“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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction―if they don’t kill each other first.” – (x)
Like calls to like. This tenet of Grisha theory pretty much explains why I picked up this book in the first place. Despite not having finished the Grisha trilogy before reading it (not that you really need to anyway), I kept being drawn to Six of Crows. And I’m really glad I was. I think it broke my reading slump.
I will admit, though, that there was a stumbling block – the introduction of Matthias. A character whose “good dreams” were of killing Nina and “bad dreams” were of kissing her? I almost give up there, despite the promising beginning. I didn’t want to have to deal with this mix of violence and sexual desire that is already ubiquitous in our media. But I made myself go on and it became clear that this was part of Matthias’s growth as a character – him unlearning the toxic things of his upbringing.
I am a complete sucker for completely different people teaming up and becoming a family of sorts. I love the way that the gang worked together and teased each other. I love the depth and backstory that went into each of them.
I love the symmetry between Inej and Kaz with them both having PTSD, especially of Inej’s quiet understanding of Kaz being triggered when they took over the slave cart. I though Kaz might turn out like other “bad boy” love interests, where their personal issues and sometimes poor treatment of others around them gets swept under the rug. But Inej flat out tells him that she would have him without his masks or not at all.
I think one of the most important passages in the book is this one: “Nina had wronged him, but she’d done it to protect her people. She’d hurt him, but she’d attempted everything in her power to make things right. She’d shown him in a thousand ways that she was honorable and strong and generous and very human, maybe more vividly human than anyone he’d ever known. And if she was, then Grisha weren’t inherently evil. They were like anyone else – full of the potential to do great good, and also great harm. To ignore that would make Matthias the monster.” (pg. 383)
It’s human nature to dehumanize those who are different from us. This tendency has had disastrous consequences. You only need to see the fear in western media surrounding Muslims and Syrian refugees to realize that. We need to remind ourselves that everyone is human.
Side note: “No mourners, no funerals” has now become my slogan when I try to get through a survival level on Star Wars Battlefront without dying.