The final book in the Six of Crows duology sees Kaz and his crew risking everything to save Inej and get the money they are owed. But Van Eck never should have crossed Kaz Brekker and now the criminal genius is out to take everything the merch has.
Inej is imprisoned at Van Eck’s estate but she isn’t simply going to play the damsel in distress. I loved how even half-starved and tied up, Inej is still the Wraith, one of the Barrel’s most deadly. She doesn’t need someone to save her, yet her friends will risk everything to save her.
As usual, you could tell Kaz had a complicated plan with hundreds of little clogs destined to fall into place as the novel continues. I loved the suspense and mystery; what is he planning; what is everyone’s part; how does this affect the greater plan; and so on. I loved how high the stakes were, I didn’t expect it to be worse than the Ice Fort, the world’s most secure prison, and yet Leigh Bardugo manages to do just that. And it was fascinating to see the crew work in the city they know so well, yet with that familiarity comes danger. Not only do they know the city and the Barrel incredibly well, the city knows them. They can’t use the Dreg’s HQ, it’s the first place Van Eck’s men would look. Now on the run in their own city, you finally get to see all the backups upon backups Kaz truly has.
The characters are what truly makes this duology legendary. They’re each so unique and their relationships had me entranced. They continued building after the first book and I was desperate to see each of them happy. Even Kaz with all his flaws and issues, I just wanted him to be with Inej while I wanted her to have her freedom and her ship to hunt slavers. Their relationship was the most conflicting, I wanted them to be happy but that didn’t mean that they’d be happy together, no matter their feelings. My favourite couples were still Nina and Matthias, and Wylan and Jesper. It was great to see Matthias finally admitting his feelings for Nina and attempt to overcome his trained bigoted. Wylan and Jesper’s relationship continued to grow and was by far the most adorable. I wanted them to get together so badly!
In this instalment, you got to see more of the rest of the world, with Shu, Fjerdan and even Ravkan agents coming into play. After the Shadow & Bone series and the continued foreshadowing of ‘the Shu threat’, I was riveted to finally see the results of their twisted experiments and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed! And there’s no way the Barrel gangs were going to sit this one out, and it was awesome to see the intricate workings and politics of the amongst the gangs. It was thrilling to see all these powerful players vying off in such a small city. Plus, we even got to see a few cameos from the Shadow & Bone series!
As with the first book, the constant twist and turns of these books had me reeling and dying for more. The climax was simply epic though heartbreaking, you get so attached to this incredible characters, even side characters, that you don’t want anything to hurt them (well, except Van Eck who deserved to rot in a hole). This novel, as well as her previous books, demonstrated once and for all why Leigh Bardugo is one of YA’s greatest authors. I give it 5/5. I loved this book so much, it’s definitely one of my all-time favourites and I’m sad the Six of Crows is only a duology, though I am excited to read the new book, King of Scars.