Six of Crows
This book was absolute beautiful. I had forgotten how much I had missed my Grisha world until I started reading this book, and then I was so happy to be back in that wonderful place.
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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Leigh Bardugo flipped my Grisha world on it’s head with this one. I will preface the following with this: It took me about a month to read this book.
This is extremely out of the ordinary for me and Leigh’s books. I was so frustrated with why I was having trouble getting into and, suddenly, I figured it out. Bardugo had turned my Grisha world on it’s head. I went into this book expecting something very specific. I was expecting it to directly relate to her Grisha trilogy, and that was completely the wrong way to go about it.
Once I figured this out, I was able to dive in with new eyes and a new mind and embrace it for what it was, a beautifully written, spellbounding, action-packed, gritty story. The characters are outstanding (don’t worry, we’ll get to them), the story was beautifully written and perfectly ended.
How can a story not be beautiful when it’s characters use lines like, “Just tell her she’s got skin like moonlight” on the VERY FIRST PAGE?!? Bardugo has the best descriptions for her setting; you feel like you’re really there standing looking out over the harbor in Ketterdam through a “gray milk fog.” LOVE IT!
But, here, I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s find out more about the characters!!
Kaz Brekker (the Thief)
“The boy they called Dirtyhands didn’t need a reason any more than he needed permission — to break a leg, sever an alliance, or change the man’s fortunes with the turn of a card.”
This is the introduction to Kaz, and I love it. The people in the Barrel, the pleasure district of Ketterdam, where Kaz grew up, said this about him. Kaz is exactly that throughout the story. He is a rough and no mercy kind of guy because he has to be, but at the same time, he is utterly unintentionally endearing. I am excited to see how he develops in Crooked Kingdom, the second book in the series.
Inej (the Wraith)
Inej is one of my favorites. She is a complex characters, and if you’ve read any of my other book reviews you know that I love a strong and complex character with a good character arc. Inej’s past is a troubled one and as you get deeper into the novel you find out more and more about it and why Inej is who she is. She has a complicated relationship with Kaz that slowly develops throughout the book, and I am excited to see where their relationship goes, as well as, seeing where her story goes because I’m pretty sure we’re not done finding out about Inej.
Nina (the Heartrender)
Nina is a Grisha, a Corporalki, more specifically, a Heartrender. I know what your thinking if you’ve read the Grisha trilogy. What in the world is she doing in the Barrel in Ketterdam in Kerch hanging out with a bunch of thieves? Why is she not in Ravka as a part of the Second Army like the other Grisha? I am very interested to learn more about what happened in Nina’s past to get her where she is as well. I’m hoping that we are not done learning about Nina.
Matthias (the Convict)
Matthias has a complicated past with Nina, and I loved learning about it in Six of Crows. Their love story is a bit of a tortured one. They are from two very different worlds and Matthias grew up being taught to hate Grisha. Matthias is a bit of an enigma, and I can’t wait to learn more about him. He, like Inej, is a complex character. He is often emotionally conflicted, and it was interesting to be able to get inside his head during the chapters that were from his point of view. Matthias is originally from Fjerda, and I am really curious to see how he handles the situation that he is in. I was surprised by the way he handled the situation he was in with Kaz during the story.
Jesper (the Sharpshooter)
I really liked Jesper. He grew on me throughout the book. Although he is a more minor character compared to the previous four, he plays a large role in the emotional makeup and bond of the group, and plays a pretty big role in saving everyone’s butts during the job they are on.
Wylan (the Runaway)
Wylan is also a more minor character, but he is often picked on by the others, which provides quite a bit of comic relief, unfortunately for Wylan. Wylan is exploited by Kaz due to the complicated relationship Wylan has with his father, but in the end it really helps the whole group. Wylan, while often made fun of by everyone else probably makes one of the biggest sacrifices out of anybody.
Leigh Bardugo did a beautiful job with Six of Crows. While I was a little thrown off by it not being what I expected it to be, I ended up appreciating that in the end. I also greatly appreciated the fact that the story was very much focused on the mission the six characters were on. There are inklings of love stories, but they are complicated, and nothing has fully developed yet. I enjoyed the way Bardugo gave us the story from a variety of characters viewpoints. It was really interesting to get inside all of their heads. Lastly, I was really excited about the explanation of the book’s title within the story. There is a line that Kaz says to Inej when she first joins Kaz’s gang in the Barrel regarding the type of person Kaz thinks he is. It really lets you into what he thinks, not only of himself, but of other people that are like him
Overall, I give Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo an A-. I also want to say that I am super excited for the sequel to Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, to come out next year! If you’ve read Six of Crows, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!