ARC review: INTO THE CROOKED PLACE by Alexandra Christo

I won an ARC at YALC, which hasn’t impacted my opinions.

Into the Crooked Place.png
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: Yes - first book in duology


into the crooked place

Magic rules the city of Creije Capital and Tavia Syn knows just how many tricks she needs up her sleeve to survive. Selling dark magic on the streets for her kingpin, she keeps clear of other crooks, counting the days until her debt is paid and she can flee her criminal life.

But then, one day, with her freedom in sight, Tavia uncovers a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the realm she calls home. Desperate to put an end to her kingpin’s plan, Tavia forms an unlikely alliance with three crooks even more deadly than her: 

Wesley, the kingpin’s prodigy and most renewed criminal in the realm

Karam, an underground fighter with a penchant for killing first and forgetting to ask questions

And Saxony, a Crafter in hiding who will stop at nothing to avenge her family

With the reluctant saviours assembled, they embark on a quest to put an end to the dark magic before it’s too late. But even if they can take down the kingpin and save the realm, the one thing they can’t do is trust each other.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


I loved this book.

It was so much fun to read right from the get go, and I stayed up super late to finish it, but I don’t regret that.

To liken it to SIX OF CROWS feels a bit misleading. Yes, it’s a bunch of crooks out on a mission, but it’s not a heist. I really loved both books, and I can see why the comparison is made, but don’t go in expecting a heist. It’s a mission that will save the world, but they’re largely doing it for selfish reasons – promotion, revenge.

The characters are so unrepentant, and there’s a scene where they have to live out their biggest regret and chose it again or they’re done for. I loved those scenes, because you see how they deal with it – and just how unrepentant some are. Despite this, they’re still quite lovable, all rough edges and lots of issues.

The plot was so hard to predict. I had a vague idea of where the climax would be, but not how it would fall out – and the in between was impossible to guess. I really liked that, because it was a logical hard to guess.

The plot gives them plenty of time to spark off one another, for some of them to muddle through their complicated feelings and for others to get more lost in their messy relationships.

It has a really cool magic system. It’s mainly based around charms that give the wielder certain abilities. Some people have natural magic, but as their magic can be used to make the charms, they’re in hiding.

The world is a fun blend of magic and technology, with hints of politics I’ve got my fingers crossed will be explored next book. The two cities we visit felt very different, with one all crummy but alive, and the other very serene but dull. The contrast really worked with those scenes.

I can’t wait to read the final copy, and then the sequel after that ending.

Read my reviews of other books by Alexandra Christo:

Into the Crooked Place (this series):


3 thoughts on “ARC review: INTO THE CROOKED PLACE by Alexandra Christo

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