Oct 3, 2015

The deal is the deal || Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title : Six of Crows
Author : Leigh Bardugo
Release Date : September 29th 2015
Publisher : Henry Holt and Company

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.

This is a review based on an Advanced Review Copy of the book.
Quotes shared in the review may not be in the finished copy.

To be honest, I had my doubts about reading Six of Crows at first. I had a bit of a rocky relationship with Shadow and Bone - which I read a couple of years ago - and was still debating on whether to give its spin off a shot even when everyone was slowly starting to rave about this book in twitter. But the last straw for me is when the characters got praised - and you guys know how much of a character snob I am - and jumped at the chance to read the book when I finally got my hands of a copy.

Six of Crows is set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy, but with the exception of a few mentions of Ravka, is a totally new and fresh story, which tells the adventures and shenanigans of six outcasts on a deadly and thrilling mission. 

"A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse."

Kaz Brekker - a.k.a Dirtyhands - is the most dangerous and brilliant thief of Ketterdam, who gets an offer he couldn't refuse, even when it is a mission which will most probably take his life. As he goes on this powerful and dangerous heist, he brings along five diverse crew members who excels in different aspects. Inej - a.k.a the Wraith, who's his trusted secret collector, Jesper - a sharpshooter, a gambler and a faithful sidekick, Nina - a Grisha heartrender who owes him something big, Matthias - a fallen-from-grace military man who wants his past back and Wylan - a runaway with a thirst for adventure and something new. Together, these six misfits embark on a journey full of danger, adventures, fights, magic and an explosion of feels and emotions.

Six of Crows is definitely one of my favourite reads of 2015. It was an amazing read which contained everything I love in a book - a steady world building, terrific characters, an engaging writing style and an overload of feels. Anyone who's having doubts about reading this book, trust me, stop doubting and go get yourself a copy, because Six of Crows is too amazing to be missed!

Like I said above, Six of Crows is set in the same world as Shadow and Bone, but not in the same country. While the older series was set in Ravka, Six of Crows covers the neighbouring countries, Ketterdam and later, Fjerda. Even if you haven't read the Grisha series, you won't have any problem with reading this book, because Leigh Bardugo did a brilliant job in reintroducing the world and its traditions. And if you're already a fan of Shadow and Bone, you still won't be bored with the descriptions or explanations, because Six of Crows take a different spin on the Grisha world we already know from her previous series. For example, in Shadow and Bone, Grisha were praised. They were the "high and mighty" people. Their magic was glorified and they were worshipped. But in the world of Six of Crows, they are looked down upon. They are hunted, killed and they live a secluded and scared life.  I loved the new angle of Grisha and their magic we see in this read, and Leigh has done a really good job in doing it!

The characters. If you ask me, they are the best thing in the whole book! Six of Crows is a character snob's dream read, as all six main characters were amazing in their own way. The book gives great importance to character development, and you are able to feel a deep connection with ALL SIX CHARACTERS, which is a huge thing, if you ask me. They are an interesting bunch, with different views on things and varied ways of thinking, and they take us through a thrilling and intriguing ride, because of these quirks.

“Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?"
"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.
"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.
"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.
"You're all horrible," said Matthias.” 

Kaz - without a doubt - is my favourite character! He's the epitome of a brilliant antihero, and it didn't take me long to fall in love with him. His characterisation was terrific, and he sits in my list of "best written characters" right at the top next to Victor Vale - which is a huge thing if you know how much I love Victor - and I adored every nook and corner of his character which was revealed in the book. 

He is called as Ketterdam's most notorious thief and pick pocket, and tbh, when I heard that, I was annoyed. Because, I've often seen characters dubbed as the "best x of x" but most of the time, they're all talk and no show. *cough* Adarlan's best assassin in ToG *cough*. But I learned quickly that he deserves that title to the core, and guys, it only took me the whole of second chapter to decide this! ( That scene is one of my favourite scenes ever, btw!) He is a genius, has a way with plans and people's minds, and I would never ever think of crossing his path as his enemy. He fascinated me quite a lot, and to top it all off, was the vulnerability he tries hard to keep hidden, which just made me want to hug him tightly.

“The easiest way to steal a man’s wallet is to tell him you’re going to steal his watch. You take his attention and direct it where you want it to go.” 

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.” 

I can write essays about all the characters in Six of Crows. But don't sorry, I'll try to keep this short, and won't make you go to sleep! :D 

Inej is an impossibly agile and talented girl, who is probably the only person who has Kaz's trust - and heart, though he won't admit it. She has a pretty terrible and terrifying past, and I was in total admiration over how many obstacles she has passed in her life.

“Besides, she was the Wraith-the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too” 

Nina was another favourite of mine, with her wonderful personality and strong feelings and loyalty to the Grisha and Ravka. I guess I connected to her the most in the whole story.

Matthias reminded me of a puppy who's trying so hard to appear scary and failing miserably. He might appear as sullen, bitter and bent on revenge on the outside, but it was pretty easy to see how passionate he is, and the intense war he was engaged in, between his heart and his loyalty.

Jesper was so funny but it was also evident how deep his character and conscience was. He was a pretty insecure character, from his feelings for Kaz to his constant self doubting.He was also one of the very few gay characters I've read about in a fantasy book, kudos to Leigh for that too!

“Take good care of my babies,” Jesper said as he handed them over to Dirix. “If I see a single scratch or nick on those, I’ll spell forgive me on your chest in bullet holes.” 

Wylan was just downright adorable! I wish he got more screen time though - as well as his own POV, because the layers his character had was quite mesmerising!

With interesting characters, come interesting relationships! Let's take a look at the platonic relationships at first! There's a beautiful friendship existing between the main characters and I loved it so much! My favourite is probably the deep friendship Nina and Inej shared, which was both serious and heartwarming and at the same time, funny and full of banters.

“Nina—” Inej murmured. 
“Don’t you start in on me.” 
“It will all work out. Let Kaz do what he does best.” 
“He’s horrible.” 
“But effective. Being angry at Kaz for being ruthless is like being angry at a stove for being hot. You know what he is.” 
Nina crossed her arms. “I’m mad at you, too.” 
“Me? Why?” 
“I don’t know yet. I just am.” 

Same goes to the bantery relationship between Jesper, Wylan and Matthias. Which was just so damn funny.

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. "Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost."

Brekker's lips quirked. "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass."

"My ghost won't associate with your ghost," Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.” 

Then there were the romantic relationships! There were three in the book and ALL OF THEM DROWNED ME IN FEELS!!!! First there was Matthias and Nina. These two have a past, which is revealed to us in a couple of flashbacks, and their hatred and love for each other was too much for me to handle! They scorched the pages with their tension and I was rooting for them so hard! I also loved their banter, and it made me laugh a lot, as they were trying too hard to hide their feelings for each other.

The second couple was actually a surprise. Wylan and Jesper were adorable, and I would've shipped them so hard even if there were no hints of their attraction towards each other! 

Then we come to the best one. *sighs* KAZ AND INEJ HAVE TOTALLY RECEIVED THE STATUS OF MY NEW OTP!!! These two were infuriating, adorable and broke my heart with their hesitation and how they tried so hard to keep their vulnerability hidden! I'll go into full fangirling mode if I attempt to describe them, so let me present you two quotes which will tell you why I ship these two as if my life depended on it!

“He needed to tell her...what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn't pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her. That without meaning to, he'd begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near. ” 

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.” 


Have I convinced you to read the book? No? Let me try again. Six of Crows is a brilliant book with outstanding characters, great writing, a lot of adventures and lots and lots of feels. This is a book you must read, and I'll recommend it to any fantasy fans and fellow character snobs and shippers.

No comments:

Post a Comment