Crooked Kingdom: Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway

September 26, 2016 2016, giveaway, leigh bardugo, Uncategorized, Wendy 78

kaz brekker

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting the final blog tour stop for Crooked Kingdom, the feverishly anticipated sequel to last year’s stunning Six of Crows. Leigh Bardugo is here to tell us how Kaz Brekker came to be, and then I’ll be telling you why I think he’s fantastic.

We’re also giving away an amazing prize pack at the end, so stick around!

leigh bardugo

Leigh Bardugo on Kaz Brekker’s Origin

“When I first conceived of a character known as Dirtyhands, I thought I might put him in a folktale—this guy who would travel from town to town, doing terrible deeds and messing with dark magic for a price. He’d be a legend, but also reviled for what he was willing to do.

I never wrote that story, but the character stuck with me, and eventually he became Kaz Brekker, the Bastard of the Barrel, the boy you never want to owe a favor.”

Here are Six Things I Love about Kaz:

Kaz doesn’t let anything stand in his way. He walks with a limp and carries a cane, and he started out as a lowly member of the Ketterdam gang. But he’s now one of the most respected and feared lieutenants in The Dregs. He’s called “Dirtyhands” for good reason: he’s done a lot in his short life, and you definitely don’t want to get on his bad side.

Kaz is hiding secrets. Why does he always wear gloves on his hands? How did he become so ruthless at such a young age? What are his real feelings for the lovely Inej? We’re constantly peeling away layers of his personality as his past is revealed.

Kaz always has tricks up his sleeve. In a world full of magic, he has none–except his mad skills in thievery, lock-picking, and cards. Even when the odds are stacked against him, he somehow manages to come out ahead, and he does it with impressive combat techniques, a wry quip, and effortless style.

Kaz will charm your socks off. Light with his fingers and quick with his tongue, Kaz deftly wields words like the lightest of weapons–whether he’s coaxing someone or dressing them down, he’s always playing sleight-of-hand with his wit so you might not notice that he’s getting exactly what he needs. I love a boy who has a way with words, and I predict that if they ever meet, Kaz and Sturmhond will either love each other or hate each other on sight.

Kaz will break your heart. He can display cutthroat focus in his business dealings, but I defy anyone’s heart not to soften when you see his hesitancy over his feelings for Inej, or when you learn the devastating secrets of his past.

He’s a complex, gifted, elusive character, and he’s one of the best I’ve ever read.kaz brekker lock-picking

Crooked Kingdom Synopsis

The highly anticipated sequel to the thrilling #1 New York Times-bestselling Six of Crows.

Kaz Brekker and his crew 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.

Crooked Kingdom will be available online and in stores TOMORROW! My pre-order better arrive or there will be trouble.




Thanks to our friends at Fierce Reads, everyone anyone who leaves a thoughtful comment on all 12 blog tour posts (including all the US and UK stops) by 11:59 PM EST on Monday, October 3, will be entered into a raffle for a special Grisha Prize Pack!

I hear it might include the Crooked Kingdom socks pictured above, so it’s a good time to enter if you’ve been coveting those.

crooked kingdom blog tour

So comment below and visit the other stops as follows:

crooked_kingdom_final-2-22September 21: JESPER

UK: Fantasy Faction
US: Two Chicks on Books 

September 22: WYLAN

UK: Benjamin of Tomes
US: The Irish Banana Reviews

September 23: MATTHIAS

UK: Jess Hearts Books
US:  Book Addicts Guide

September 24: NINA

UK: Mugglenet
US: Adventures of a Book Junkie

September 25: INEJ

UK: The Book Smugglers
US: Across the Words

September 26: KAZ

UK: Winged Reviews
US: The Midnight Garden


Are you as excited to read Crooked Kingdom as I am? The early release photos are driving me craaaaazy.

Wendy signature teal




Amazing Kaz illustration by Kevin Wada; Leigh Bardugo photo by Taili Song Roth; all other photos by Wendy Darling. The giveaway is provided by and run by the publisher.


Previously at The Midnight Garden:

The food from the Grisha Trilogy (a fairy tale lunch with Leigh from 2014)
A Conversation with Leigh Bardugo (our visit to a vodka bar from 2013)
Our reviews: Six of Crows is here, Siege and Storm are here and here, and Shadow and Bone is here.


78 Responses to “Crooked Kingdom: Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway”

  1. Jordan Ashley

    I’m really looking forward to reading this duo. I’ve heard nothing but great things about both books, they’re right up my street as far as genre and plot and I have to give credit to the beautiful design of the books themselves because they’re just so dang pretty!

  2. Alice Moraes

    Oh, Kaz, I never thought I would love you as much as I do now, even though you’re morals are not the best

  3. Ally M

    Be still my heart. I love Kaz. Can’t wait to read the second book!!

  4. Laurie Nykaza

    Crooked Kingdom sounds like a great read that I would so enjoy and so would my daughter too. Kaz sounds like an amazing character that I would love to read about very interesting to say the least.

  5. Hannah R

    This list is so spot-on, I would’ve loved getting any of the character cards but I’m thrilled with my Kaz one! He’s such an intriguing character to learn more about, especially with his past & the life he’s created among the Dregs. I love how every time it seemed there was no way out in SoC he had something up his sleeve and of course the heartbreaking rare moments when he struggles with his feelings over Inej <3.

  6. Carina Olsen

    Eee, gorgeous blog tour post Wendy :D Thank you so much for sharing. <3 Hugs. Ahhh, I adore these books. I must get to read Crooked Kingdom soon :D I'm so nervous, lol. But gosh, Kaz. <3 He is my favorite of them all :D So broken. So perfect. I simply love reading about him :D
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Review: The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine

  7. Sananda Davalillo

    My beloved Kaz! What can I say, he’s my favorite, in the top of the list with Inej. I like his character so much! <3 I need more of him right now!

  8. KAYLA

    First off!! I love Kaz! His personality is just so interesting! He is such a cutthroat. Lol. I did not expect the ending in Six of Crows! It is so interesting how all of the crew have had such a difficult past and how it affects them.
    I really appreciate how Kaz has both a physical injury that makes life more difficult as well as emotional baggage.

    Generally authors focus on emotional distress (which I do appreciate) rather than physical disabilities or complications and how it does effect their everyday life.

    Can’t wait to finish Crooked Kingdom (HOWEVER I WONT KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN IT ENDS!!! AHHHHH)

    Incase any of you listen to audiobooks this audiobook rendition was amazing!!

  9. Tracy

    I just finished crooked kingdom and I knwo no spoilers because everyone deserves to read it at their own pace with nothing revealed, but I just want to say I love this duology wiht all my heart I am so thankful for this world, this plot and finally the amazingly complex characters each with their own deep back stories given to us by Leigh, I have fallen in love with each of them harder as I read crooked kingdom, building on all of the love I found for them in six of crows I can’t thank Leigh enough I really can’t. Kaz especially has always been my favourite since the second chapter of six of crows where we saw him for the first time through inej’s eyes, I have always loved the bastard of the barrel and I have enjoyed every single one of his chapters in both books, like I have with all the characters but Kaz just hit me with such force and I can’t explain how much he means to me as a character.

  10. Meigan

    so my favorite thing about kaz, hands down, is how he’s often described as having a “shark-like” stare. let us never forget that his eyes are all but pitch black. because that means i’ve got one whole thing in common with the bastard of the barrel. next time someone tells me i have demon eyes, i’ll tell them it’s pronounced “demjin.” – meigan

  11. Natalie Monroe

    Kaz is by far my favorite out of the Dregs. I’m a sucker for a charismatic villain.

  12. Malissa Coy

    I am so in love with this duology! I’ve never fan-girled so hard over a book or an author. Kaz, I can’t even put into words how I feel about this beautiful complicated boy.

  13. Ica McMahon

    When I first picked up this book I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. It has moved it’s way up to my favorite book and I find my self returning to six of crows to escape reality. Kaz is and will always be a dear character to me. He has shown that you can still be on top no matter the past you have, and to watch him struggle with the love he has for Inej broke my heart because he has never known it before. I can’t wait to see what is in store for these wonderful characters.

  14. Isabelle

    God that is so right! Kaz is extremely amazing, especially with his wit. And he will definitely break our hearts. I know mine is already a little broken by everything that has happened with he and Inej! Eeep! The feels! But Kaz is so complex; it’s honestly amazing!

  15. Amanda

    Kaz is by far my favorite character from Six of Crows (and one of my favorite characters of all time), and I can’t wait to see more of him!

  16. Annilee

    Kaz is such a complex, mysterious character, and his point of view is one of the most interesting to read from in the duology. I love how he sometimes keeps secrets from even the readers in his chapters!

  17. Jasprit

    Ahhhh Wendy I love love this post! Kaz is such a mysterious character, as we don’t know a lot about him at all, but love that he’s still one of those characters that you still help but like, despite not knowing a lot about him! And I love the way we’re getting to know his character little by little, I can’t wait to get more of him in Crooked Kingdom!
    Jasprit recently posted…Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #5)

  18. Grace Radford-Tingley

    It’s always interesting to see how characters started. Thanks for the insight!

  19. Fay

    Absolutely looking forward to diving into Crooked Kingdom! Thanks for the post!

  20. Kat T.

    Kaz is my absolute favorite character from this book series. He’s so interesting and smart. I just love reading about cons and heists.

  21. Stephanie

    I can’t wait to start this! I just got my copy in the mail and it is absolutley beautiful!

  22. Angel

    It was really interesting to see Kaz and his different sides as he interacts with different characters in Six of Crows and I’m excited to read more of him in Crooked Kingdom!

  23. Jacklin Updegraft

    There is nothing I love more than heist stories! Close calls and daring escapes are my bread and butter. Then along come Kaz and he is so freaking brilliant. He’s quick on his feet and he’s good at getting out of things. I love watching the way his mind works and the back-up plans for his back-up plans. And then when you learn about his past and what he went through it’s amazing. Plus him with Inej! GAHHH I freaking die. Honestly never have I come across a book with such amazing characters, and with ships I want all to succeed. I went out today and bought Crooked Kingdom at Target (because DUHHH that poster is amazing) and I’m finishing up my reread of Six of Crows and then I will be staying up till the wee hours of the morning finishing this book!

  24. Kaitlyn

    Kaz has always been and will always be one of my favorite characters. He has such a gorgeous, haunted past and is the kind of person you’d both hug and be scared of. So glad Crooked Kingdom’s finally been released; I’m sure I’ll go through it in a day!

  25. Jhanna

    Kaz and Inej. I just… Kaz likes to act all tough and dead inside but dude… You are a mess. Especially when it comes to Inej. I love it.

  26. Sarah Parks

    I definitely love Kaz as a character, but I feel like as we learn more about his past it is just going to make me more heartbroken on how his past changed him. But yet I want to learn more!!!

  27. Alexis

    I think you completely nailed it when you said that we’re constantly peeling away the layers of Kaz. It’s one of the main reasons, I enjoyed him so much as a character. Each of his chapter revealed something new about a character who is known to keep his secrets. I really hope that we get to see more layers of Kaz in Crooked Kingdom!

  28. Penny Olson

    I need to read Grisha! All the books are on my TBR. Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Bruinbr

    It’s a little crazy how excited I am for tomorrow! I will be stalking the mail all day until it arrives! :)

  30. Wendy

    Oh my goodness; I got the book today and am well into it. I just can’t get over how beautifully designed both books are, with their red edges and black endpapers, and those gorgeous covers. And Kaz–he’s so ruthless, but you can’t help but root for him.

  31. Grace

    I can’t help but admit that Kaz is my favorite. I feel like he has that heart that I desperately wanted the Darkling to have. King Kaz forever!

  32. Jocelyne T

    I am looking forward to tomorrow! I hope my pre-ordered copy arrives… My TBR will need to wait and step aside for CROOKED KINGDOM!

  33. Marcela Zambrana

    I can’t wait anymore asamalsklakls I need some more Kaz in my life

  34. Vivien

    My pre-order is on it’s way!!! It should arrive tomorrow. Now let’s hope it’s before I have to go to work :p I plan on seeing Leigh on Thursday when her tour stop is in my hometown. I cannot wait to meet her!! The artwork for all of her books is just phenomenal. So bloody excited to read CK!

  35. Zairah Divino

    I think no one can rival the excitement I feel right now. Waiting for Crooked Kingdom has been the longest time of my life. There was not a day that I didn’t talk about it and Six of Crows and the crew. I need more of them right now. <3

  36. Sarah

    One compelling thing about Kaz – he could have been an entirely different person had things turned out differently in his childhood. He has such a head for numbers, remembering ledgers and such at a bare glance. Think about what that could have meant for him in the business world. He could have been a Van Eck-type. But things went badly wrong, and his skill/gift has still managed to allow him to accomplish many goals.

  37. Danielle D.

    I’m so excited for Crooked Kingdom tomorrow!! I love the detail’s on Kaz’s art, especially those lockpicks!

  38. Katie

    I’m so hoping that Kaz can get it together and not only save Inej, but be with her. They will make the cutest couple!

  39. Ysabel Grace

    I love reading about Kaz! He’s such a bad guy. I get chills from him. He truly is cruel and ruthless. RUTHLESS. But we see again that people like Kaz also have a heart, or at least had one. Kaz is such a dark, brooding man with talents. I can’t wait to see more of his ‘passionate’ side. XD

  40. Leah Hanson

    I’m re-reading Six of Crows right now, and my heart breaks for Kaz. His life has made him so, so tough, and I love how he’s triumphed in spite of it. But I’m also sad for the innocent boy he’s left behind. Can’t wait for Crooked Kingdom!!

  41. Car

    Saints, do these comments have to be thoughtful? I’m unoriginal, I know, I’ve literally just been counting down the days. BUT ISNT IT EXCITING ONLY ONE DAY ONE DAY ONE DAY UNTIL CROOKED KINGDOM COME. Well then, have a Kaz quote. “When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t do every monstrous thing.” Thoughtful enough? (ONE!! >^<)

  42. Brenda

    Loving all of these character playing cards. I’m eagerly awaiting the release tomorrow too. I loved Kaz for many of the same reasons as you, he’s just so darn ruthless and secretive, but also has this whole tender side toward Inej. I’m rooting for the two of them. I’m also looking forward to some possible Wylan’s POV chapters. Can’t wait til tomorrow. Lovely post.
    Brenda recently posted…MG Fantasy/Paranormal Review: The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud

  43. Gem

    I just….Kaz. He’s by far my favorite out of all of them. Even if he try’s to not care, he cares to much. And I feel in love with him so hard. Now he just needs to go get his damn wraith and I’ll be happy. Lol

  44. Jessica Lindon

    Kaz truly is one of the greatest characters I’ve ever read and even though I relate to him the least I think he is the one that lingers in my mind the longest. IRL he would be impossible to trust and yet, I think you would find yourself wanting to. He is a very loveable ‘bad guy’ and makes me laugh throughout SOC. I can’t wait to see another side of him in CK

  45. Dona

    Kaz is one of the greatest characters I’ve ever read about. He’s smart, charming, tough, calculative, determined, and a cinnamon roll when it comes to Inej. His back story is so gruesome,it breaks my heart and I really wanna give him a hug. Also, his crush on Inej is so cute. I’m a hardcore kaz/Inej shipper.

  46. Alexa R Bongala

    Kaz is one of my favorite book boyfriends. But I dont mind giving him up for Inej

  47. Tessa

    It’s so hard to pick a favorite from the Six of Crows crew but Kaz is definitely in my top 3. I actually read the portions of the book that were his backstory by peeking between my fingers, horrified yet riveted at the same time. His desperate past sets the stage perfectly for the ruthless person he is.

  48. GabyN

    I totally agree with your favorite things about Kaz, because I share them too! He is definitely complex, ruthless, secretive, charming and most important despite everything you’ll fall in love with him, I know I have. He has such a tragic story, it shaped who he is and no one could really fault him that, but then there’s his love for Inej which is perfect and I need these two together or I’ll go crazy!! Crooked Kingdom is coming!!!

  49. Julie

    Kaz is such a great character with an interesting backstory. I can’t wait for Crooked Kingdom!

  50. Mithila

    You just basically listed ALL the reasons as to why I love Kaz. He probably IS the most complex character I’ve ever read and I’m so glad Leigh wrote him out to be like that. He’s just amazing.

  51. Angela

    KAZ! He reminds me of Tommy from “Peaky Blinders” in some ways. He is definitely one of my top favorite characters in this series. I’m hopeful but nervous about where his story will go in Crooked Kingdom. I really need him to be happy. I just really do. Either way I’m definitely psyched to read this book!

  52. Jessie

    I can’t wait to see more of Kaz, he is one of the most dynamic characters ever and I love him!!

  53. Fatm S

    KAZ ?? My sweet, murderous child. I’ve always loved antiheroes, and Kaz is one hell of an antihero. I really hope he gets some peace at the end of Crooked Kingdom. He’s been through a lot! (That Kevin Wada art is GLORIOUS).

  54. Ella

    I love Kaz! He’s such a great character, and a lot better than most dark, brooding boys I’ve read in ya lol! Can’t wait to see him again in ck

  55. Cardaisha Johnson

    I really can’t wait for Crooked Kingdom tomorrow, I’ll probably read that one twice too.