today’s review and the accompanying tag is brought to you in the beautiful English language! 🙂
For those of you who do not know what „Six of Crows“ is: it is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s duology, which is set in the Grish world. „Six of Crows“ deals with a group of six outcasts of Ketterdam, who want to pull off the heist of the century – but it could easily end in disaster…
If you want to learn more & read my review: after the jump!
[PARTY IN THE FRONT – MILD SPOILERS IN THE TAG!]
Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
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…
If you follow me on Goodreads or Twitter, you might have noticed that I kind of entered a reading slump after finishing „A Gathering of Shadows“ by V.E. Schwab. And the only book which managed to break that bad spell was „Six of Crows“ by Leigh Bardugo!
(Which triggered yet another reading slump… *sigh*)
I was absolutely blown away by this book and inhaled every page. Even now, a few weeks after finishing the book, I still have that distinct „Six of Crows“ feeling lingering in my chest when I remember certain bits and pieces of the book.
But… what makes „Six of Crows“ so good? Well, that’s quite easy: it’s all because of the amazing characters and what they do for the narrative of the book!
As you read in my introduction, the book is the first one in a duology which is set in the Grisha world, but does not necessarily have to do with the characters we know from the „Shadow and Bone“ series … which I still have to finish (oh boy!).
We get to meet our six main protagonists one after the other and it became quite clear from a very early stage on in the book, that I’d like and love them all pretty much equally. I’m sure you all know the feeling when you are reading a book with multiple POV’s – like the most famous one at the moment, „Game of Thrones“ – and you find yourself liking some characters more than others. Some you can’t stand and hope that their POV is over asap. Well, that didn’t happen with „Six of Crows“! Each of the main characters had their own lovely treat, their pretty unique abilities, struggles and perspectives and I just thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them!
But, now… what is there to say about these characters without spoilering too much? Let’s see: there is Kaz Brekker, the criminal master mind from Ketterdam with the gloved hands and the dark past. Then there is Inej, the silent spy and Kaz’s right hand (and sometimes, he’s her right hand, hehe!). Nina, a Grisha, who came to Ketterdam because she was kitnapped, and Matthias, who is kinda the reason for said abduction. And then there’s Jesper, the sharpshooter with a love for gambling and a little secret, which might not be as big as Wylan’s, the runaway – or… is it? 😉
The dynamics of the group is amazing right from the start! And by amazing I do not necessarily mean „good“. There are a few occasions where they are not exactly on the same page and some killing attempts are involved, too.
Their big quest – breaking into the most secure place there probably is and stealing something literally every country seeks to have – brings them together and off they go!
On their way, we get to know every character individually. Sometimes by glimpsing into their troubled past or by seeing them revealing a long kept secret. And these elements of the book, a journey that serves as a character journey, really, helps to set the mood and the world they are operating in. It’s also one of my favourite things while reading: experiencing the world through the characters eyes.
I’m obviously not going to tell you how the whole heist played out. Only so much: there were some situations in which I really didn’t know how all of it would turn out or even who to trust. Since I’m only one book into the Grisha trilogy I didn’t know how much Leigh Bardugo liked to kill off characters for good, so that was kind of a deep-breath-and-hope-for-the-best-moment.
Something I do want to share, though, is the romance we get in this book. Calling it romance is almost too strong, so lets just call them „relationships“. There is one that is complicated and seemingly hard to resolve, another one that is blooming after a hard time and one that is… well, I’m not sure how far those two are into falling for each other but I’M certainly falling for them. 😉 The relationships are as diverse as the characters, representing everything I consider as important and appealing. Just seeing so many different characters and so many different relationships in the span of one short book already is – in my opinion – magnificent! And even before that cliffhanger at the end happened, I felt like I can’t possibly wait for „Crooked Kingdom“ which comes out in September – and there are international pre-order goodies in store (check them out here, on Leigh Bardugo’s Tumblr)!
Rating: 6 out of 6 crows!
-And now for the mildly spoilery part!-
The „Six of Crows“ Tag:
- The „Six of Crows“ gang consists of six badass characters, which all play a distinct role in the heist. Who would be your six crows to take on the ultimate heist?
I would probably just take all the Gentleman Bastards with me, but to make it a bit more interesting, I’m gonna go with Locke Lamora from „The Lies of Locke Lamora“ by Scott Lynch, The Beast Lord of Atlanta, Curran from the „Kate Daniels Series“ by Ilona Andrews, Jericho Barrons from the „Fever Series“ by Karen Marie Moning, Kate Daniels from the „Kate Daniels Series“ by Ilona Andrews, Tess from the „The Others“ series by Anne Bishop and last but not least Delilah Bard from the „A Darker Shade of Magic“ series by V.E. Schwab!
2. „No Mourners. No Funerals.“ is the Crows‘ saying for good luck. Which book title would serve as a motto for your gang?
There are so many good book titles which would work for this, but I guess I’d either go with „Angels & Demons“ by Dan Brown – because I guess you should always remember that, in a heist and every other mission for that matter, you sometimes have to be an Angel or a Demon, or I would go with „Fearless“ by Cornelia Funke, because no matter what – you should probably try to stay as fearless as possible.
3. Kaz Brekker: name your favourite fictional criminal mastermind.
4. Inej: name your favourite spy.
Kaz doesn’t want to call Inej spider, or not necessarily. But I’m gonna go with my favourite spider, who never ceases to amaze me with his revelations: Varys from A Song of Ice and Fire!
5. Nina and Matthias: name a book you hated at the beginning, but ended up loving.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness! I gave that book two or three shots before actually reading the whole thing and I was CONVINCED I would hate it, but dang – it is an absolute masterpiece! I still love it today ❤
6. Jesper and Wylan: name a LGBT lead couple!
That would be my all-time favourite characters Vadim and Dan from the Special Forces series. Yes, there is a lot of explicit sex, a lot of physical and psychological drama and hate and violence, but I’ve also never read a book which showed me the struggle of people, who discover that they are gay, maybe don’t want to be gay because of the society they live in and how they deal with it. And how, basically, being gay is the most normal thing in the world – or at least it should be. It changed my perspective on how hard people in this world have it. And it also changed how I think about my own privileges. So these will be forever in my heart. ❤
7. The Iron Court: name a fortress that you think is impenetrable – and yet you’d lead your gang straight in for the heist of the century!
Lord of the Rings taught me that not even Helms Deep is secure, so basically nothing in fictional history has ever been not breached – greetings from Troy! – but I guess I’d try Gringotts (because I’ve never mastered that level on my Game Boy Colour back in the day) or Azkaban.
8. Kuwei Yul-Bo. What would be the object of your heist?
I’d totally steal Kell’s coat from „A Darker Shade of Magic“. That has to be the coolest piece of clothing in all of the four Londons and beyond. I’d never have to go shopping again and I’d probably have a sulking Kell by my side. 😀
9. „What do you mean she got kidnapped? And what do you mean that the other one is dying? Aren’t there more chapters?!“. Name the meanest cliffhanger you’ve come across so far (because – lets face it – there will be more!).
I’m gonna go with „Skulduggery Pleasant – Last Stand of Dead Men“ for that. Yes, we’ve all expected Darquesse to make an appearance sooner rather than later, but like this? Darn it, I hated waiting for „The Dying of the Light“, especially because Derek Landy wasn’t particulary trustworthy in terms of „I’ll let my characters live happily ever after!“. So yeah, I hated stopping at that amazing point in the story, which was also super scary!
10. And last but not least: „Crooked Kingdom“. Name a book you can’t wait to read!
Since Crooked Kingdom is already mentioned, I’ll divide my anticipation between „A Conjuring of Light“, third and final installment in V.E. Schwab’s amazing „A Darker Shade of Magic“ series – seriously check out these covers and the story, it is AMAZING! – and „The Song Rising“, third installment in the „The Bone Season“ series by Samantha Shannon… even though that one just got full on cover-make-over. *silent sobbing*
Have you read „Six of Crows“? How did you like it? If you have – feel free to participate in this tag, I would love to see your Six of Crows gang 😉
All the love,