Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on September 29th
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic
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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.
Six of Crows was so freaking fantastic. Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy is one of my favorite series of all time, and a part of me thought she couldn’t really top that, but boy, were my socks knocked off my feet. This book was so incredibly good. The entire story is one crazy intense and action packed ride, where plot twists just lurk behind every corner waiting to jump on you. This is a MUST READ!
Intriguing and original setting
First things first, Six of Crows is loosely based on 17th century the Netherlands. A setting that was really different from what we encountered in the Grisha trilogy, but made for a wonderful addition to the Grishaverse! The Dutch words that were incorporated in the story and the little cultural things (*cough* hutspot *cough*) were so fun to encounter. The setting was really intriguing and a bit dark, which makes for a tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It really is a bit like a fantasy version of Ocean’s Eleven, I mean, what’s not to love?
Gritty and dark and lovable characters
The characters were gritty and dark, which fit the setting perfectly, and I got sucked into their pov’s right away. They are amazing and have SO MUCH depth! Each character overflows with depth. Each character has a past, a personal story that brought them to Ketterdam, which makes them distinctive. They are complex, flawed, strong, lovable, and they all get their time to shine. I fell in love with each and every one of them while learning their background (it is inevitable really) and they became favorites in no time at all.
Action and excitement galore
If you love action-packed and fast-paced stories then Six of Crows is the story for you! Action and excitement galore! The heist itself was nerve-wrecking and Kaz’s genius will surprise you again and again. Plenty of plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will leave you begging for the sequel. Magic, mischief, and jailbreaking, again, what’s not to love?
If my review didn’t already tell you this: Six of Crows was AMAZING. Beautifully written, lovable characters with SO MUCH depth, and an action-packed and fast-paced plot. PERFECTION! All I’ve left to tell you is: go read this, it’s awesome!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on June 5th 2012
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.
I finished this book a few weeks ago. This review had been long coming, but exams got in the way, and before you know it the whole month has almost flown (Although that’s what December does isn’t it?). I borrowed a copy from a good friend of mine, and I realized after the first few pages that this book was going to be good. I have no idea why it took me this long to read Shadow and Bone. Especially since I love a good fantasy read (it IS my most read genre this year). So I am a bit late to the party… but hey, I got there and now I get to read all of them since all of the books in the series have been published already! Yay!
This book was just so different. And I mean this in a good way: I’ve never read anything like it. I don’t know what I expected when I finally picked this book up, but I know that it was nothing close to what the book turned out to be. The Russian-ish fantasy setting was a first for me. It was unique and original and just pretty damn awesome.
The word-building was great. It added so much to the setting and truly made it thrive. The world of the Grisha’s was mysterious and extremely interesting. The ‘magic’, the different ranks, the Russian words, just woah! There was just so much to discover, and with every page I turned I found more aspects of the world that intrigued me.
The plot was so incredibly good! It is filled with action and intrigue and there’s so much to take in. Half of the time I had no idea what to think of the Darkling, his intentions were such a mystery. I seemed to like him just fine the one moment, then dislike him the next. I had no idea what to expect and it kept me on my toes. This while being immersed into this beautifully vivid fantasy world, a combination that had me turning pages feverously until the very last one.
The characters were great. Alina develops a great deal throughout the story, and I had no trouble at all connecting with her. I loved Mal. I hope we get to see a little bit more of him in the next books, because he seemed like a great character. The Darkling… As I said before, was pretty much a mystery to me. Which is also why I find his character so incredibly intriguing (I’ve used that word way to many times in this review, but it’s the only word that accurately describes what I am feeling). I would have liked for the other Grisha’s to have a little more depth though, they were really in the background the whole time, and I would really like to know a little bit more about them.
The one thing that was a bit confusing were the Russian terms. While they added to the setting and the world-building, I had sometimes trouble keeping up with them. They sometimes were hard to remember (or define). Maybe a little list with words at the end of the book would have solved this.
If you’re looking for a good and solid fantasy you should most definitely consider reading Shadow and Bone. You’ll find it hard not to fall in love with the beautiful and vivid world Leigh Bardugo created. The story is unique and original and the plot is incredibly intriguing. I was left with lots FEELS when I got to the ending of this book, and will definitely pick up the sequel while on my skiing trip next week!