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.
Stories with the allure of pulling off a near impossible mission, lacking a safety net, with no promises of success and all the anxiety-ridden tension in between has always pulled me in, and having one set in the Grishaverse just makes it that much better. Needless to say, I am a sucker for a good heist story, and Six of Crows fits the bill and then some. Leigh Bardugo introduced us to an absolutely stunning universe through the Grisha Trilogy, and in this series we are brought back, but to a very different place.
Ketterdam is an unforgiving city, and its residents can be even crueler. Bardugo did a fantastic job in featuring six characters that were so unique to themselves yet all shared a morally ambiguous outlook. The chapters switch around perspectives so we really get to learn about each person in the crew as the events unfold and their character develops. We follow Kaz, the calculating, callous, pragmatic mastermind; Inej, a loyal fighter and quiet optimist; Nina, a hilarious and compassionate Heartrender; Jesper, a witty and sarcastic sharpshooter with a penchant for gambling; Matthias, a standoffish Grisha-hunter hardened by his time in prison; and Wylan, the crew’s demolitionist, who is sweet, sheltered, and new to the criminal world. This cast of characters is fierce and admirable each in their own way, and I not-so-low-key loved them all.
As for romance? There’s angst and there’s pining, but what I like about it is that the characters aren’t whiny and while relationships are forming, they are the juicy side plots that don’t overshadow the heist. Yet, I found the characters to be so compelling that I wanted to focus more on them, their arcs, and their development than the actual heist itself. It’s a decently long book yet I found that it wasn’t enough (when are they ever?), because I flew through this book. The pacing was well done and the action was fast-paced and intriguing, leaving me with overwhelming anticipation for the sequel, Crooked Kingdom.This is definitely a book that I can see myself revisiting and I highly, highly recommend it to anyone interested, even if you haven’t read the Grisha Trilogy.