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.
Where do I START with Six of Crows?
BEST HEIST EVER.
AND THE CHARACTERS.
I AM SO IN LOVE.
I could end the review here? Everything else that I try to write will be utter nonsense; it has ruined my ability to think straight. IT IS THAT GOOD.
BARDUGO IS A WONDERFUL WRITER! Every moment is necessary, and calculated; though told retrospectively, you feel you are present with the characters at all times, infiltrating the Ice Court – stopping hearts and slicing throats. The blend of backstory and present day is faultless; it transitions seamlessly from moment to memory. Though you may hunger for more history, you will soon be absorbed in the BEST HEIST EVER (I wonder how often this phrase will appear in this review).
(So that is three so far, right?)
But, IT IS. It’s INTENSE, and laden with INCREDIBLE moments, that will repeatedly break and mend you. Just as you are convinced sudden doom is on the horizon, a path will emerge that will change EVERYTHING. And though you are thrown viciously from moment to moment, it is never overbearing; it is always well timed, concise and clever. The heist itself is pieced together with a masterful eye, and the attention to detail is unlike anything I have read before. You are bombarded with information, but Bardugo assures that you forget nothing, and therefore experience every twist and turn as the characters do. I won’t give anything away, but for the last time (maybe second last), I will say: BEST HEIST EVER.
I LOVE a dual narrative – but this is unlike any I’ve read before. It contains five narrators, all with interesting narratives, that blend seamlessly together. It also happens to be told in the third person. WHAT? I had yet to read a dual narrative that was not in first, but Bardugo FLIPS THE GODDAMN TABLE. You are given a focal character (and are often given details of their history) every chapter, but you do not lose the views and voices of other characters; you are hidden from a handful of decisions that will appear later in the novel, but are ALWAYS afforded a very broad view of every scene. Despite the broad view, allowing each chapter a focal character, allows you to form bonds with the characters that are (and I can attest to this) completely unbreakable. It is FLAWLESS.
I’m going to swear (I apologise), but I can’t help it.
What an incredible handful of misfits and murderers.
Where do I START?
I ADORE banter in books (particularly in those that involve units of people navigating a perilous situation), and I was CONVINCED that the Inner Court banter (that you can fall in love with in A Court of Mist and Fury) would be unbeatable. I may have been wrong. The way that Bardugo’s thieves interact with each other will COMPLETELY STEAL YOUR HEART. You will laugh, weep, and yell at everyone, as they repeatedly weasel their way into your heart and endlessly MESS WITH YOU.
I have fallen in love with ALL OF THEM. My original draft of this review is FAR TOO LONG, and it’s partly because I ramble nonsensically about every character, and give you far too many spoilers. So I will keep it brief, and let you do all of the falling in love (that I guarantee you will do) yourself.
Nina Zenik, Grisha Heartrender, is bold and arrogant, with a heart warmer than a forest fire.
Matthias Helvar is cold and mighty, but underneath there lies love, loyalty and determination.
Wylan Van Eck may be sixteen, but he has the mind of a thief, and the strength of a warrior. His arc is my favourite to read.
Jesper Fahey – an expert gunman, a little idiotic, but with a charm that will warm your heart.
Inej Ghafa; the Wraith. Inej may have the frame of a mouse, but it is paired with the strength of a tiger.
KAZ (FUCKING) BREKKER – an enigmatic, abrupt leader, with a torrid, turbulent past. It has been a spectacular pleasure to fall madly in love with Kaz, and I can happily say that I WOULD DIE FOR HIM.
I have been OBSESSED with Six of Crows fan art, and I completely adore this drawing of my favourite gang (CC: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/0grgw).
Do you like characters that are subtly (and often not so subtly) flirting? THEN FIND SIX OF CROWS.
Are you in need of a new ship (or three)? THEN FIND SIX OF CROWS.
Do you HATE romance and are instead looking for an artfully crafted novel with an incredibly clever plot, and action that will captivate and mesmerise you? THEN FIND SIX OF CROWS.
It has something for EVERYONE.
LEIGH BARDUGO IS THE MASTER OF A CHAPTER ENDING. You may have to pause to calm nerves; shiver as goosebumps rise on your skin; throw a fist in the air in triumph; yell repeatedly at EVERYONE. Or, as is the case with page 463, you may have to WEEP LIKE A BABY FOR A LONG ASS TIME. I STILL can’t think about the last line on that page without a lump forming in my throat. If you have a copy (THAT YOU HAVE READ), turn to that page and you will know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t PLEASE DON’T SPOIL IT FOR YOURSELF. Just wait, and let me know when you do get there. I will provide any emotional support you need – and by that I mean, I will cry with you.
You may not be able to tell, but I REALLY, REALLY LOVED this book. If you like an incredibly well-paced plot (BEST HEIST EVER (final time, I swear)) with brilliant narration, and characters that will take hold of your heart and REFUSE to let go (with narratives that are SPECTACULAR AND BEAUTIFUL, and will leave you weeping, and with a racing heart from start to finish) – then THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU. You can buy it here (but just a heads up: as I’m an Amazon affiliate, if you do purchase using this link, I earn a small commission).
If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations! I hope this review wasn’t too nonsensical. Please let me know in the comments if you’ve read Six of Crows (particularly if you enjoyed it, so we can gush about it together).
Thank you for reading!