Plot at a Glance:
A spiritual sequel to Bardugo’s previous Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows takes place in the same universe, this time in the bustling city of Ketterdam. A bustling hub for trade, Ketterdam has drawn all sorts of unscrupulous characters into its limits, none more so cunning than Kaz Brekker. When Kaz is offered the chance at the heist of a lifetime, he must gather a team of the best trained thieves and assassins to assist him on a job that may cost more than he originally anticipated.
Okay Fam, I’m going to do me for a second here and hope you don’t hold it against me. I’m going to start off by saying that I think this was squarely in the range of 3.5-4 stars for me personally, and explain why.
First Thing’s First – The Characters are AMAAAZING!
They are all so varied and well developed, I could just get lost in their separate stories for hours. All too often stories get dragged down when they fail to develop the side characters, but that definitely wasn’t the case here. It says something about the strength of the characters when I came away from this loving Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Inej more than the almighty Kaz Brekker, who was awesome in his own right. They just get better and better!
The story is compelling as all get out!
You’ve got a fantasy setting, a heist, thievery, backstabbing and wars between bitter enemies that threaten the entire plan. The story becomes so much more than just a simple heist, which was really a pleasant surprise. It was gripping and riveting and I was compelled to keep reading just about every time I set the book down to figure out what happened next.
So what went wrong?
I was seriously lost for a good 150 pages.
This is totally my fault. I went into this book not realizing that it existed in the same world as a previous trilogy. I know this book is meant to stand alone, but honestly I had a lot of trouble keeping up! I’m sure would have been reconciled with 3 books about the Grisha already under my belt.
The world was confusing and very little is explained about the areas and the political affiliations of their citizens. Even the powers of the Grisha for a fair chunk of the beginning of the story are hard to pin down. It became quite difficult to orient myself to events without that compass. I will say that I expect this part of my opinion WILL change in the future once I’ve read the other trilogy and I anticipate the score I gave the book rising to a full 4 stars.
Lastly, I took some issue with Bardugo’s prose. Specifically the way the POV kept shifting and would often subject the reader to extended flashbacks in the middle of events. It slowed the pacing and I actually think I would have connected with certain characters had their backstories been revealed earlier, or differently. I also took issue with the fact that Bardugo often used the shifting POV to deliberately obfuscate events that happened in previous chapters.
I also thought that the set dressings were a little confusing. Like I had trouble picturing some of the areas because the descriptions felt a little sparse. I kind of had to fill in the blacks in these instances, which is a little pet peeve of mine.
I did really enjoy this adventure. I believe my rating will rise when I better acquaint myself with the Grisha verse. I think I’ll read the other trilogy before I continue with Crooked Kingdom.