Into the Crooked Place is Dark, Magical and Intense--AKA, Everything I Wanted it to Be | Review: Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

11:05 PM

Is this about to be one of my next obsessions? SEEMS LIKELY. Into the Crooked Place was brilliant!


Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy series from Alexandra Christo, the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

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.

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)  

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

How does one describe Into the Crooked Place? How? Do? I? Begin? This. Was. BRILLIANT. And I'm so excited for the sequel and to dive headfirst into Alexandra Christo's writing again and again and again. Yes, please, sign me up, 10/10. When I saw this book, I got all the heist vibes that books like Six of Crows and The Gilded Wolves, and knew I had to get my hands on it.

What are three words that come to mind? Dark, magical and intense. If you love books that spark with intensity with time, than Into the Crooked Place should be at the very top of your list. I'm glad I read it when I did--at the start of autumn; on the rainiest, stormiest, chilliest, grayest day of the year. The atmospheric quality to the novel fit beautifully with the weather and made the experience all the more magnetic to my tastes.

First of all, the angsty characters and tension, the heist elements, tones of fantasy, were what really sold me. The way that everything blended together felt exquisite and a little painfully so. Alexandra Christo's writing is delectably dark and tense, carving the story in a way that is the slowly built and intensely so. Something about Christo's characters weave themselves under your skin in good and bad ways, deeming themselves unforgettable in your mind.

It's easy to attach yourself to these characters and this world. There is so much going on. There is so much history. You know those morally gray characters I'm always intrigued by? Say hello to the crew of Into the Crooked Place: my new favourites. The further they develop, the further the central story aches come together, the more fondness I had for them.

What I think I loved most about Into the Crooked Place was its pacing and how it felt like I was dangling over the edge of something unexpected. Even in the moments I predicted, or the time that something in the narration foreshadowed the story, I had this uneasiness that comes with a slow burn read. One thing I learned from this world was that Alexandra Christo not only knows how to tell a story, she knows how to leave her readers hanging on the edge of every word.

Into the Crooked Place was impossible to put down and kept me on the edge of my seat. I found the magic and world-building to be a work of art, the dynamics to be intriguing and fully engrossing, the intensity and darkness to be spot-on and compelling, and so much more. This is not the book you won't to skim through quickly to be over and done with--this is the book you wish to experience again and again.

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