Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: #1 in the Six of Crows series
Source: Local Public Library
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
First Published: September 29, 2015
First Line: "Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache."
Book Description 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
Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Review: I wasn't sure that I wanted to start a new fantasy series from Bardugo after I had a lackluster feeling for the first book in her Grisha series, Shadow and Bone. I was in the vast minority with my rating of that book but after teenage co-workers loved this book so much I decided to give her another shot. I'm glad that I did.
This book started off strong and I loved the premise of a heist and a gaggle of misfits. Both this series and the previous Grisha series are set within the same fantasy world and, according to other readers, have some overlap between them. But this is a solid stand-alone novel so you do not need to read the Grisha series before picking this one up.
This book has a lot going for it. There's suspense, action, some great banter between the characters and even some romance. While it did feel like the author was trying to do a little too many romantic pairings of her characters I liked that the romance played more in the background and didn't feel like it outweighed the other aspects like the heist itself.
What struck me about this book is that it is such an ensemble piece and has a great group dynamic. Many of the characters take up the reigns of the story giving readers an up close and personal look at each of them. We learn some of their back stories and see their diverse personalities - hilarious Jesper, intense, sometimes hard to like yet brilliant mastermind Kaz, quirky Wylan, the strong yet silent type, Inej ... and a few more. They were each so different yet their personalities complimented each other well. It would be hard to choose one favourite so I'll say that Inej, Jesper and Nina were my favs and leave it at that. The book focuses on several different issues - from loss, to abandonment, to enslavement and deeply held discrimination these characters Six of Crows will have you feeling all the feels - the good and the bad. And I loved that.
All in all, this was a really good book. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Crooked Kingdom, the second book in this new YA fantasy series.