Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Published: 29.09.2015 by Henry Holt and Company
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis: 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.
I read this one in May, so I really should have made a review much earlier. But I was unsure whether anyone would still be interested in seeing my thoughts, as there are so many reviews of this book out there. I decided to go for it though, in case you haven’t picked it up yet.
Six of Crows plays out in the same world as the Grisha trilogy, albeit in a different country. I had read the Grisha trilogy before so I did know some of the history of the country Ravka. Yet it’s been a while since I read that trilogy, and this plays out in Ketterdam, and thus not in Ravka. It took me a bit to remember what had happened, the aftermath of the actions in the trilogy, that had an effect here.
Although it took me a while to remember, I actually really love the fact that it was set in a different country and city, in this world. Several different ones, in fact. It allowed me to not only get to know more of the world but its people too. For example, the Fjerdans hate Grisha. In Ketterdam, no one really cares unless it makes them money. It’s interesting to get to know the places and people from different countries better, rather than just Ravka.
I would have picked this book up based solely on the fact that it’s in the Grisha-universe and it’s written by Leigh Bardugo. But the fact that this is a story about a band of thieves, and an impossible heist, made me NEED this book. I love heist stories. They are always so utterly amazing. Well, not always, but you know what I mean.
I always love the fact that you think you have the entire plan laid out for you by the characters. Until they get there, and you discover so many aspects of the plan that were kept secret! I love the intricacy a heist story requires, and I think Leigh Bardugo wrote it well. Another aspect of this particular heist I loved, is that while the crew all comes together to pull it off, many of them have their own agenda and purposes. They may not always align with those of the rest of the crew.
Heists, intrigue and travel kept me captivated for pretty much the entire read. I was never bored, did not see most of the plot twists coming, and was baffled by the ending. I’m glad I only read it thus year, so the wait for Crooked Kingdom isn’t as long.
I think this is partly why I love the book so much -aside from the heist of course. The characters. First of all, this book is told in multiple perspectives. Can I just say: thank you! I really adore multiple POV book. I feel like it gives me a much better insight in all of the characters, instead of just one, and a more objective view of the story. The second reason I love this is that ALL of the POV-characters have an interesting background, and are pronounced and well-rounded characters. In my opinion of course.
We have Kaz, the leader of the Dregs, and thief. Kaz is an incredibly skilled thief though. I’m impressed. He’s smart, always one step ahead, and most of the time absolutely ruthless. I like that this story allows its characters to be quite morally grey and dark at times. It doesn’t pretend for Kaz to be the good guy in a bad position. No, he has climbed the ranks, and risen as the crew leader -and not by playing nice. While it can be dark reading from his POV, Leigh Bardugo still made me feel so sympathetic towards him by giving him an honest and true background story.
Then there is Inej, my personal favorite. Inej is a spy, a damn good one at that. She’s so quiet you won’t ever hear her coming, which makes her incredibly valuable. Like Kaz, she has an intriguing and touching background story. I guess it’s similar in some ways, yet they are very different.
Then there is Jesper, who not only has an amazing name, but is a great shot as well. He (almost) never misses his target. Jesper has a bit of a gambling problem.
There is Nina, a Grisha who survives by using her powers in exchange for payment. I think she is one of my least favorite characters of the crew. I’m not sure why, because at times while I was reading, I absolutely LOVED her. But she can be so naive as well. At times, I didn’t understand how she could have survived while being so naive. It was so interesting to see the life of a Grisha after the events of the Grisha trilog, and outside of Ravka.
Then we have Matthias. I am really not sure what to think of him, even after all this time. He has an interesting backstory, not just because of his nationality, but because of his link to another member of the crew as well. At times, I thought he was amazing. And other times, he reminded me of the Hitler Youth: raised through indoctrination.
Lastly, we have Wylan. A character who couldn’t be more different from the others in background.
What I learned from these characters is that everyone has their reasons. You may not be similar to each other at all. Yet you may find you have a common purpose.
If you hadn’t yet noticed, I’d highly recommend this book. I enjoyed the heist aspect, the plot twists, the discovery of the rest of the Grisha world, but most of all the characters. I loved that I got to know them all much better and faster, because they had their own POV. It’s not necessary to read the Grisha trilogy before this one, but I’d recommend it. Although they are very different, the actions of the Grisha in the first trilogy do have repercussions throughout the whole universe.