4.5 out of 5 stars
Why I loved Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, or, as I’ve come to think of it, “How to Ship Everyone, or Die Trying.”
Man, this was SO good! There is more going on in Six of Crows that can be squeezed into a recap, but I’ll try:
Kaz Brekker leads a skid row gang of young thieves and thugs called The Dregs, vying for power in the city of Ketterdam, in the nation of Kirch. They set out on an impossible heist: infiltrate the Ice Court at the heart of Fjerda, a country of Scandanavian-esque people who deeply believe that magic is evil. Among the crew are Inej, an acrobat-turned-thief and slave-turned-killer, who has a gentle heart; Jesper, a gambling addict with more secrets than debts; Wylan, a well-born runaway whose education is more reliable than his explosions; Nina Zenik, a Grisha, born with the magical power to control the functions of the human body, even to make it kill itself from the inside; and Matthais Helvar, a Fjerdan and formerly of their strictest order, the Drüskelle, an elite military corps dedicated to wiping out the Grisha.
Got all that? It’s not even 10% of the book’s story. There are lies and betrayals galore, surprises and ulterior motives, and ships, ships, ships.
The best thing about Six of Crows is that each character is so thoroughly drawn. You’d think it would take a thousand pages to know so much about these people, but Bardugo makes it seem like you’ve just known them your whole life. And you know their whole lives – of much of them – backstory, motivation, fears. And the titular six are not the only fully realized characters. The places – Kirch, Ravka, Fjerda – all feel like settings you’ve spent time in. The book is fast-paced, intense, and manages to give the reader a huge amount of backstory while you thought you were watching a heist movie.
Nina and Matthias. Holy yes, this is great stuff! Could any
potential former perfect terrible please-already-come-on! couple be more star-crossed? More impossible? And yet, they’re perfect. This is one of the smartest, most strategic, creative and !!!!!!! ships I’ve ever read. (The rest of the Six of Crows crew isn’t far behind.)
I listened to this on Audible. The narrators were top-notch, and I can hardly wait for my next credit to become available so I can listen to Crooked Kingdom! Then I can read The Grisha trilogy (Shadow and Bone series), and then, AND THEN…
Wonder Woman: Warbringer releases August 29. HOW CAN I BE MORE EXCITED? Tell me. I’ll need an extra heart to store all these feelings.