Let's talk about the Six of Crows Duology, because another set of books by Leigh Bardugo calls for another review!
These books are written in the same universe as the Shadow and Bone trilogy. They follow a different set of characters that the original trilogy and are set two years after the events with Alina and Mal.
This review is going to start with each book individually and then I'll review the Duology as a whole. Anything with spoilers will be at the bottom with a warning beforehand.
There wasn't much world building in these books mostly because Leigh relied on readers knowing the Grishaverse from the original Trilogy. If you are just looking for an interesting story then it is great but if you want to know about the world and the magic of the realm you should probably read Shadow and Bone first. I would highly recommend this for people who enjoy well built fantasy or if you are looking to read about a band of argumentative strangers forced together by a common goal. It was really fun and I honestly loved each individual character and their development throughout the series.
Star rating for the duology is obviously a five/five, you should read this!
Six of Crows
The book starts out in Ketterdam, an international trade hub that doesn't always stay the straight and narrow. Here we meet Kaz Brekker, he is a lieutenant of the Dregs, one of the prominent gangs of Ketterdam. The book is written from the perspective of Kaz and the precarious individuals he gathers after being offered a massive sum of money for completing a deadly heist. The five others? A Convict, A Spy for the Dregs, A Grisha Heartrender, A Thief, and A Merchants Son. The target is locked inside an impenetrable prison that will put each of their skill sets to the test and the only way to survive is to work together and try not kill one another in the process!
This book was extremely well written. I enjoyed that, unlike the original trilogy, the duology was written from multiple character perspectives. We get a better feel for each character individually and become more invested in seeing them succeed.
My favorite character is by far Nina Zenik, I loved her so much. She's feisty, caring, resilient, and bold. She also honest, loyal and has a massive love for sweets so I identify very well with her.
The interactions between Nina and Matthias and Inej and Kaz were also a highlight for me. Kaz's questionable morals make him interesting to read about and I really enjoy his ability to plot on the fly. This book comes highly recommended by me!
Favorite Quote: “No mourners. No funerals." - all characters at some point
Star Rating: 5/5 Loved this and would highly recommend it to everyone.
------------- POSSIBLE SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ SIX OF CROWS ------------
Book two of the duology starts in the aftermath of Inej being captured. Kaz and the others are plotting to get her back while taking down their double-crossers. The problems; they have few allies, they are being hunted by people wanting to profit from jurda parem, and they have minimal resources. This time it's not just their own profit and futures at stake but the future of their world and the safety of all grisha. Together Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Wylan, Jesper, and Kuwei fight for revenge and redemption.
This was such a good book! It started a little slow with building the plans and introducing the changes made to characters at the end of the last book, but it is still a fun read in those sections. Be prepared to cry at the end if you are an emotional reader because it is that kind of book. I don't find myself emotional but the ending really got me. I was a but worried it wouldn't be as good after loving the first one, but I really loved the revenge driven plot. I also just loved that no matter what comes at them the characters fight back and don't give up. I could read about this group over and over and I would never get sick of their adventures!
Nina is still my favorite and I am excited to see what else Leigh Bardugo has in store for her character, if she appears in future books. Of all the characters, I think that Kaz went through the most change throughout the duology. I loved how his character left off in this book, lots of great growth and a good point to build from if he appears in the future! They are in my top three favorite characters of the Grishaverse, alongside Nikolai from the original trilogy.
Favorite Quote: “I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins.” - Kaz Brekker
Star Rating: 5/5 So good, I really loved this and will proceed to recommend it to everyone.
--------------------- FULL SERIES SPOILERS IF YOU LOOK BELOW ------------------
Time to talk about the things I didn't like and the things I did like in the duology. No holding back spoilers and thoughts. If you have not read these books then you should leave now!
Things I didn't like:
Inej being captured, but it's okay because they get our girl back.
Kuwei wasn't my favorite - he was a useful character but I didn't feel like he did much and there wasn't really any growth or change to him.
Zoya reverting back to being rude and controlling. She didn't seem like the same character as what we ended off with in the Trilogy and it felt like it undid some of the really great growth from there.
Things I hated:
Matthias dies.... Excuse me but HOW IS THAT OKAY! I am still upset about this and it's been a few weeks since I read these.
Did I mention Matthias DIES!
Things I like:
Genya, Zoya and Nikolai showing up and joining in on the story. A really fun crossover!
Nina and Matthias, it's not a perfect relationship but I was routing for them the whole time.
Nina in general, who doesn't love a strong, independent, food loving woman!
Inej and Kaz, it's got a long way to go but I really enjoy their relationship and what is happening between them.
Six of Crows
“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.” - Inej Ghafa
“I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.” - Inej Ghafa
“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.” - Inej Ghafa
“We are all someone's monster.” - Matthias Helvar
“Greed may do your bidding, but death serves no man.” - Kaz Brekker
“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.” - Nina Zenik quoting Zoya Nazyalensky
“I would come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.” - Kaz Brekker
“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.” - Kaz Brekker
“We meet fear. We greet the unexpected visitor and listen to what he has to tell us. When fear arrives, something is about to happen.” - Inej Ghafa quoting her father
“I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins.” - Kaz Brekker
“This action will have no echo.” - Inej Ghafa
ALL quotes are from the Duology written by Leigh Bardugo.