Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction
Book Jacket 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.
Review: I had pretty high expectations going into Six of Crows,, given the wide critical acclaim this book has accrued since hitting shelves. I haven’t read Bardugo’s popular Grisha trilogy, which was partly by design; it has largely been described to me as a very stereotypical young adult series. So while I sacrificed early knowledge of the world that Six of Crows takes place in by skipping the Grisha trilogy, I also gave Bardugo my most unbiased attention. I am happy to say that I LOVED Six of Crows and have already marked my calendar for the day the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, comes out (September 27th). The real merit of Bardugo’s work lies in her impeccable ability to create characters with actual meat on their bones. I can’t even pick a favorite when it comes to the “six of crows” that make up this heist team:
A convict with a thirst for revenge – Matthias Helvar, a Fjerdan warrior with questionable loyalties who landed in Hellgate (a Ketterdam prison) after Nina betrayed him.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager – Jesper Fahey, Kaz’s right-hand man with a serious gambling problem and adrenaline addiction.
A runaway with a privileged past – Wylan Van Eck, son of a wealthy merchant who puts the crows up to a near-impossible heist. He has an affinity for explosives.
A spy known as the Wraith – Inej Ghafa, an acrobat turned prostitute turned spider for Kaz’s gang, the Dregs.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums – Nina Zenik, a feisty Grisha who can kill a man with nothing more than a flick of her wrist.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes – Kaz Brekker, the guarded mastermind behind the nearly impossible heist.
These characters leap off of the pages. Six of Crows truly benefits by having each chapter narrated by a different member of the heist team. I particularly enjoyed Nina and Inej’s chapters, largely because Bardugo wrote two refreshingly kick-ass, hilarious female characters. I loved this exchange between the two, which occurs while Inej is recovering from a knife injury sustained during a battle with a rival gang.
“Do not bend,” Nina snapped. “Do not leap. Do not move abruptly. If you don’t promise to take it easy, I’ll slow your heart and keep you in a coma until I can be sure you’ve fully recovered.”
“‘Nina Zenik, as soon as I figure out where you’ve put my knives, we’re going to have words.”
I couldn’t stop feverishly turning the pages, trying to figure out if and how this band of misfits would pull off the impossible task of kidnapping an imprisoned scientist from the Fjerdan fortress known as the Ice Court. This novel certainly rings true to the movie Ocean’s 11 (which I also love). It was a fast read with incredible characters and I can’t wait until the sequel is published!
“Kaz leaned back. ‘What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?’
‘Knife to the throat?’ asked Inej.
‘Gun in the back?’ said Jesper.
‘Poison in his cup?’ suggested Nina.
‘You’re all horrible,’ said Matthias.
Kaz rolled his eyes.”