20 Questions Book Tag

I came across this Book Tag through Charlie who blogs at Read You Fools and found it to be quite interesting. This tag is available on paperfury.com

To keep up the interest and connection with fellow book lovers, I have decided to give it a try and to share my answers to the questions.

So here goes…..

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1. How many books are too many for a series?

A: Honestly I am not picky. If the plot is well thought out and the story flows well, I can read any number.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers? 

A. They make a story interesting, but then again this leads to waiting for the next book which can get a little tiring if it takes long! But in the end, worth it!

3. Hardcover or paperback?

A: Either is okay for me. I used to love paperbacks until I was gifted a Kindle reader. After that most of my reading was through eBooks. I have recently shifted back to paperbacks. So I guess it is a mix, but I do love the feel of a physical book.

4. Favourite book? 

A: I have so many. The main ones that come to mind which I can re-read any number of times are books by Enid Blyton and the Harry Potter series. Putting these aside, I have enjoyed all the books I’ve read over the years spanning so many genres!

5. Least favourite book? 

A: I cannot think of any at the moment. I have mostly enjoyed the books that I have read.

6. Love triangles, yes or no? 

A: Ooh… this is an interesting question. I think it depends on the plot and whether the love triangle works and is handled well. If it is, then it definitely spices up a plot.

7. The most recent book you couldn’t finish?

A: I don’t have one for the moment.

8. A book your currently reading?

A: The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

A: The Vikramaditya Veergatha series by Shatrujeeth Nath. I recently discovered this four book series and absolutely fell in love with the books! Kudos to the author for bringing Vikramaditya to life in this series!

10. Oldest book you’ve read by publication date?

A: This I am not sure about. I would have to check the bookshelves for something 🙂

11. Newest book you’ve read by publication date? 

A: Meet Me in Bombay by Jenny Ashcroft, published on 19th January 2021.

12. Favourite author?

A: This is quite difficult. I have read so many authors and discovered new ones over time that choosing any one would be hard. Suffice it to say, that I have enjoyed all the authors I have discovered, both known and unknown!

13. Buying or borrowing?

A: I would prefer to buy books as the feeling of owning them is wonderful!

14. A book you dislike but everyone seems to love?

A: I’m not sure I have any such book in mind at the moment.

15. Bookmarks or dogears?

A: Bookmarks for sure though I am not so adept at remembering to use one. I just try to remember the page in this case.

16. A book you can always re-read?

A: Any book by Enid Blyton and Harry Potter.

17. Can you read and listen to music? 

A: No. I find it rather distracting.

18. 1 pov or multiple? 

A: Ah this is an interesting question. I enjoy multiple points of view if it is handled well. If not, then it gets distracting.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

A: I try to read in one sitting, especially if the book is gripping. Sometimes, if I do not get a lot of time to read, then it takes me days to finish a book.

20. Who do you tag? 

A: Anyone who wants to share something about themselves through these questions and the books that they read!

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So this is a little about me and my interests! Share your thoughts in the comments and if you participate, do share your links. Do visit Read You Fools as well, there is some interesting Bookish content!

In Conversation with author Natasha Murray

Hello everyone!

I have the pleasure of hosting author Natasha Murray on my blog. Her latest book, 58 Farm End was released in Dec 2020 and has been getting some pretty good reviews!

In this blog post, we talk about her latest book, the inspiration behind it and also get to know her a little better! I love how interactive and enthusiastic Natasha is and this inspired me to spice up this blog post and convert it into a conversation instead of an interview. 

Thank you Natasha for reaching out to me and for connecting with me! I look forward to reading more of your books in future!

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Connect with Natasha:

 Author website

https://cutt.ly/5fR483w

Book marketing journey and guest author website: www.nmurray.moonfruit.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NatashaMurray3004 or

Twitter https://twitter.com/UKBookShow_2018

Instagram @natashamurray1426

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Namrata: Thanks for joining us! Tell us a little about yourself.

Natasha: I grew up in North London in Crouch End which has in recent years become a trendy place to live. My best subjects at school were art and English. These subjects I excelled in and I wanted to become an animation artist for Disney. This was not to be. Home life was turbulent so at the age of eighteen, I moved out into a mansion house flat and took on various administrative jobs to pay my rent and survive. My dreams of becoming an artist slowly faded as children came along and the desire to write took over. As the years went by, I drifted south and I now live by the sea in Little hampton with my husband and soul mate, Martin. I work at night picking shopping at a supermarket and after a morning snooze, I write, publish, market my books and read and review. My dream is to sell enough books so that I can write full time.

Namrata: So, what inspired you to start writing books?

Natasha: I have always loved writing stories, plays and poetry. Writing is both a compulsion and a pleasure. I decided to write my first book when my son was about ten and was having difficulty moving on from reading the Captain Underpants series. He wanted to read a book that didn’t have wizards or magic in it. He wanted to read a story that was believable and could actually happen. His need to read a book like this inspired me to write 3004 a dystopian adventure story. It took me six years to write this book as I had two children to look after and an alcoholic partner (not Martin) The Book Guild published my book 3004 in April 2011. My son didn’t actually read it until he was eighteen. He said he liked it but preferred to read autobiographies! 3004 is permanently free on Amazon and thousands of copies have been downloaded.

Namrata: Oh my! That’s quite a journey! Let’s talk about genres! How or why did you choose to write in the Mystery and Thriller genre with a dash of Romance?

Natasha: Last year I decided to experiment and write in a new genre. I chose Romantic suspense and hoped that my book would appeal to more people. I got carried away and wrote two books during lockdown, 58 Farm End and Julia’s Baby. The third book Waterfall Way is being written at a slower pace as I really don’t like saying goodbye to my characters. These three books form the Waterfall Way series. I really enjoyed writing these books and crafting thrilling twists and turns. 58 Farm End was published on 18 December 2020 and is getting some really great reviews. Thank you Namrata for your wonderful review!

Namrata: You are quite welcome! I did enjoy the way the story was written! Let’s continue to talk about 58 Farm End, where did you get the inspiration for the plot from?

Natasha: 58 Farm End came to me in an early morning dream. In my dream, I actually watched the two main characters play out chapter two. I could hear Julia Bridgewater and Seth Hearn talking to each other. There is a road near to me called Long Furlong and there are farms along this road. In my dream, Julia and Seth live on similar farms next to each other and in this chapter they meet in the lane for the first time and Seth helps Julia stop his brother and Ivy Brown from riding Julia’s old pony. I woke up and wrote everything down. The rest of the book just unfolded. This may sound crazy but sometimes Julia and Seth tell me what is going to happen or if I think of a twist and they don’t like it then they will suggest another path. I really am quite sane.

Namrata: Wow! That must have been quite some dream! It’s interesting how you remembered it. One point that intrigued me is the title of the book. Without giving away too much, could you tell us why you decided to specify the number ‘58’ in the title? 

Natasha: Oh dear, 58! This number has haunted me since I was a child for the same reason Julia’s Dad had trouble with it. I will say no more!

Namrata: That’s a good one! So, moving to the people in the story, let’s talk about the inspiration behind the lead characters. How did they happen?

Natasha: As I said Julia and Seth appeared in my dream. Jules is petite with wild curly blonde hair and Seth is tall, dark and handsome.

Namrata: Ah yes! I am quite a fan of Seth!

Do you base any of your characters on people you know? If yes, would you share an example?

Natasha: Seth’s family remind me of a distant Irish connection I had many moons ago. This large Irish family were the kindest people you would ever wish to meet but many of them were quite crazy. Perhaps they influenced my writing.

Namrata: When you started this book, did you plan out the entire series at the beginning or did it evolve as the story evolved?

Natasha: I never plan my storyline and yes my books do evolve organically. I do however think about the next chapter and what I am going to write. This usually happens when I am picking shopping for customers. I see what is going to happen and then play out the scene like a movie in my mind. I get home and write an email to myself and type out the chapter on my phone. I then send it to myself copy and paste it into my book and edit it at my desk. That way I can write anywhere I want to. On the bed or by the sea are good places to write. I usually write half a chapter a day.

Namrata: I find the way you approach writing to be quite unique! So, what is an average writing day like for you?

Natasha: Being an administrator for so long, I like to be organised and I have a daily planner to keep to. This way I don’t forget to do the dreaded marketing side of things. Here is my weekly plan.

85 MONDAY

WRITE

TUESDAY

WRITE

WEDNESDAY

WRITE

THURSDAY

FULL WRITING OR EDITING DAY – GET LOST IN YOUR PARALLEL UNIVERSE

 

WRITE AN ARTICLE OR BLOG POST AND PUBLISH IT ON YOUR BLOG AND LINKEDIN. SHARE WITH FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

 

FRIDAY

WRITE

SATURDAY

 

SUNDAY

 

EVERY WEEK AFTER

THANK EVERYONE FOR REVIEWS AND SHARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

 

CREATE A VIDEO AND THREE STILL FACEBOOK & TWITTER POSTS AND SCHEDULE THEM FOR THE WEEK & LINK THEM TO LINKEDIN

 

PUBLISH ANY REVIEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

 

FIND REVIEWERS ONLINE WILLING TO REVIEW YOUR BOOK

 

PROMOTE YOUTUBE TRAILERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA (MONTHLY)

 

COMMENT ON FACEBOOK GROUPS

GO OUT SEE PEOPLE, EXPLORE AND GET INSPIRED TO WRITE.

 

TAKE PHOTOS TO

POST BOOKS, TRAILERS & ART PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM  USING 30 HASHTAGS  LINK TO FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

 

MONITOR YOUR ADS, CREATE OR REPLACE

EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS WITH NEWS AND OR OFFER BOOKS FOR FREE. CALL TO ASSIST YOU TO PROMOTE & REVEIW YOUR BOOKS.

 

GROW YOUR SUBSCRIBER LIST ON SOCIAL MEDIA OFFERING FREE GIFTS FOR EMAIL ADDRESS

LIVE EVENT

 

BOOK

SIGNINGS

FAIRS

MARKETS

BOOK SHOWS

READINGS & CHATS

 

IF NOTHING IS BOOKED SHARE A SOMETHING PERSONAL ABOUT BEING AN AUTHOR WITH SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

DAY OFF

 

READ READ READ READ

 

Namrata: WOW! That is wonderfully informative and great of you to share some of your planning. I wish I could be as organized! Thank you for this glimpse!

Let’s move on to lighter topics! What are you currently reading?

Natasha: I read and review books too. I am currently reading Meat Ladder to Mars by San Jose satirist Eugenio Negro. It is about pigs being transported to Mars. My mission this year is to read and review my two hundred books in my ‘to be read’ pile. I have got so behind because the desire to write keeps taking over.

Namrata: I have a huge TBR too and I am trying to work my way through it. It is not such an easy task, but I wish you all the best! I do read a lot of different kinds of books and would love to know which is your favourite genre?

Natasha: I love a psychological thriller or a classic book like Wuthering Heights

Namrata: That’s amazing diversity. Who is your favourite author?

Natasha: I read a lot and I think my favourite author is D.E. White. She writes crime fiction and I really love her Dove Milson series and her descriptive writing.

Namrata: I am going to add the books to my ever-growing TBR! If you had to pick one book to take away with you on vacation, what would it be?

Natasha: This is hard. I find it very difficult to read a book a second time so I would probably write my own.

Namrata: I can very well imagine you sitting down to write and enjoying a beautiful view! To wrap up this conversation, what message would you like to share with your readers?

Natasha: I hope that you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them. If my writing makes you emotional then I have done my job. A good book feeds the soul. Happy reading.

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Do share your thoughts and check out 58 Farm End, a romantic suspense story!

Book Review: Blood Casino by Nina Walker

About the Book:

Keep your cards close and your enemies closer.

At least that’s what my mom always told me. Becoming a vampire hunter was never in my cards, but it is now that she needs my help. A decade ago vampires seized control of the bars, casinos, and the dark underbelly of society. Now they deal in addiction and bargain with blood, and humans over twenty-five can’t fight back against their compulsion. It’s made my mother vulnerable––the only family I have left.

To save her, I’m forced to make a deal with the devil––one who lives above a casino, wears a crown, and wants to drink my blood. Andrianos Teresi may be dangerous and alluring but I’ve got a stake hidden up my sleeve. I’ll go all in and play his game, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

What I don’t expect? The heart that needs guarding is my own.

My Thoughts:

Blood Casino is the first book in a new series by Nina Walker. With a focus on vampires and humans alike, this book bring to us a fresh new take on the supernatural. The story focuses on Evangeline, a human who is dealing with her mother’s gambling addiction. In the city of New Orleans, we are introduced to a world where Vampires live in the open and there are rules to ensure harmony. The vampires own businesses, some which deal with gambling and such in the form of Casinos. When Eva’s mother ends up spending more time in the Casino owned by Adrianos Teresi, it is inevitable that Eva has a run-in with one of the most powerful vampires.

While trying to lead a normal life, take care of her mother and protect her, Eva is torn between the world of vampires and her own. Forced to make a deal to save her mother and at the same time trying to work against the vampires is not easy and this puts Eva in a very difficult position. The author also brings to us slowly developing romances which leads to a lot of intrigue. A love triangle is definitely interesting and one where there is the option between a human and a vampire is even more alluring.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and how the characters are developed. The author does a great job in describing the various relationships in the book and giving us the background of each character. This book is worth the read and ends with a twist, giving an opening for the next book! I am totally looking forward to this!

Book Review: Meet Me in Bombay by Jenny Ashcroft

About the Book:

Meet Me in Bombay

United by love. Separated by war. Will they find their way back to each other? Find out in Jenny Ashcroft’s historical romance Meet Me in Bombay

Meet Me in Bombay is a powerful, poignant and deeply emotional tale of love, mystery, loss and joy.” –Kate Furnivall, New York Times bestselling author

It’s New Year’s Eve in Bombay, 1913, and Madeline Bright, new to the sweltering heat of colonial India, is yearning for all she has left behind in England. Then, at the stroke of midnight, Maddy meets Luke Devereaux, and as the year changes so do both their lives.

Bold and charismatic, Luke opens her eyes to the wonders of Bombay, while Maddy’s beauty and vivacity captures his heart. Only her mother disapproves, preferring the devoted Guy Bowen as a match for her daughter.

But while Maddy and Luke are falling in love, the world is falling apart. World War I is on the horizon, and Luke will be given no choice but to fight. They will be continents apart, separated by danger and devastating loss, but bound by Luke’s promise that they will meet again in Bombay. His only wish is to return to her–but first he must remember who she is . . .

My Thoughts:

Meet Me in Bombay is a beautifully written story of love and loss in the time of WWI. Mostly set in Bombay, we are introduced to Maddy as she comes to visit her parents in Bombay after many years in England. We follow her as she discovers the sights and explores the city. The author has done a wonderful job in bringing the city to life and in describing it, making the reader yearn to visit.

This is a story poignant tale love so strong, it spans distance and time and still holds strong. The author describes the joys of falling in love, precious time spent and the heart break of the war and loss. The characters are well crafted and bring this story and the places to life. The war is described in detail and will bring tears to the eyes of the reader. Mixed with fiction and facts, this story is deeply emotional and will pull the reader in from the beginning. The friendships and relationships between the characters whether with friends, parents, partners is amazing and well portrayed. Even with secrets and scandal, nothing comes above love.

I thoroughly enjoyed this emotional rollercoaster and I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Weekly round up – 11/01 to 16/01

Hello All,

To keep things interesting, I have decided to do a round-up of books read every week and share some insight into the books I liked best and those which did not live up to expectations (though I am sure this is very less so far!).

So here is the list of books read in the last week, from 11.01.2021 (Sunday) until 16.01.2021 (Saturday).

 

 

This duology is definitely worth reading and describes one of the best heists and revenge plots that I have come across with wonderfully crafted characters who are ruthless and still honorable in their own way. A must read series!

 

 

 

 

 

This fast paced book has so many plots and sub plots and sub sub plots that it is hard to keep track, but important all the same. I love that there are so many aspects to the story that add value to the entire story! In the end, the book will leave the reader wanting more! I have never felt so happy after having read a book and this series has done this and more! It has left me raving and talking about it even after finishing the books!

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, this book is worth the read as is the entire series! The Vikramaditya Veergatha proves to be a treasure trove of mystery keeping the reader guessing until the very end! The readers are in for a treat and eventually arrive at a conclusion that will satisfy everyone with strong characters fighting to save humanity against all odds!

 

 

 

The Newlyweds

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was truly shocked by some of the revelations. I would never have guessed at anything that happened. This is the beauty of the story telling and I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers!

 

 

 

 

Do share your thoughts and the books read in the last week! 🙂 Have a great weekend and week ahead!

Book Review: The Newlyweds by Arianne Richmonde

About the Book:

The Newlyweds

One marriage. One lie. Two sides to the story.

The moment Vivien meets Ashton, she knows she will be his wife and absolutely nothing will stop her.

Powerful, rich and from a good family, Ashton is everything Vivien is not. So, she molds herself into Ashton’s perfect soulmate.

Pouring his favorite vintage wine, whispering ‘I love you’ over dinner in front of friends and biting her tongue when she disagrees with him are simple sacrifices for the perfect marriage she has always craved.

When people begin to notice the bruises on her cheek, she holds their stares. There is no cry for help from Vivien. She simply keeps her mouth shut and lets the gossip continue.

If you saw Vivien nursing a black eye, you might be forgiven for thinking what everyone else does – that she is the victim in her marriage, but you’d be wrong. Vivien and Ashton’s life together is much more complicated than that. You will never guess the true story behind Vivien’s undying devotion to her husband. Nor could you possibly predict what she does next…

Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Behind Closed Doors and The Perfect Couple. If you enjoy reading twisted psychological thrillers with bags of suspense, then you’ll love The Newlyweds from USA TODAY bestselling author Arianne Richmonde.

My Thoughts:

The Newlyweds is a psychological thriller that follows the life of Vivien and Ashton as they transition into life as a newly married couple. Vivien is seen trying to fit into society and uphold her name as the perfect wife to Ashton. As the story progresses, we get pulled into the narration assuming that Ashton is abusive in the marriage. But no way! After building this narrative, the author starts to pull apart the plot and reveals so much more that is happening underneath.

As the real story emerges, the reader is in for a roller coaster ride filled with lies and deception. Noone is as they seem and everything we learn is a lie. The author has done an amazing job with the plot line and narration, making us like some characters, dislike some and then completely change our minds about the entire set of characters. For every plan, there is a master plan and then another one.

Though some parts of the plot line didn’t make sense or fully fit in, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was truly shocked by some of the revelations. I would never have guessed at anything that happened. This is the beauty of the story telling and I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers!

Book Review: The Wrath of the Hellfires (Vikramaditya Veergatha #4) by Shatrujeet Nath

About the Book:

PATIENCE IS A DRAWN BOW. RAGE, ITS RELENTLESS ARROW.

Shukracharya’s plan to break the unity of Vikramaditya’s Council has borne bitter fruit. Friends have become sworn enemies, and brother has turned against brother, setting Avanti on the path to self-destruction.

Even as Vikramaditya prepares to counter a Huna invasion, a rebellion brews within Ujjayini, while a devious conspiracy is hatched to humiliate him. With Indra’s spies swarming the palace and Shukracharya making a bold bid to take the Halahala, the king is dangerously close to the brink of defeat.

Alone and abandoned by those dear to him, fighting to protect his wife and his people, trying his best to keep his promise to Shiva, will the samrat rise one last time to defend his love, his city and his honour?

As the asura and deva forces muster in a final, desperate gamble to claim the Halahala, The Wrath of the Hellfires brings an explosive conclusion to Vikramaditya’s epic tale of action and adventure.

My Thoughts:

The Wrath of the Hellfires is a very fitting conclusion to the Vikramaditya Veergatha series! The story takes us where Book 3 left off with everyone going in their own path. The Devas and Asuras are each planning to wreck havoc and Vikramaditya is left to take a stand and defend not only his kingdom and people, but also to fulfil his oath to protect the dagger containing the Halahala!

This plot flows steadily, a little slower than the previous two books, but with enough speed as to keep the reader hooked from page one. Each and every sub plot which came up until book 3 is addressed and the story comes a full circle to reach the conclusion. In the end, Vikramaditya not only lives up to his oath, but also to his personality, being someone who leads by example, putting himself in the line of fire to protect everyone and everything that he loves.

With the Asuras, Devas, nagas, kinnaras and so on descending on Earth, all hell breaks loose and the Kingdom is under heavy attack. The author takes us on a wonderful journey throughout this series and I thoroughly enjoyed it! To avoid talking about the plot, I would like to stress a little on the character sketches! The author once again sticks to each character sketch and brings out the best and worst in the characters. There are twists and turns that add flavour and flourish to the story with some unexpected things that will surprise the reader! The focus is also on the war that is brimming everywhere and how our beloved characters fight in it. This is really wonderful to read with explanations that are vivid and help us to imagine very easily!

In conclusion, this book is worth the read as is the entire series! The Vikramaditya Veergatha proves to be a treasure trove of mystery keeping the reader guessing until the very end! The readers are in for a treat and eventually arrive at a conclusion that will satisfy everyone with strong characters fighting to save humanity against all odds!

Book Review: The Vengeance of Indra (Vikramaditya Veergatha #3) by Shatrujeet Nath

About the Book:

VENGEANCE IS A CAGE. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM.

In their greed to possess the deadly Halahala, the devas and the asuras have employed every dirty trick against Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine. But the humans are still standing, bloodied but unbowed.

When the wily Shukracharya discovers the secret to breaking the Council’s unity and strength, he forges an unlikely alliance with his arch-enemy, Indra, to set a deceitful plan in motion.

As cracks emerge between the councilors and their king, ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Vikramaditya and Kalidasa’s friendship, signaling the beginning of an eclipse that will cast a long shadow over all that Vikramaditya holds dear. And into this shadow steps Indra, bearing an old grudge – and a devastating new weapon.

How much longer before the Guardians of the Halahala finally fall apart?

My Thoughts:

Once again my heartfelt gratitude to the author for reaching out to me regarding this series!

The Vengeance of Indra is Book 3 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. It picks off where Book 2 ends and maintains a steady pace throughout. With cracks forming in the bonds between the councilors in the court of Vikramaditya, it feels as though everyone is starting to forge their own path. Having been sent away, Shukracharya formulates a major plan to wreak havoc in the minds of the humans. To achieve this, he proposes an alliance between the devas and asuras.

With everyone’s focus shifting from the true purpose of protecting the Halahala and sticking together, jealousies come to the surface along with anger and pain among other negative emotions. The author has done a wonderful job with the story and the way it has been brought forward! There are so many many many twists that the reader will be left reeling in shock and trying to comprehend the situation. This is how I felt many times while reading the book, but I loved it!

The beauty of the story lies in it’s characters. Vikramaditya’s personality traits are those which we aspire to have in ourselves. With no fault of his own, he is placed in a situation where being true to his duty, leads to mistrust among his people, his family and those closest to him. The author brings out these contrasts in character traits very well while subtly teaching us some very valuable life lessons!

 This fast paced book has so many plots and sub plots and sub sub plots that it is hard to keep track, but important all the same. I love that there are so many aspects to the story that add value to the entire story! In the end, the book will leave the reader wanting more! I have never felt so happy after having read a book and this series has done this and more! It has left me raving and talking about it even after finishing the books!

Book 4, here I come! I cannot wait to know what happens in the conclusion to this epic tale!

Book Review: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

About the Book:

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

My Thoughts:

Having completed Book 1, I had to read Book 2 to know what happens in this duology! Leigh Bardugo brings to us an epic conclusion in this fast paced novel! Crooked Kingdom sees Kaz and his crew double-crossed and forced to go underground with almost no allies. Almost all their faces are on wanted posters and it looks like everyone is teaming up. Lured by the promise of jurda parem, everyone is coming to Ketterdam in search of the secret.

The story follows Kaz as he once again forms a master mind plan and sets out to execute it with the help of this crew of outcasts and some more people they pick up along the way. Friendships are tested, relationships are strained, new bonds are forged among everyone in this story. With revenge and justice  being strong motives as well as a sense of righteousness to get what is owed, the plot lines are brilliant and very well formulated!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading more about the characters who somehow make themselves beloved to the reader and who carve a space in their heart and mind! The book is gripping and kept me reading late into the night with an interest to find out what happens next. The author brings a few unexpected twists into the mix and leads us to an almost happy ending (can be interpreted in any way and may differ based on each person’s perspective). She also plays to the strengths of each character while also ensuring that they come into their own and discover what they can really do, thus finding their place in the world.

This duology is definitely worth reading and describes one of the best heists and revenge plots that I have come across with wonderfully crafted characters who are ruthless and still honorable in their own way. A must read series!

Book Review: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

About the Book:

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017, this fantasy epic from the No. 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Grisha trilogy is gripping, sweeping and memorable – p erfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Laini Taylor and Kristin Cashore.

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

An epic new exploration of the Grisha universe from the writer of SHADOW AND BONE, SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING, totally consuming for both old fans and new.

My Thoughts:

This book is my first 5* read of 2021.

Wow! Just Wow! That was and is my reaction after finishing this book! I must say that in spite of all the hype around it, the book lives up to everything! I am glad that I read it and I cannot wait to read the next book!

Six of Crows follows six outcasts as they set out on a journey to pull of an impossible heist. However, impossible is a loose term, I am not sure that there isn’t anything this group cannot do when they set their mind to it! We are introduced one by one to the various characters and given an overview of who they are along with the progress in the story. I enjoyed this way of handling a story!

The characters we meet have been through a lot or have a lot of secrets, but with each revelation, we come to understand them much better. I also enjoyed the fact that the entire plan for the heist was not fully revealed to us and the reader discovers the plan along with the other people on the team. Considering that they are all in their late teens, none of the characters behave in that way, but sometimes we are reminded of their age and it makes them more real to the reader! Nina is delightful and turned out to the opposite of what I assumed. I also loved Inej and Kaz. Each one different but finally everyone comes together by some common thread.

The setting at Ketterdam reminded me of Amsterdam, but is very well described. So is the journey and the place of the heist. I quite enjoyed reading about their journey and how these six people learn to accept each other and maybe trust one another. With the threat of the jurda parem and it’s affect on the Grisha, there is indeed a lot happening and a good precedent is set for Book 2.

This is a very unconventional review from me considering that I have focused more on how I feel and on raving about the book. But, I cannot help it!

The author has done a brilliant job and the story is gripping until the very end! There are so many twists and turns that it is impossible to stop reading once you start! This book is a must read!