Publication date: September 29th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (a subsidiary of Macmillan Publishers)
We are all someone’s monster…
Six of Crows is Leigh Bardugo’s sophomore series and let me tell you, it’s darker, grittier, and even more intriguing than her Shadow and Bone series.
I appreciated that Bardugo picked up this series a few years after the Grisha trilogy ends. Life in Ketterdam is hard, and hard is quite the understatement. Gangs rule the streets with an iron grip and slum lords run cartels of illicit goods and services through shadowy alleys and criminal connections. So it’s no surprise when a new drug shows up that amplifies Grisha powers to a frightening level. Some would do anything to use the drug against the world, and some would do anything to destroy it.
Kaz Brekker has grown up here. He knows the rules surrounding Ketterdam’s underbelly like the back of his gloved hand. He’s also bent on revenge; this revenge runs deep and guides his every move. So when opportunity knocks on Kaz’s door, he knows this is a gamble he might not be able to turn down. Kaz is offered 4 million to kidnap the person responsible for creating this new Grisha amplification drug. But there’s a catch- no one has been able to infiltrate the location where the creator is being held. Kaz puts together a team of six, including himself, and they set off on the riskiest business of their lives; Inej, a girl with a painful past, is as silent as a wraith and Kaz’s personal spy; Jesper is a sharp shooter with an equally sharp tongue; Nina is a Grisha Heartrender with a debt to pay and guilt to assuage; Mattias, a fierce warrior bred to hate and destroy all Grisha; and lastly, Wylan, a young man who is more than the sum of his privileged past.
Not only is the plot incredibly compelling, but the characters were what made this book my top 2015 pick. I loved Kaz and the more you discover about his past, the more real he becomes. Inej was my favorite character out of the group of “miscreants.” Her past is heartbreaking and her story arc was incredible as she comes to terms with her past, the struggles of her present, and what she wants for her future. I loved watching her discover herself on the page. Bardugo also has some really solid diversity aspects in this novel. Many races are represented and without any spoilers, theres some LGBTQ action that I found refreshing and pleasantly surprising.
For more info and to delve deeper into the world of the book, check out my podcast below that I recorded with Dawn from Bang Bang Books.