Overall thoughts. The characters are complex and interesting. I enjoyed slowly getting their back stories throughout both books. Leigh Bardugo knows how to write a plan with enough detail to make you happy, and then when everything goes wrong, she comes back with some plan that we didn’t read about. She tells every detail of how it was done and it’s interesting to see how it all comes together.
I’m not even gonna lie. The main reason I did this was to list my favorite quotes. Sorry for the lack of actual review. (I’m not really all that sorry.)
‘Six of Crows’ follows six characters, some of which are in a gang, and some of which are not. They are chosen to go on an impossible heist. Chaos ensues. This first book was so much fun to read.
I like the way Kaz and Inej interacted. She likes him a lot, but isn’t willing to give up her needs. One quote*, which is mentioned below, just shows how much she wants him, but how much more she cares about her own well being.
“Care to place a wager” Jesper asked.
“I’m not going to wager on my own death.”
Kay flipped his hat onto his head and ran his gloved fingers through along the brim in a quick salute. “Why not, Bollinger? We do it everyday.”pg. 19
“Don’t look so disappointed. Just think how miserable you would have been to discover this canal rat had a patriotic streak. You might actually have had to uncurl that lip and treat me something closer to respect.”
“Thank you for sparing me that discomfort.”pg. 57
Wylan drew himself up. “I may not have had your…education, but I’m sure I know plenty of words that you don’t.”
“Also the proper way to fold a napkin and dance a minuet. Oh, and you can play the flute. Marketable skills, merchling. Marketable skills.”
“No one dances the minuet anymore,” grumbled Wylan. pg. 126
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. pg. 181
She started shaking some of the antimony over his scalp and gave a rueful sigh. “Why does the druskelle Matthias Helvar eat no meat?” She asked in a theatrical voice as she worked. “‘Tis a sad story indeed, my child. His teeth were winnowed away by a vexatious Grisha, and now he can eat only pudding.”pg. 215
Jesper consulted his compass, and they turned south, seeking a path that would lead them to the main trading road. “I’m going to pay someone to burn my kruge for me.”
Kaz fell into step beside him. “Why don’t you pay someone else to pay someone to burn your kruge for you? That’s what the big players do.”
“You know what the really big bosses do? They pay someone to pay someone to…”pg. 218
Every morning he complained that she was impossible to wake.
“It’s like trying to raise a corpse.”
“The dead request five more minutes,” she would say, and bury her head in the furs. pg. 235
“What is he doing?” Asked Matthias.
“Performing an ancient Zemeni ritual,” Kaz said.
*Inej turned to go. Kay seized her hand, keeping it on the railing. He didn’t look at her. “Stay,’ he said, his voice stone rough. “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay, with me.”
She looked at his gloved hand, clutching hers. Everything in her wanted to say yes, but she would not settle for so little, not after all she’d been through. “What would be the point?”
He took a breath. “I want you to stay. I want you to…I want you.”
“You want me. “She turned the words over. Gently she squeezed his hand. “And how will you have me, Kaz?”
He looked at her then, eyes fierce, mouth set. It was the face he wore when he was fighting.
“How will you have me?” She repeated. “Fully clothed, gloves on, your head turned away so our lips can never touch?”
He released her hand, his shoulders hunching, his gaze angry and ashamed as he turned his face to the sea.
Maybe it was because his back was to her that she could finally speak the words. “I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”
Speak, she begged silently. Give me a reason to stay. For all his selfishness and cruelty, Kaz was still the boy who saved her. She wanted to believe he was worth saving, too.
The sails creaked. The clouds parted for the moon then gathered back around her.
Inej left Kaz with the wind howling and dawn still a long while away. pg. 434
‘Crooked Kingdom’ was better than first. It was fun and adventurous. I didn’t know what to expect. I absolutely loved seeing these characters again. I wish we could spend more time with them.
That kiss! I adored Jesper and Wylan. I could feel the sexual tension between them, and I loved all of it. I was worried it wasn’t going to happen and it was just going to be a tease. I’m so glad Leigh Bardugo included that.
I really liked getting to know Kaz better. It really helped in understanding why he was so harsh.
“I’m fine,” said Inej.
Jesper rolled his eyes. “You always say that.”
“isn’t that how things are done around here?” asked Wylan. “We all tell Kaz we’re fine and then do something stupid?”
“Are we the predictable?” Said Inej.
Wylan and Matthias said in unison, “Yes.”pg. 164
“You’re very welcome, Nina Zenik. You may repay me in the customary way.”
“Lots of them.”pg. 187
“Meeting you was a disaster.”
She raised a brow. “Thank you.”
Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful everyday for that disaster. I needed a cataclysm to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.”
“I,” she said, planting a hand on her hip, “am a delicate flower.”
“You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.”pg. 233
“You’re better that waffles, Matthias Helvar.”
A small smile curled the Fjerdan’s lips. “Let’s not say things me don’t mean, my love.”pg. 327
They were both bleeding–Jesper from a cut on his lip and Kaz from somewhere near his brow. Jesper’s shirt was halfway over his head and Kaz’s sleeve was tearing at the seam.
The trapdoor sprang open and Colm Fahey’s head emerged. His ruddy cheers went even redder.
“Jesper Llewellyn Fahey, that is enough!” he roared.
Jesper and Kaz both startled, and then, to Wylan’s shock, they stepped away from each other, looking guilty.
“Just what is going on here?” Colm asked. “I thought you were friends?”
Jesper ran a hand over the back of his neck, looking like he wanted to vanish through the floorboards. “We…uh…we were having a disagreement.”
“I can see that. I have been very patient with all of this, Jesper, but I am at my limit. I want you down here before I count to ten to I will tan your hide so you don’t sit for two weeks.”
Colm’s head vanished back down that stairs. The silence stretched.
Then Nina giggled. “You are in so much trouble.” pg. 333
Jesper couldn’t quite believe he was having a conversation with the Sturmhond. The privateer was a legend. He’d broken countless blockades on behalf of the Ravkans, and there were rumors that…”Do you really have a flying ship?” blurted Jesper.
“I have several.”
“Take me with you.” pg. 386
“Why does your weak king send a filthy pirate to do his bidding?” sneered the Fjerdan ambassador, his words echoing across the cathedral.
“Privateer,” corrected Stormhond. “I suppose he thought my looks would give me the advantage. Not a concern where you’re from, I take it?”
“Preening, ridiculous peacock. You stink of Grisha foulness.”
Sturmhond sniffed the air. “I’m amazed you can detect anything over the reek of ice and inbreeding.” pg. 433
Matthias gave Nina the barest warning glance. They could fake a pregnancy. they couldn’t fake an actual birth. At least he didn’t think they could. He wouldn’t put anything past Kaz at this point. pg. 483