Hi guys! I might have mentioned on this blog that I read these two books this month. There’s quite a lot I liked about this series, and some that I didn’t, so I decided to review it! (I suck at reviews, so bear with me). I will try to keep this as much spoiler free as possible.
Six of Crows
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.
Let’s start with what I liked, shall we?
The setting. I fell in love with Ketterdam right away, the moment it was introduced. I mean, a city-state surrounded by sea, a hotspot for a criminal underground with gangs and conmen and merchants and runaway Grisha? Heck yes. It’s a really brutal world but one that was so well made and immersive. As the story progressed and the Crows move out of Ketterdam to Fjerda the worldbuilding sort of fell flat for me (It took some time to understand everything about the Ice Court) but it was still good.
The writing. Everyone says Leigh Bardugo’s writing is better in here than in Shadow and Bone and it is absolutely true. The writing just flows smoothly and sometimes even managed to make me shiver because it was just so beautiful.
The characters as individuals. Sometimes when there’s a lot of side characters they all start to feel the same and I’m happy to say that that’s not the case here. Every person is unique and diverse and sees the world differently. My favourite would be Inej; then Jesper, Wylan, Kaz, Matthias and Nina. Somehow Nina felt like the least interesting character here. Of course there’s the to-go argument of ‘the characters sound way too old’ which was absolutely true because try as I could I simply couldn’t imagine them as teens. Oh,and I liked Jesper more than Kaz. Something to do with the fact that he’s the oft-forgotten comic relief. I adore comic relief characters if they are done well.
The few moments of humour. Actually, that one moment in the ship where they talk about their ghosts. “My ghost won’t associate with your ghost” – priceless.
What I didn’t like all that much:
The plot. [Warning: things might get mildly spoilery] This one’s a big one. I can’t speak for the mechanics of the heist because its obvious I know nothing about heists. My only problem is that, for not one moment during the whole book, I feared for the life of the characters. I had this very complacent voice nagging that the back of my mind telling me, it’s only the first book of the duology, no one will die – and it really killed the mood.
And the book kept on repeating that if this plot fails the market will crash and wars will be waged, but I felt none of the stakes??? I was so wrapped up in Kaz’s own greed for the money that I was like, ehh. Who cares. I’m not sure whether I cared if Kaz got his money or not.
Okay, and there was this guy who used to be Matthias’s mentor and the moment it was mentioned that he died in a storm at sea I told myself, I’ll bet my books this guy is alive. And he was, lol.
The romance. More specifically, the thing that was going on between Nina and Matthias. I was not a fan of their ‘I’ll kiss or or I’ll kill you’ dynamic. You are free to disagree with me, of course.
And there’s this thing that every main character has to end up with a partner at the end of the story. Just why??? It happened in Heroes of Olympus too and I am so mad. I guess a fandom really does run on its ships. The only couple I liked was Jesper and Wylan (okay, Wylan is too precious to be sent on near death missions).
Oh, and I don’t ship Kanej.
My final rating: ★★★☆☆
[Spoiler alert: this review contains spoilers for Six of Crows]
Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.
Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.
A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
Suddenly, I ship Kanej.
What I mean is, I am absolutely satisfied with the way their arc ended, and I wouldn’t want to change it for the world. Except for my headcanon of Inej and Dunyasha becoming best friends (wouldn’t that have been awesome??) and travelling the world. Sadly, I admit that it won’t happen😢
Umm…where were we?
Right. The review for Crooked Kingdom.
We start the story with Inej in grave danger and Kaz at his wit’s end on how to save her (or so we think). The characters are all still great and they stay true to their characters until the very end but i am disappointed (sort of) about Matthias and Nina. Nina was awesome here – did I mention that she can raise an army of dead now – and we get to know more of her back story.
And we finally get Wylan’s own POV! It was worth the wait in the first book and I enjoyed all his chapters so much. Can I say Jan Van Eyk can bury himself down in a hole and disappear forever because that man is HORRIBLE.
Also, said stakes I said i didn’t feel in the previous book? Here they were all there and then some. Our Crows are on the run, and delegations from different countries are flocking to Ketterdam, Grisha going berserk with parem, can it get any worse? I actually feared for the life of the characters here.
–Why do I feel like Dunyasha is waayyy more interesting than Matthias–
And can we all give a round of applause for Jesper’s father? No one mentions him and he’s the most underrated character ever, and I hated how the Crows looked down on him initially. Six of Crows had a MAJOR kids are clever, adults are bad and stupid thing going on and I loved Colm Fahey’s character the moment he was introduced.
One star for the stakes & plot
One star for the Crows (and Dunyasha. I am absolutely allowed to include her here)
One star for Sturmhond, Zoya and Genya (eeeeeeee)
One star for Colm Fahey
*Disclaimer:this may or may not be the way I actually rated this book
Final rating: ★★★★☆
I realise I started out this review wanting it to look Professional and Important but those things sort of fell on the wayside. Anyways, I hoped you enjoyed reading this!
Have you read the Six of Crows duology? What are your thoughts about it? Who is your favourite character?
I just realised the Netflix show releases tomorrow