Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Print Length: 465 pages
Read Date(s): August 8, 2021 – August 9, 2021
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.
This book was such a fun ride with fantastic characters and lots of twists and turns. The plot was interesting, while also familiar, as it followed the usual formula for heist stories. The found family undertones gave the story a great deal of heart despite being incredibly dark at times. The pacing of the story seemed nonstop and kept me engaged, but it also managed to find the time to add a great deal of depth to the characters. I don’t always like multiple POV stories, but this is probably one of the best I’ve ever read. All of the characters worked to drive the central story forward while adding something unique.
The writing was engaging and reminded me how much I enjoyed Bardugo’s writing style in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Her ability to suck you into the world she created was on full display here, and I enjoyed every minute of being glued to the page. The dialog and witty banter were a joy to read, and I was amazed by her ability to craft a whole host of such smart, multi-layered characters. I found myself smiling and even laughing out loud at some of the things the characters said and did.
This story also added a great deal to the lore of the Grishaverse and expanded the world significantly. One of my biggest issues with Shadow and Bone was that it made the world feel incredibly small. The last book in the trilogy helped expand it somewhat by introducing some new locales, but this story provided an in depth look at two new exciting locations and a lot of information about the culture in both places. I enjoyed learning about the history and beliefs of the Fjerdan people and seeing the seedy underbelly of Ketterdam. There’s also new information about the Grisha and an interesting new threat/amplifier to their power, which I’m excited to learn more about in the next book.
Along with everything else this book had going for it with great writing, engaging pacing, and fascinating world-building, the absolute best part about this novel was the characters and their dynamics. They were all fascinating people with riveting backstories, and I loved how information about their pasts was slowly dropped throughout the story. It made it feel like I was truly getting to know them in real time rather than just having their backstories dumped on me to move the plot along. I also found it interesting that each one of them was a character study in how to deal with trauma; one character closed himself off to others, while others turned to gambling, became entrenched in their beliefs and hatred, or strove to be the best. Seeing all the coping mechanisms collide was fascinating and made for really great reading. The characters were all incredibly diverse, as well, which added to the richness of getting to know them.
Overall, this was an excellent addition to the Grishaverse, and I could probably write so much more about the characters and why I loved the book. There are many lessons to learn about life and relationships within these pages alongside all of the wit and action. If you enjoyed Shadow and Bone but wanted to learn more about the world and enjoy heist stories with unsavory but lovable characters, this will definitely be the book for you! I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars and can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. ***Spoiler (Kind of)*** The ending was a massive cliffhanger!
Have you read Six of Crows? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!