Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Number of Pages (Hardcover): 465
Date Published: September 29th of 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
Rate: 3.5 of 5
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Thoughts (No spoilers!)
‘Any other impossible feats you’d like us to accomplish?
The barest smile flickered over Kaz’s lips, ‘I’ll make you a list.’
I should start with stating that I haven’t read The Grisha Trilogy prior to reading this because I didn’t know they were interconnected by any way until I was ten percent into the book. I alternated between reading the eBook version, the audio book, and the text-to-speech function of my reader so I didn’t really had the chance to stare at the cover, which I profusely do with a physical copy of a book. I saw that little scribbled thing that said “A Grisha Novel” on the cover of the book from a post in Instagram. Needless to say, I had to scramble my way through my panic that I had just effectively spoiled myself to the Grisha Trilogy. My panic was short-lived since I saw a question on Goodreads regarding the matter of reading this before the said series and the author stated that it won’t really be a problem. And so, I resumed my reading the book and yes, I do have the full intention of reading the next book of this duology and yes, I will be reading The Grisha Trilogy soon.
I had very high expectations with Six of Crows because I saw that almost all of my Goodreads friends who have read this book had such a good time–most actually rated it a 5 of 5! Naturally for myself, I looked forward to reading it and having such a magical experience reading it and I am very sorry to say that I wasn’t that wow-ed with the developments in the book. Now, now, I am partly attributing it to the fact that it took me a a while to get immersed within the story because I had a hard time familiarizing myself with the new terms and names flying around. But, I do want to add that I didn’t hate this book. I see the great writing, the great characters, the great world. And perhaps, in another world where I have finished reading The Grisha Trilogy before picking this up, I would have appreciated this even more because I think there would be a certain edge with what I would have known with the environment of Six of Crows. I was ready to give this a solid four-star rating, however, the slow progress and the sheer amount of time I spent trying to know the world threw me off since it took me about half the book to do so.
The plot is very smart and just by reading this you just know there’s something more waiting for you to see with the direction of the story–that there’s a background somewhere there. There such an established air to the story that you just know. It really irritated me as to how easy the characters got away with their schemes. They’re a bunch of teenagers breaking into an Azkaban-like prison and you’re telling me they can just go in, distract a few people and they can go home smoothly? I don’t buy it. So, I was a little irked with that aspect. But then again, I appreciated that this book didn’t end the way I was expecting it to be so that’s good.
I loved the notions of pairings in this book because it did not tell the story around the love interests but rather the love interests works its way around the story-line. Though I do love the romance aspect with my fantasy books, I appreciated the fact that the pairings were not put in the limelight as other novels do, which makes the experience of reading this book such a fresh one.
I want to throw the light to the excellent character-painting of Leigh Bardugo because I loved the diversity of the crew. There was a certain edge for every character in the story and they have certain qualities that they put into the group that it just melts into the story. The character interactions were very good as well and they mixed together flawlessly. There are six primary characters in the book namely: Kaz, Jesper, Inej, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan. Of these six characters, the only one I didn’t thoroughly appreciate is Wylan. I felt like he was just a glorified extra and I didn’t really see the merit of his existence in the group. My favorite character of all is Nina, with Jesper as a close second. I liked Nina’s character because she’s such a woman, you know?
A strong, confident woman that needs no man. She’s teeming with life and a carefree attitude that I just loved her demeanor in the story. Not to mention, she’s so brave and well, gorgeous, hello? I loved each character’s mystery and how the story lies in the characters itself.
I liked that even though I haven’t read the predecessor novels before, I still had the chance to immerse myself with the universe of Six of Crows. The world-building efforts of the author, especially for those who have this as their first Bardugo book, is much appreciated and the said world is much clearer now. I’m very excited to plunge my way to the second book and also The Grisha Trilogy.
P.S. I pictured the Ice Court as the Northern Water Tribe from Aang hahahaha.
Do I recommend it? Yup!
Notes (Spoilers awaiting! If you haven’t read the book, well, dude…you’re treading murky grounds.)
*Is there a Jesper and Wylan thing happening? BECAUSE I AM ALL FOR IT TO HAPPEN.
*To say that I loved the Nina and Matthias pairing is a huge understatement I’m just so invested with their running relationship. Ugh, I just love them. There’s such a contrast to their natures that they make such a fine couple. Kiliiiiiiiig. I want more of Matthias and Nina because omg ship. This is my fave Nina and Matthias moment:
‘Stay,’ she panted. Tears leaked from her eyes. ‘Stay till the end.’
‘And after,’ he said. ‘And always.’
‘I want to feel safe again. I want to go home to Ravka.’
‘Then I’ll take you there. We’ll set fire to raisins or whatever you heathens do for fun.’
‘Zealot,’ she said weakly.
‘Nina,’ he whispered, ‘little red bird. Don’t go.’
*I had difficulty using the text-to-speech function of my reader because damn the words on this book are just crazy. Let me give you an example: my text-to-speech says Inej’s name as “I.N.E.J.”. I was so irritated I had to read it.
*I wonder what happened to Nina?! Will she get better? DON’T KILL OFF MY FAVORITE PLEASE.
*I thought Wylan was really unnecessary (or would he be a key character in the next book? No no no don’t answer that.)
*Why doesn’t Wylan have his own chapters?
*What’s the point of the individual chapters when the writing isn’t even in their voices?
*I’m just a little frustrated with this Kaz and Inej thing. How hard is it to tell Inej you like her, huh Kaz? But then again, he is a very complex character, one I would want to know more of. He has went through a lot (omg that bit where he used his brother to get to land my heart is just it hurts ouch).
She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.
*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads; Gifs via Giphy.