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.
I have so many feelings about this book that I can’t even.
Rating – 5/5 (NO DOUBTS ABOUT IT)
Plot Summary – If you took The Breakfast Club gang and put them in Ocean’s Eleven, then you basically have Six of Crows.
The story follows Kaz and his crew to kidnap someone who’d created a powerful drug that can amplify Grisha power a hundredfold. Who wouldn’t love a drug like that? Oh, perhaps it’s the fact that you get instantly addicted to it and it drives you insane before you die of withdrawal.
Each person on this “heist” has something to offer the crew. One is a Grisha, another is a bombs expert, a gun expert, and a spy. They all have one thing in common; they all work and live in the Barrel of Ketterdam. It sounds nice, but it’s supposed to be ruthless. Feel the ruthlessness!
My review – After reading The Grisha Trilogy, I was a little skeptic as to how this book would turn out. If you’ve read my review, you know that I didn’t really like that series. However, I didn’t want my feelings about the series to hinder the great reviews I was seeing online about Six of Crows. Also, I’m highly suggestible and that’s how I landed on reading this one.
I am blown away with what Leigh Bardugo was able to do with this world. She’s like a baker. After building her Grisha cake of Alina and Mas, she expertly used the scraps of that world to create a more adventurous novel. By adventurous, I mean that it really took you a journey as a crew of misfits from the Barrel fight for their freedom, their dignity, and a shit ton of money. There’s this repeating idea of “ride or die” with this group that I found so appealing. They barely got along in this story and then by the end, they were best friends (ish? I mean, how friendly can you get with thieves).
Her character development has always been super strong and with the layout of this novel, Bardugo is able to paint a pretty decent picture of everyone in the crew without sacrificing the plot.
Also, there’s a plot! I think that was one of the pitfalls of why I didn’t like The Grisha Series. I always wanted to know what ultimately all that journeying through that world was going to lead to. However, it didn’t in this one. Every step made was intentional. Every journey made sense to build the characters and to build the tension of what’s going to happen next. It was like reading Pirates of the Caribbean, but you know, more fantastical.
The entire time reading this book, I could only imagine what this would look like in a movie. More accurately, I was thinking about how it would look as an anime where the boundaries of the fantastical world created here can be pushed and brought to reality. Honestly, make that happen. Just make it happen.
I think one question people might be asking is if this story is readable without having to read The Grisha Triology?
The quick answer is yes. There’s enough explanation and backstory as to how the Grisha came to be, who the Shu and the Fjerdan are and their stance about Grisha, and there isn’t any wild overly religious implications throughout it (which was one of the drawbacks I didn’t like about the trilogy). However, it isn’t too overbearing with information that if you’ve already read The Grisha Trilogy it won’t be page after painstaking page of explanation you already know.
What I love about this world is that it’s not pretty. You take a bunch of slumdogs from the shadows of Ketterdam and you made them heroes in their own right. It’s most definitely an underdog story and you sympathize with these characters. I don’t know if you’d want to date them, but hey, that’s your call. I can’t gush enough how much I loved this book.
The last thing I wanted to touch on and only slightly because I can’t stop thinking about it and that’s the good ship Kaz and Inej. I don’t know if there is a romantic notion between them, but there is love. I love that it’s subtle and quiet and I definitely love that you can’t feel the tension. They know what they want from each other. They know that it’s impossible to get with the ruthless lives that they lead. However, if that relationship moved forward, I would be clapping the loudest at their thieves wedding.