Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt
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...It feels so weird to finally be reviewing Six of Crows, especially since I read it for the first time over a year ago. But I finally get to just fangirl over this book and how much I love it. The release of Crooked Kingdom meant that it was finally time to reread Six of Crows and prepare myself for what was bound to be an excellent sequel. I would think most of you have already read Six of Crows, if you haven't then I highly recommend that you do. It is one of the best books I have read, filled to the brim with incredible characters that I can't help but love, more twists and turns than you could ever predict and the most perfectly paced heist novel ever.
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 are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
Six of Crows takes place within the Grishaverse, so the same fantasy world that Bardugo's Grisha trilogy took place in. But this time we are leaving Ravka and exploring Ketterdam. Before starting this book, I was so nervous as I hadn't really enjoyed the Shadow and Bone series. I felt they got worse with each book and I just didn't love them the way I was hoping. My biggest problem was the pacing, which was really off with that series and I find pace so important. I was nervous to read Six of Crows, but I am so glad I took the chance. It shows just how much Bardugo has grown as a writer. I felt Six of Crows was utter perfection. It had fantastic characters, perfect pacing, a brilliant plot and all the ships that I could want.
One thing I did love about Shadow and Bone was the setting, the Russian feel of it all. I love Ketterdam, which is a busy city that just seems to be filled to the brim with criminals. We follow Kaz Brekker, part of the criminal gang the Dregs, and one of the best anti-heroes I have ever met. This book follows Kaz as he takes on an impossible heist, to break into the supposedly impenetrable Ice Court and get back a hostage who holds the secrets to Parem, a drug that can enhance a Grisha's power to unbelievable levels. To pull of this heist, Kaz knows he needs a crew with a wide range of skills - which is where the other incredible characters came in: Inej, Nina, Matthia, Jesper and Wylan. All adorable, squishy babies in their own right, I loved each and every one of them. This book sucked me in from the first page and became an instant favourite. If you haven't given Six of Crows a shot yet, you really should.
I really wish I could just find one thing to moan about when it comes to this book. At least that way I wouldn't feel like this review is just endless gushing. I'm sorry, it will be. There isn't even one tiny part of this book that I didn't absolutely love. So you will have to deal with the endless gushing. Sorry, not sorry. This is one of those books that I found impossible to put down. It sucks you in from the very first page and you become caught up in the characters and their story. Bardugo gives us many different POVs in this book, which works perfectly in this heist novel. She never reveals too much, only enough to give you the general idea of what is going on, but hides enough that it all feels unpredictable, with so many twists and turns along the way. I loved the fact this book kept me guessing and surprised me so much as it went on.
"I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all."
The greatest part of this book is its characters. Bardugo has written some of the most fascinating characters, each with such interesting back stories that we slowly get to learn as the book progresses. I don't want to spoil anything for you guys but will just speak briefly about each of the characters, as they are what I adore the most.
Kaz Brekker - The leader of our motley crew and one of the greatest anti-heroes that there ever was. He is dark and complex, he's not the glittering hero here to save everyone. He is a man on a mission, with a thirst for revenge that has controlled his life for years. He can be ruthless, and hurt anyone that gets in his way. But I adore him. I really do. I feel he is just so adorably and squishy, especially with his determination to act like he cares for no one and nothing, when it is so obvious that he does. I ship him and a certain other character so much that it hurts. I am just waiting for Kaz to wake up and realise that he's in love!
"When everyone knows you're a monster, you needn't waste time doing every monstrous thing."
Inej Ghafa - Throughout the Barrel, Inej is known as the Wraith. She's a trained acrobat who can sneak up on anyone and into anywhere. She has lived a tough life since she was kidnapped from her home and sold into slavery. Kaz and the Dregs were her way out and she is working to earn back her freedom. Inej is the definition of a strong female character. She is both mentally and physically strong, and knows what she wants and will go after it. She doesn't settle and she won't be played. She is just incredible.
Nina Zenik - Nina is the kick ass Grisha of the group. She is a Heartrender from Ravka, she is hilarious and she is daring and not one to be easily shamed. She has a wicked sense of humour and loves to tease. Her endless barbs back and forth with Matthias were utterly hilarious and you can't help but love those two squaring up to each other throughout this book.
"It's not natural for women to fight."
"It's not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand."
Matthias Helvar - Matthias is a Druskelle, or Grisha hunter as it is also known. He has basically spent his whole life training to kill Grisha, thinking them to be less than human. He is cold at times, and takes everything so very seriously. He has a past with Nina and you already know that I adore their back and forth throughout this novel. I liked watching as his character softened over the course of this book.
Jesper Fahey - Jasper is originally from Zemeni and he is the worlds biggest flirt. I think he should be crown King of innuendos and making poor boys blush. I loved how he seemed to make it his mission to make Wylan blush and to tease him relentlessly. Those two together... they are too much! I am not sure how Bardugo manages to write six fantastic characters and three completely shippable ships, but she does it.
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.
The crew together are just the perfect cast of characters, I loved them all. The constant back and forth, the jokes and the teasing, it is everything I want from my characters. They also gave me all the ships, which gave me all the cutesy moments. Not to mention the dark moments and moments that made me want to vomit up into my own mouth (that eye scene!).
I absolutely loved this book, if you couldn't already tell from my endless gushing. I'm not sure how to even sum up in words how fucking awesome this book is. All I can do is recommend that anyone who hasn't read it goes and does just that as soon as they possibly can. It is a book that you can't seem to put down and will leave you desperate for the sequel.