‘Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward (and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.’ (Goodreads) (462 pages, September 29th 2014, Henry Holt and Company)
This was the most surprising book I’ve read the last few months. I already loved the Grisha trilogy and especially the blend of magic with the Russian culture on which the world is based. But here Leigh Bardugo takes it to the next level. She introduces all new characters and puts them in a world we already know and love. The familiarity is there, which makes it easier to connect with the new characters. It was fun to read that the characters from the Grisha trilogy are mentioned and are now a tale in their part of the world. Stories travel and this helped to see the entire world Leigh Bardugo created as one whole.
As for the new characters, each single one is different, is interesting and had their own back story. It didn’t feel overwhelming to get to know all their different identities and their quirks. You could easily tell from whose point of view you were reading, from the way Leigh Bardugo wrote. Each character had a specific style and you could feel his or her personality through the words on the page. This is written from the point of view of all the different characters. She didn’t focus on one character, but gave us a glimpse of the thoughts of all of them which helped to understand the story and the reasoning behind each decision and step they took.
Another thing that was really interesting was that this is a group of misfits, of thiefs and others, and each of them had their strengths and weaknesses. They each add their values and their strengths to the group, and though Kaz definitely is the leader, you feel that they all shift and turn and want the group to succeed. In the middle of the book, it’s not a job like any other, but a test to see how far they’re willing to go and how far they can go.
It’s beautifully written. The characters jump of the page and are vibrant. The depth of their characters are shown with every step they take, every decision they make. It’s a story that doesn’t let go and with every turn of the page something else happens, something crazy, and just when you were about to stop, you’re sucked right back into it.
If you’re a fan of the Grisha trilogy, then this is the book for you. But also when you’re a fan of a good heist story, an adventure story then give this book a try. You don’t have to read the Grisha trilogy first. You don’t need it at all to understand the world or the characters or the story. There are little nods here and there and which are fun to read if you have read the trilogy first, but it won’t take away from the pleasure of reading this book.
4 out of 5 stars!! I had to start Crooked Kingdom immediately after. Review of that one coming soon.