Book Title: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
There are books that started slowly then build up halfway through. There are books that started slowly and never pick up. Six of Crows is neither. It hits the right note since the very beginning and keeps up the pace until the end.
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.
The book began with a prologue telling the story of Joost and a Grisha named Anya. If you ever read the Grisha trilogy books from Leigh, you might be familiar with the term. Basically, Grisha are people with special gifts. There are three orders in Grisha, the Corporalki that can control living matter, the Fabrikator that can manipulate materials, and the Etherealki that can control stuff like fire or tide. The whole purpose of the prologue is to introduce the readers to the power of substance called the jurda parem. You can think of it like amphetamine but much more addictive. When given this jurda parem, a Grisha becomes much more powerful and could do things he/she could not normally do. The downside of it, for the Grisha, is that they will become addicted to it.
This book is not about the Grisha per se, it’s about 6 teenagers trying to pull an impossible heist to ‘kidnap’ the inventor of jurda parem. They were promised tons of money to do the task if they manage to do it.
The main character is Kaz Brekker, nicknamed Dirtyhands, who is the leader of the squad. Even though Kaz is the leader, I feel that other characters were given a fair amount of space to tell their story. They are Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias, and Wylan. Each of them has their own problem, and this brings unique perspective to the story. Throughout the book, you’ll find that each of them has a motive of their own to do this mission. I could not tell you much more than that because I’ll spoil the story, but they are not your usual protagonists. It’s interesting because they are not heroes trying to save the world, these kids are thieves trying to accomplish a mission for money, but they’re not the bad guys either. It’s more like, “Hey, we’re just doing our jobs and you don’t want to be standing on our way.”
The dynamics of the characters is what makes this book great. This is not by any means a romantic book, although you will catch glimpses of it
and it will drive you crazy and wanting for more. I like how Leigh makes them work for it. I also like how they are ‘not friends’, but will do almost anything to save each other neck.
I bought this book on a whim and I’m glad that I did. It’s great on so many levels. The writing is terrific, the pace is good, the characters are flawed and believable. This is my first Leigh Bardugo’s book and I certainly hope it would not be the last.
4.5 out of 5 stars