Well, there you have it – my first 5 star read of 2017! Kicking myself in the shins for not reading it sooner. I didn’t jump around in ecstasy after I finished it, no. I simply closed the book and said “What an excellent story!”
Now I am waiting for the second book in this duology to come in the mail, so I can read it, love it and then put them both on a special shelf of honor so I can look at them every day. With occasional fireworks going off around them. Maybe some confetti too. See, I am fine.
When I first started reading, it felt like Game of Thrones style, so I thought "good start", as I really liked those. I really enjoy books that are written with several points of views. I think it makes the telling of the book so much more alive and dynamic. In Six of Crows chapters surge with different personalities, as different characters take on the task of narrating, it kind of makes you feel as part of their group. However, in the beginning, I had the hardest time placing the timeline of when the events in the book had happened. Is it future or is it early 1900’s? The Ice court sounds ancient and there are brothels and slave ships all around, which made me think it was set way in the past. But then they go and talk about revolvers, clubs, and coffee and waffles – and those things sound so modern to me! I got over it eventually, but still, if you asked me, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what year the book is set in. Not necessarily a bad thing, it just confused and irked me a little bit.
The thing I appreciated the most in this book is that the characters, despite their young age, did not act their age at all. They were all mature and collected, as expected from individuals who had such rough lives: sibling’s traumatizing death, prison, slave and a soldier. Kids who were forced to grow up in order to survive. This fact played a big role of tugging on my heart strings while I was reading this book. I just didn’t think I could take anymore of overly horny and whiny teenagers as main protagonists, and boy, I was not only relieved, I was ecstatic!
“When everyone knows you’re a monster you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing” – Kaz Brekker
Kaz – has so many eccentric rules about himself and his surroundings. I thought the whole ordeal with his gloves and the legends that surrounded them was just brilliant. When his past, and with it the reasons, for those eccentrics was revealed – his picture became complete. And so, so sad. I cannot think of many worse things than for a child to float around with corpses, holding on to his dead sibling. It was heart breaking, as you suddenly understood that the cold and merciless bastard of the barrel, had very good reasons to be one.
“She was Inej Ghafa, and she would not quiver like a rabbit in a snare.” - Inej Ghafa
Inej’s pain and fear of being a Menagerie was so real, I felt it seeping through the pages. But it is from her pain and fear that she drew all of her courage. Need I mention that she trained herself to be a complete badass? Women with skills are my jam when it comes to the book world. Inej’s driving force was her biggest desire to never disappoint anybody – her father, Kaz… But in the end she understood that the only one she does not want to disappoint is herself.
“I’m a very valuable investment.”
“Tell me he didn’t say that.”
“Of course he did. Well, not the valuable part.”
“Also, an idiot”.
I absolutely adored Inej and Nina’s friendship – it was beautiful and they made a badass team. Well, all six of them did, but the girls rocked the most in my opinion.
She rolled her eyes “It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, yet there you stand” - Nina Zenik
Out of all crows Nina was my favorite from the first pages of her chapter. Down to earth, loves to eat, compassionate, a flirt and a Heartrender! I found the whole Grisha nation to be fascinating, but later about that. When you think that Nina is enough badass as she is, she goes and sacrifices herself for the whole group. The battle at the harbor (well, if you can call it battle, more like the “Nina raising of hands at the harbor”) was quite epic.
“Drop the girl. Free the boat. Disable the shooter. Kill Nina. Kill Nina. Kill Nina”. – Mattias Helvar
Out of all of them I had the hardest time trusting Mattias, his character was so conflicted! He was loyal as he was passionate, and his confusion about the dregs ways was quite funny. When Mattias learned the true doing of his Druskelle, it was as both of us, Mattias and me, the reader, had the blindfold fall from our eyes.
“Stop being dense. You’re cuter when you’re smart.” – Jesper Fahey
At first it seemed that Jesper was there only for jokes, but he had a lot up under his sleeve. I did not see it coming when it was revealed that he was a Grisha too.
Wylan Van Eck was a closed book for, well most of the book. He didn’t have his own chapters, but the twist that came with his character was totally worth it. I have never read a book, yet, where a character’s disability was that he did not know how to read. It was clever, to say the least. Wylan might have seemed like a hopeless kitten at first, but we soon learned that he definitely had claws too.
Now I will talk about things I was grateful for in this book:
Grisha nation. I have not yet read Grisha trilogy (but you know I will like asap) but I was submerged into the Grisha powers and abilities. It was a great way of introducing magic into the book, without it being too magic-y or too mainstream.
This book steered clear of all the clichés that seem to be surging through many young adult books. No love triangles, insta-love, horny teenagers, badly timed passion bursts – what a breather! Romance was subtly and properly present, as hints, but what hints they were!
“She'd laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.”
“I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.”
“I can hear the change in Kaz's breathing when he looks at you."
"You... you can?"
"It catches every time, like he's never seen you before.”
“Oh, I see. I'm the wicked Grisha seductress. I have beguiled you with my Grisha wiles!"
She poked him in the chest.
"No. I'm beguiling you.”
“Maybe I liked your stupid face!”
This review turned out to be quite different from what I usually write, but I decided that I just wanted to share my favorite quotes and my favorite moments. So I can relive the book again (I see myself re-reading it pretty soon, already. I’m fine, I’m fine).
No mourners, no funerals!
Freelance BETA reader.