A bunch of thieves. A rotten city. An impossible heist. And a world I fell in love with three books ago. What could possibly be more magnificent? Topped with a fascinating cast of morally questionable characters? Oh yes.
But the most fascinating thing about Kaz and his gang is not that they are criminals, it’s that they do not trust each other. Each others’ abilities? Sure. But each other? No way. And that is what makes the story so interesting. It isn’t the heist and its elaborate details, though those were great. It isn’t the magic and the action, though those were great too. Oh no, it’s all in the character dynamic and the suspense that follows. No one in this little gang of misfits knows the heist plan in its entirety because they do not trust each other. Plus, with so many obstacles and enemies, some things are bound to go very, very wrong. So you get a massive crime story from a variety of POVs, each character following their own agenda and you tremble in anticipation of which way is it going to go, which way, which way. IT’S AWESOME.
And then, there are the flashbacks. I’m very picky about my flashbacks, okay? And these ones are amaaaaazing. Nothing beats being thrown straight into action and magic and all these existing relationships without any backstory whatsoever, and then get it in dramatic glimpses DONE RIGHT. With just the right amount of drama, just the right amount of mystery, just the right amount of feelings. MOST FABULOUS.
Then, of course, the heist. Oh, the heist. I LOVE THIEVES, OK. And as I’ve already said, these thieves, in particular, are deliciously suspicious. Tangled in a deadly criminal plan with no escape, it’s the sure recipe for success.
There is only one thing I feel like needs to be addressed. Six of Crows is marketed as a spin-off from the Grisha trilogy, set in the same universe but separate enough that reading the trilogy is not required. Supposedly. The thing is, the Grisha universe is beautiful and complex. (It is the one thing I did love about the original trilogy.) And Alina’s story focuses primarily on the Grisha. Meanwhile, Kaz’s gang simply has Grisha, without the specifics. It’s true that by foregoing the Grisha details, a huge info dump has been avoided. And yes, the story is absolutely understandable without the Grisha knowledge. HOWEVER, the story might be if not exactly confusing, then at least somewhat different without any idea of Grisha abilities, status and the kind of life they used to live back in Ravka. The Grisha in Kerch live a very, very different life than they do back in Ravka. So if you do not like missing out in little details, I strongly suggest reading the trilogy as well.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows #1
Published by Henry Holt and Company on September 29th 2015
Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
Have YOU jumped on this particular train of AWESOMENESS yet? Because you totally should. And if you have, what are your thoughts? (Are you ready to adopt Wylan Van Sunshine?! I know I am.)