Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review


BLURB: 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 was 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.
I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction
Pages: 465
Goodreads rating: 4.46
Publication: September 29th 2015 by Henry Holt and Company
Source: Popular Bookstore
Reading Format: Paperback

Title: Crooked Kingdom
Pages: 562
Goodreads rating: 4.60
Publication: September 27th 2016 by Orion Children's Books
Source: Popular Bookstore
Reading Format: Paperback


I've been wanting to read this duology for so long and when they posted the list of casting for the Shadow and Bone TV show last year and I saw that Ben Barnes (the Prince Caspian, the Dorian Gray!) is one of the people who'll be the star of the show, I immediately started reading the Grisha trilogy. And when they said that the show might be released this year, I immediately started reading Six of Crows and oh my God it's totally worth the hype! JUST LOOK AT THE GOODREADS RATING! I rarely see a book that gets rated more than 4 on Goodreads and both of the books in the duology passed 4 which is amazing! I'm having a problem in writing this review because I might just endlessly rant about how much I like it and this whole post will be unorganized so I'm going to put it in a list.

writing style
For some people especially those who don't read fantasy a lot, it takes time to get used to the writing style since it's considered a higher fantasy in young adults but when you get used to it, it becomes more engaging and addictive to read. It's not very lyrical and metaphorical so it's easier to read but it's not skimmable because there are details you don't want to miss. The two books are written in multiple first-person point-of-view and that makes it more interesting to read because you can learn about a character more through what they think. Leigh Bardugo created these diverse characters with easily distinguishable characteristics. All the characters are written very humanly and third dimensional; there was no trouble in making the characters come to life in my mind. In terms of world-building, learning this part of the Grisha universe was a fantastic experience. The world-building is great and since I already read the previous series by her which sets in the same world (read: the Grisha trilogy), I didn't have a problem with it anymore. Some people might have a problem jumping into the world right away so I advise you to just read the first few chapters without any haste so that you can understand the system better.

This book is a total page-turner, thanks to the stunning plot. The plot is not slow-paced at all, it just keeps going on; the book was filled with actions through and through. There wasn't any chapter that I didn't like or feel bored reading because every single detail and piece of information that you get from even a chapter made the story a whole lot better. There are some fight scenes in this book and although I usually don't like fight scenes, those scenes were written so wonderfully in this book which made me enjoy reading them. The characters seem to enjoy every fight so much that I enjoyed the fight with them. What I enjoyed reading more was the tricking scenes as well as the planning scenes. Reading them at first, I was nervous for them because the characters' plans sounded like something impossible to do. And every single time, I was surprised.

If you have been reading my book reviews, you'll know I'm a character-driven reader. Give me a trashy plot but rootable characters, I'll still give the book more than 3 stars. And this duology, ladies and gentlemen, is a heaven-sent for a reader like me. Basically, I just rooted for all the characters as a group and as their own individuals. The blurb was written Breakfast-Club-like where each character have their own role in the group and this is the reason the characters are so easily distinguished. They have their own voices in my mind; I have this habit of sorting voices for every character when I read and sorting voices for the characters in this book was so easy.
It's just wrong talking about this book without talking about the characters individually so the first one I'm gonna talk about is Kaz Brekker, the persistent leader with a strategic mind. He's the mastermind behind every plan and every heist. He's a risk-taker but also unconsciously taking care of his crew. He insists that every plan he makes is just for money and that if any of his crew dies, he would not have single care but that's a lie. Kaz Brekker is the greatest trickster and the best thief. You can guess that with his seemingly ruthless personality, he had a terrible past but you could never guess what he went through to make him the way that he is.
Kaz Brekker
Kaz Brekker by Kevin Wada
Inej Ghafa
Inej Ghafa by Kevin Wada
The second character that is literally everyone's favourite is Inej Ghafa, the Wraith. She's the spy of the group. She has very great stability skills; she can walk on ropes like we walk on roads. And what I like the most about her is her strong personality. With that strength, she was able to withstand almost everything that came her way. Instead of crippling in fear due to her traumatizing past, she used her trauma as a motivation to carry out everything she needs to.
But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
The next character, Jesper Fahey is the clown of the group which is usually my type but because of Kaz's existence, Jesper wasn't my favourite FAVOURITE but nonetheless, I love him. On the surface, he's a playful flirt with great ability in gun-shooting. Wait, can we talk about how rarely we see people using guns in fantasy books with magic? I love that they used guns here lol. Back to Jesper. Despite his playfulness, he's actually hiding something that you could not have guessed dun dun dun *wink wink*.
If any of you survive, make sure I have an open casket. The world deserves a few more moments with this face.
Next coming is Wylan, THE CINNAMON ROLL OF THE GROUP. I gotta admit, I got a soft spot for him in my heart. Despite his bad fighting skill, he has one of the greatest minds among the crews. He's not just the cinnamon roll of the group, he's also THE GENIUS OF THE GROUP. He also has a backstory that you could never guess as well as the character who has the greatest character development throughout the story. He really went from not knowing how to fight to bomb a super badass bunch of bad guys.
Jesper Fahey
Jesper Fahey by Kevin Wada
Wylan Van Eck
Wylan by Kevin Wada
Nina Zenik is the sassy one of the group; she's like a mom (especially to Inej) but also a very badass Grisha with GREAT GRISHA POWER. She's bold and not hesitant in sacrificing herself for what she believes in and I really admire that about her. Her friendship with Inej is something I adore very much, it was so amazing how much a friendship can grow so much in a span of a short time. And last but not least, Matthias Helvar, the witch hunter which admittedly, is my least favourite character and despite that, I really root for. He grows up brainwashed about so many things so what he has done is quite forgivable. Like, Nina, he's also unhesitant to sacrifice himself to protect what he loves and fight for what he believes in. He's very protective of Nina and reading how much he loves Nina just melted my heart. We girls need to get a man who loves us like Matthias loves Nina!
I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.
Nina Zenik
Nina Zenik by Kevin Wada
Matthias Helvar
Matthias Helvar by Kevin Wada
This book does feature romance but it's not the centre of the story. It's more like a sub-sub plot. Every character has their own backstory and that's why even when what they do is very questionable, you just can't help but root for them.

FAQ: Do you need to read the previous series?
No, you can absolutely read this duology without reading the previous book! This book is set after the previous series and reading that series will totally give you a better understanding of the world but most people just read this duology straight away and it's okay!

For a better reading experience, you can listen to this Grishaverse playlist made by Bueno. The playlist fits the books perfectly. I was a little sceptical about reading while listening to music, it's just isn't my thing but right after Nainowale Ne (Padmaavat movie soundtrack) played, I was hooked.

If you're still unconvinced to read this duology after reading my review do check out some of these posts:

You're gonna love this if you like: a fantasy heist novel featuring six ragtag, disreputable characters, from varied (traumatic) backgrounds and walks of life, forming a found family and taking on rich dirtbags who don’t deserve their money (Book Riot).

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