Re-read: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Reread 2021: It seems like re-reading this every two years is becoming a tradition... anyway this gets better each and every time
This is truly my perfect book. I'm eternally jealous I didn't write it. I'm such a sucker for the emotionally distant genius. And, on top of that, we have a heist, we have scheming, we have the most complex and compelling characters, and it's all wrapped up by a tight plot with unique stakes and a brutally vivid world. Ketterdam remains one of my favorite settings of all time, but every other country in this world is also incredibly interesting and clear in my mind. I understand Fjerda and the minds of its men, I understand Ravka and the people divided within it, I understand the Grisha and the nuances they possess in opinion and purpose. And it's all done perfectly in under 500 pages. How? Leigh, please give me some tips.
I grow more astonished every time I read this by how I care equally about all of the characters. Not a single one is under-developed or has confusing motivations-- no, I feel for and grieve with each and every one of them. Inej, Kaz, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, Wylan, and even Kuwei in the sequel, I understand their internal struggles and desperately want to see them succeed.
The writing is also perfect. The tone is gritty, yet close, and every chapter comes perfectly full-circle. And, of course, you can't talk about Six of Crows without mentioning the banter. S-tier.
Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. 'Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.'
Brekker’s lips quirked. 'I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.'
'My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,' Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.
But then, somehow amidst all the banter and fun, Leigh manages to drop some of the most emotional and powerful lines of all time??
'I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.'
'Jer molle pe oonet. Enel mörd je nej afva trohem verret.'
Nina swallowed hard. She remembered those words and what they truly meant.
'I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.'
It was the vow of the drüskelle to Fjerda. And now it was Matthias' promise to her.
Anyway, yeah those are literally just two out of DOZENS of lines I have highlighted in this book. You cannot go more than five pages in my battered copy without coming across a highlighted passage and a comment of me screaming.
This book is truly a culmination of my favorite things and I wish everyone would read it.
Okay, okay, enough of my rambling for this year... see y'all again in 2023 ;)
Song I was reminded of while reading: I'm A Wanted Man
Still 5 stars and it might now be worth 10 stars, or a million stars. I will never be over this book and these characters. 🌟 When I love a book this much I cannot write a proper review of it that conveys all my feelings to the extent that I feel like it should. Other people could put the greatness of this book into words in ways that I can’t, so I would recommend that you read their reviews instead about this absolute masterpiece. The only other thing I can think of doing is to let the book speak for itself with one of its best quotes.
Wanden olstrum end kendesorum. Isen ne bejstrum.
The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.
Song I was reminded of while reading: Feeling Good
First read 2017:
This book was everything I wanted and more. After the Grisha Trilogy I was scared that this wouldn't top it because it was centered around a new set of characters. However... I WAS SO WRONG. I LOVED these characters just as much as the last series, and this whole book was action-packed from beginning to end. Definitely a new favorite, and I loved the references to the previous series!!
Song I was reminded of while reading: Trouble