Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
When I think of how long I waited to read the absolute gem that was Six of Crows, I want to go back
in time and rattle my poor, misguided self.
I had major reservations for the first leg of this duology. Although I loved Shadow and Bone and
Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising left me frustrated and disappointed that a trilogy with so much
potential had an anticlimactic and poor ending. In Six of Crows, Bardugo has outdone herself in every way possible. This book blows Siege and Storm (my favourite book of the Grisha trilogy) of the water. It ups the game in every way--its prose, worldbuilding, plot and the characters. I finished the book exhilarated, excited and wanting more. I cannot wait to follow these characters into Crooked Kingdom.
I’m glad Bardugo reached beyond Ravka and delved into Fjerda and Kersch. I simply loved how the
cultural differences between the Ravkans, Fjerdans, Kerch and Shu were explored. These, along with
the corruption that Ketterdam thrives on, the social and racial injustices that pervade the societies that the characters live in are what drove the plot forward. The book is written in third person with alternating POVs, which is my favourite but also incredibly hard to get right, especially if you have six main POVs and a couple of other ones.
The beginning of the book was a little slow and felt jarring. I actually tried to read the book and gave up around five times over the past year because I couldn’t get past the first chapter. Bardugo’s books don’t start easy and gently, the reader is pretty much dumped into the thick of things and the details are quietly, gently explained or left up for us to infer, and as much as I struggle with it, I came to love it. Once the whole cast was introduced though, I couldn’t. stop. reading.
The book features a crew of six--a raggedy, desperate, worn out, reckless, BEAUTIFUL crew of six, each with their own motives and agenda, each with their own wealth of a backstory that I couldn’t help but root for with all my pounding heart. They’re spies and thieves, sharp shooters and hunters, people that like to see things go boom, apologize for nothing, and willing to do what it takes to survive. I love how their history affected their arc and how eventually I could learn to find shreds of humanity in them. The centre of the book was HEIST a la Ocean’s Eleven jam packed with action, suspense, thrill, TWISTS AND TURNS and surprise revelations and delightful BANTER that made my heart jump to my throat and sink to my stomach and pound and perform all sorts of acrobatics as I watched and prayed and hoped that they’d make it out alive.
Six of Crows would be nothing without the writing and style of storytelling. Every other chapter, something goes wrong, a hidden secret is revealed and there I was left gasping and reeling and actually walking around my apartment trying to gather the nerve to just read ahead. The writing was so, so beautiful. I distinctly remember some scenes when everything was happening so fast, yet Bardugo slowed everything down to a point when I was just staring wide eyed, wondering at what just happened and what would happen next.
ON TO THE SHIPS. THE SHIPS. THERE ARE SO MANY SHIPS. It is such shippy shippy delight, this whole book it. There are THREE ships (and then a couple of actual ships) and each one was sheer perfection. I loved how realistic and honest they were. I often feel like shippy events occur at the cost of plot action, or worse, to drive the plot forward and that leaves me with a bad aftertaste. It is hard to balance an action packed plot such as this one with moments that flesh out the feelings that characters have for each other, but it was done very masterfully and naturally.
Brb watching Ocean’s Eleven and preordering Crooked Kingdom and marvelling over the gritty, dark, intricate, beautiful mess that Six of Crows was.