First of all, a quick shout out to Kevin Wada for this amazing piece of fan art. I hope they won’t mind my using it here. Click here for their blog.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is it about?
Set in the same world as Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows turns to the underside of Ketterdam, a major trade nation, where gangs run the streets. Seventeen year-old Kaz Brekker has quickly become the unspoken leader of one of those gangs, the Dregs, which he spent his childhood transforming from pitiful to formidable. Kaz is tapped by an upstanding merchant to run a near-impossible heist in exchange for unimaginable wealth. Gathering a crew of misfits*, all with their own goals, Kaz sets out to complete a mission that might just change the world.
*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
What did you think?
Kaz might be billed as the leader of a group of misfit anti-heroes, but it’d be a mistake to think he’s the only main character. All members of Kaz’s crew get a great deal of attention. All have believable flaws and unique ethical dilemmas. Many of the characters’ backgrounds are revealed through flashbacks, which some felt slowed down the story, but I thought them well placed.
Some wished Bardugo had gotten to the heist earlier, but I loved reading about those characters so much, I’d follow them anywhere. Bardugo has a knack for witty dialogue and I couldn’t help but see some echoes of the crew on the Firefly and Joss Whedon’s hallmark snappy lines. While some characters smell of archetype, they’re so well written that I didn’t mind terribly while reading. The characters are diverse, but not tokenized (at least as far as I can tell)– Bardugo even chose to write Kaz as a character with chronic pain, reflecting her own challenges on the page.
After three books, the author also clearly knows her world and the rules that govern it. I hadn’t read the Grisha trilogy when I started Six of Crows, but I didn’t feel lost when she mentioned Grisha or their powers. She did a good job of helping me understand while not boring those who were already immersed in the world. To those who haven’t read the trilogy yet, but are going to read Six of Crows, I’ll say to have a little bit of patience. She won’t tell you everything immediately but, honestly, that’s probably good. More to discover and more reasons to turn the page.
Bardugo has herself a new fan. I picked up the first book in the Grisha trilogy immediately after, and I’ve already finished that, too.
I give Six of Crows: Six out of Six Crows.*
*Get it because I’m crowing about the book? Eh? EH??
More conventionally? Five stars on GoodReads*
*Have a Good Reads account? Feel free to add me! I love having reading buddies.
Have you read Six of Crows? What’d you think? Who’s your favorite character?
I hate to be “that girl”, but mine were definitely Nina and Inej.