Review: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
I just finished this book a couple of hours ago and am trying to write an acceptable review for this given how I’ve been busy this whole week and reading this on the side. I was curious to pick up this book because of the hype surrounding this and its upcoming sequel, Crooked Kingdom. Plus, one of my favourite fantasy writers, V E Schwab, recommended it and I knew I had to at least try it.
I immediately read this after finding a (unique) copy in my local secondhand bookstore. Honestly, I thought the premise for the story is great. 6 outcasts who are technically criminals going on an almost-impossible heist? Sounds solid enough. But somehow the thing with fantasy novels is that you just know what the ending is going to be. And I felt things going in the predictable direction for a while.
When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing – Kaz Brekker
But no doubt the story is very well written. It’s fast paced, and I love the multiple POVs from 5 of the crew members. You have a quick glance at what each person is thinking and doing, but there were still gaps in my opinion in relations to the flow. Bardugo would mention something happening from a POV but she doesn’t go into detail afterwards. For instance, I remember Matthias bowing to Nina before speaking to her in privacy and Jesper witnessed this. When we shifted to Nina/Matthias’ POV that scene, that seemed quite pivotal, was not explained. So I felt a bit frustrated for that.
I love the connection between the characters, it was very well explored and the past between a few of them were explained wonderfully to great impact. But, if I’m being truly honest, I was more interested in Matthias and Nina’s past and relationship than Kaz and Inej! I felt the latter couple’s story wasn’t told as well as the former.
She wouldn’t wish love on anyone. It was the guest you welcomed and then couldn’t be rid of – Nina
Now, the beginnings of the book is a bit slow, but once all 6 members were recruited, the story picked up so quickly! If it wasn’t for my thesis submission deadline, I would have finished the book earlier. The plot twists were great though I did sense them coming (again, I had some predictable vibe while reading this book). And that cliffhanger, OH MY GOD ! Now that I did not see coming. Now, I’m very curious to see what happens in Crooked Kingdom!
Better terrible truths than kind lies – Inej
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I don’t think I’ll venture into the Grisha trilogies, but I will definitely wait for the sequel to know what happens next.
When they took everything from you, you learn to make something out of nothing – Kaz Brekker
Have you read this and what did you think?