Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Published on September 29th 2015
by Henry Holt and Company
Genres: Young Adult
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Also by this author: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin & Rising, Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm
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 finished reading Six of Crows in November. I was reading the last few pages while I sat in B&N waiting for Bardugo’s event in Maryland. Why then haven’t I reviewed it before now? Sometimes when a novel packs so much within its pages, it’s hard to write my ideas on paper.
Six of Crows is a book so complex that I will not attempt to describe in detail the plot. You can find plenty of reviews that sing all the glory and can do it better justice that I can do it. Rather, I will concentrate in the main characters and let you put the puzzle together. Six characters, told from all of their points of view in the third person. I promise that it’s not confusing at all!
“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”
A convict with a thirst for revenge. Matthias is belongs to a “cult’ that hunts the Grisha and he wants revenge on Nina for putting him in jail. He’s strong, tough, somewhat narrow minded, tender, and loving too.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. Jasper is a student turned gambler and gangster. He’s in Kaz’s inner circle, a sharpshooter with blind faith in his friends.
A runaway with a privileged past. Wyland is the son of an important merchant. He’s had a privileged upbringing, but he ran away from home. He seems weak at the beginning, but proves his worth when it mattered.
A spy known as the Wraith. Inej is a fascinating character. She was kidnapped when very young and “saved” by Kaz. She’s a spy and friend of heights and she’s always loyal to Kaz. Always.
“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns you heart.”
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. Nina is a Grisha that has been waiting in a strange land for the chance to save Matthias from prison. She’s realistic, straightforward, loyal and appreciate friends.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz is my favorite character because he’s so complex. Make no mistake, he has no redemption. He’s… well, bad. Cunning, smart, without morals, ethics or empathy.
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
The setting of Six of Crows is shared with that of the Grisha series. Some of the same countries belong to this world, but more that seem inspired by Holland (Ketterdam) and its many canals and by Russia and its ice glory (Ice Court). It’s all described in detail and it paints an accurate picture in the reader’s mind. Exquisite. The writing is sweeping , breathtaking and raw.
“Stay,” she panted. Tears leaked from her eyes. “Stay till the end.”
“And after,” he said. “And always.”
“I want to feel safe again. I want to go home to Ravka.”
“Then I’ll take you there. We’ll set fire to raisins or whatever you heathens do for fun.”
“Zealot,” she said weakly.
“Nina,” he whispered, “little red bird. Don’t go.”
Just like Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses, I felt like Six of Crows should have been labeled New Adult. It’s definitely more appropriate for older readers because there is plenty of violence as well as some of the cruel realities of life. Let me also warn you that the story is slow to get into, please stick with it because it’s certainly worth it.
Overall, Six of Crows is a book with outstanding characters, detailed world building, an intricate and enthralling plot. A story of survival, love, revenge, politics, prejudice, friendship and betrayal. I cannot wait for the next book!