Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: Six of Crows #1
Version: Advanced Reader Copy
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-new book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.
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.
Six of Crows is set in the world of the Grisha, which may be familiar to those that have read the Grisha trilogy. I never actually read the trilogy, so I was afraid that I would be a bit confused but I wasn't at all. Six of Crows has an ensemble cast of Kaz, Matthias, Inej, Nina, Jesper, and Wynn as they go on a near impossible quest.
I can imagine how challenging it would be for Bardugo to write from the views of five different people, switching back and forth but she pulls this off flawlessly. The transitions were smooth and it was interesting to hear from the different characters (BTW, did anyone notice Wynn didn't have any chapters?). All of the characters are all so well developed! We learn the backstories, or at least partial backstories, of all six characters and we discover their traits through both explicit and implicit characterization. I found myself liking all of the characters (both Kaz and Matthias are my favorites, of course ;). Basically, the characters are beautiful and I love them all.
THE PLOT! I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book and there was never a dull moment. Leigh Bardugo is truly a master storyteller. The world building, such as of Fjerda and the Ice Court, is done very well. As someone that has never read the Grisha series, it was fun trying to correlate the different places with real world countries, like Ravka/Russia, Shu Han/China, Ketterdam/Netherlands, etc and it was fun how she based them off actual places.
The romance in Six of Crows is the best I've read in a while, and particularly the romance between Kaz and Inej (or maybe the lack of it?) Bardugo proves that romance does not need to be the central story line of a YA novel. Although it is fairly evident that Kaz and Inej care for each other beyond just loyalty as Dreg members, their feelings for each other aren't initially obvious and is quite subtle, which makes it all the better. Kaz's attitude toward Inej proves that he can be someone beyond just "Dirtyhands" and that HE DESERVES TO BE LOVED (it's okay, my love for him is enough<3). I think their relationship will definitely play a bigger part in the next book.
In summary, I love this book; I love the characters, the plot, EVERYTHING. I hope Leigh Bardugo does a novella or something about Kaz because I can't get enough of him.