Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo – ARC review

 

My Rating ~ Four & a half Stars

RELEASE DATE:  8 October 2019

Format: Paperback

Pages: 384

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

 

Blurb

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

 

 

1

Review

Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of Into the Crooked Place in exchange for an honest review!

 

“The realms make monsters of us all”

Tavia is a busker, selling magic to any mark she can, unsuspecting or not, just to get by.  Her childhood friend, Wesley, is now the underboss of Creije, and the one Tavia answers to after her days work.  So when he instructs her to sell a bottled potion she knows nothing about, she does as she’s told, against her better judgement.  But when her friend tries it for herself, Tavia realises the magic inside those bottles is like nothing she’s ever seen before, and it could be dangerous enough to destroy all of Creije.  She will have to band together with friends and enemies alike to fight the greatest enemy to them all.

Now I know many people have already compared Into the Crooked Place to another well known heist story, but I’m not going to do that here.  I don’t think any one author has a monopoly over heist stories, or any other type, and Into the Crooked Place stood up brilliantly on it’s own.  This is a fast paced book that is very character driven, with plenty of hidden twists and untrustworthy narrators.  The story is told from multiple points of view, revealing each character’s secret fears and motivations along the way.

There wasn’t a whole lot of world building (or maybe there was and I just didn’t notice it because I was so captivated by the characters!) but I didn’t feel as though that detracted from the story at all.  I can picture one gritty dark street as well as any other, to me, the development of the character’s personalities was much more important.  We had strong women, morally grey characters and softly simmering romance that took a back seat to the plot (just the way I like it).

This was a fantastic start to the series.  I adore Alexandra Christo’s writing style and I can’t wait to continue the story after that cliffhanger ending!

 

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