Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 stars)
An impossible heist. A team of six misfits.
And a reward that could make all their dreams come true.
Presented with an opportunity of a lifetime, Kaz Brekker, one of the leaders of the Dregs, forms a team to complete a job: find a scientist responsible for creating Juda Parem, and bring him back to Ketterdam. With Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan, he forms an unlikely team, each bringing their own talents and knowledge to the heist. But can they survive breaking into the Ice Court…with their prize in hand?
What can I say about Six of Crows that hasn’t already been said? Truthfully, I rarely pick up these “hyped” books, because either they’re not for me, or I’m disappointed. I made the exception for Six of Crows. The plotline and world interested me (plus, I saw it as a potential comparable book to my own writing, but I won’t talk about that here), so I figured I’d take the plunge. Plus, with the new Shadow & Bone TV, I can’t say my interest wasn’t piqued.
I was worried since I hadn’t read Shadow & Bone first. While some people might need that for context, the worldbuilding in Six of Crows is sound. I wasn’t confused by anything taking place, and I desperately wanted to keep reading.
While the heist story, overall, is relatively predictable (as has been parodied in multiple TV shows and books), this novel really isn’t about a heist. It’s about the characters, about how they have come together, and about how their stories and the world influenced their decisions. Who is Kaz Brekker? Why was Inej at the Menagerie? What history do Nina and Matthias have? Why is Wylan hiding from his father? And how did Jesper get in so much debt? These answers come to the forefront throughout the story, as they navigate the Ice Court, putting Kaz’s plans into action.
I do wonder if I would have loved the book as much if I read it with no context: if I didn’t see all the memes on the internet, if I didn’t see the snippets from the upcoming TV show, etc. Might I have been more confused? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. What I know now is that it is one of the best books I read this year, and I am anxiously awaiting my copy of Crooked Kingdom, as well as my copy of Shadow & Bone.
The only problem I had with the story, to be honest, was their ages. The characters read as older than 16-17, especially with everything they’ve been through and with their position within the Dregs. This comes down to an issue with older YA books as a whole; often times, these books might be better placed with a New Adult audience, possibly with characters in their early 20s instead.
Yet, this is also why the book appealed to me. YA as a genre often results in me having mixed feelings on the book. The characters are whiny or immature, as teenagers are, and sometimes the tropes that follow suit (love triangles, enemies to lovers, etc.) get on my nerves. While there is a place for all of these stories, and not all of them are bad, they just aren’t usually for me. This is why I am unsure how I will feel about Shadow and Bone…but time will tell once I pick it up.
But, with Six of Crows, it’s different…especially since this falls under a much more “Older YA/NA” age group. The characters are somewhat more mature. There are darker subjects overall. But instead of being in their 20s, they’re 16 or 17…and I somewhat struggled to suspend disbelief on that. It was easier for me, in my head, to imagine these characters as 20-somethings. So that is what I did.
Overall though, the book is phenomenal. I have been pacing around my house all day wishing I had Crooked Kingdom in my hands RIGHT NOW. Tomorrow, I keep reminding myself, tomorrow it will come. But for now, I just have to anxiously await what might happen: will Inej (my favorite) be okay? Will Nina and Matthias’s romance flourish? What is Kaz scheming? Will they forgive Jesper? And what about Wylan and Kuwei? Are they going to survive this all?
I’ve seen some spoilers already on the abyss of social media, but that only makes me want to read it more.
So, if you like a good heist story in a fantasy world, with a focus on characters and worldbuilding, pick up Six of Crows. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.
What’s it about?
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 is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first