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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
I have not yet read Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, and am not entirely sure that I intend to do so, but I had absolutely no problems keeping up with all the fantasy elements and names and such, so Six of Crows truly is a standalone.
For me, Six of Crows is the epitome of fun escapism. It’s a cross between an action packed, movie style heist, a gritty gang story and a fantasy epic. So essentially, its filled with non-stop action, intense characters and magic. I loved each component of the story which together make for a rather unique story.
I really loved the setting of Ketterdam, a city filled with theives and prostitutes where everything and everyone is for sale. It lends a dark edge to the novel and is, more often than not, the root of the characters’ problems.
The story is told through six POVs. Not only did this allow for a much broader scope of events in the story but because they were all in third person, created a whole lot of secrecy. Every character has hidden motives and histories and you’re never quite sure who to trust. You view all the characters with impartiality, and in viewing both their flaws and attributes you are left to decide how villainous they are. Because none of them are completely innocent.
Kaz was by far my favourite character. He’s the antihero; a villian who will do anything for the right price. I always find something so compelling about these types of characters in that they push the limits of morality and redefine evil. I also loved Inej for being a total badass, Jesper for his wacky personality and Wylan who I sympathized with. I didn’t so much love Nina and Matthias’s storyline’s because I much prefered the atmosphere of danger on the streets of Ketterdam that the other POV’s provided, then learning about the history of their love-hate relationship. But I did appreciate the way their relationship was handled, the discussion of moral relativity and since Nina is a Heartrender, the addition of magic.
The third person POVs also allowed for the the novel to be wonderfully twisty; truths pertaining to character’s agendas and pasts are masterfully revealed. This is in addition to an already twisty plot. Basically, Kaz is hired to break a scientist, who created a drug that enchances the Grisha’s abilities, out of the world’s most secure prison. It has all the violence and drama of an action movie with a lot more smarts. You never know what’s going to happen until it does. And it is totally awesome.
The romance is brilliantly handled for it never overshadows the plot and moves a realistic, though infuriating, pace. There is very little in the way of romantic scenes or resolution of any kind but it plays a subtle, yet key, role in terms of furthering the plot and character development.