Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release: September 29th 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, YA
#1 in the Six of Crows duology
Sequel: Crooked Kingdom (#2)
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.
You know, for me, as a full-blown Shadow and Bone fan, going into this novel was kind of bittersweet, because while I was going back to a beloved, well-known world, I was also entering it from a completely different angle, upside down and with nothing to orient myself, you see? It was disconcerting, to say the least.
But even if it took some getting used to, especially since I had to adjust to a relatively big cast of characters this time around, I can safely say that this is a step up from Bardugo's previous trilogy. I am so very happy that she chose to further explore the world she'd already set up, because it was just as intriguing and fascinating as I'd hoped and anticipated it would be; she really created something unforgettable with her world here, guys. I really want to learn even more now.
And the new characters, I don't think I can express in so many words how much they amazed me. Bardugo is extremely clever with it, because she alternates the chapters between her protagonists, so that the reader gets a glimpse into every single one of their minds and they all sound so different from each other that you could never ever make the mistake of confusing one with the other. And she does all that while still writing from third person! She makes third person sound so vastly different and acclimatized to all six of her characters. Also, she drops clues and hints about their pasts and true identities as well as personalities every once in a while, never too much to destroy the mystery but always enough to keep it interesting and keep the ball rolling.
I mean, I'll admit that some characters don't get quite as much characterization as others do, but honestly, that's to be expected. I'm sure they'll get more focus in the sequel, if it's going to be important. Anyway, another thing I absolutely loved about this novel is the completely diverse cast as well as power balances within it, it was simply such a well-rounded cast, I can't help but applaud Bardugo a bit for it. This kind of thing should be a no brainer and not potentially a thing to give authors brownie points for, but it's still something pleasant I want to point out.
The plot is thrilling and intense, no doubts about that, I'm sure I would have finished this in like 2 days straight if I would have had the time to just sit down once and power through it. However, as it was, I had to read it in small little doses and stop halfway through a heated action scene, which sucked, but also kept me on my toes all the time. This book was an adrenaline rush and I loved it, nothing more to say.
All in all, I probably almost couldn't be happier with the novel. The respective romances could have been a bit better in my opinion, because there was no real chemistry between at least one of the couples, but hey, the romance was so much in the background of it all that I'm not wondering whether I might have missed some subtle hint or nuance of a romance, chances are, I did. But I loved the way it was a slow-burn and took more of a backseat in this one, especially since I think we can safely say that Bardugo's other trilogy was very romance-ridden. No complaints about it, just an interjection on my part.
Bottom line: Read it, or you'll definitely miss something great.