Title: Six of Crows
Series: Six of Crows #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 25th, 2015 (Henry Holt and Company)
Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at the heist of a lifetime, that would make him rich beyond belief. But this is no ordinary heist – a Shu scientist who has developed a deadly drug that enhances a Grisha’s power to deadly effect is in hostile hands and needs to be rescued from the Ice Court in Fjerda, a fortress prison that has never been breached. Unable to resist the opportunity, Kaz assembles an unlikely crew in whose hands the fate of the world now rests.
“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”
When I first read Six of Crows, I was quite hesitant due to the enormous hype surrounding it, so much so that I had been putting it off for over a year. I had not read the Grisha trilogy at that point either, so I went into this entirely blind, and still ended up enjoying it. This reread though – it’s amazing how no matter how many times I read this book, I still find something new to appreciate about it!
This is one of those rare books where I literally can’t find the words to describe or praise it enough. It was probably the first novel I read with this type of plotline and it was thoroughly engrossing. While the first part may seem a little slow in pacing to some, I found that these chapters were what allowed me to connect to and understand our six main characters so well.
Bardugo’s character development is absolute perfection. Kaz is hands down the most morally complex hero I’ve ever come across. He’s manipulative and a downright terrible person at times (evident in that he’s more concerned about the money from the heist rather than the consequences of the jurda parem itself), but he does care about his friends, and beneath all the mystery, behind the mask, is a seventeen year old boy severely traumatized by his past. I’m seriously at a loss as to how Leigh Bardugo came up with such a fantastic character. That really goes for all of them – Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias and eventually, even Wylan. I found it interesting that Wylan didn’t have POV chapters in this one even though he didn’t seem to be much of an important character until much later. When it comes to Matthias, I wasn’t sure what to make of him initially, but I was surprised how much I had come to like his character later on in the story. He’s a wonderful portrayal of how a thoroughly decent and kind-hearted person can be born into a prejudiced society, growing up with those beliefs, yet learn to look past them. Ok, I’m going to stop here, because I’ll either start crying or end up giving away the plot for the entire story right now.
“Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward.
“Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get
Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute
just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”
Brekker’s lips quirked.
“I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”
“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly,
and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”
When you look at how this crew of thieves started out holding so many secrets, and not really trusting each other at all, it is particularly noteworthy how much this dynamic has changed by the end of things. Then there was of course, the abundance of jaw-dropping plot twists that were so expertly executed – it makes this book nearly impossible to put down. And not to forget, the wonderful dialogue which frequently sent me into fits of giggles. It was so hard to pick out which quotes to use for my review because there were so many that I loved!
I would definitely suggest reading the Grisha trilogy before starting on this duology, not only because it comes first chronologically, but because the concept of Grisha and layout of this world is explained in more detail there and makes this a lot easier to follow. All I can say is, if you haven’t yet read this series, go find a copy right now – it’s not one to be missed! Highly, highly recommended!
“We are all someone’s monster.”
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: