Title: Six of Crews
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Length: 462 pages
My rating: ♥♥♥
Blurb: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached).
Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world).
Survive long enough to collect his reward (and spend it).
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first
My review: I loved and didn’t love this book. I know that’s not a very clear conclusion but let me explain. The world-building was phenomenal and I loved the cultural aspects included. Ketterdam isn’t a place I’d live but I was taken with the vibes of it nonetheless. It was realistic in every way, down to the last gambling hall, gangs, and brothels.
Kaz and Inej were my favorite characters. Inej is an independent Suli woman, AKA the Wraith, and Kaz is a crooked boy but what I loved about them was how true to themselves they remained.
Their feelings didn’t crowd the plot, it didn’t scream from the pages or invade the story, which was nice, and it wasn’t instant love, either. I enjoy a pairing of people who are well suited but different. They aren’t bound by being similar to each other or wanting the same future. Every little dig they made at each other was balanced well with an attraction they had for each other, even if they denied it.
For me, it’s not always about the love overcoming everything and the couple gets together, because that isn’t really “love”. Love is doing what’s right for others but also doing what’s right for yourself. Leigh Bardugo captures this perfectly in Six of Crows.
All the characters were good. Jesper and Wylan were hilarious, offering a much-needed reprieve from the tension. Matthias and Nina gave me a zap (many zaps, actually) of drama, betrayal, and emotion. Not everyone was who they seemed, which provided great plot twists that kept me on edge. By part two of the book, I was demanding to know more.
I’m not going to lie. It was hard for me to dive right into this book. The first chapter didn’t enthrall me and I couldn’t figure out why chapter one, dubbed “Joost”, was so important. In fact, I don’t recall Joost ever being mentioned again and that left me feeling as if I still had unfinished business with the story. I later realized it wasn’t about Joost at all. It was about the Grisha.
Also, I felt the story didn’t really kick off until their grand adventure overseas, which happened several chapters later. This wasn’t a deal-breaker by any means but it’s the reason why it took nearly a month for me to finish this book. Prior to part two, I simply wasn’t hooked. Once I hit part two, I couldn’t put it down.
Overall, I recommend Six of Crows. It’s beautifully written and the world of thieves will suck you right in. Unlike YA novels I have read in the past, this one is violent. It doesn’t pussyfoot around torture, revenge, desire, or the gritty nature of commerce but you will love it. You’d think Kaz ripping out a man’s eye would be a literary turn-off but it’s one of the reasons I couldn’t remove myself from the pages.
Want to know more about the author, Leigh Bardugo? Check out her site!