Revisiting the Grishaverse with a magic heist and a mixed-bag of miscreants.
Genre: YA, Fantasy
No. of pages: 465
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 is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Inspired by an ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ billboard while driving with author friend Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo incepted the magical heist duology that is ‘Six of Crows‘ and ‘Crooked Kingdom.’ I have to admit, the ‘Six of Crows’ duology and the ‘Shadow and Bone’ trilogy had been sitting on my TBR shelf for years, and it was only the advent of the television series that prompted me to finally reading them before its release.
‘Six of Crows’ is set in the same universe as Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy, but takes place in a different country and follows a different group of characters.
The story follows six outcasts, known as the Dregs, who live in the city of Ketterdam. They are Kaz Brekker, a criminal mastermind and leader of the Dregs; Inej Ghafa, a spy and assassin; Jesper Fahey, a sharpshooter; Nina Zenik, a Grisha who can control the human body or heart renderer (think blood mage); Matthias Helvar, a former drüskelle who hunts Grisha; and Wylan Van Eck, a demolitions expert. The six of them are hired to pull off an impossible heist – to break into the impenetrable Ice Court and steal a valuable scientist.
The book is filled with action, adventure, and plot twists that kept me engaged. The characters are well-developed, diverse, and each have their own unique personality and backstory. The dynamic between the characters full of comradery and tension, with each member of the team having a different role to play in the heist. This group is the epitome of a found family.
The diversity of the characters is expertly achieved, not just in terms of ethnicity and race but also in terms of gender and sexual orientation. This adds a unique aspect to the story and allows for a wide readership to see themselves reflected in the characters. It was also easy to tell the characters voices apart – which given the number of characters, is a tremendous feat.
For me there was a bit of a slow pacing for the first half of the book. To the point I was wondering how this book got such great reviews. Told in multiple points of view, it was after this halfway mark the story really ramped up. Oh, and don’t get me started on how ‘Six of Crows’ ends on a major cliff-hanger… brilliant writing and had me wanting to jump into ‘Crooked Kingdom’ immediately.
Overall feeling: quiet awe
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5 thoughts on “Book Review – ‘Six of Crows’ (#1 Six of Crows) by Leigh Bardugo”
I really want to re-read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. Honestly I prefer the duology over the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I just find the characters and the story to be more entertaining.
Who is your favorite of the Dregs? My husband has only seen the show, but he definitely says that Jesper is his favorite.
My favourite Dreg is definitely Inej – something about being able to disappear and spy on people with assassin skills appeals to me 😉
Inej is awesome. It’s so difficult to choose favorites for me, because I love all of the Dregs so much overall…..but if forced to choose, I would probably choose Nina….or Kaz.
I enjoyed the SOC duology a lot more than the S&B trilogy. I think it was because I couldn’t get into the relationships of the later. But I plan on eventually reading King of Scars because I did like Nikolai the best out of all of them.
I have the King of Scars duology here ready to go… just have to finish off a number of series first.
I think I prefer S&B because of all the magic, but love SOC for the characters, found family and heist storyline… its so hard to choose.
Only just over 2 weeks until the tv show season 2 is released – now that I’m really excited for!