Six of Crows takes place in the Amsterdam-inspired city of Ketterdam and is part of the Grisha-universe. I haven’t read the Grisha-trilogy but a fantasy heist novel? I wasn’t gonna pass that up – and Six of Crows certainly deliveres on this initial premise! It reads like Gangs of New York does Oceans Eleven sprinkled with magic!
The story is narrated from close third-person viewpoints of the six main characters; Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Matthias, Nina & Wylan. Which IMO works brilliant for the story – but then I’m a sucker for multiple POV story-telling!
Kaz is hired to break into the most secure structure in the land, The Ice Court, and to do so he needs help! So he assembles a mitch-matched crew and from there it’s a fast paced journey to get a plan together, infiltrate The Ice Court & break out a valuable prisoner – and when things don’t go exactly as planned to make adjustments. And quick! Through-out, the reader gets better acquainted with the six as we move through each POV as well as through a series of well placed flash-backs.
At first I thought I ought to have read the initial trilogy as the magic of the Grisha was a bit confusing, however I was hooked by the 4th chapter and everything was eventually explained. A tactic I imagine wouldn’t seem too repetitive for fans of the Grisha-trilogy but still let newcomers (like myself) get a full understanding of the universe. The way Bardugo weaves her story together is truly beautiful and in true crime-fiction style she tells the reader only just enough to keep us reading yet still guessing. Combined with a loveable set of truly interesting and diverse set of misfit characthers, it’s hard not to love Six of Crows. And I truly felt like I was reading a YA fantasy version of Oceans Eleven the way the characthers tell you one thing up front but then, as the action kicks into gear, their plan, their actions and their motivations almost always diverge a bit from what you thought you knew!