Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: Sept. 29th, 2015 by Henry Holt and Company
Genre: young adult // fantasy > magic
I saw the hype for this book everywhere, even before I got back from Japan. I looked up the synopsis and was really wary about having SIX main characters… I don’t usually get along well with books like that because it’s hard to do it right sometimes (with the possibility it’ll just get confusing as hell). So I recently picked it up and finished it just yesterday; I actually really enjoyed it! I liked that the characters were all distinctive and the heist was fun.
But first, let me share the synopsis with you:
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
So, because of my wariness, it was a slow start with the first few chapters. However, once I got over that, I wanted to know more about the characters, especially Kaz. Then, once the heist was introduced, he needed to gather a couple more characters that I grew to like and discuss the impossibility of it, which made me want to see how they could do it!
And it was so much fun once it really picked up. I was so worried for them, wondering what they would do when something went wrong; it was crazy! I think there were some slow parts, but not enough to deter me or anything.
And thank goodness the romance didn’t take over. It was kind of already there for several characters, they just need to work things out, but with the head start on it, there was less angst. During the whole trip, you could tell love was totally in the air, but the characters knew that the job was the goal here, so love to a backseat. Nicely done! I’m not a fan of the romance overshadowing the awesome plots in books. No, thanks.
Also, I had to wonder while I was reading it….. There are 2 ladies and 4 gents… heh, please?
As for the characters, I think my favorite is Kaz. Each one had distinct voices and personalities, so confusing everything and everyone was really difficult. And each has their own back story, some darker than others. So we have Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan.
Kaz: I was super happy when he turned out to be an atypical main male protagonist! He has a crippled leg, a phobia, and a gravelly voice (which I think those are sexy anyway). He’s smart and quick-thinking, relying on brains more than brawn. His personality is tough and arrogant with hidden depths. I liked him.
“‘When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.'” -Kaz
Inej: I think she is kick-ass. The fact that she’s just so good at what she does, she’s a real tough woman. She’s had a rough patch in life, but now she has friends she’s always ready to protect. And much like her and Jesper and just the difference between everyone, I’m so glad for such a diverse group of ethnicities! Yes! It also lets us have closer looks at the different countries that were mentioned in the Grisha trilogy (if you read it).
Nina & Matthias: I kept these two together because I think they are cute that way, heh. I thought part of their past was pretty cute. Nina is a tough woman, too, and I love the unique magic of Grishas. Matthias is like a big bear with a soft side! I’m biased for characters like that sometimes… They really are the strong, read-to-protect type, but with mushy sides. Love. Anyway, lovely pair.
Jesper & Wylan: I kept these two together because there’s not as much to them as the others. Not that they’re bad characters! I still like them! But they have less of a back story and share comedic relief. I love Jesper’s humorous personality (though I wish I could’ve seen a bit more of it). Wylan, unfortunately, didn’t get much time to shine. There was never a chapter from his point of view, like everyone else. I was curious to see what his mind is like.
I will admit, however, that with so many characters it’s harder to show more depth for everyone in such a short time. That is one aspect I found lacking. There’s a second book coming this year, so maybe we can get to know them more.
So, yeah! Overall, I did enjoy this book and recommend it to readers that like:
- brains AND brawn
- no cliché romance overpowering everything
- an intense heist with non-stop thinking and action
- cool Grisha magic!
- a grittier world full of thieves and thugs
My rating from 5 dragon scales:
QUESTION: who was your favorite character(s) from the bunch?
Thanks for reading!
Did you read this book? What did you think of it? Comment below! (Careful of spoilers, though)