My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: Into the Crooked Place ( #1)
Author: Alexandra Christo
Format: Hardcover (own)
Categories: Fantasy, Crime, Young Adult, Romance
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.
My Attention: I had to be in the right mood to read this, so I did pick this up and then shelved it for a month – once I was in the right mood to read a “gangster fantasy” type of book I finished it in one sitting
World Building: story takes place in Criejie, where an evil Kingpin boss runs the the city.
Writing Style: story flowed nicely once I got into it
Bringing the Heat: 🔥
Crazy in Love: there is a queer romance and a friends to maybe lovers situation going on as well
Creativity: sounds similar to other gangster fantasy stories, but I did enjoy the magic
My Takeaway: Who can you really trust?
- I enjoyed the characters:
- Tavia – she’s funny and has heart. Like Wesley says she is the glue to their crew and I think it’s because she gets a long with everyone.
- Wesley – the bad boy who has a secret past that he doesn’t even know about. He’s an underboss wanting to be the alpha, Kingpin of Criejie. He grew up in the streets and has killed to survive. His weakness? Tavia – the person who’s known him the longest. He is my favorite character so far because he is dangerous – we’ll see what happens with him.
- Saxony – has a secret past and is in Creije for revenge. She and Karam used to be lovers. Theirs is a complicated relationship.
- Karam – another person with a secret past. She is a kick ass warrior bound to protect Saxony.
- I liked the world building of Creije and learning about the Crafters as well. The magic system was interesting – Crafters (true magic wielders) were killed in a war so now people only use trick magic.
- I enjoyed the diversity with Saxony and Karam’s queer romance taking the forefront of the other relationships in this book.
- There are a few twists in this story that kept me engaged until the end.
- I think I wanted the Kingpin, Dante Ashwood, to be more villainous. As a heist/gangster crew? The team don’t quite trust each other. Everyone has a past and the one leading them has the darkest one of all.
- There are many perspectives being told in this book and I think between the main four it didn’t take away from the story but then there were perspectives from Krause and Deniel – and I don’t even know if they were needed.
- There are a lot of characters in this book but one is mentioned as being another powerful player, Doyen Shulze. If the Kingpin is helping Wesley, then the Doyen is the politician trying to take them down. But she never makes an appearance…maybe in book two?
Overall, I found the story entertaining once I was in the mood to read a gangster fantasy. Wesley is the character that intrigued me the most and made me keep reading. I wanted to know how bad he really was and if there was any good in him. The ending was an interesting twist that makes me want to read the sequel so I’m looking forward to that.