In Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo took readers through the planning and execution of a nearly impossible heist. By the end of the novel readers know how much of the plan succeeds, and the double-cross that leaves the crew of street thieves worse off than before. It is the double-cross and loose threads that form the basis of the con that is at the center of Crooked Kingdom, the sequel to Six of Crows.
Kaz Brekker and his crew, Inej, Jesper, Matthias, Nina and Wylan, have managed the impossible. They made it into and out of the Ice Court, the most secure prison in the world. But this accomplishment did not result in the rewards they were promised. Instead a double-cross has left them wounded, without resources and forced to hide in their own city. While most of the crew is struggling to simply survive, Kaz has set his sights on a different target: revenge. He wants the money he and his crew were promised. While the rest of the world begins to send resources to Ketterdam to investigate the rumors of a Jurda Parem, a drug that may make Grisha even more powerful, Kaz focuses his attention on individuals who have assumed they could use him and his crew, and discard them afterward. If Kaz has his way, he will exact his revenge, and Ketterdam will never be the same again.
In Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo follows the heist concocted for Six of Crows with a con so involved, so intricate and yet completely believable, that it may take multiple readings to completely follow all of the moving pieces as they fall into place. The entire cast is back, and they have been deeply affected by the challenge of breaching the Ice Court. Their stories are expanded, and the reader is given additional information on their backgrounds. Bardugo tells the story from multiple perspectives, which allows greater insights into the characters, while allowing there to be misdirection and “sleight of hand” tricks with the plots, points and details as the story unfolds. The ending does not have a painless conclusion, and readers may feel as though they have been worked over by a Grisha heartrender. Crooked Kingdom completes the story begun in Six of Crows, but there are possibilities for another story. The conclusion to the Grisha Trilogy, Ruin and Rising, was pitch perfect in every way, and the same is true for Crooked Kingdom.
Bardugo has stated that she may return to the world of the Grisha, however her next novel will be about Wonder Woman. It will be part of a new series about DC superheroes in 2017.