Into the Crooked Place: Behind the Scenes with Alexandra Christo

March 20, 2021 | 12:00 PM

Into the Crooked Place: Behind the Scenes with Alexandra Christo

By Alexandra Christo
For the past month, the Fierce Reads team has been utterly absorbed in Alexandra Christo's gritty fantasy Into the Crooked PlaceThere's dark magic, morally gray characters, and not one but TWO will-they-won't-they romances. And you KNOW how we feel about a slow burn.
But seriously, if you haven't started reading our March Book Club pick, what are you doing?! If you still need convincing, check out this awesome behind-the-scenes look at the book with author Alexandra Christo. How it all began . . . Into the Crooked Place was one of those books that came to me slowly over the years. I’ve always loved magic and watching magicians on TV, seeing their elaborate performances and the way they could captivate an audience. I found it so fascinating how they could be fast enough that you might not even see them doing something right in front of you. And the idea that, with enough practice, anybody could learn a little magic. I liked that idea – magic being a skill someone could master, a thing that they could learn. Then one day I had the thought of magic also being a physical thing, something people could hold and touch and see. Charms in the form of marbles and warehouses dedicated to duplicating existing magic. And so Into the Crooked Place was born!  In the city of Creije, buskers perform magic tricks and sell charms at markets (legal ones during the day and . . . not so legal ones at night), and the city is teeming with wonder. The crooks are showmen, combining magic with trickery. That’s where our story begins: with a simple magic trick gone wrong. A prophecy about a battle to come. And a deadly new magic, that threatens a city of wonder.
  What are some of the books that inspired you? I love writing anti-heroes as my main characters. People who have flaws, make mistakes (and are maybe a little murderous), and then learn to fight for what they believe in. Not to mention fantasies with enemies to lovers romance that has you itching for that first kiss between the insults (hah) and world-building that leaves you in awe. The below books really helped to inspire the world of Crooked and our lovable crew of rogues: 
  • Vicious by V  E Schwab 
  • The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
If you could take any character take on a heist from anyone of your books who would it be? If I was going to take anyone on a heist, or an epic journey where my life was on the line, then it would be Wesley. And not just because I’d want to see exactly how many suits and bow ties he owns. Wesley is an underboss who always has a plan up his sleeve. And somehow, the crazier they are, the more they work! Besides, we’d have a great time firing our best puns at each other. Then again, Elian from To Kill a Kingdom is used to finding the unfindable and has a lot of practice in stealing (ahem, sorry, piracy). And I would love to get on board the Saad and try my hand at sailing away from the crime scene!
  Dive into Alexandra Christo's Into the Crooked Place and the newly released sequel City of Spells today. Of course, don't forget to continue the conversation with your friends and download the discussion guide.

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.