Spins by Colum McCann. It’s been a slow read but it’s a good read 1 chapter before bed book.

What was the last book you marked as TBR | Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I am so excited for this book. I had never heard of it until today when it came up on my Amazon and I just happened to click on it. The premise sounds fascinating: 3 sister princesses, all heirs to the throne, and all with a different form of magic. When they come of age, they will fight to the death and whoever is left standing becomes queen. I want my 2 best friends to read this with me since anything with 3 sisters is fun for us (we are Feyre, Nesta and Elaine from ACOMAF).

What book do you plan to read next | Between the Lines by Jodi Picot and Samantha Van Leer

I bought this today and I’m super excited to pick it up. I feel like the premise is exciting for any book worm. The thought of the handsome prince on the pages falling in love with you while you read it. I’ve heard good things about this book and it’s sequel and I think it’s going to be just the type of cute romance I need after finishing Empire of Storms.

Do you use the star rating system | Yes

Yes but I always wish that Goodreads had half stars. When I first started reading it I gave almost everything 5 stars, very few things 4 stars and only the absolute worst 3 stars. Since then I’ve had to go back and adjust my rating since I realized that not all my 5 star books were created equal and a lot of my 3 star books were 2 or even 1 stars.

Are you doing the 2016 reading challenge | Yes

Yes I love that Goodreads tracks how many books I read each year. Generally I fall somewhere between 35-50 books a year so my goal is usually about 45. So far this year I’m a little behind since during winter break, when I would usually get a lot of my reading done I was studying abroad and then during the summer I was in a horrible book slump. But I’m currently at 23 with a few months left so I think I could still get there.

Do you have a wish list | No

No I’ve never used the wishlist since no one really buys me books. I pick out my own books and pretty much use my TBR list as a wish list.

What book do you plan to buy next | Good Question

More often than not I go to the used book store 2nd and Charles and get books there. The books are in great condition and they have such a great selection. But since they never have anything I never know what I’m going to find. I did pre-order Crooked Kingdom today though.

Do you have any favorite quotes. Share a few | Of Course

“You’re never going to find a guy who’s exactly like you—first of all, because that guy never leaves his dorm room.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”
 -Sarah J Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

“You drool when you sleep.”
― Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

“I claim you, Aelin. To whatever end.”
― Sarah J. Maas, Heir of Fire

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”
Brekker’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”
“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”
― Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“You know, you ladies can let us males do things every now and then.”
― Sarah J. Maas, Empire of Storms

Who are your favorite authors | 

Well if you couldn’t tell from the quote question my absolute favorite authors of all time are Sarah J. Maas and Rainbow Rowell. Sarah is my queen of fantasy and Rainbow is there when I need something set in the real world.

Have you joined any groups | No

Unfortunately I don’t really take advantage of all the other features Goodreads has to offer. For recommendations I usually look to Booktube or blogs, and same thing with discussing books.

Who do you tag |

The usual. EmiesnookEmiesnook and anyone else who wants to do this tag.

 

Thanks for Reading!

-maggie

 

 

Throne of Glass Book Tag

So obviously this is in honor of the release of Empire of Storms this week. I found this on polishedpageturners blog, so without further delay here is the Throne of Glass Book Tag!

 

Lysandra | A book with a cover change you loved

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Well this one is easy. Throne of Glass. I know not off to a great start picking Throne of Glass as the first book in the Throne of Glass book tag but lets face it, that first cover was rough. In fact, Goodreads kept suggesting ToG to me with the old cover and that combined with the terrible little blurb “2 men lover her, the whole land fears her, only she can save them all” just made it sound terrible but eventually I picked it up and the rest it history.

 

Abraxos | A book that’s better on the inside than it looks on the outside

256683City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I was looking for books to read after the Hunger Games wet my literary appetite in high school and google just kept recommending the Mortal Instruments. So I looked them up and between the cover and the blurb I thought it sounded awful (just goes to show the blurb is always a bad indication of how good a book is). Anyways, I love the series, and the spinoffs and the rest is history.

 

Erilea | A series with great world building

21473404.jpgThe Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. Now bare with me a second since I know it takes place in New York and the continental US (which is not a world that needs to be built obviously) but the way Rick incorporates the Greek myths and Gods and stories into the US from Greek mythology is so amazing that it seems like he’s built this completely probable world of his own around one that already exists.

 

Rifthold | A book that combines genres

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. In my opinion this book is a mix of Alien Sci-Fi and Dystopian since we have a very much post apocalyptic world but the Alien component is also such a strong factor.

 

 

Damaris | A book based on/inspired by a myth or legend

9462795Starcrossed by Josephine Angellini was my first taste of Greek Mythology woven into modern day. Although I loved the Percy Jackson series, these books hold a special place in my heart since they take place on Nantucket and I am a Massachusetts native and I love reading about the names of places I’ve been.

 

 

Kaltain Rompier | A book with an unexpected twist

19288043-2.jpgGone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I read this at the recommendation of a friend who had said to me right before I started it “it’s obvious who did it from the first pages”. I thought she had spoiled me badly. So I spend the entire first half of the book (spoilers ahead) convinced that of course Nick did it. It’s so obvious. Boy was I surprised when Amy starts narrating and I realized my friend had tricked me.

 

Assassin’s Keep| A book with an unreliable narrator

10507293The Selection by Kiera Cass. Now America is not unreliable in that she’s shady, more in the sense that she always messes everything up. Don’t get me wrong I loved these books (especially the first 2) but the more we went on the worse she got at literally always doing the wrong thing until in the last book she literally almost ruined everything for no reason.

 

 

Astern Blackbeak | A book that’s got squad goals

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. How can you not love and want to be a part of the swaggering, rag tag team led by Kaz in this book? They’re all so different and yet go together so well you can’t not want to be a part of their squad.

 

 

 

Terrasen | A book that feels like home

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Surprise it’s not Harry Potter for me. No the first big fantasy book I ever really got sucked into was Eragon by Christopher Paolini . My dad read it to me in the 4th grade and I loved it and it started what ended up being a 4 year long obsession with dragons.

 

 

Aelin Ashryver Galathynius | A book with the power to destroy you

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell gives me all the feels. I loved that book so much even though it was full of heartbreak and it literally killed me reading it but it will forever be one of my favorites.

 

 

 

Manon Blackbeak | A book that intimidated you

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The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I bought this last year and have slowly been progressing though it but it is a monster of a book and some of the Holmes stories can be a bit slow at times or are just filled with a few too many old english phrases that  I can’t follow what’s happening but I am determined to get through it.

 

 

Rowan Whitethorn | A book that makes you swoon

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. How can you not swoon over a giant, adorable, chivalrous red-headed Scotsman? I mean really? James Alexander Malcom McKenzie Fraser is irresistible.

 

 

 

Chaos Westfall | A book that challenged you to see things differently

26073150A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. No book tag would be complete without this making an appearance. But I was trying not to use any books twice and although I could put this almost anywhere (particularly books that make me swoon) I was really struggling to come up with something for this and it just hit me. This book had you looking at an entire first book in the series differently because it had you realizing signs of an unhealthy relationship and examine depression, abusive relationships, PTSD, feminism and a lot of other really important themes that dominate the       book even though it is fantasy, which is what makes it such an amazing book.

 

Fleetfoot | A book that you received as a gift

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The Partials by Dan Wells was a birthday present from a good friend of mine and ended up being a very enjoyable series to read for a nice dystopian story.

 

 

Eye of Elena | a book you found right when you needed it

This isn’t exactly a book but I found  PolandBananasBooks on Youtube right when I needed it. She helped bring me out of my shell a bit for loving to read during my freshman year of college and I know I would not be as comfortable being bookworm I am today if I didn’t find her freshman year. Plus she’s the reason I’ve read so many of my favorite books (including ToG).

 

I will tag Emiesnook to do this tag next and anyone else who wants to do it. Good Luck!

Thanks for Reading

Maggie

Rainbow Bookshelf

Do you love the Rainbow Bookshelf? Because I do. I think it looks awesome and have been waiting all summer to get back to my bookshelf to add all my new books. Now this is just a preview because I have a lot more books coming but for now I’m super pleased with this so enjoy.

Thanks For Reading

Maggie

Most Anticipated Books for the Fall

So it’s the end of August which means the Fall line up of new books is about to start. For some reason all the new books you’re waiting for always come out in the Spring and Fall, and of course school breaks are in the Summer and Winter so it’s just not convenient. It’s almost Fall and that means the wait is almost over for some great reads.

  1. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

How can you not be excited for this? By now everyone who reads YA has heard of Throne of Glass and I’m so excited that I can finally end my ACOMAF reading slump by getting into and EOS reading slump.

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2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

This is the much anticipated second book in the Six of Crows series. I loved the first book, which I didn’t really know anything about when I picked it up so I am so excited to see where the story goes, especially since we were left with a bit of a cliffhanger.

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3. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

This is the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. I liked the first book and thought it was a solid 4 star read but I think the second book will be even better since our 2 protagonists are finally going to be working together.

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4. Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman

This is actually already out (it came out this summer) but I just haven’t had a chance to read it yet and I’m super excited to. It’s the sequel to Legacy of Kings, the historical fiction book about a young Alexander the Great and his friends.

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Those are my 4 most anticipated releases for the rest of this year. I can’t wait to read them! What books are you guys anxiously awaiting?

Thanks for Reading!

Maggie

Disney Book Tag

So I saw this and thought it looked great plus who doesn’t love disney? So without further delay the Disney Book Tag:

The Little Mermaid – A Character Who is a Fish Out of Water

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (shocker I would mention this I know) but Cather is such a fish out of water in college. She won’t even go to the dining hall for the first few months just because she feels so awkward and while her nerves are totally relatable she’s such a fish on land. fangirl-rainbow-rowell-cover-677x1024

Snow White – Book with Eclectic Cast of Characters

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I love the rag tag team that makes up the heist squad in this book. They’re all so different and are not friends, but they work together so well to try and pull off the ultimate heist, all while thinking of ways to double cross each other the entire way for different reasons. They come from all different parts of this diverse world and we have all the good parts of a heist. The brains, thief, shooter, demolition expert, soldier and…witch? Sorceress? Anyways they’re a nice eclectic bunch and make this book a great read.

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Sleeping Beauty – A Book that puts you to Sleep

The Life of Pi. A book I was forced to read for summer reading and despite so many people’s rave reviews I just could not get into it. Plus I was so mad at the end (if you read it you know why).

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The Lion King – A Character who had Something Traumatic happen in Childhood

I feel like every YA book ever fits this category. So I’m going to go with a favorite book I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Poor Ruby is put in a “camp” (prison?) when she’s just a little kid and has to find a way to escape because she’s been hiding the fact of how dangerous she really is and now they know. The trauma of this (plus the trauma of what happens that lands her in the camp) shapes her for the rest of the series.

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Beauty and The Beast – A Beast of a Book on the outside but Beautiful

This would have to be Outlander for me. I watched the first half of season 1 before reading it but HAD to know what happened next. Of course I was unaware it was a 700+ page book so picking it up was a little intimidating but it’s so amazing and worth it once you get going.

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Hercules – Book that Inspired You

The Book Thief. I had to read this for summer reading in high school and absolutely loved it. It made me cry and was honesty the best summer reading book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

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Mulan – Your Favorite Character Pretending to be Something They’re Not

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (I know another big shocker from me). In the first book Celaena is pretending to be Lillian for the sake of appearances but if you’re a little further along in the series you catch my double meaning with this [SPOILERS STOP HERE] *cough cough Aelin if you know what I mean??*

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Up – A Book that Based on the Cover and Title you have no Idea what it’s about

Beautiful Creatures. I picked this book up in 8th or 9th grade from the bookstore just because I wanted something to read and I really loved it. It was probably one of the first books I had picked up in a while that I really dove head first into and one of the first series I was waiting for the next book to come out down to the day, even if it didn’t end as great as it started.

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Frozen – Pair of Book Siblings You Love

Jude and Noah from I’ll Give You the Sun. The entire book is just about their relationship as siblings and twins while everything else in their life is changing and how they’re the only people they really need to make things right with no matter what. I love this book and them as characters.
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Maleficent – A Book Villain you Love to Hate

There are so many good villains out there. But one of my favorite villains (probably because I never though of him as a villain and was rooting for him to get the girl the entire time) was the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. Now I had such high hopes for this series. I loved the first half of the first book, while the training with the Darkling was going on. And then it all went down hill from there since I was not team Mal. And the not course I hated the ending because it had one of my biggest book pet peeves (Spoilers ahead **I hate when people in books either forget what happens or lose their abilities, powers whatever**). But I did love the Darkling and just could not hate him

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And that is the Disney Book Tag. I tag anyone and everyone who would like to do this.

Thanks for Reading

-Maggie

Book Review: The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Ok so yes this is a review of all 3 Grisha Trilogy books all at once and that is because I didn’t really like them. I got off to a great start and then everything just went downhill from there. Now I LOVE Six of Crows, the spin off book from this series. I actually read that first and have a review post on that plus it made my top 10 books of 2015 list. But for some reason the Grisha books just never seemed to go in the direction I wanted them to.

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Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Non-Spoilery Section:

I went into reading this book totally blind. It was the book of the month for Polandbanans20 and the group she does book of the month with and I like to read while I’m on the bike at the gym so I needed something to read because for once I was actually trying to be athletic. So I just picked it up, totally unaware it was a spinoff story from the Grisha Triology. I loved this. It’s a heist book and if you’ve even watched the show “Leverage” you will love this. I highly recommend, 5 stars on Goodreads so go read it and then read the rest of this once you have.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Ok so like I said I did not read the Grisha trilogy before I read this so that first chapter with the guard and the grisha I was really confused. But that turned out to be somewhat irrelevant to the actual story. That opening scene with the meeting with the Black Tips was so intense. We are reading from Inej’s POV and watching Kaz. He is so ruthless from the get go but we also see how brilliant he is. I immediately shipped Kaz and Inej and as the story went on and we learned about Kaz’s past it’s easy to be understanding of how he turned out like he did. I mean poor Kaz had to float on his dead brothers body so I feel sorry for him but he is also scary brilliant and I loved the way his plans would come together and it would always seem like everything was going to shambles when he actually had it all under control. I love how the whole thing with his gloves is a big deal the entire story and that we find out he really just hates touching human skin and when he has to take them off everyone is staring at his hands because they think he has claws, or something and he just says “what were you expecting” and the answer is “Claws at least”.

The characters that made up the heist team were amazing, the writing was witty and funny, and it reads like the show Leverage is to watch. I love that show, which is about a group of criminals pulling jobs to help people. And it’s always the kind of thing where it seems like everything is going wrong but then you realize they meant to get caught or seen or followed all along because it’s all part of the plan. And that happens time after time in this book, and every time it got me. We see it when the ship blows up, when Kaz gets his lock picks taken in the prison, when Inej gets stopped from entering with Nina, when Matthias locks Nina up. I just loved the way you could never predict what was going to happen next. They kept pointing out that only Kaz knew all the parts of the plan, and it was true for the reader too. We could guess what was going to happen but we never saw all the pieces until they were already halfway across the board.

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