ARC Review! Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

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. 

Review!

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest & unbiased review.

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 they each hide, some knowingly and some not, could change the game permanently.

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 purpose, 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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