There are few books that I love so much I need to read the sequel immediately, but I loved Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows that much.
Six of Crows, in case you’ve forgotten is an amazing sci-fi/fantasy, heist YA novel about six misfits who become a team. The sequel, Crooked Kingdom, is the best love story I’ve ever read.
Okay, obviously, there is a new heist. At the end of Six of Crows, the team gets screwed out of a payday and Inej is captured. Kaz intends to get his money and his girl, and so we have a sequel.
The rest of the team has problems too: Nina is fighting withdrawal, Jesper’s father shows up, Wylan’s is looking for him and has been hiding his mother for years… Meanwhile, the rest of Ketterdam – and the whole world it seems – has turned on them.
This is why it’s a love story. In the first book, Kaz pulled the team together. In the sequel, they pull together themselves. They don’t stay for Kaz, they stay for Inej…and then each other.
Usually, I hate stories that “pair everyone off,” but this one is done so well, I can’t object. Mathias is still prejudiced but is fighting it, not necessarily for Nina, but with her help. Kaz gets Inej back and has to decide if he can keep her and protect her simultaneously. Inej is incredible (and a role model for all of us) because she wants him but refuses to betray herself to keep him. And Wylan and Jesper…god, Wylan and Jesper…
But that’s not why it’s the best love story I’ve ever read. The couples are perfect for each other, but the true love story of Crooked Kingdom is the family the six of them create together. Back in Ketterdam, with everyone against them, they learn to rely on each other and become the family they’ve all lost. They learn to trust each other and compensate for each other’s weaknesses In Six of Crows, they ere a team; in Crooked Kingdom they become a family.
Don’t get me wrong: the heist is exciting. With Kaz’s ingenuity (and the other’s talents) they con the whole city and finally bring don Pekka Rollins, Jan Van Eck, and even Per Haskell. It’s very satisfying to see them pay for their crimes, but it’s even more satisfying to see the characters you come to love in Six of Crows grow during their performance in Crooked Kingdom.
Obviously I advocate for everyone to read Six of Crows first, but Crooked Kingdom is worth reading. Even if the first book as a quarter as good as it was, I’d suggest people read it for the sequel’s sake. In the first, you fall in love with the characters; in the second you fall in love with the family.
All that to say…you should read Six of Crows. You will then feel compelled to read Crooked Kingdom. You’ll enjoy every minute of it and wonder where these characters have been all your life. I promise.