Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


I will start this review with a disclaimer: I haven't finished The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. I read Shadow and Bone shortly after it was published, and I enjoyed it, but I never got around to the other two. But Six of Crows sounded like a fantastic plot and I knew I wanted to read it, even if the world was the same as the series I hadn't finished. So I just dove in, almost a year after I bought the book and a year after it was published. I expected to like it, because so many others did. BUT THIS WAS SO GOOD.

I'll dive into this more, but damn. All the main characters were well constructed and captivating--which is hard to do fully when there are six of them. The plot never had a dip, a lull. It was constant learning and adventure and action. And my heart exploded with all of the ships.

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'm simply going to list all these beautiful bastards one by one and fangirl all the way down:

Matthias: When the first scene he's featured in has him trying to choke someone to death, you know he's going to be either the villain or an interestingly troubled character. And for a while, he was a bit of both. But I grew to love him and his complicated heart and feelings. He has a pure sense of honor that is both heartening and annoying, and a strong mind. I loved his chapters.

Jespen: I don't know if I will ever be able to properly express my love for Jespen. He's just...magic. Complicated and broken, yet hilarious and compassionate. He intimidates and charms at the same time. I am desperate to learn even more about him and his past.

Wylan: Goddammit, I love Wylan. He's smart and quiet, and people are constantly underestimating him. He reminded me a lot of Peeta--which is probably the best compliment I could ever give a character.

Inej: What a badass. Inej was a marvelous female character, crushing stereotypes and taking names. She was integral to the plot, to all of the characters. She possessed this kind ferocity that made you pay attention and root for her.

Nina: At first, I was bored by Nina's chapters. I didn't think she was as interesting as the others. But that slowly disappeared until I hung onto her every word. She was savagely loyal to her people and her friends, and she never let anyone pigeon hole her. She's fluid, yet dependable.

Kaz: Kaz is the definition of a beautiful bastard. He's a calculated killer, out for revenge. But he's a genius, a trickster, a friend. You could never call him good or kind, but he's perfection nonetheless. He's a broken boy who's fought for years and now deserves the world. And he will take it.

Again, I'm going to list my ships and fangirl:

Matthias/Nina: These two kids. They were guaranteed from the first scene. I have to reiterate: there was choking! How could you not want them to be together?! They had a history of betrayal and belonging, and they are forever.

Jespen/Wylan: I'm going to die when these two finally get together. Like, straight up die. That's not even an exaggeration. I ship them SO HARD. They have that easy repartee within their relationship. There is some bickering, some name-calling, some shameless flirting, some genuine relatability. I cannot get enough.

Kaz/Inej: Endgame. Total endgame. Unlike the others, they are essential to one other. I don't know if I can describe it well enough, but they just understand. Even if one doesn't know what the other is thinking, they do anyway. They know it in their heart, somewhere dark and twisty. They are both broken and it will never be easy, but it needs to be. They are meant to be. It's as simple as that.

I loved Leigh Bardugo's writing. To write about that many characters so intricately, to be inside their heads with such definition, is a huge feat and shows how talented of a writer she is. And she is so funny! There are so many quotes that had me laughing out loud for an embarrassing amount of time. But then she'd hit you with a tragic plot line or quote and I would tear up. She'd manipulated emotion spectacularly.

This review is a little choppy, but I don't care. This book had me on a rollercoaster and I devoured it as quickly as I could with my busy schedule. And that cliffhanger ending has me nervous and excited for the sequel.

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