Bardugo, Leigh. Six of Crows (2015). Henry Holt and Co. 479 Pages
First book in the Six of Crows Series
Set in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Universe
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.
Joost had two problems: the moon ans his mustache.
He was supposed to be making his rounds at the Hoede house, but for the last fifteen minutes, he’d been hovering around the southeast wall of the gardens, trying to think of something clever and romantic to say to Anya.
If only Anya’s eyes were blue like the sea or green like an emerald. Instead, her eyes were brown– lovely, dreamy… melted chocolate brown? Rabbit fur brown?
(If you’d like to hear this clip, check out the Read More; Audible has provided a sample of the audiobook which begins with the intro.)
First, I didn’t realize this book was in the same universe as another book until the word “Grisha” kept appearing. I recognized it, but didn’t, and when I eventually looked it up, I discovered that there were, in fact, other books in this world. It is not necessary to read those to understand this, though there may be some subtle links or cameos that you can only understand if you’ve read the others first. I don’t know. I haven’t read them.
There are a lot of perspective changes. Every character seems to have their own chapter, and they rotate through with great frequency. In some cases, you’ll rehash the same scene through someone else’s eyes (to an extent) before moving on to the next event. Because all of the characters have their own voice, and each section has a clear heading, it is not difficult to tell or keep track of the changes.
All of the characters are deeply flawed, many are broken. They are multiracial, with a variety of genders and skills. They are likeable, relatable, and repulsive. They have their strengths, and their weaknesses. And though there is this huge plot that all of them are working toward, it is very much a book about people. About how they depend on each other and relate to each other and work past their hurts and get caught up in past wrongs. It is about vengeance and pain and healing.
Together, our hardy criminal team must breach the unbreachable to pull off an incredible heist that will make them infamous and very, very rich. They are driven by greed, revenge, and desperation. They plan the impossible, and when it all falls apart around them, they find another way, hoping that they’ll all survive until they get paid.
The world is incredible, similar enough to ours that you can see some analogs, but clearly not the same as ours. There are things that I would like to know more about, but I imagine at least some of them are resolved in the other series.
Overall, I’d say it’s a pretty solid book, and I really enjoyed reading it. I look forward to the next book, which is unfortunately not due out until late 2016. With strong characters and an interesting world, this book definitely earns a 5/5.
Audible has provided a sample of the Six of Crows audiobook for me to share with my readers. Definitely check it out, and let me know what you think!