Series: Six of Crows #1
Published by Henry Holt and Company on September 29th 2015
Genres: young adult, fantasy
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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.
You never know what kind of story you’re going to get from Leigh Bardugo, but the one thing you do know is that it will be fantastic. I’ve never given one of her books less than 4 stars, and though I have yet to read Ruin and Rising (this is because I know the ending will disappoint me), I loved the first two books of that trilogy as well. Six of Crows is no different. In fact, I think it might be BETTER than The Grisha Trilogy.
Why, you ask?
Because the characters, that’s why. I liked them A LOT more than Alina, Sturmhond, Mal (UCK), and The Darkling. Nothing wrong with them, of course, but the “Stupendous Six” as I call them, are one of a kind. Nina and Inej are FIERCEEE and I loved them both so much. Incidentally, you can take this quiz to see which of the 6 characters YOU are. I got Inej. Holla, since she’s my fave. Let me know in the comments who you got! Kaz Brekker, swoooooon. Jesper is just so entertaining (he reminds me of Balthier from FFXII.) Then there is the giant, manly Fjerdan, Matthias. Oh my Nina. She is curvy, luscious, and perfect. Plus, bonus points for diverse characters and personalities!
The plot is pretty simple. There is a drug that is in the hands of the wrong people, and it has the ability to make Grisha super powerful. A merchant in the town of Ketterdam asks Kaz to go after the creator of the drug, and kidnap him from the prison he’s in. Kaz gathers some of his best people, and the plot is born. It was almost, ALMOST a 5-star book for me. But I find Leigh’s writing a little wordy. The pacing was decent but a bit slow for me, and that’s the only thing that kept it from being a perfect book. It took a little too long to get going, and as much as I appreciated all that early character development, I can’t help wondering if it could have been incorporated a little later on to get the plot moving faster.
Six of Crows is set in the same world as The Grisha Trilogy, so it helps to have knowledge of Grisha, the different orders, and the conflicts between the races going in. But it’s not necessary. This book is the beginning of a series in its own right, and though I HIGHLY recommend you read Leigh’s other books (why wouldn’t you?), you don’t have to to enjoy this one. It just helps a little. But there are maps in there for you, and it does help clarify certain locations.
The chemistry between all characters and the different relationship dynamics were what pretty much made the novel for me. There’s not a whole lot of romance in Six of Crows, and as a fan of the slow burn kind of romance, I really appreciated this. Because there is a lot of romantic tension, but there are also other types of relationship bonds as well. There are multiple POVs, yes, and a lot of readers dislike this, but I never found it to be a problem. The voices were all very different, and I enjoyed being in each character’s head. I found it a bit odd that there were no chapters from Wylan’s point of view, and I’m interested to know why that was.
The worst part about reading books like this early is that it’s such a looooonnng wait until the next book. And while it doesn’t end on a HUGE cliffhanger, the book was left off in a very uneasy place with characters I love in peril. I don’t consider this a spoiler because you don’t know the who, the how, or the why, but if you think it is, let me know. I Just kind of wanted to warn readers that it’s not left in a completely happy place. I know I prefer to know that. That doesn’t make me like the book any less, however. Because I loved it.