Six of Crows #1
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
Six of Crows is everything we've come to expect from Ms. Bardugo; an extraordinary cast of characters who shine brightly from the darkness of their world to ensure their memory is forever seared into our minds and hearts. This tale could have been pure chaos, five distinct character perspectives as well as sporadic flashbacks to their varied histories ingredients for a jumbled storyline, but in the hands of Ms. Bardugo this dark adventure unfolds smoothly and richly, a gorgeous reveal of a seemingly endless series of layers that keep us on our toes throughout.
While there are six members of Kaz Brekker's team of uniquely talented gutter rats, we get the perspectives of only five of them, and each is given what feels like equal time in the spotlight. What's so impressive about Ms. Bardugo's ability to craft her characters is that none outshine the rest, instead they're all nuanced to a degree that we'll never learn all there is to know about them (Kaz especially), but we'll be damned if we don't want to spend hours on end trying to do just that. All six have their shadowy corners, their secrets and shames. All have pasts riddled with varying degrees of brutality; privilege turned into poverty, dreams turned into dirt and filth, and wishes turned into weapons used for money and revenge, and we're nothing other than spellbound by each and every single one of them.
Ms. Bardugo also possesses an uncanny gift for writing characters to whom we should easily be able to affix the villain label, but yet we find ourselves repeatedly rationalizing their actions, finding ways to excuse the pain they cause in our need to see them redeemed. A need that remains a far cry greater than their own desire to achieve redemption. Kaz is one such character, a young man capable of monstrous actions and cruel words that cut to the bone, yet we latch on to his rare moments of vulnerability and use them to further tint our rose colored glasses. He's absolutely magnetic, a mystery whose motivations we've barely started to grasp by the time we reach the final page, and who will likely continue to surprise us at every turn as this series progresses.
Overall, Six of Crows is stunning from beginning to end, a true triumph of characterization that leaves us in tears over the fact that we must wait a full year to be reunited with these six men and women.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.