What’s this? A new feature on the blog? Oh, go on then…
Sit down, relax why don’t you? Today, we’re going to take a tumble into the streets of Ketterdam – but don’t stay there too long! Someone will have your valuables. Instead, hurry along to The Crow Club – and just hope you’ve caught Kaz Brekker in a good mood.
Six Of Crows is one of those books that was sat on my bookshelf for a good while. I ummed and ahhed over it for a while. Then I did work experience and Crooked Kingdom was thrust into my hands. “READ IT!” came the cries. Alas, it also ended up on my bookshelf next to SOC. I ended up reading other things, until recently. I saw it on my shelf, shrugged and said ‘Why not?’
What an idiot I was for leaving it on the shelf for so long. Six Of Crows threw me head first into the dark underbelly of Ketterdam, and I instantly fell in love with the cast of characters. A gang! A tough guy with a tragic past! JESPER! Oh, how I fell hard for these characters. I remember a conversation I was having with a friend when I’d started reading the book and was a little way in. “Kaz pulled out someones eye! His EYE!” I screeched – and THAT is when it hit me that this book was going to be a firm favourite.
The story follows Kaz Brekker, criminal mastermind and practically leader of The Dregs, one of Ketterdam’s more brutal gangs. Everybody knows not to cross Kaz Brekker if you want to keep your bones in tact. Kaz has been offered a sum of cash he could only dream of – thirty million kruge. All he has to do is break someone out of jail. The catch? The jail is the notorious Ice Court, an impenetrable fortress housing only the worst type of criminals. Does this make Kaz want to give up? Of course not. Thirty million kruge is a lot of money. So, he gathers up the only crew that he knows will be able to pull it off.
It’s hard to pin down which character I loved the most, but each one is crafted so finely I wonder whether it will ever be possible for me to choose.
- You’ve got Kaz, a ruthless-yet-struggling teenager, dealing with his past and the ghost of his brother. Nicknamed Dirtyhands in the streets, he wants revenge, and will stop at nothing to get it.
- Inej is Kaz’ right-hand-girl, a former acrobat-turned-assassin, who is so silent and deadly you won’t see her coming until it’s too late. She struggles with her past and dreams to be away from Ketterdam.
- Jesper, the excitable sharpshooter who would rather gamble everything away than face his fears and worries. He’s a bit of a loudmouth, but has nothing but good intentions in his heart.
- Nina, a Grisha Heartrender who loves waffles, flirting, and singing terribly. She knows she’s good at what she does, and is one of the few bubbly characters in the books. Nina is one you’d want on your side.
- Matthias, former Grisha hunter and former convict. Wrongly imprisoned for slave trade, Matthias is smuggled from jail to help the rest of the gang in the much bigger heist. He struggles with doing the wrong thing, and is an all round ‘good guy’.
- Wylan, the disgraced son of Ketterdam’s wealthiest merchant. Wylan is a fine artist, and knows a thing or two about crafting bombs, making him the dark horse of the group. He wants to prove himself.
The cast is fantastic, and each one so finely represents themselves that I would gladly read spin off books based on them separately. None of them let their disabilities get in the way of what they want to do. Kaz walks with a limp and cane, and strikes fear into people’s hearts with said cane. He struggles with PTSD, but has coping mechanisms to get him through the day. Wylan doesn’t let his dyslexia get the better of him, despite the past treatment he has received, and becomes one of the strongest members of the group. Jesper uses his ADHD to his advantage, channeling himself behind the excitement of a job to get shit done. I can’t say enough about how wonderful these characters are, and how much they now mean to me.
Leigh Bardugo knows her stuff. Damn, she has built a fascinating world, and she knows exactly how to keep her readers gripped. Just flicking through the book to write this post has made me want to read it all over again. So, I think I will. In the new year, I’m going to reread the duology – why don’t you join me? I’d love for you to share the adventure with me – whether you’ve read it before or you’re new to the Dregs. I’d love to hear from you guys! If there’s enough interest, we’ll do a thread on Twitter of our read!
(And we can all gush over how awesome Kaz is because he totally is.)