Cover Image: Into The Crooked Place

Into The Crooked Place

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Member Reviews

I actually liked this book more than I had thought I would. That's not to say I thought I'd hate it! I just wasn't sure how I'd feel about Christo's writing when removed from the framework of a retelling. While To Kill a Kingdom is (in my opinion) the stronger book of the two, I thought that this book had some great elements and is, overall, a strong read. 

I thought that the magic system for this book was cool! Long time readers of my reviews will know that a unique and/or interesting magic system is always good news to me and I thought this worked. What I thought was particularly interesting, and something I hope we'll see more of in a later book, was the idea of a black market for magic. It's not something I've never seen before, we've all read a forbidden magic book, but this was one where things felt particularly 'organised' which I enjoyed. 

One of the reasons I think I didn't connect with this book as much as I would have liked was the characters. Don't get me wrong, I loved Tavia and would have quite happily read just her story (although Karam and Saxony have my heart too). No, it was the fourth in this gang of magical misfits that bothered me. I think (and I could be wrong) that Wesley was meant to be one of those 'you know he's bad but you can't help but like him' kind of characters, perhaps akin to a Locke Lamora or Kaz from Six of Crows. Alas, at least for me, I did not like Wesley. Maybe it is my gut reaction to the name Wesley, maybe it was that I never felt like there was a moment where he was truly vulnerable - all those moments felt like he still wanted something. Perhaps in a re-read, knowing I ought to feel for him, I might be persuaded but my first impression was that I didn't want to root for or care about a character who didn't care about other people. 

I did think that the plot was good, it got a little confusing and hard to follow at times (sometimes that was my fault, I'd drift off a little and suddenly they'd be on a train), but overall I thought the very disparate stories of these four characters were drawn together in an interesting way. I'll be intrigued to see where this plot goes in book two. 

Overall, this ended up being a fairly 'good but not great' read for me. I have a feeling this will be one of those books that is made or broken by the second book, where the characters have more room to develop and get into their backstories and their futures  - you know what I mean? I'll definitely be re-reading this and looking forward to the sequel when it comes out! 

My rating: 3/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Into the Crooked Place is available now!
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I was hugely excited for this one after giving Christo's first book 5 stars. This one isn't a bad book but just isn't working for me. I've been struggling through but making little progress so I've decided to DNF. My rating reflects my feeling about the part I read.
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I find it very difficult to review books that mostly leave me with the feeling 'eh, it was okay'. Into the Crooked Place wasn't terrible by any stretch, but it has the difficult issue of being positioned alongside Six of Crows as 'gangster fantasy' and while Leigh Bardugo does not have sole rights to the pack of misfits trying to commit heists and survive in a darkly magical world trope, Six of Crows was, in my view, excellent and casts a rather long and dark shadow. And Into the Crooked Place didn't really compare.

Which is very much Not Fair as a criticism, because everything should be judged by its own merit, but I couldn't help thinking 'Six of Crows did this better' almost all the way through.

There were some excellent ideas at play. I loved the idea of Magic being a finite resource, infinitely used and reused by crooks trying to sell it to tourists, mostly using tricks and sleight of hand to make it look more impressive. The characters all had their own agendas, those agendas often being at odds with each other, providing plenty of opportunity for conflict. There were some creative set pieces for battles - the author making the most of her world set up and magic systems.

However, the plot was uneven, with some points lingered over unnecessarily, while others were rushed past. The plot twist at the end was signposted so obviously, I can't believe anyone didn't guess it, and the consequences of any of the actions taken by the main characters just didn't really hit home for me. They did terrible things and none of it really mattered in the end. The worst things to happen happened off screen while the main characters were somewhere else, and it was difficult to care about them.

Overall, this was entertaining enough to keep reading. If it was the first gangster fantasy I'd read, I'd probably like it more, but with so many other, better examples, I can't say this one adds much to the genre. But perhaps the second book in the series will prove me wrong on that.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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What an addictive read!!! I spent a weekend reading and enjoying Into The Crooked Place and I can’t wait to read the sequel. The plot is captivating and magical, the characters are fantastic, and it ended with a fantastic and shocking cliff-hanger that left me desperate for more.

The protagonists are four crooks: Wesley is the underboss in Creije, the kingpin’s golden boy, but with his own plans for the future; Tavia sells magic hoping to gain her freedom; Karam is a fierce guard with a secret to hide; and Saxony is a fighter looking for revenge. They form an unlikely team and go on a dangerous and revealing journey to get rid of the cruel kingpin and save the kingdom.

First of all, I loved the characters. Wesley, Tavia, Karam, and Saxony are engaging and very well-crafted. They argue, they support and protect each other, they are loyal. Even when they argue, I side with each of them. They all have a dramatic and horrific past that it is slowly unravalled and make for a serious and thought-provoking read while the easy banters and the witty exchanges between the characters made me smile. The story is told from different points of views so that the reader gets to know the characters’ dynamics as the story develops and really appreciate them. My favourite character is Tavia. She is stubborn and determined and I admired her loyalty to Wesley.

There is magic, there is adventure, there is romance, and there is friendship. The writing style is clear and captivating, the plot is intriguing and full of surprises, and, as I said, the characters are awesome. This is my first novel by Alexandra Christo so now I am going to read her debut novel To Kill A Kingdom, while I wait for the sequel to Into The Crooked Place which I highly recommend to all fantasy lovers!
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I'll admit that I didn't really know much about what I was getting into with Into the Crooked Place, it was a book that I had been seeing lots about by way of pre-release hype, I found the authors first book To Kill and Kingdom pretty enjoyable so I thought that this would be a great read.  Sadly this book didn't quite hit the spot for me.

The start is so very strong though, I was totally drawn into the world and there were the makings of some great and interesting characters and an out of this world sounding magic system. Creije has a very typical fantasy feel to it, a slightly historical vibe with a bit of Victoriana. I honestly didn't feel like there wasn't a single character that I didn't connect with and for that I would say that this is more of a character driven piece, every backstory is so intricately woven with real emotion and feeling, and actually the notion of family is actually very strong which I loved as so often it's all about characters going it alone. The story is strange in that we are fed pockets of information at various stages which sort of works when you're in the moment. I absolutely adored the part involving a mini heist (I do love a heist and even more so with a rag tag team behind it) but there are also some amazing existential moments that are brimming with creativity with their dreamscape elements - also another firm favourite of mine. The magics really come into their own having more and more life breathed into them at each stopping point in the journey our group finds themselves in, it's so creative! The parts of the story that I really enjoyed however, were the almost interlude moments when we were transported to a POV away from our normal narrators, this sections were full of genuine unease and a show of promise to the strength of writing below the surface.

But when the middle part starts that's where it starts to feel a bit off for me. The characters are moving from place to place but there is no drive behind them, lots of really great stand alone things are happening that just didn't feel cohesive and for me the middle of the book just didn't really work at all, which is a real shame as this is where we really get to learn about depth of the magics. As is now Christo's style, we have a steady route to get to a goal, the goal here being the end battle which was a whizz and a blur of action. As with TKAK, the battle felt confusing yet so full on with every member of the team getting their part, I wish that it felt more structured and less hectic - this I know is mainly my fault as I nearly DNF'd this book and skimmed for a bit, but even so I think I still would have felt this way had I savoured every word. I have to say that I am baffled by the comparisons to Six of Crows - that book doesn't hold the copyright on street urchins with a plan, I think Oliver Twist has a fair shout on that - I just didn't get that vibe from it at all.

As usual though with series books, this does end with a doozy of a closing stage to really drag you into wanting to come back for more, I knew what was coming in the last chapter which had an almost epilogue feel  and I did find it quite delicious - if only that shame chill and intrigue had woven its way a bit more into the pages.

It does have a great premise though and the foundations of some great world building that could do with being built on substantially to give the next book in the series the rounded feel it deserves - I'm not giving up hope because of such promise and I do genuinely like some of the characters especially with some of the latter revelations about them. I would love for this series to reach its potential more fully in the next book, because this has the potential to become spectacular.
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I was so excited to receive this book, I loved To Kill a Kingdom and was sure I would love this too.
However it took me a while to read as I wasn't as invested in the story or the characters as much as I wanted to be.
Although I liked the new magic system and how it is used in this book and the characters all had their own distinct personalities, but it all felt a bit flat and predictable.
Will I read the next book? I probably will as I want to see how it all works out in the end, but won't be in a hurry to pick it up. 🥺
A copy sent to me by Hot Key Books for an honest review.
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I absolutely loved Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo so when I heard she was coming out with a new series I knew I had to read them and was lucky enough to be able to get this arc! 

Alexandra has a way of completely captivating you into the world she has created with her beautiful writing style and I found myself hooked from the very beginning. This is basically a gangster fantasy and I am here for that! Give me a rag-tag bunch of misfits who are on a mission and you have me hook, line and sinker. 

I really enjoyed the magic in this world and found it so interesting but for me it was the characters that made this book. I really loved the banter between the characters but I think my favourite was Tavia. She wasn’t unique in the sense that she was good at hand to hand combat or had magical abilities, she was just a busker who wanted to leave her life of crime behind her. She’s such a strong character who constantly fights for what she believes in. 

I did really enjoy this book but found myself unable to give it five stars. I found myself comparing it to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo as the two have similar main characters, mainly Wesley and Tavia who reminded me a lot of Kaz and Inej. Another small issue I had with the book was that I managed to guess one of the biggish plots quite early on which always makes the reveal anti-climactic and slightly disappointing! 

However, I still really loved this book. It was fast-paced, action packed with slow burn romances mixed in. Plus, as I mentioned before, give me a gangster fantasy book and I will always read and love it! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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I find this book very hard to rate as I didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it. A very much middle ground opinion best described as ‘meh’. I struggled through this for a few days pf picking it up and putting it down again. I found it hard to connect with any of the main characters, and found the story aimed towards a much younger target audience despite the cursing in text.
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As always Alexandra’s beautiful writing style pulled me in from the very beginning, I just find it so magical how she can make me feel, see and know exactly what she wants me to. This heist/gangster fantasy is just so wonderful, well imagined and constructed, but unfortunately comparisons to Leigh Bardugo’s six of crows are unavoidable and it seems so similar in very many ways, the characters the plot and sadly for me I am a bigger fan of Six of crows than I was this. Being constructive and trying to be unbiased I can’t tell if I’m just comparing this too much, as I loved To Kill a kingdom so much, don’t get me wrong it’s great, really entertaining and well written, I think I’m just too much of a Leigh Bardugo fan to give it a full 5 stars, but it’s definitely 3.5 to 4 stars

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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DNF’d at 30% – unrated

I’m sorry to say that this was a full day’s struggle of picking it up and putting it down repeatedly because I did not like this world that felt pretty familiar and I did not buy into the characters or story. I found the names of people and phrasing too similar to the Grisha world to discount and it was told without the finesse of that one.

I strongly believe there is no copyright on this kind of story, heisty-gangster fantasy because the whole book world is built on a jenga pyramid of similar stories. That said, its hugely important to find your slice of uniqueness and according to my friend that issue settled a bit from half way in. I didn’t get there because I just didn’t engage with the story and I was consistently bored.

I feel disappointed in myself on the one hand because I loved Christo’s previous book but I think this review would look a whole lot worse if I had.

Thank you to Hot Key books for the review copy and I’m sorry I couldn’t see this through to the end. Gratitude for the chance to read early.
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When it comes to Into the Crooked Place I am somewhat on the fence about it. While I enjoyed it for the most part while I read it, it certainly didn’t give my any lasting impacts and I didn’t feel compelled into wanting to read the next book despite the ending. 

Into the Crooked Place starts us in Creije where Tavia sells magic tricks for her boss and former best friend, Wesley. Wesley himself might rule the underlings but has to fall in line to the kingpin. When he shares his plans with Wesley, Wesley knows that he has to do something to keep his home, no matter how filled with crooks like him it is, safe. 

I had perhaps higher expectations of the storyline here. I failed to see why they had to do certain things a certain way to get somewhere like some tests they had to get to an island. It was just so incredibly far-fetched and I was just glad it was all over when they finally got to the island. 

Adding into that is the character relationships in combination with the world building. They kind of go hand in hand here because we get a lot of world building through learning more about the characters. However I feel in both cases it barely scratches the surface. We kind of stumble in the middle of a lot of these relationships and have to take at face value that their relationship is what they say it is. We go back so little that I feel like I am missing a vital part in their relationships. Especially with Karam and Saxony I feel like I am not getting enough on their background. How did she know she could trust her with her biggest secret? And why in the hell did she decide to step back after doing that? There are bones there but not enough to keep me interested. 

Which is a shame because there are some hints at interesting relationship dynamics there. Saxony and Wesley for instance who have this weird hate thing going on with each other. Karam seems to like to bitch at Tavia. But it all misses some sharpness and feels because of the above mentioned part. It is never build up well enough to sell it to me. To make me believe in these characters. 

So at the end of it, I don’t know. This book literally makes me shrug. It is a shame because there is potential there. But for 495 pages I feel like I am getting too little.
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A  gangster fantasy, Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo  is the story of an unlikely band of allies who must come together to face a magical threat that could result not only in their deaths but in the destruction of the world as they know it. To make the challenge even more difficult, each of our four protagonists are hiding secrets and regrets that they must not only face up to , but overcome if they are to succeed. The complex relationships between them also contribute to the difficulty and dangers they face. 
The book opens in the city of Creije, where Tavia is a busker, a dealer in small magics, who dabbles in the more dark aspects of magic on the black market. She is coming to the end of an indenture  and looking forward to her freedom. She grew up alongside our second point of view character , Wesley , who has travelled up the ranks of the magical mob, and is now an underboss in the city. Despite his reputation for ruthlessness, Tavia trusts him , and knows that there is still some decency and loyalty at his core.  When Tavia is entrusted with some new and powerful magic to sell on the black market, her friend Saxony samples some with almost fatal consequences. Saxony's  former lover Karam, who now works for Wesley while moonlighting in the city's fighting pits sees this as yet another reason not to trust Tavia . With so much bad blood between them, and so many secrets to hide, coming together to cut off this dangerous new magic at the source will be nothing short of a challenge and the reader is surely in for a bumpy and action packed ride.
I really enjoyed the setting of this book, and the world building that Christo has put into place. I have heard comparisons to Leigh Bardugo's  Six of Crows , and while I can certainly see the parallels , that did not stop me from enjoying the book. I loved the characters, and enjoyed their moral ambiguity, particularly Wesley, and I thought the romance between Saxony and Karam was both beautiful and believable, I did not feel that the development of  a romance between Wesley and Tavia really added anything to the story, it would have been much more interesting and original to not have that happen. I will warn you that the book is a bit of a slow starter and  does end on something of a cliff hanger, and for me that is often the kiss of death, however I found myself enjoying this enough to want to know more, so I eagerly await the next book . 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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Christo's world building is a breath of fresh air, original in concept and full of power and sass in its expression. With a rich, complex mythology that keeps your attention, nefarious villains and dynamic female protagonists.

Everyone is hiding something. Everyone has their own agenda. I like how the POVs are so personal and intense, 'decorated' by the characters' innermost thoughts. I love it when teams are thrown together out of necessity and the antagonism, even hate, drips through the pages.

Christo's trademark beautiful sentences engage your feels and imagination, melancholic and hopeful at the same time.

There are names that for the life of me I cannot remember or/and probably pronounce correctly (like Uskhanya). Also some of the action is confusing and a few scenes might be overstretched a bit. But these are minor setbacks in what is undoubtedly the beginning of an unforgettable duology.

I loved the final conflict. So exciting, heart in my throat. And what a compelling set up for the next installment.
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3.5/5 Stars

This new gangster fantasy left me happy and disappointed at the same time.
Into the Crooked Place has an interesting enough world filled with magic, which I think could have been explained a lot better than it was. The characters are what drives the story forward. I truly feel like there were characters that were well developed and others that were just there. Wesley is a cut above all others, he just is. The only other character who comes close to being well-crafted is Tavia. The other narrators and their points of view didn't really catch my attention.

This book has been compared to Six of Crows on multiple occasions and I can totally see why. I think that the feel is pretty much the same, but I personally prefer Leigh Bardugo's books. Wesley resembles Kaz quite a lot, which is probably why I liked him so much.
I think this book has some great potential even though it has not the most original story. The ending was quite interesting and left me curious to see how the author decides to continue on with the series.
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Thank you to Netgalley, Hot Key Books and Alexandra Cristo for my arc of Into the Crooked Place in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis: Following a terrible war which saw magic crafters forced into hiding, the only magic to be found now is the tricks and dreams sold by the buskers who tout their wears on every street corner, and none sell them quite as good as in Creije. Tavia and Wesley have known each other since they were kids, but while Tavia has rose to a position no higher than 'best busker' Wesley has become a household name to be feared as the Underboss of Creije answering directly to the deadly Kingpin. Meanwhile Karam who dreamed of a world where she could train to defend the crafters, has found herself instead guarding Wesley and fighting in the illegal fighting pits, Saxony meanwhile has secrets to keep and part of that means not letting anyone get close. That is until a strange and dangerous new magic arrives forcing the four to become a deadly team. But can anyone be trusted? Including each other?

I loved Into the Crooked Place it was a fantastic read with great characters, a great plot and a rip roaring adventure. 
However. It can't be denied that this book is incredibly similar to Six of Crows I heard this but I don't think I was expecting it to be so similar. 
First, the world building, a town full of crime and corruption where you can get pretty much anything nefarious or devious you might want, definitely sounds a lot like Ketterdam. Also this world previously had these amazing magic workers called crafters who each have one special affinity but following a war they're now exploited for their powers if found. Definitely sounds a lot like Grisha. 
Second, the characters. Wesley is the leader, disliked by many, dark past which has led him to be physically and emotionally scarred. Actually does care about people but is determined not to show fear, love or affection and has done bad things to get where he is = Kaz Brekker 
Tavia - fierce young girl, hangs out in the shadows, bad attitude, special connection to Wesley, can be a bit cocky and is the only one who can stand up to him without being killed, has her own scars. = Inej 
I can't really say anything about the other characters without revealing spoilers but I'm sure if you've read Six of Crows you'll see the parallels and also with one of the love relationships too. 

I don't want to seem like I'm slating this book. It's a tough one because I did really, really enjoy it and the storyline itself doesn't bear really any resemblance to SoC it's just the world and characters that are far too similar for it not to be acknowledged. I feel like any review by someone who has read SoC is going to have to bring up the elephant in the room. I mean even the title Into the Crooked Place resembles book two of SoC Crooked Kingdom. 

I loved the twist even though I figured it out fairly quickly and I'm pretty sure I've worked out what the next big twist will be. I'm excited to read what comes next and will definitely be buying a beautiful copy of this book so please don't let the SoC resemblances put you off, Cristo's writing is beautiful and makes this a very easy read.
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I thought I would really enjoy this, but in all honesty I was bored stiff reading it and felt no desire to pick it up again, which means I DNF'd this at around the 100 page mark.
None of the characters jumped off the page for me and I couldn't really make sense of the magic. 

This definitely has its audience, and there will be people who would love this, however I'm not that audience.
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This book was everything a good fantasy read should be! Fun, flowing, energetic, fast paced and full of magic. Add in some truly fantastically written characters and a plot that will keep you hooked until the wee hours of the morning, and Alexandra Christo has a hit on her hands. 

Tavia is a busker trawling the markets of Creije dealing in dark-magic wares. Patiently waiting for the day her indenture to the Kingpin is paid off and she can return to her mothers homeland, when her underboss gives her the chance to close her indenture for good she is wary. Asking her to sell a supposedly new kind of magic, which shouldn’t exist, she agrees. That is until her friend Saxony finds out and downs one of the bottles, unable to control herself she attack’s Tavia who has to abandon her friend to the amityguards for fear of being caught selling illegal magic. When she confronts Wesley, her childhood friend turned underboss he realises that their maybe a more sinister motive behind this new magic the Kingpin has asked him to sell. They enter into a tenuous sort of agreement along with Saxony and Karam, Wesley’s bodyguard and Saxony’s Once lover, to bring down the Kingpin once and for all. Little do they know that the secrets that each hide, some knowingly and some not, could change the game permanently.  

The review will be going live on my Blog on 6/10

This was such a fun book to read. Fast paced, with action from the get go, and a cast of characters you can’t help but fall in love with. Tavia, a busker who sells Dark magic wares desperately trying to pay off her indenture so she can travel to her dead mothers country. A criminal with ridiculous morals, she is not afraid to be left behind for the greater cause, but is not willing to risk the lives of those she loves. Saxony, a girl with a secret. She spends her days in the Soot, a club with less than stellar standards. She travelled to Creije to find her lost sister and refuses to leave until she has been returned to lead her tribe. Wesley, the Kingpins favourite underboss, described by most as an asshole with no soul. He cares for little in life but will do almost anything to protect the city he helped build. Karam, a warrior who left her peaceful people looking to be trained as a warrior, and ended up as the bodyguard to Creije’s Underboss. Stoic & serious at the best of times it’s only in her moments with Saxony that we see her softer side seep through. This ragtag bunch made for a intriguing read, and I thoroughly enjoyed the sarcasm, wit and rigmarole of emotions we got to experience through these guys. 

The romance in this book was beautifully written. With two main relationships one f/f and both slow burn... It almost killed me at parts. Saxony & Karam ended their relationship when Saxony felt making ties in Creije was taking her away from her true purose, to find her sisters and take her home. Wesley and Tavia on the other hand, needed their heads knocking together.  One aware that they would drag the other down with them if they were to enter into a relationship, and the other not wanting ties to a city they intend to leave, neither aware that they've already fallen. The romance wasn’t featured heavily, and I thought it progressed naturally throughout the story and wasn’t rushed. 

Christo writes a immersive fantasy world, with a fresh magic system, and she writes it with such ease that you are learning without even realising it. Though not overly descriptive she still manages to ins-till enough information for you to understand the world and magic that she created. This book is filled to the brim with action scenes and I could feel my heart racing at parts. At one point I thought the author had rushed to a pivotal part in the book, however she manages to make what should have been a dragged out 3/4 of the book into a full blown adventure and I simply couldn't put the book down.

Filled with plenty of twists and turns this is a book that would keep you reading well past your bed time. Though some were slightly predictable, they didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment and there was one twist right at the end that I did not see coming at all... I’m still reeling from it. This is an easy 4.5/5 for me, and I am eagerly anticipating the next in the series, especially after that cliffhanger ending! I would highly recommend this for fans of Six of Crows.
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I found this hard to finish, I just had no real urge to keep picking it up, I did enjoy it once I got going but I didn't find the storyline that engaging. I liked the characters well enough but I found myself only really caring about Wesley in the end. I found his character very interesting, I loved his snark, I also enjoyed how he just made everyone hate him with his mere presence. Unfortunately I found the 3 girls a bit samey in character, they just didn't stand out from each other at all. The banter was quite fun to read and the chemistry between Tavia and Wesley was great (though I think Wesley had even better chemistry with Arjun). I'm very sad to say that the relationship between Saxony and Karam was disappointingly bland, which is a real shame, I had high hopes for them in the beginning, I don't think it helped that Saxony was my least favourite character. The magic system and world were intriguing but I found it lacked detail in places so I didn't feel that I could picture it or understand how it all worked. Overall this was a entertaining enough read but nothing makes it stand out from other YA fantasies with a cast of morally grey characters teaming up reluctantly against a big bad.
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Hii bookworms!! Review time on an ARC I received from NetGalley:⁣⁣⁣⁣
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INTO THE CROOKED PLACE BY ALEXANDRA CHRISTO⁣⁣⁣⁣
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𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗔𝗟𝗟 𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: 3.5/5 STARS⁣⁣⁣⁣
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𝗙𝗔𝗩𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗦: Tavia, Saxony, Wesley, Karam and Arjun ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗧 𝗙𝗔𝗩𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗦: Ashwood and Zekia ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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𝗙𝗔𝗩𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗔𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗦: The world building in this story is wonderful and engaging. I loved the magic system and I fell in love with the imagery and description of Creije. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I also liked the characters themselves; their relationships, struggles and own personal developments were interesting. I particularly liked Wesley and Tavia, they were my favourite throughout! Tavia especially, she was witty and entertaining-as well as the most relatable in terms of her reactions. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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The plot had shocking twists and turns, and I was gripped throughout. The book constantly made me question some of the characters (no spoilers but Saxony really messed me up) ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗧 𝗙𝗔𝗩𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗔𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗦: The book was a good, quick read and it was fun in terms of plot. However, it was difficult not to see the similarities to Six of Crows. The characters had similar arcs and the magic in this story also resembled parem in SOC. However, there are differences and the book is good-if you’re able to remove the similarities and focus on the book itself. Alexandra Christo’s prose is wonderful, her world-building is one of my favourite aspects (especially since I loved ‘To Kill A Kingdom’) ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗣𝗦: Wesley and Tavia: they were more emotional which was a nice change from the repressed lovers trope. They had similar vibes to Kanej, but the intensity of the ships was different. ⁣⁣
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𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗘𝗗 𝗙𝗢𝗥: readers who want a story about a magical heist. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I saw it was about dark magic and revenge and immediately knew I had to read this book. However I just don't think this book was really for me. It could have been great but when reading it I felt a little bored. I think part of my problem was that it was similar to Six of Crows and I didn't rate that book highly and I know it's unfair to compare them but it just couldn't be helped. 

I'll start my saying the things I liked. I liked that there was an f/f romance in this book, I am always here for more representation and I did genuinely like the relationship. I also liked the world, it was interesting and I thought the magic system was okay and it was different to the other books I've read which I liked. I liked the gangster atmosphere as I just really enjoy gangsters. The book had a twists in it and some I could easily see coming.

I didn't connect to or really like any of the characters. They were okay characters but I just couldn't see, to care for them or get invested in their story. I also didn't really like the multiple POVs but that's just because I find them a little hard to follow and I think it takes away from the plot a little. Also four POVs just felt like too many and some chapters were very similar even though they were from a different characters POV.  I also have to say the second romance in the book was straight and I didn't think it was needed and I didn't want it. 

Overall I know a lot of people will really enjoy and love this book and I am sorry that I wasn't one of them.
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