Several years ago, I read SHADOW AND BONE --- a YA high fantasy with some Russian flavor --- and fell in love with the world, but for some reason I never continued on with the series until recently, when I reread SHADOW AND BONE and binge-read the rest of the series this summer. When I saw that Leigh Bardugo was coming to The Strand in NYC for the launch of CROOKED KINGDOM, I knew that I had to buy tickets, despite not having read SIX OF CROWS yet --- I know, I am a shameful booknerd. Don’t worry, I am currently reading it and completely in love with it, maybe even more than the Grisha Trilogy!
The event start was scheduled to start at 6:30pm, but even though I got there at about 5:30pm, I was number 92 in the line. Leigh Bardugo clearly had amazing and dedicated fans; a friend of mine got there at 3:40 and was number 2 in line. (insert picture of the line in front of strand).
There were life-sized illustrated posters of the SIX OF CROWS characters around the room. Kaz and Inej were on either side of where Leigh was going to speak. Then Leigh Bardugo and Jesse George, a well known Booktuber, came out.
One thing that I loved was that Leigh had pledged 10% of the proceeds from her tour to a charity called, INSERT CHARITY NAME that aims to put an end to sex trafficking. Inej, one of the crows in Leigh’s book, is a victim of trafficking and Leigh feels it is important to bring awareness to this issue, more than just using it as a plot device. Her publisher will be matching sales up to 3,000 dollars, in her words “let them pay up.”
Jesse the Reader, a Booktuber, was moderating the event. He was really funny and well spoken. He kept asking questions about what would the Crows correspond with, for example, i the Crows were going to Starbucks, what would they order or what superhero would they be. The questions were fun, but difficult for Leigh to answer. Leigh has this charismatic and theatrical personality that you can’t help but get swept up in. She is hysterical, using different voices and making inappropriate jokes. I could have listened to her talk for hours without caring about getting my book signed!
There were 91 people ahead of me in the signing line so you know I waited for hours! I didn’t get my books signed until 9:45pm. While waiting for the signing there were cookies --- a crow and a waffles one, which both have significance to the books --- water bottles (so we didn’t dehydrate) and temporary tattoos. Editors, publicists and even Leigh’s agent were applying them on eager fans who were waiting hours to meet their favorite author. I still have some remnants of it on and I am obsessed with it. The drawing must have been by an actual tattoo artist because it looks so real.
Leigh was really great because she likes having very personable conversations with every reader, which did make the signing even longer. When I got up there I was exhausted --- this was also the same day as the Dahl-icious Delights adventure that I and a fellow intern did throughout the city --- and I was also wearing heels. Not the best planning on my part! I wished that I would have talked more with her, but I was ready to get on a bus and go home. I did, however, get a picture with her! Her hair is even more beautiful in person and her makeup was stunning!
I am so excited to finish reading SIX OF CROWS and dive into reading CROOKED KINGDOM after having met Leigh Bardugo!