A Surprise Reread of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

When I decided to reread Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo last week, I was determined not to make it another one of my notorious idle talks, though I wasn't sure whether I would be picking it up shortly. Unfortunately, something happened to my Kindle account in which I couldn't get access to all the e-books I had bought in these two weeks. So I took my copy of Six of Crows and read it instead. This decision alone made my mood a lot better and now that I could grasp all the concepts and the little details clearly, I loved it even more than I did two years agowhich was almost impossible since I had already marked it 5 stars. What else could possibly be given to a book this good?

Six of Crows follows the story of a criminal prodigy called Kaz Brekker who lives in Ketterdam with his crew, The Dregs. One day, he gets an offer to do something very dangerous, a heist with too great of a reward to pass. In order to pull this off, he needs to recruit five people with totally different motives: Inej, a spy who's widely known as the Wraith; Jesper, a sharpshooter who likes to gamble; Nina, a Grisha who uses her magic to survive in Kerch; Matthias, a convict who has a thirst for revenge; and Wylan, a runaway with a mysterious past.

If I must describe this book in one word, it would be either 'amazing' or 'perfection'. Six of Crows includes all the things I love in a fantasy book:

  • Captivating plot.
  • Solid world-building (and two pretty maps).
  • Characters with depth and great developments.
  • The morally grey Kaz Brekker.
  • Not dominant with romance but the relationships are certainly swoon-worthy.
  • Badass female main characters who support each other sincerely.

The aspect I did appreciate the most, besides the plot which was dynamically progressed and dark, was without doubt the characters. I loved Kaz Brekker and his crew so much. Each of them had a well-composed backstoryI couldn’t tell whose was the most touching. Without any specific intention, I might have brought a little more of Kaz to my attention because rereading Six of Crows was making me more aware of him in particular. I recall loving Matthias Helvar two years ago, but now as each page was turned I considered Kaz Brekker more and more attractive. How could I resist his pull two years ago? No idea.

Ah, Brekker. Even you'd be confused about how much I was rooting for you and Inej. Don't get me wrong, I still loved Nina and Matthias (especially) and Jesper and Wylan too, but on my second time rereading this book, I let myself cherish the details about the plot and twist more. Kaz was indeed a prodigy. Each step he took was a strategy and even now I couldn't stop being amazed all over again. A lot of things regarding his tactics and moves had been living in my mind rent-free since two years ago yet I was still slightly taken aback by his thinking.

I'm seriously at a loss for words right now, nothing could be said that feels enough, but trust me that if you haven't read this book yet you're probably missing out a lot. Six of Crows is as amazing as a fantasy book about a heist could be and I wouldn't stop recommending this duology to everyone who's in need of something enjoyable but not exactly light.

Actual rating: 5

P.S.: Sadly, I'm not sure whether or not I will continue this duology. I was almost in the middle of Crooked Kingdom two years ago when I accidentally stumbled upon a very major spoiler. Not that it's a bad thing or anything, because frankly, a spoiler can be very much appreciated when it comes to a frustrating love triangle so that I could prepare my feelings regarding who is ending up with whom. But this one was just too painful to go through so I stopped reading it altogether. No matter how hard I try to avoid the knowledge, the lingering awareness shadows me every time I let my mind wander, thus it is very hard to bear. Please advise, should I just stop at Six of Crows and let my imagination run wild by itself or am I ready to face the inevitable hollowness in my chest that will certainly come if I pick up Crooked Kingdom?