City of Spells (Into the Crooked Place, #2)

City of Spells (Into the Crooked Place, #2)
Age Range
Release Date
March 09, 2021
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City of Spells, the follow-up to Alexandra Christo's gritty YA fantasy, Into the Crooked Place, finds the world on the brink of war and four unlikely allies facing sacrifices they had never imagined. After the loss of Wesley and the horrifying reveal that Zekia is helping the Kingpin of her own free will, Tavia, Saxony, and Karam flee to Saxony's home to rebuild their rebellion. Meanwhile, trapped in the Kingpin's darkness, Wesley must fight against the deadly magic that invades his mind and find a way back to his friends before it's too late. As the Kingpin's dark magic spreads and his army conquers Creije, these four unlikely friends have to decide just how far they’ll go―and how much they are willing to sacrifice―to win.

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1 review
stunning conclusion an enthralling YA fantasy duology
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Writing Style
CITY OF SPELLS is a stunning conclusion to an enthralling YA fantasy duology. The book plunges us into the story where we left off after the first with Wesley captured by Zekia, and Tavia, Saxony, and Karam trying to band themselves together and move forward with the plans they know they need to come up against the Kingpin, Ashwood. In a world where magic is rare and regulated, Kingpins and their underbosses rule the city with buskers dealing in the illicit trade on the streets.

With the new magic Ashwood has in hand, he is completely corrupting the cities and controlling everyone with the removal of their free will using the Loj elixir. Backed into corners and fighting to stay alive and protect the places where they live, the four must gather themselves, figure out who they are and who they want to be, and lay it all on the line.

What I loved: First, I want to say how much I loved and appreciated the plot summary of the first book that comes at the beginning of this one. This helps the reader launch right into this fast-moving story. The book follows the characters closely, and while they feel broken and scattered, the story moves in a similar way, becoming stronger as they do. Ultimately, with the twists and turns I did not see coming, this story ended up blowing me away. The story is told in multiple perspectives from the four primary characters of the first book and also Zekia. Each is distinct and highly compelling, making this a series that is driven by the characters. The romances are also really fantastic as a result, and I loved all of their relationships, banter, and passion. Each of the main characters really comes into their own in this book, defining themselves and who they want to be.

This world is also fascinating, and I loved the way it evolves and develops as we learn more about magic and its control as well as form alliances with new characters. Prophecies and foresight have led to wild decisions that seem a gamble in terms of how they will all come together, and the ending really blows the reader away.

Final verdict: Compelling, enthralling, and fantastically plotted, CITY OF SPELLS is a stunning conclusion to an engaging YA fantasy duology. Highly recommend for fans of SIX OF CROWS, THE COURT OF MIRACLES, and THRONE OF GLASS.
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