My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Series: Six of Crows (Book 1)
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release 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.”
Wow. Just…wow. Where do I even begin with this review. Where do I even begin? I’ve got to get my thoughts together, because this book straight up blew my MIND.
Okay well, let’s start off with the obvious. It’s a heist book. A heist book. I’ve never read a book about an organized robbery, I’ve only watched the movies. So, while I was reading, I inevitably got the feel of Ocean’s Eleven, but in a much grittier setting, and with a lot more bada** criminals. Besides the plot, which is extremely compelling in of itself (who doesn’t love a good heist?), there are so many more elements to this book that make it one of my top reads this year and one of my all-time favorites in general.
The world-building is phenomenal. I recognize several names and places that were mentioned from the Grisha trilogy, but reading those books beforehand isn’t necessary. Bardugo takes you to another part of her dark land where criminals and gangs run the town and get away with it. The author takes the time to bring this new setting to life by adding spell-binding histories and unique characteristics to each and every single place that is mentioned. Rarely am I so invested in a world of thieves and liars, rarely am I so encompassed in a story that I forget where I am and picture myself standing next to the characters, plotting, deceiving, and wreaking havoc in a dog-eat-dog place I call my home.
One might think the multiple perspectives of several characters would hinder the progress of the story, but it didn’t! The text flowed exceptionally well and the transitions from one character to the next were seamless.
Okay, let’s talk about the characters. The perfectly flawed and lovable characters. All I have to say is that ain’t none of these boys and girls saints. I love me some anti-heroes and oh boy did Bardugo deliver on that front. Kaz, Inej, Jasper, Wylan, Matthias, and Nina were all so perfectly rendered. They each had their flaws, their quirks, their secrets, and their grisly, dark pasts. They were a diverse group of boys and girls with varying sexualities, ethnicities, cultures, desires, personalities, dreams, and motivations. Each were perfectly imperfect in all that they were.
There’s no way I could choose a favorite among them, because they each possessed something that made me care for their well being and at times made me forget that they were criminals. Most of the time, I only saw them as people who were trying to survive a place that wanted to beat them down until they were bloodied and battered and unwilling to keep moving forward. Bardugo successfully made me love each of her six characters equally and without prejudice, which is extremely remarkable in my eyes.
One thing I greatly appreciated while reading was the romance among the characters is a factor but not the driving force of the story. This is a book about criminals and their crime, not about love. Even so, the romantic tension among the characters provided the perfect weather for shipping. I was shipping people left and right in this book. The banter among some characters, I won’t say who, was hilarious and just downright delightful, and the unspoken emotions coursing through the pages were thrilling. I can’t wait to see how these romances play out.
And now I feel a little unfaithful because I now have two book boyfriends. I didn’t think it possible, but Kaz Brekker stole my heart. So, it looks like I’m double-timing Rhysand.
I have no regrets.
And if I were to ever place a soundtrack to a book, I couldn’t think of anything else more perfect for Six of Crows than Cage the Elephant’s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.”
Goodness, I’m so in love with this book, I don’t really know what else to say. It’s perfection, through and through. Go read this book if you haven’t. And if you have, go read it again, because it’s just that good.
“No mourners. No funerals.”
“Shame holds more value than coin ever can.”
“You wouldn’t know a good time if it sidled up to you and stuck a lollipop in your mouth.”
“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”