Step back into the fabulous world from the Grisha Trilogy, only this time venture across the sea to the gang violence and merchant wars of Ketterdam, Kerch. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo changes the pace from her previous novels with suave criminal leads, increasingly strange occurrences, multiple jail breaks, and a thrillingly awesome heist.
This review may contain mild spoilers for this book and for books in the Grisha Trilogy (What I consider spoilers might not be what you consider spoilers but I thought that I’d put it out there just in case). READERS YE BE WARNED!
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.
I have been super wanting to read Six of Crows for absolutely ages but I couldn’t because I was told that I should read the Grisha Trilogy first and as soon as that happened I picked it up and OHMYGOD IT WAS AMAZING. Epic doesn’t even begin to cover how awesome this fantasy book is! As with most books that include thieves, and assassins, and heists, with an extra helping of slight of hand and trickery, this book has to be one of my favourite reads for the year.
Before I get into my review properly I would just like to say that I am firmly of the opinion that people should read the Grisha Trilogy before diving into this duology. You will probably be able to understand what’s going on just fine even if you didn’t, but as it is set in the same world and the events of this book have been effected by the events in the Grisha Trilogy, I do recommend reading them in order. Not to mention the multiple hints and spoilers for the Grisha Trilogy that are in this book that may confuse you if you aren’t up to date with what has happened.
Six of Crows is everything I could have asked for in a dark, fantasy book. And by ‘dark’ I mean “DAAARRK.” Through some sort of advanced witchcraft, Leigh Bardugo has managed to create a book that is both dark, scary, and awesome, without truely being stabby, murdery horrific. The whole plot of the book revolves around a band of thieves being hired for the “job of their lives” which, lucky (ish) for us, has quite a number of life-threatening snags along the way. The characters are thrown through a blender quite a number of times and IT WAS GLORIOUS! My only issue was the MASSIVE cliff-hanger at the end (bring on Crooked Kingdom).
Our loveable cast of characters is filled to the brim with six tortured little misfits, each with a complex, and sometimes horrible, past and each with a darling soft side. Usually I can’t say that I love each and every one of the characters in a book but I can that with this one. Each character was super complex and they all worked so well together as a team. Kaz is the mastermind behind the whole operation. He’s a bit of a bastard and really needs to deal with his feelings in a better, less violent, manner (Open letter to Kaz Brekker – Cutting someones eye out because you can’t deal with your feels is potentially not a good way to make friends). Inej, the beautiful little acrobat, is AWESOME, if a bit self-righteous and NEEDS to get with Kaz by the end of the series!!! PRETTY, PRETTY PLEASE LET THAT HAPPEN. Our next darlings are Nina, a sassy Grisha Heartrender, and Matthias, who hates just about everything. And lastly, the two characters that I’m not too fussed over (I still liked them but I just wasn’t super interested) are Jesper and Waylan a.k.a Mr I-like-to-gamble-and-shoot-stuff and Mr precious-cinnamon-roll-who-doubles-as-a-demolition-expert. SIDE NOTE: Kaz has a limp which I thought was great because, you know, slight disability reps get a thumbs up from me but when I found out that Kaz is actually a reflection of Leigh herself and her osteonecrosis, I was SO INCREDIBLY BLOWN AWAY and hugely flattered that she would share her pain and personal experience with her readers.
The one thing that made this book a four star read instead of a five star read was the number of characters. As I said earlier I did like them all but thought it might have been a bit unnecessary to have every single one of them narrate. I understand why it was written like this, with each character having a complex backstory it was definitely better to hear about it from the character in question. However, in terms of following along with the “present-day” plot, I got a little bit lost at times.
All in all, I found Six of Crows to be a big improvement over the first Grisha Trilogy book. It was filled with witty banter, awesome stunts, amazing world building, and THE FEELS that I have for the characters will go down in history. This book will definitely warrant a re-read at some point (probably in the near future now that the Nikolai series had been announced) and I will probably end up recommending it to everyone I come across.