Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy // Action - Adventure // Magic
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
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 (goodreads).
I forgot how much I had loved the Grishaverse. I was afraid that Six of Crows would feel like a sequel to the Shadow and Bone series, but Leigh Bardugo managed to make Six of Crows its own unique tale!
Plot: Six of Crows perfectly blends humor, danger, and action in one fascinating heist. Much like Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows is a character driven novel, but that doesn't mean that the action takes the backseat. Six of Crows your name is balance. I appreciate Bardugo's ability to balance so much happening as well as develop 6+ separate characters while keeping her readers entertained.
I haven't read many crime/heist novels, but if they're all like Six of Crows, sign me up! The job is already complex: break into a high-security prison and rescue an inventor of sorts. Believe it or not, it gets even crazier as the characters' backstories start to affect the mission and make things messier. Everything was planned to a T and the risk was very evident. I loved reading about their wacky plans, and the emergency plan B when things go south (as they do).
Characters: Kaz, Mattias, Inej, Jesper, Nina, and Wylan will win you over. You will feel for their backstories and hold your breath at the danger they put themselves in. They are all so messy with obvious faults, but you just want to cheer them on so that they can leave the streets of the Barrel behind. Wylan, the character I was most excited to get to know, turned out to be a complete disappointment. We are only given bits of his motivation and how he can assist in the job, and even though I'm sure his role will be explored more in Crooked Kingdom, I was disappointed that he was such a throwaway character in Six of Crows.
Many kudos of Leigh Bardugo for making such a diverse cast of characters in a fantasy novel! I've read plenty of fantasy novels where the characters are all just shades of white, but the cultures in the Grishaverse are so vibrant with their own belief system and traditions. This is the type of fantasy that I can lose myself in!
World Building: Like I said, the Grishaverse is a very involved fantasy novel. Each country has its own belief system, ideology, dress, and tradition. While this is the same universe as the Shadow and Bone series, we are only given tidbits of what happened to our beloved characters from that series, and that's how I like it. I quite personally don't it like when worlds collide, so the little history that Bardugo gives regarding past characters was more than enough for me.
Short N Sweet: Six of Crows is chock full of both action and emotion; this is a series you can break your Book Buying Ban for!