Quick Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crowsIf you loved Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series and you love crime capers then you are going to love Six of Crows.  Set after the events of her last series but this time in Kerch, a country not far from Ravka, six criminals are tasked with a suicide mission that has little to no chance of being accomplished but the pay out is good.  Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias and Wylan are all flawed and interesting characters with varying degrees of criminal presents or pasts.  Each bring their own set of skills that are vital to the mission.  Inej, aka the Wraith, is a trained trapeze artist who can scale walls and quietly gather information. Jesper is a sharpshooter with a gambling problem, Nina is a Heartrender, who can kill you without even touching you.  Matthias is a convict who is part of a religious society that hunts down Grisha.  Wylan is the son of a rich merchant who likes to blow things up and Kaz is their mysterious leader.  He worked his way up in the Barrel to rule but it’s all to get revenge on the man he blames for the death of his brother.

A new drug called Jurda Panem has been developed and it strenghtens Grisha powers to impossible powers.  This could change the whole balance of the world.  How can people defend against the Grisha if they have unchecked powers? Kaz is hired by the Merchant Councils to rescue the man who created it from a Fjerdian prison that is inescapable.  Kaz goes about to assemble his team who don’t exactly get along but must work together if they are going to succeed or just survive.  This story has so many plot twists and misdirections it’s like Oceans 11.  You have to question everything you read because what you think is happening is not all that is really happening. It’s not just all the action that makes this book a good read.  It’s the characters.  They are all compelling and interesting with full backstories.  All with the exception of Wylan who is the only one not to have a chapter written from his point of view.  Probably because out of all them he’s the outsider of the group.  He’s not a criminal and he’s not from the barrel.  Kaz says he’s only there as leverage against the council and he knows how to blow things up but I think it’s more than that.  I look forward to knowing more about him. 

Matthias is a warrior who’s goal is eradicate the Grisha as he feels they are unnatural.  It’s one thing to arrest and execute Grisha in one’s own country but it takes balls to go other countries, tracking down Grisha, capturing them and bringing them back to Fjerdia and then putting them on trial and executing them.  He captured Nina but thanks to a storm she rescued him.  In attempt to save his life again, she accuses him of slave trading but things go south when he is actually thrown in jail for it.  Nina befriends some people (for lack of better term) to help get him out as she feels responsible.  Inej was captured and sold to a pleasure house until Kaz came and made her apart of his gang.  Now she’s his spy, the Wraith, but all she wants to do is go home and find her family. Jesper, a former farm boy who came to Kerch as a student and found gambling instead.  He’s also hiding things, one being that he is also Grisha.  I’m pretty sure I know another one of his secrets too.  Let’s just say, I ship Jesper and Wylan, if you get my gist.  Kaz is the most intriguing.  Coming out of nowhere to being a major player in the Barrel.  He’s smart and ruthless and more of a mystery than everyone.  He’s hellbent on revenge against the man he believes is responsible to the death of his brother but he’s  also a 17 year old boy so well, he has those annoying feelings to deal with.

So for fans of the Grisha series and Oceans 11 type movies this is the book for you. It’s fun, lots of action, lots of double dealings, backstabbing, mystery and potential romance.

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