Six of Crows Book Review

Six of Crows Book Cover Six of Crows
Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo
Young adult, fantasy
Orion Childrens Books
July 12th 2016

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first.

I have never felt so satisfied with a book, and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo definitely satisfied me. It is a bloody joy to read. I just wanted to keep turning the pages to find out what happened next. Normally I don’t gravitate towards books bigger than 450 or so pages, and Six of Crows comes in at nearly 500. Despite the size, I ate it up.

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”

The world is lush. I fell in love with the Grisha trilogy (which I will get around to talking about at some point, I promise!) and going back into that world and learning new places was fantastic. I enjoyed the gritty nature of Ketterdam. A place where thieves, liers, and trickers live their everyday lives trying to one-up the next pidgeon (the way they call suckers in this world). It is their haven, even though one wrong move could see them dead. It’s so DARK and I LOVE it. Bardugo really does know what she is doing when it comes to world-building. There are also so many mind games that I myself found myself getting tricked by every now and then. I was shocked many times while reading Six of Crows, and I am shocked at how Bardugo can bring such raw emotions out of my soul.

The Diversity in Six of Crows is also so bloody good! There is LGTB characters, nonwhite characters, and an incredibly well done character with disability. I adore how Kaz is portrayed within the book with his leg and how despite it, he is never forced to do things because of said disability!

“No matter what street law decreed, this night smelled like violence.”

The plot of Six of Crows is super intriguing. Kaz Brekker, the leader of the Dregs is asked to infiltrate the Ice Court, a place where people go in and no one goes out. He has been tasked to retrieve a hostage who could create a drug that enhances a Grisha’s power. But in order to pull off the impossible, Kaz needs to bring together a crew who are crazy enough to go with him to survive the impossible. Inej, his Wraith. Nina, the Heartrender Grisha. Jesper, the best sharpshooter in the Dregs and Kaz’s second-hand. Wylan, a boy who left behind a life of luxury to slump it in the streets and finally Matthias, former Fjerdan and longing to go home.

“I love puzzles. Trickery is just my native tongue.

Kaz Brekker is such a bloody fantastic character. Holy shit. The amount of depth he has is so unbelievable that I found myself yearning to know more about him. Whether he is being called Dirtyhands or Bastard of the Barrel, he doesn’t let anything stop him. He is a cunning and scheming individual and it makes perfect sense why the Dregs are the way they are with him as their leader. Although he shows no fear on the outside and is willing to deal out punishment, inside he has struggles and truths that haunt him. I felt for Kaz throughout Six of Crows.

When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”

His loyalties to his crew, albeit a little sketchy at times, held strong while being in enemy territory. The way that he puts on a “scheming face” made me laugh every time. He is most definitely my favorite character in Six of Crows. Since I am also a sucker for romance, I totally totally ship him and Inej and I hope beyond hope that something happens between them in the next book!

“No one else moved like that, as if the world were smoke and she was jus passing through it.

Inej had me from the beginning. She is FIERCE and I love sneaky people. The way in which she is able to take out people without them ever seeing or hearing her is so badass. Her friendship with Nina is also so wholesome, I love her so much. I love the way she progresses throughout Six of Crows and I am seriously so curious what happens with Inej in the Crooked Kingdom. The relationship she also has with Kaz makes my heart swoon. It is so incredibly tense and thrilling, it kept making me want to shout “JUST KISS GOD DAMN IT”. She really wants to protect him even though he sometimes pisses her off. I love her and I love them and as I mentioned above, JUST LET THEM HAPPEN AND BE HAPPY PLEASE.

She was not a lynx or a spider or even the Wraith. She was Inej Ghafa, and her future was waiting above.

Another point that I adored about Inej is the way that she names her knives. Especially when one of them is a through-back to the Grisha trilogy with Santka Alina being her most prized knive. This really made me happy

“If you aren’t born with every advantage, you learn to take the chances.

Jesper. Oh my heart he was such a beautiful character. Super sarky and piles of awesome. I really enjoyed the friendship between him and Kaz. Jesper is Kaz’s second and enjoys looking after his back. Even though there are times when Jesper makes mistakes, he is really loyal to the Dregs. He struggles with himself and the debt he has accumulated with gambling too much. There are secrets he hides (which without spoiling, oh my god, my jaw seriously dropped). I also adore the sass he and Wylan share and every single time it made me laugh.

Schoolroom Fjerdan, right? I bet you speak Fjerdan about as well as I speak moose.”
“Moose is probably your native tongue.

I mean come on. If this quote does not make you laugh, then I don’t know what will. They have such a brilliant relationship and oh boy do I ship them hard. I really look forward to seeing how Jesper continues to grow within the next book.

“Wylan blushed deeper, and Jesper shook his head. “Play piano, too?” “Flute,” said Wylan defensively. “Perfect.”

I don’t know what it is about underdog characters, but I love them deeply. There is something about Wylan that made me adore him from the first moment he appeared. He began as a son of a high-class mercher, so naturally, the crew is slightly wary of him. But as the story progressed, so too did Wylan. Cunning and super sarky and gosh. I just love him, okay? Him and Jesper being put together to work is hilarious, considering at first Jesper didn’t want anything to do with him. But their relationship is one I’ll ship again and again until it happens. Wylan is a butterfly and I hope in Crooked Kingdom we get to see more of him!

“If you wanted to kill a vine, you didn’t just keep cutting it back. You tore it from ground by the roots.”

Nina is the character that really made me reminisce about the Grisha trilogy and how the Second war tore everything apart. She is a Heartrender, a Grisha who can slow the hearts of her enemies and is completely badass. Nina is an incredibly strong and brave character who suffers from regret. I loved her background with Matthias and how they continue their interactions throughout the book. The love to hate to “love” aspect of their relationship is bloody genius. She also has a love affair with food, she is practically me! I just love her and Inej and their bond. It is so strong that it gives me many feelings. I also highly loved the fact she referenced King Nikolai on several occasions. Again, Nina is the character that makes me remember the Grisha trilogy the most.

“They’re all survivors”, Matthias understood, “They adapt.”

Matthias from the first moment was a complete and utter ruthless character. A former drüskelle whos job was to hunt down and capture Grisha for trials against nature. Left to basically die in Hellgate, it is no wonder he wants to kill Nina the first moment he is in her presence again. He hates her and wants to take revenge on the Drüsje (witch) that betrayed him, but he loves her and would protect her with his life. His and Nina’s relationship is very Romeo and Juliet. A Fjerdan should never love a Grisha, for they are “unnatural”. They hunt them, not bed them. I adore the way his character progresses, through every twist and turn. Through Nina, he finds his true calling and is able to see what his people truly are. I also enjoy many moments with Matthias and the things he says, including the motto that he and Nina mention:

“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.” 

I think this is one of my favorite mottos from the book. That plus the quote from the very top of this review about No Mourners. No Funerals. It’s a very grey and super powerful motto that I bloody love.

“We are all someone’s monster.”

Overall, Six of Crows is a fantastic book. The pacing is outstanding, high packed action and jaw dropping reveals. The characters are also so bloody brilliant that I seriously could not leave any of the main crew out. They are all misfits, completely grey and continued to surprise me right to the very last page. I seriously cannot WAIT to read Crooked Kingdom and to find out what happens next.

If you have never read Six of Crows, do it. I promise you you will NOT regret it!!

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