So I finally decided to dive into this duology. I started out intending to read the Grisha series beforehand, but if you’ve seen my review on the first book in that series, you know that I DNF’d the series because I disliked the first book way too much to continue. I finally decided to just skip Grisha and read this duology because I thought that I would like this duology enough that not reading the rest of Grisha wouldn’t really upset me, and I decided I didn’t care if SoC spoiled me on anything in Grisha.
If you want to read my review on Shadow and Bone, click here.
Anyway, while I’ve read a million reviews on this I thought I would post a sort of a “mention things as I go” type discussion, because I felt that it would be beneficial to keep track of the things I liked and didn’t like, the characters, the story, etc. that I would want to remember and talk to people about, that may not necessarily end up in my review. Think of this as my digital series bible chapter on Six of Crows.
Warning: I would also like to mention that as this is a discussion of the book, there will be spoilers. Also, unless you want to be spoiled for the love of all that is holy DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT search for these characters on the Wikipedia!
The boy he’d been talking to had been cocky, reckless, easily amused, but not frightening—not really. Now the monster was here, dead-eyed and unafraid. Kaz Brekker was gone, and Dirtyhands had come to see the rough work done.
Kaz is the main character in SoC. Known as Dirtyhands because he will “commit any sin” or break any rule for the right price. One of the main descriptor words people seem to use for Kaz is “demon”. He always wears a pair of gloves, a hat, and he has to walk with a cane due to a limp he acquired on a job. He is very pale, with brown hair and brown eyes. He comes across incredibly cocky and, for the most part, cold-hearted. He is the leader of the Dregs, which is basically a gang that controls part of Ketterdam.
In the first few chapters, there was to be a meet-up with another gang to resolve some issue and they weren’t supposed to bring weapons. This quote shows not only his sense of humor, but how dangerous he can be.
“What about that?” Jesper asked, gesturing to Kaz’s walking stick. Kaz’s laugh was low and humorless.
“Who’d deny a poor cripple his cane?”
“If the cripple is you, then any man with sense.”
My favorite thing about Kaz, outside of his scheming little mind, is his sense of humor. Occasionally violent, always sarcastic, and all while keeping a strait face.
“I’m a businessman,” he’d told her. “No more, no less.”
“You’re a thief, Kaz.”
“Isn’t that what I just said?”
Kaz heaved a sigh as he braced himself for three painful flights of stairs. He looked over his shoulder and said, “Please, my darling Inej, treasure of my heart, won’t you do me the honor of acquiring me a new hat?”
Inej would find her own way in. The rules of fair play among the gangs were from Per Haskell’s time. Besides, she was the Wraith—the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.
Inej Ghafa, also known as The Wraith, because she can seemingly disappear into thin air, is another MC in this story, and part of the crew that goes with Kaz on the big mission. Her backstory really sucks; she was taken from her family and sold into slavery before Kaz bought out her indenture. She dreams of captaining her own ship and taking down slavers. She’s pretty badass and always carries around her knives, and she’s got a thing for Kaz. Her job in the Dregs is information gathering, she basically stalks people and watches their meetings to learn everything Kaz could possibly want to know.
With a great sigh, Jesper removed the gun belts at his hips. She had to admit he looked less himself without them. The Zemeni sharpshooter was long-limbed, brown-skinned, constantly in motion. He pressed his lips to the pearl handles of his prized revolvers, bestowing each with a mournful kiss. “Take good care of my babies,” Jesper said as he handed them over to Dirix. “If I see a single scratch or nick on those, I’ll spell forgive me on your chest in bullet holes.”
I really love Jesper, and his sense of humor. I also like his cute little scenes with Wylan ♥ He’s a badass sharpshooter and part of the Dregs. He has a really bad gambling problem. One of the things that I like about him is that he seems to be on of the few in Kaz’s group that seems to still has a conscience, and is willing to confront Kaz about things. Although I really hate that his gambling problems fucked things up for everyone and almost got Inej killed.
Matthias pressed his forehead once, briefly, against Brum’s. He knew his mentor could not hear him, but he spoke the words anyway. “The life you live, the hate you feel—it’s poison. I can drink it no longer.”
Ah, my sweet, sweet, baby Matthais. I love big, burly, unfriendly male protagonists. I have no idea why but he just hit all my buttons as my favorite character. He is a Druskelle, which is basically a Fjerdan that hunts Grisha. I LOVED the evolution of his character line, and the scene where he says he can drink poison no longer (referring to hating and hunting Grisha) made me cry so freaking hard. I already know a bit of what happens to him in the next book because I was dumb and wikipedia’d the characters and saw his “status” and I’M SO PISSED RIGHT NOW. Anyway, he’s a beautiful take on basically a badass Nordic hunter in this book and I was so ready to accept him. Not to mention the Matthais x Nina scenes I just die every time:
“What happened in the dreams?” she asked, eager for an answer, but fearing it, too.
“Horrible things. The worst kinds of torture. You drowned me slowly. You burned my heart from my chest. You blinded me.”
“I was a monster.”
“A monster, a maiden, a sylph of the ice. You kissed me, whispered stories in my ear. You sang to me and held me as I slept. Your laugh chased me into waking.”
“You always hated my laugh.”
“I loved your laugh, Nina. And your fierce warrior’s heart. I might have loved you, too.” Might have. Once. Before she had betrayed him. Those words carved an ache into her chest.
“It’s just so much easier to kill people than take care of them.” Inej blinked, and then they both started laughing. “Owwww,” groaned Inej. “Don’t make me laugh. That feels awful.”
The most badass, beautiful, funny, food-loving heartrender. Like, can we just discuss the fact that she took toffee’s with her when Kaz said to only bring the necessities. That is so something I would do. She is incredibly funny, always making fun of the grumpy Fjerdan. And that last scene where she takes the jurda parem, knowing it will probably kill her to save them all. I freaking cried so hard:
“Stay,” she panted. Tears leaked from her eyes. “Stay till the end.”
“And after,” he said. “And always.”
“I want to feel safe again. I want to go home to Ravka.”
“Then I’ll take you there. We’ll set fire to raisins or whatever you heathens do for fun.”
“Zealot,” she said weakly.
“Nina,” he whispered, “little red bird. Don’t go.”
Like, how did my heart just not slowly bleed to death? I need to read the next book to see if she and Inej are okay. Also, the way she acts around Matthais ♥ THEY ARE SO CUTE I CANNOT EVEN AHHHHHHHH
“What was that?”
“I do like you,” he said angrily. She’d beamed, feeling a well of pleasure erupt through her.
“Now, really, is that so bad?”
“Yes!” he roared.
“Because you’re horrible. You’re loud and lewd and … treacherous. Brum warned us that Grisha could be charming.”
“Oh, I see. I’m the wicked Grisha seductress. I have beguiled you with my Grisha wiles!” She poked him in the chest.
“No. I’m beguiling you.”
“Quit it.” She danced around him in the snow, poking his chest, his stomach, his side. “Goodness! You’re very solid. This is strenuous work.” He started to laugh. “It’s working! The beguiling has begun. The Fjerdan has fallen. You are powerless to resist me.”
Wylan Van Eck
He is a member of the Dregs, but was originally the son to the mercher who hired the Dregs for the job, so he came from a rich, privileged life. His specialty is explosives. He and Jesper got a little thing going on and I love it. He’s really cute and takes so much crap from the rest of them it’s ridiculous.
August 5th, @ 35%
The main thing that I’ve noticed about Kaz is that he plays everything very close to the belt, and almost seems to expect betrayal from everyone. When they went to meet up with the other gang at the parley and things went wrong, Kaz wasn’t at all surprised, and much to his comrades’ surprise, he had already thought far ahead and made sure things went in his favor by insuring the gunmen the other group hired were swayed to obey him instead. He seems to really not like being touched, and as of right now I can’t really understand why, there’s probably a background story I haven’t read yet.
One thing I see happening is Kaz x Inej. While Kaz despises being touched, when Inej was stabbed he came to help her and carried her in his own arms to safety, even while his leg was pretty much giving out underneath him. But at this time, there are things that Kaz does that doesn’t make sense to do in front of people you have feelings for, like when from Inej’s perspective she thinks to herself that Kaz doesn’t even think before undressing in front of her. Although she also does think to herself that as far as she knows, she’s the only one who’s ever been around when he undresses, so maybe that’s a show of trust for him. I just haven’t read enough about him to be sure what’s happening.
“A few weeks, maybe a month,” he said as he ran the wet cloth under his arms and the hard planes of his chest, water trickling down his torso. For Saints’ sake, Inej thought as her cheeks heated. She’d lost most of her modesty during her time with the Menagerie, but really, there were limits. What would Kaz say if she suddenly stripped down and started washing herself in front of him? He’d probably tell me not to drip on the desk, she thought with a scowl.
August 15, 100%
I cannot even begin to describe the total mind-bending, panic inducing, staying-up-until-four-in-the-morning feels this book has put me through. I was good and waited until I finished this blog post to read Crooked Kingdom and I AM SO READY. NINA HAS TO BE OKAY. I know everyone’s like oh, Inej, please be okay but all i’m thinking is NINA, WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? I like Inej and all but Nina and Matthais are my babies. The scene where Nina takes the Jurda Parem still kills me, and when Inej be all like “I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker, or not at all” or something like that makes me want to die. And poor Kaz be all like
Okay, so, ima go and read Crooked Kingdom. Bye