Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Thriller
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.
I’ve been dying to read this duology since everyone and their mothers have been recommending it everywhere I look. I gave up on hyped books a pretty long time ago, but I have legit not yet seen a bad review from anyone for this series except for the complaint that a lot of people found it hard to get into at first.
A spin-off from the Grisha Trilogy by the same writer, it apparently takes place two years after the Ruin and Rising, the last book from the aforementioned series. I haven’t read the Grisha series, and I don’t really plan to anytime soon because I think it has a love triangle and that’s the last thing I need right now. The first chapter was so confusing by the way, I had given up once with an e-copy of the book months ago. The terms, places, names etc. take some getting used to but they are actually necessary to understand the whole Grishaverse situation without reading the actual trilogy. It picks right up from the second chapter where we’re introduced to Inej, Kaz and Jesper, and eventually Matthias, Nina and Wylan too.
It wasn’t really the plot or story telling that kept me going through the pages at lightning speed (it’s been ages since I stayed up all night to finish a book because I was actually enjoying it and not because I just wanted to get it over with), it was the characters, their background stories and most of all, their interaction with each other. They made me laugh, panic, and frustrated at all the right times and I grew to love each of them individually as well as together. The other thing I abso-fucking-lutely adored about the book is that there is no love triangle, thank the Saints, the Djel and whoever the hell they prayed to.
Relationships (*mild spoiler alert*)
I could talk about Kaz and Inej but I have a love/hate relationship with Kaz and I adore Inej and I DON’T KNOW IF I WANT THEM TO BE TOGETHER BECAUSE ON ONE HAND THEY’RE SO GODDAMN CUTE AND UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER SO WELL BUT THEN KAZ IS KAZ AND I LOVE HIM BUT INEJ DESERVES SO MUCH MORE. I want them to end up together but I don’t want Kaz to change because it would ruin his character in a way for me and it would be that typical bad-boy-turned-good cliche all fucking over again. However, if he doesn’t change, he’s not the type of person Inej should end up with (all in my personal opinion, btw). DO YOU UNDERSTAND MY DILEMMA?!
Nina and Matthias have a good, strong story though. They have history and I think this book focused on their relationship more than Kaz and Inej’s. They tackle their issues and fix pretty much everything throughout all the chaos. Nothing I didn’t expect, but not my otp for the series exactly. I do like them though, individually and together both. They’re strong, do not depend on each other too much, and have a lot in common (both good and bad traits) even though they might seem like polar opposites at first introduction.
I enjoyed Jesper’s relationship with Wylan. At first, it almost felt like it might turn romantic but it just felt more big brotherly towards the end of the book. I’m not making up my mind about them just yet though, and there’s still scope for something more.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and have already started Crooked Kingdom. Highly, highly, highly recommend it to everyone!
Rating: ★★★★★ | 5 out of 5 stars