Blurb from GoodReads:
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.
OMG this book is so freaking GOOD!!! It could well be one of my favourite books EVER, let alone this year. At the moment I’m only half way through the second of Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy (Siege and Storm) so I wasn’t sure whether or not to read this- especially as it’s set within the Grisha universe, with actual Grisha- as I didn’t want spoilers. But I AM SO GLAD I DID! It’s amazing, superb, beautifully crafted, on-the-edge-of-your-seat writing.
‘Shadow and Bone’ (Book 1 of the Grisha Trilogy) although brilliant, struck me as slow in parts- this is a smack in the face in comparison. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something this action packed. Explosions! Shoot-outs! Murder! A Heist! A Shipwreck! Laugh-out-Loud-Humour! MORE EXPLOSIONS! This is some of the funniest, most moving, most heart-pounding writing I’ve ever read. And it’s a biiiig book too- 465 pages-but I zipped through this in about three days. I could not stop reading it. The ‘Six of Crows’ squad consists of:
– Sharp-shooter and hopeless gambler, Jesper
-Beautiful Suli spy, Inej
–Nina, a seductive, witty Grisha with a sweet tooth
-Endearingly sweet demolition expert (and son of a rich merchant) Wylan
-Convict and former Grisha-hunter Matthias
-Dark, damaged, hopelessly romantic, endlessly yearning Kaz.
They are some of the best characterizations I’ve ever read. Kaz’s story was especially heartbreaking- even harrowing at times. These characters don’t just leap off the page- they leap, drop and roll, and then come up with all pistols blazing. They take no prisoners- as they would say, ‘NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS.’ I loved their fierce loyalty to one another, and I felt their pains, their disappointment, their fears, their thrills. They are truly three-dimensional- I began to wish they were my friends.
The slums and brothels of Ketterdam (a fictional kind of mash up of Amsterdam/Prague/Germany) are as vividly described as the Russian-esque Ravka in Shadow and Bone, perhaps even more so. The same with the Ice Court, the menacing fortress at the heart of Fjerda, Matthias’s home country. AND OH MY GOD IT IS SO FUNNY. And complex. And dark. And just a teensy bit gory in places. (Although I didn’t even mind that, it was so good.) I can’t even begin to describe or do justice to the twists and turns of the plot. Nina, Inej and Kaz rocked my world, they were so amazingly described. Brave funny, loyal, dedicated, clever, resourceful…the Six of Crows squad have it all. (SPOILER) And did I even mention it has openly gay characters? Jesper and Wylan- #TeamJylan– I love you (and ship you) guys so much! (Look, I love this book so much I’m talking about the characters as though they’re real!) And if you don’t believe how much I ship #Jylan, look below– LEIGH BARDUGO HERSELF ACTUALLY REPLIED TO MY TWEET!! AAAAH!!!
I didn’t think it could get much better than ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ but this book might just be it. A wonderful, wonderful book. Go read it. NOW. If you need me, I’ll be having (non-alcoholic) whisky and waffles with the Six of Crows squad.
Overall rating: 10 out of 10!
Read if you enjoyed: ‘The Grisha Trilogy’ by Leigh Bardugo
This book in four words: AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING. WOW.
Images are from Google, lbardugo, sincerelysansa and rykesmeadow on Tumblr.