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 are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
I’ve got rather behind on reading some of the big hitters in the bookosphere, and Six of Crows was just one of the hyped titles that I’ve put off until now – for no particular reason; I just never got around to it. I’m pleased to say, however, that the book does indeed live up to the high praise heaped upon it.
“You’ll get what’s coming to you some day, Brekker.”
“I will,” said Kaz, “if there’s any justice in the world. And we all know how likely that is.”
Reasons to love Six of Crows:
- The premise. An impossible heist, with impossible odds? Amidst politicking and backstabbing and uncertain alliances? Hell yes!
- The mood. It’s dark and fairly edgy, but I like that Bardugo doesn’t get gratuitous about it. Yes, we have a character that was sold to a brothel, for instance, but we don’t have every filthy moment detailed for us to get the gist of her despair and distaste.
- The cast. People of colour (and not “ambiguously tanned” either), a plus-sized woman, gay and bisexual characters, a chronic physical ailment, what I read as the equivalent of PTSD… the six outcasts are a diverse bunch, but authentically portrayed, as opposed to feeling like they’ve been checked off a Diversity 101 list.
- The humour. There are some glorious bantery moments, as well as some hilarious understatements that provide comic relief amidst the tension.
- The worldbuilding. It can almost feel a bit dense at times, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. The world is richly woven and thought-out, much more so than the author’s previous series.
They blew up the lab, he’d thought as debris rained down around him. I definitely did not tell them to blow up the lab.
Things that didn’t quite work for me:
- I found the character of Jesper rubbed me the wrong way. I suppose it’s because I find it hard to feel sorry for self-destructive characters. His gambling addiction sets him apart from the others – they seek to rise above their circumstances and strive for better, while he just goes around in circles.
- The ages. I know this is YA, but they felt much older. And to be honest, even for a fantasy book, it stretches the limits of the imagination to have 17-year-olds this capable and cunning.
- The pacing seemed to slow down for me once the heist began. Which was frustrating. That might just have been my reading mood, though.
They’re in trouble, Kaz had thought. Or you were dead wrong about Matthias, and you’re about to pay for all of those talking tree jokes.
Some great ships have set sail, some characters are in dire straits – and I’m so ready to see how everything gets resolved in Crooked Kingdom.
“They fear you as I once feared you,” he said. “As you once feared me. We are all someone’s monster, Nina.”