Top positive review
Sensational, beautifully written, action-packed story about a bunch of criminals who will steal your heart.
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2015
After finishing Leigh Bardugo’s epic series, The Grisha Trilogy, I was sad to see it come to an end because it was so engaging and beautifully written and I knew I would miss the Darkling. Now Bardugo has come out with another series set in the same world, same time as the Grisha but with a whole new set of characters. And you know what? I hate to say this, it might even be considered blasphemy, but I found myself more engaged, more fascinated, more intrigued, and utterly in love with these new characters. And the story? It has more twists and set backs and game changing moments than any book I have ever read. It’s intoxicating and fast-paced and you need to pay attention or you’ll miss Bardugo’s multiple sleight of hand tricks. Nothing is what it seems.
The Grisha Trilogy had the Darkling; mysterious power-hungry megalomaniac that he was, all readers agreed the man was sexy. In this series, we get Kaz; greedy, dangerous, deceptive Bastard of the Barrel that he is, despite all his faults and one very weird but ultimately understandable phobia, the man is criminally sexy. Emphasis on criminal, by the way. He’s the guy you make eye contact with in a dive bar who makes you shiver, but you know that taking him home would be one huge, but memorable, mistake.
Anyway, the story is all about the art of the con and is told from multiple viewpoints, which Bardugo expertly masters. Five con artists, led by Kaz, stand to make enough money to buy them out of whatever debt or indenture or brothel or sorry mess they call life if they pull off a most impossible heist. Keeping all the details of the plan close to his ever-present vest, Kaz hires a spy he calls The Wraith, a sharpshooter with a gambling problem, a Grisha Heartrender, a soldier who wants to kill the Grisha, and a rich kid with a penchant for explosives. Combining their various talents, they intend to break into the world’s most impenetrable prison and kidnap the scientist responsible for the dangerous drug that I’ll just refer to as “Grisha meth”.
If all the main characters in Six of Crows weren’t teenagers, this would definitely read as adult fiction. I never regarded any of them on the same level as the pimply-faced immature high schoolers that run around in my house. All the characters have a hard luck story or monumental event that made them grow up fast. Throughout the book we learn their personal stories, some are incredibly sad and unfair. But, in the end, it’s what made them who they are: interesting, resilient, criminal and ultimately dangerous. Heartbreakers that they are, I fell in love with all of them.
A masterful storyteller and creative writer with a clever sense of humor, Bardugo is one of my favorite authors. As much as I adored The Grisha Trilogy, I absolutely love the dirty and gritty beauty of Six of Crows. And, I need to have the next book soon.