I was very excited to read the Six of Crows Duology, because I know it’s beloved by many Grishaverse fans, and the premise sounded intriguing — and so different from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. My only regret is that I didn’t read these books sooner, but I also can’t imagine reading the first book and then having to wait a year for the second one. Talk about torture! 😱 These reviews are as non-spoilery as possible, so without further ado…
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
After hearing so many great things about this book, I was curious to see if it would live up to the hype. Spoiler: IT DID. The writing is sharp and superb, the pacing is flawless, and the character development is truly next level. In a story with six main protagonists, there’s a risk of focusing too much on some and not enough on others. But Bardugo strikes the perfect balance between all of the Dregs, providing each of them with a distinct personality and backstory. Honestly, I love them all, and I would join them for waffles in a heartbeat. ❤️ I finally understand tweets like “I WOULD DIE FOR KAZ BREKKER,” because he is an incredible character, and I want nothing but the best for my ruthless, stabby boy. 🔪🔪🔪 But the thing that most impressed me was the story itself. It’s about a high-stakes heist that takes place in a fantasy world; I’ve never read anything quite like it. And just when you think you’ve figured out Kaz’s plan, he throws a curveball straight at your face. Even if you weren’t a big fan of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, I would definitely recommend giving this book a shot. There’s a clear improvement in Bardugo’s writing, the narrative style is completely different (and works much better than first-person narration), and — drumroll please — there’s no love triangle! 😁
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I’m going to try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but I’ll tell you this: Prepare to have your heart ripped out — repeatedly. I was warned before I read it, but still… DEAR LORD, THAT WAS DEVASTATING. 😭 Much like Six of Crows, this book revolves around a dangerous heist — among other things — and has impeccable pacing. The Dregs are faced with enemies on all sides, and the tension is consistently palpable. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until 2 AM reading a book, but I just couldn’t put this one down until I finished it. If you’ve read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, you’ll see some familiar faces in this book. (Also: If you plan on reading King of Scars, this duology is pretty much required reading. It provides valuable insight into certain characters’ motivations, as well as context for many of the key plot points in King of Scars.) We learn more about the Dregs’ lives prior to the Ice Court heist, we see relationships grow and change, and we’re forced to watch as each of them is pushed to their absolute limit. This is a fantastic conclusion to the duology, and the ending left me teary-eyed but (mostly) happy. ❤️ I’m probably going to spend the rest of this month — if not my entire life — yelling at people to read this book.