Book Review: SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo

Photo credit: Goodreads
There are so many things I loved about this book.

Six of Crows has been on my TBR list pretty much since the moment it was announced because a) more Grisha and b) Leigh Bardugo, and this book totally lived up to my expectations. But before I go on about how amazing it is, here's the Goodreads summary:

"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 are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first."

Right, so first and foremost, the question I've seen most about this book is whether or not it can be read without having read the Grisha trilogy. The answer is yes—pretty much everything is explained, and the only downside is you'll come across a few spoilers. But if you don't mind, Six of Crows is definitely understandable without previous Grisha universe knowledge.

I'll admit the first couple chapters were a little slower than I tend to like, pace-wise, but the story drew me in very quickly after that. I totally loved the vibrant Ketterdam and Fjerda setting, and I thought it was really cool that we got to see parts of the Grishaverse only mentioned in the previous books. The cast of characters are super diverse and I found that each POV (Kaz, Jesper, Inej, Matthias) were really interesting and drew me in for separate reasons, which was great because frequently in multi-POV novels, some POVs are more interesting than others, but I thought these were equally balanced.

Then the plot! The whole heist narrative was so ridiculously fun to read—it was incredibly smart and clever and I loved all the twists and wrenches in the plan. It reminded me very much of the Artemis Fowl series, in that the heist plot was super elaborate was unlikely odds and high stakes and the mastermind behind the plan (Kaz) repeatedly impressed me with his ability to think his way out of many problems.

And so many ships! I loved all the pairings in Six of Crows and was cheering for every single ship with equal fervor (which, when you have six mains/major characters, is impressive since again, I didn't find myself massively favoring one character or POV over another).

And finally, the thing I loved most—hello disabled protagonist in genre fiction! I actually didn't realize Kaz was disabled until after I bought the book, which was a really nice surprise. His disabilities (PTSD and chronic pain that causes a limp and necessitates the use of a cane) were very much part of the story and he didn't require a miracle cure to get around them—Kaz dealt with his disabilities in very real ways and I totally loved how he leveraged his cane to his advantage in various circumstances.

All in all, this book hit a home run. If you like fantasy and heist books or just really enjoyed the Grisha trilogy, I couldn't recommend this one more.

Now to wait impatiently for September when the second (and final) book, Crooked Kingdom, releases...

Diversity note: Kaz, one of the main protagonists, has chronic pain and a limp from an old injury and uses a cane to help him get around. He also deals with sometimes-debilitating PTSD. Another POV character, Jesper, is black and (slight spoiler) bisexual and (slight spoiler) Wylan also seems to like boys. 

Format note: I'm sure this book is equally excellent in e-book, but if you're able to get the print hardback, I do recommend it. It's one of the most beautifully designed books I own.

What have you been reading? 

Twitter-sized bites:
.@Ava_Jae gives 5/5 stars to SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo. Is this clever fantasy heist book on your TBR list? (Click to tweet
Looking for a smart YA Fantasy w/ a disabled MC? Check out SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo. (Click to tweet)

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