My first book of the month was Six of Crows! This also fulfilled the prompt of Book with a Map for the Novice Path in the Magical – Orilium Readathon.
This book was everything that I needed right now. Some of my favorite types of entertainment tend to have heists at the center of the plot (Money Heist, Ocean’s 8, The Italian Job, Breaking Bad, Baby Driver, etc etc etc) and somehow I’d never read a book about a heist!
While Six of Crows followed The Shadow and Bone Trilogy and it takes place in the same universe, I was able to read it and fully enjoy it without having read the previous trilogy. If there were references to the trilogy I didn’t know but that’s totally okay by me since this book had a lot to offer on its own.
This universe has two types of people: Grisha, people who have magical powers to be able to manipulate life, death, water, materials, etc., and then people who don’t have any powers. There are people in this world who believe that the Grisha are witches and demons who are less than human. Now there is something that is threatening the existence of the Grisha and the current order of the world (dramatic I know!). And so, we are following six very interesting characters:
- Kaz is the leader of the group, he’s super smart and able to see the strengths and weaknesses of those around him to use them to his advantage. He uses a cane and is in constant pain due to a leg injury he sustained a while back (this does not hinder him in the slightest!) His past is very mysterious and his motives slowly become clear to the reader.
- Inej is skilled in stealth and climbing, she grew up learning to be an acrobat and somehow ended up in the city of Ketterdam as part of Kaz’ group of thieves. While she is very skilled she does not seem to have a purpose of her own, she simply does the jobs that Kaz assigns her and survives on a day-to-day basis.
- Jesper is a sharpshooter, he loves the life as part of Kaz’ team. He is also very much addicted to gambling and the only way to keep that urge away is to be in the rush of fighting for his life. He’s loyal to Kaz and is constantly seeking his approval, which is problematic since Kaz doesn’t tend to give approval… to anyone XD
- Nina is a woman who has the ability to control the human body (from slowing breathing to stopping hearts) and at the beginning of this book she is working at a pleasure house. Nina had some training as a soldier from her home country but somehow also ended up in Ketterdam even though she very much could use her skills to leave.
- Matthias is a soldier who ended up in jail because he was accused to be a slaver. He has a lot of knowledge of where Kaz pretends to take his team to commit the heist but convincing him to cooperate will prove to be a real challenge. Matthias
- Wylan is new to the crime world but he’s very good at figuring out complex mechanisms and explosives. He also has a mysterious past and no one really knows why he ended up with Kaz and company. He changes a lot throughout the book too!
There are some really complex relationships between all the characters, all rooted on what their motivations are for going through with this heist. They all have to learn to trust each other to some extent, even if it is because they fear the repercussions of not going through it.
As much as I’d like to pick one favorite character it’s pretty difficult. I loved Nina and her confidence and I loved Inej and the trust she has in herself the most. They have such inner strength that I was inspired to be a little bit more like them. I did enjoy the bit of tension, flirtation, and ache that existed between the potential romances. I liked that they were not the main focus but that they did influence some of the motivations of some of the characters (but also some characters were so emotionally mature!)
Overall, this book is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom! I’m not super convinced that I’ll go read the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I kind of feel like it will not be on par with Six of Crows so that might be disappointing. If you’ve read the trilogy and disagree, do let me know!