Book Reviews · Original Posts

Book Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows

Well, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo has received tons of hype on Booklr, so now that I’m done (and in literary critic mode) I’m pleased to tell you it lived up to the hype!

Here’s the description from Goodreads:

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.

Okay, I was not super excited to read this, because it takes place in the same world as Bardugo’s previous series,the Grisha Trilogy, which I never finished because I really disliked Alina, the main character. However, this book is a HUGE improvement! You don’t need to have read her other books to enjoy and understand Six of Crows. The world Bardugo has created is really spectacular, blending mostly Russian, Dutch, Chinese (or some Asian culture, the subtleties of which escape me) and Scandinavian cultures for an authentically awesome place for a story! The magic is well thought out and convincing, as is the political intrigue and relationships between the several nations at stake here.

The plot is really excellent, with elements on multiple levels. There’s the effects of the heist, which has both awesome selfish character implications and huge, world-altering effects that the character grapple with. The actual heist itself is ingeniously plotted (Kaz Brekker is truly a mad genius!), and the cliff hanger was exciting! Then, each character has an individual backstory arc which has to be explored, and they’re all so uniquely done and entwined for a beautiful effect!

This brings me to the crown jewel of Six of Crows– its characters. Five of the six main characters responsible for the heist take turns narrating, which seems confusing when I type it, but actually makes so much sense! There’s a very good reason the sixth crew member isn’t narrating, but you’ll have to wait to discover it! Seriously, every character is unique and wonderfully flawed, and the dynamics of the entire group are wonderful! They are serious squad goals. To demonstrate my point:

“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.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Wylan, the only of the crew not included in that exchange, gets much less attention than the other five, but he’s just as worth your time as a reader:

“‘I’m not a criminal,’ Wylan protested.

Kaz cast him an almost pitying look.

‘No, you’re a flutist who fell in with bad company.'”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Kaz Brekker is the leader, and one of the most twisted sympathetic characters I’ve ever read. I’m fascinated by him and his ability to both love and be utterly ruthless with what he loves at the same time:

“Greed is your god, Kaz.”
He almost laughed at that. “No, Inej. Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

An example of Kaz’s winning philosophy:

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Kaz’s right hand girl is Inej (suggestions on the actual pronunciation of her name welcome!). I love her, she’s levelheaded and moral even while amassing a massive body count to help the crew. Inej has been through so much, and I love the way she softens Kaz up! Inej has a special skill set, and she builds the myth of herself to achieve what she wants:

“Besides, she was the Wraith-the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The other original member of Kaz’s crew is Jesper. Jesper has a bit of a gambling problem, but he’s hysterically funny and loyal. Kaz treated him rathe poorly at the end of the novel; I’m anxious to see how their friendship gets mended in the next book! Jesper worries endlessly about Kaz:

“Kaz, this whole ‘shoot me’ thing is starting to concern me.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The final two members of the gang are Nina and Matthias. They have a very complicated (and steamy!) history, and can’t decide whether to kill or kiss each other. Nina is a Grisha (meaning she can do magic, essentially), and Matthias belongs to an order that believes Grisha are evil, so there’s a lot of good conflict! Honestly, they’re probably my favorite characters! A few quote examples, now. Their chemistry:

“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.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

More chemistry:

“Oh, I see. I’m the wicked Grisha seductress. I have beguiled you with my Grisha wiles!”
She poked him in the chest.
“Stop that.”
“No. I’m beguiling you.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Sorry about all the quotes! I just loved the way Bardugo wrote this book! I’m super excited for the next one!

My rating: 5/5 stars

Now, for a true send-off:

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Has anyone else read this? Tell me what you think!

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