[607]: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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This much-awaited book from the  author of the Grisha Trilogy didn’t disappoint. Lauded for her intricate world building and craftsmanship, this initial installment is all that her fans were asking for. Admittedly, I’m not a true fan of the Grishaverse for a lot of reasons. However, this book was a great appetizer for what’s to come.

THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL

Set in the world of the Grishaverse, this tells the story of a group of misfits and thieves about to carry out the ultimate heist. The Danny Ocean of this pack is Kaz “the dirty hands” Brekker. It is virtually an impossible heist, one that would mean sure death if they failed. But with 30 million kruge on the line, he simply couldn’t resist. Rounding up his posse are Inej, the wraith; Jesper, the sharpshooter; Nina, the heartrender; Matthias the fjerdan, and Wylan, the secret weapon. They are known as The Dregs. Simply put the bottom of the Ketterdam barrel.

THE MISSION is to infiltrate the Ice Court; a kingdom circled by impenetrable walls under constant surveillance by a highly efficient, highly trained Fjerdan army. Within the walls lives a chemist responsible for creating a drug that can amplify a greisha’s power. But the power comes at a high price. Anyone that takes parem easily succumbs to the oblivion it provides, a great high so addictive that only a continuous use can stop the craving. Soon the madness comes. Then the body deteriorates into a state of skin and bones nothingness and then shortly, death. The only way to stop the production of the drug is to kidnap the chemist himself. But the chemist is being held hostage in a very secure fortress inside the Ice Court. With a lot of money on the line, and a chance for The Dregs to live comfortably without thievery for a number of years, Kaz and the gang will do whatever it takes to succeed.

KAZ’S SIX

I dare you to read this book and not assimilate it to Ocean’s Eleven. I have loved every single movie of that trilogy. They were a sophisticated brand of criminals who perfected the art of bait and switch. Kaz Brekker, much like Danny Ocean, anticipated everything that could go wrong and was, for the most part, one step ahead of the competition. He was suave, charismatic and sophisticated in his own way. It was hard to forget that he was, above all, a criminal.

Heist stories are typically intricate. An author must have the talent to foresee every course of actions their characters decide to take. Kaz was a master manipulator that preempted trouble the way he saw them. I enjoyed being on the edge of my seat, scared shitless of what will become of the characters.

THESE KIDS ARE A’IGHT

For the most part, Bardugo managed to assemble a great cast of characters. I love seeing their interactions with one another. I love seeing their beginnings and how they came to be part of The Dregs. The only thing I thought was far-reaching was the idea that these kids are just that: kids. For this group of teens, none of them acted and thought like they should. But then again, perhaps it’s because most of them grew up faster than your ordinary teenagers. Each one of them has a disturbing past that shaped them to the person that they’ve become. In spite of all that, these kids are all right in my books.

IN RETROSPECT

It’s an impressive world. The Ice Court reminded me of the seemingly impervious security of the casinos in Ocean’s Eleven minus the sophisticated security systems or weaponry, of course. Kaz and his group relied heavily on the talents and knowledge each one offers to the team. Bardugo is an expert storyteller who can perfectly describe every mundane setting and ambiance her characters inhabit. For reasons I now can’t remember, I wonder if I impulsively dismissed the whole Grishaverse. Perhaps one day, I’ll revisit the books and see it from a different state of mind.


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Henry Holt and Company | Hardcover, 465 pages | September 29th, 2015 | Amazon | Chapters !ndigo | Book Depository


 

  • You had me at Oceans Eleven. I love heist type books and I was conflicted whether or not to read this one after it took quite a while for Kynn to get into it. The world building truly does sound amazing. I did try her Grisha series and couldn’t even make it through the first few chapters in book one as it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a storyline unfortunately, so I’m really hoping I have much more luck with this one. Incredible review Joy, you really could sell snow to the Eskimos <3

  • This takes place in the same universe as the other series? I didn’t know that. I still need to rad them and this, but I’m glad I know that now.

  • You know, I think I just pictured them as adults in my head instead of kids because you are right, they don’t act like kids. I heard this audio last year and really loved it, the 6 were a great cast, so excited for book two 🙂

  • I think the best way to describe my Six of Crows experience is: meh. It wasn’t great, nor was it terrible. I agree that the world building was done so very well! But I just couldn’t immerse myself in the story. It just felt very long to me. I loved Kaz and Inje though! Lovely review, Joy!

  • Bec

    I’m glad you liked this! I personally loved it, maybe because it hit me at the right time and I am a massive fantasy fan. The characters really worked together so well, and the way they pulled off the heist is insane.

  • I so need to read this! This sounds like it was a better read for you than the Grisha series (which I also need to devour) and my question is, should I read Grisha first before this? I would think so –
    Great review, Joy 🙂

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    YAS, this is AMAZING! I agree that in retrospect, it does seem strange that all of these characters are just teenagers, but Bardugo makes it work and I am an unapologetic fangirl of this novel and Kaz Brekker. Ugh, all the swoons! Gorgeous review, dear!

  • The world-building does sound pretty impressive. I might try this too!

  • Haven’t read this author before nor seen any of the Ocean movies. When I realized they were teens, then I got intrigued. Great review 🙂

  • Yippee, I’m so glad that you finally picked this one up Joy! I absolutely LOVE all the characters and love how it expanded the world of the Grisha! It definitely reminded me of Oceans Eleven, but in a fantasy setting.

  • I’ve been eyeing this book off for a while, but haven’t picked it up because I haven’t read the Grisha Trilogy yet. Sounds like I don’t actually need to to get into this story, which is actually great! I love reading about criminals/heists, it adds some extra intrigue. Definitely need to get my hands on this one soon!

  • I’m so glad you liked this one! AHH ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE MY BBYS, I just want to hug them close and protect them and never let them go. <3 The heists were freakin' amazing to read about, and the wait for the sequel is killingggg meeee.

    – Aila @ Happy Indulgence

  • I loooooved this book! But I did have a problem seeing that they were kids. And just reading your review reminded me of that. They just felt so much older than what was said (was it 17? 18? 19?) Either way, younger than me.

  • I see so much love for this book
    among my friends. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Joy! I plant to read it in the
    nearest future.

  • Wow Joy, SIX OF CROWS sounds like a great read! I love how you compare some elements of it to Ocean’s Eleven. I loved those movies too! Fantastic review!

  • Yaaay 😀 Stunning review Joy. <3 Sigh. I'm so glad you loved this book so much. I did too. It was simply amazing. Kaz is the best. And they are all so great 🙂 And ahh, the plot is so good. Fingers crossed the final book will be just as good 🙂 Thank you for sharing. <3

  • I’m so glad this one lived up to expectations for you – I still have to read it, aaaah. Glad that I can look forward to great things!

  • Melliane

    it’s funny because Ocean’s Eleven wouldn’t have been the movie I would havethought of at first but I can understand why you thought of it.

  • I’ve been toying with the idea of trying this one! Fantasy is so not my thing (urban fantasy I can do, but it takes more patience than I can muster to read legit fantasy), but everyone raves about this one. Glad you liked it!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for sharing! I want to read the original trilogy first, just to get to know the world and have everything in order. I am curious about this one though because I hear good things. Glad you liked it!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

  • Jazmen

    I’ve been wanting to read this one. I think I’ll really like it. I’m glad you at least enjoyed it. I think in that case I’ll at least like it.

  • kindlemom1

    I so need to read this! Glad it was every bit as good as everyone is saying it is!

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    YEAH JOY!!!! I’m so glad you gave this one a try, it was one of my favorite reads last year. I agree, Kaz was brilliant and I loved how he was able to anticipate all the various moves on the chess board. I also loved the various fledgling relationships that started in this one – they’re clearly going to be painful along the way as things progress but worth it in the end. Hopefully:) Can’t wait for book 2!

  • I tried the audiobook of the Grisha series, after my daughter enjoyed it, and couldn’t get into it. I hear so many good things about that series and this book, but I’m not sure it would work for me. I didn’t care for Ocean Eleven, a heist/caper movie doesn’t appeal to me. Gosh, I sound negative! Glad you enjoyed it, Joy. Maybe someday I’ll try her first series again. 🙂

  • I want to read this one, but I want to wait until the series is finished. I really hate starting a series and having to wait so long for the other books. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    Fantastic review! I have been really interested in this book and should probably check it out. I read the first book in her other series and enjoyed it, but never really continued. I’m glad you enjoyed this book!

  • Nick

    Wohoo, Joy! I’m so pleased to see that you enjoyed Six of Crows. It was hard for me to look away from this book and although I have a softer spot for the Grisha books, this was an excellent read as well. I love your description of Kaz because boy was that boy charismatic. I’m excited for what’s to come next, especially after that ending!
    Fantastic review, Joy! 🙂

  • I am so glad you were able to enjoy this one a lot! I want to read it, I really do, but I think I am going to read the original series before I get around to this one…. simply because it makes more sense for me to do that? I like the idea of the fantastic world building and characters though!

  • The library has a translation of one of her books and I am all nooooooooooooo, English!!!