Leigh Bardugo – Crooked Kingdom Audiobook
First reading of a novel in English! I wanted to get started for a little while and as the novel had been eyeing me for months, I took the plunge. And I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself;) I obviously lack a bit of vocabulary but it was a reading that I really enjoyed, and I can’t wait to read the rest next September.
Six of Crows is a sequel, in a way, of The Grisha Trilogy. Don’t panic, if like me you haven’t read this trilogy, we won’t lose anything because the author makes sure to explain the specifics of his world to us. The characters are different but we stay in the same universe. And it’s a hell of a universe that we have there. Very rich, with its own mythology and specificities, many different peoples with the intrinsic relationships they can have together, a painful and complex past … In short, from the start, we can see that Leigh Bardugo did a lot of work on his universe, and I can only approve.
And we absolutely do not lose this quality in the narration. Six criminals must go on a mission to the capital of the fiercest warriors in this world, the witch hunters (the Grishas). A suicide mission, characters who are light years away from traditional heroes, an adventure of all dangers from start to finish. As you can see, we don’t get bored for a second. from the establishment of the mission to its “accomplishment”, it is a series of perilous events which follow one another and at no time in the novel are we reassured as to the future of our heroes. Thrilling, addictive, we hold our breath until the last moment while marveling at how well the plot is put together and how every detail counts.
Despite the fantasy side and the time in which the story takes place, the author has also chosen to deal with subjects that are still relevant today. Drugs, racism, blind religion, mistreatment, rejection, a society in search of profit against all odds, human exploitation… It is an adventure, of course, but the fact remains that ‘there is also a great deal of thought. Our heroes are criminals, to be sure, but there is also always this precarious balance between good and evil. Can a wrongdoing be justified? Can we make a brainwashed person change their mind from a young age? Where we see failure isn’t there also something else? So, no, of course, the novel is not headache either, there is a lot of humor too, but it leaves you thinking, and it’s always something that I appreciate.
The author is also far from having neglected his characters. Our six heroes live up to the plot. Leigh Bardugo takes the time to detail each other’s psychology, to immerse ourselves little by little in their past, to understand who they are and why they are like this today. And I love. The six renegades are endearing, each in their own way, and the group they form has a very sympathetic dynamic. Kaz, first of all, the gang leader. He is THE thinking head, always ten wagons ahead of the others, a sharp intelligence, observant of the smallest detail. He is also quite cold but when you learn what he went through and endured, you can only understand it. Fortunately, Inej is there to crack his shell. The shadow of Kaz is a female character that at first it is difficult to pin down. But the more we advance in the novel, the more human she becomes and no longer Kaz’s “tool”. She turns out to be fragile and in love with freedom. Jesper, Kaz’s second in command and the closest you can get to a best friend. He is the most “relaxed” element of the gang, full of humor, jovial, hyperactive. His duet with Wylan, the young rookie of the band, is also perfect. the young man is shy and quite neophyte in the world of criminals, but he manages to take a really important place and his naive but whole side is adorable. And then we have Nina and Matthias. Ah that’s two … Their story is complex and it is also a common thread throughout the novel. I found this idea interesting, especially in the fact that the two characters thus evolve enormously during this first volume.
The gang is, at first glance, very heterogeneous, but in the end, we mainly have in front of us six teenagers (we also very easily forget that they are between sixteen and eighteen years old) that life has beaten up. They are broken, each in their own way, also complementary, support for each other. They are criminals, we do not forget, and we thus find a lot of coldness there, a sense of ethics not very Catholic, but we are undeniably attached. We wish them success and succeed in leaving this world which continues to destroy them. If the plot is exciting, the characters are not left out either.
A very successful first volume. He is not only there to set the scene, we immediately experience a “real” exciting adventure in a rich and intriguing world. Colorful characters, a captivating narrative style. Clearly, nothing to say. I loved.
A quick note on the American Leigh Bardugo – Crooked Kingdom Audiobook paperback version which is magnificent. The cover already, splendid, but also the finish of the book. The edge is tinted in black, the inside is blood red, the typography, the illustrations of the cards, the inter chapters … In short, I am absolutely not disappointed with the object itself. You can see that there was a search and a desire to make the atmosphere of the story felt just by holding the book. And I would have only one thing to say: that our French publishers take seed!