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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Six of Crows is a massive step-up from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy! Every aspect of this book was better. The world was more detailed and intricate. The characters were much more fascinating and developed. The writing and pace of the book were consistent and beautiful. And the plot was much more action-packed.
Six of Crows is set in a completely different part of the world to The Grisha trilogy. It’s set in Kerch and Fjerda, which were not really explored in the trilogy at all. It almost felt like I was reading about a completely different world. Because I read The Grisha trilogy quite recently, it took me a couple of chapters to wrap my head around the new Kerch setting, and distance myself from everything I knew about Ravka from the trilogy. Because the setting is so different, it’s completely fine to read Six of Crows without having read The Grisha trilogy, but you do get a much better understanding of the world and the Grisha system if you’ve read the trilogy.
My main criticisms of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm was the inconsistent pace and lack of action. Those books were action-packed at the beginning and end, but lacked any kind of plot in the middle. Six of Crows did not disappoint me in that regard. The plot has a consistent pace and there’s action throughout the whole book. There were surprises coming left and right, and little twists that will keep you on your toes! The twist at the end was a little bit predictable (I was buddy reading with Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Jesse @ Books at Dawn, and we had kind of speculated and expected it – well Joey did) but there were also elements that surprised me. The ending made me really excited for the sequel, and I’m sad that we have to wait a whole year.
My favourite aspect of the book were definitely the characters. Even though the plot was fantastic, this was definitely a character-driven story. There is an extremely diverse set of characters who hail from all parts of the world, from Fjerda to Novyi Zem. It allowed me to get to know the different parts of the Grishaverse a lot more deeply. I went into the book expecting all six of our heist crew to be Grishas, so I was surprised to find out that most of them were just normal people with some amazing talents. I think I enjoyed the book a lot more because they weren’t all Grisha. The diversity added a lot more dynamics to the book.
“If Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”
Brekkar’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”
“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.
I loved all of the characters and the interactions between them. They joked around together, supported each other, and had each other’s backs. There was no selfishness and the friendships between all of the characters were lovely to read about. Individually, they were sassy and badass, and I really liked how wise and mature they were for their age (though at times, it was definitely hard to believe that these were just teenagers). The ladies were probably my favourite of all of the characters. They’re so fierce and so relatable! Inej is the quiet and sensitive, but completely fearless and talented spy of the group. I love, love, loved her character! Nina is the Grisha of the group and she has the ability to control the organs and bodily functions of anyone she sees. Aentee @ Read at Midnight called Nina her spirit animal, and I can totally see why. She loves to eat, isn’t a morning person, and is completely unapologetic about it. Just her love of cake and all things sweet makes her my kindred spirit, but when she drops hilarious one-liners, it makes me love her even more.
“Are you aware that I could waggle my fingers and make you wet your trousers?”
But I also really loved the guys too. I thought the back stories of all of the characters were interesting, but Kaz and Matthias’ pasts were the most interesting to me. We get to see some flashbacks throughout the book and I loved being able to contrast the little, innocent boy that Kaz used to be, to the ruthless, soulless but completely lovable Kaz of the present. I also thought that Matthias’ past was fascinating. He is a shamed Grisha-hunter and I enjoyed seeing all his inner conflict and the growth of his character throughout the book. Jesper and Wylan were some unexpected characters with some unexpected talents. I loved the two of them together and thought their interactions were gold!
“You’re sure we can’t just go in as entertainers? I hear Wylan really kills it on the flute.”
The blossoming romances in this book made me fangirl so hard! Kaz and Inej have this very comfortable and trusting relationship, where they support and rely on each other. Every scene they had together made my heart race and I was rooting for them. I loved that they can’t stop thinking about each other and that they’re taking steps to become better individuals so that they may deserve each other. There was also this tension between Nina and Matthias from the very first time we saw them together, and I kept wanting to know what their history was. Their whole love-hate relationship was definitely an interesting one. For me, their romance kind of overshadowed the relationship between Kaz and Inej, but I’m expecting to see a lot more Kazej/Inaz in the next book! I ship!
Overall, this was a great new novel by Leigh Bardugo and I’m incredibly happy to see that her writing continues to improve! If you love great characters or a good heist story, this is the one for you.