Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Genre: YA fantasy
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
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first
Thoughts: For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I will be talking about just the first book here and the series overall. In short: I loved it. In the books, there are six main characters (Wylan, Jesper, Matthias, Nina, Inej, and Kaz) who come together to pull off the most dangerous heist anyone has attempted to pull off. I’m not typically a fan of character driven stories, but this one had me hooked. I didn’t care that the heist was in the last one hundred pages because I felt there was so much going on with the character’s backstories which Bardugo does a great job with.
The characters are great. You don’t really get to know Jesper and Wylan until the Crooked Kingdom but when you do, their backstories are incredibly detailed and tie in well with the story. Romance wise I liked how it added to the plot line instead of taking away. There are many books that I’ve read where the romance feels unnecessary. The romances here have the chemistry and are realistic. No one is possessive or gets jealous easily which is refreshing to read. That leads me to my next point about the friendships- they feel real. Inej and Nina joking about Kaz and Matthias or when the group teases Wylan about playing the flute are interactions I could see happening between people today.
The world building is incredibly well done. I can only imagine the amount of plotting it took to make sure all those tiny details Bardugo put in don’t contradict each other. Of course knowing the magic structure and the traditions of each country is important but it’s the small details that I’ve come to appreciate. Crooked Kingdom has many of these details that help the team out when they need it. My favorite detail was probably everyone’s obsession with Ketterdam waffles. This could be because I’m a big fan of waffles myself.
Kaz and Inej. Already I know the Kanej shippers know what I’m talking about. I loved the chemistry between these two but they had such a slow burn! If it wasn’t for the action between Nina and Matthias and Jesper and Wylan I would’ve combusted but when I did get those scenes- perfection- especially the ending with them holding hands and Kaz drops that he found Inej’s parents. This ending made it seem like that romance will continue so I’m satisfied.
Matthias. His death came as a shock to me. I’m not surprised that someone died (with a group this big someone usually does) but I was devastated to see him go. Matthias coming to terms with his prejudices and facing them was something I felt really added to his and Nina’s dynamic and made him realistic as a character.
Lastly, when Nikolai showed up with Genya and Zoya I was so happy. I didn’t expect to see him and his interaction with Kaz was hilarious. I’m not surprised at all Kaz figured out Sturmhond was Nikolai. I actually thought this would happen if they interacted and it did!
I could probably write a whole novel on my thoughts on this book but unfortunately that is too long for people to read. I already have a hole even though I finished this series not that long ago. Luckily for me there’s a show coming out.