I’m not going to fan girl in this review. This series is on a whole other level, beyond the girl of fanning. This book has my respect.
Let’s just take in the fact that not only did Leigh Bardugo create a book with a once-sex-slave, a gambler, two people who fall in love even though they were raised to hate each other, a cripple and an illiterate as main characters who do really great and unbelievable things even though they have their short comings and handicaps (don’t tell Kaz I said that).
Now add in the fact that she put together a group of people that aren’t all of the same ethnicity. Then sprinkle in that all three POVs (Point of Views) have different voices and you can tell who you are viewing the scene through.
I’m just in awe.
I want to voice that I DID NOT READ GRISHA BEFORE THIS SERIES and I found this book just as amazing as all my friends who did. BUT, there are some spoilers in this book for Grisha. So do what you want to do. I am going to read Grisha next though!
I honestly have not read a book with more diversity and plot than this one (not including is precessor, Six of Crows). Interracial couples, thugs, rich, poor, city, farm, kings, cripples, assassins, black, white, powers, armies, death, tricks, thieves…. she truly has a touch of generally anything you can think of.
And the best part is? Not everyone lives happily ever after.
People die that you care about. People don’t get over their short comings just because the book was coming to an end. People don’t get what they asked for just because there are no more pages to turn.
But that just makes it that much better
I’m going to do this by couples, so if you haven’t read the previous book or this book, honestly just stop and go read it. If you hate it, you probably need to rethink your life choices.
Jesper and Wylan
These boys could not have stolen my heart anymore than they already did. It wasn’t even just the shamless one-sided flirting from Jasper, it was the problems that they had to face in order to grow as a character.
Wylan, in my opinion, dealt with a lot of anxiety. He wanted to be accepted by everyone he met, he was always worried that he didn’t give to the team as much as everyone else did, and he always felt horrible because it was his dad that screwed everyone over.
It all came from one thing: His dad (Jan) didn’t accept him and all his short-comings. He wanted to BANISH him and start a new family because HE WASN’T WORTH THE TROUBLE.
Jesper dealt with emptiness. He wanted a fill and for him, that was gambling. He felt better when he gambled, when he fought and when he was doing something. He fidgets when he isn’t actually doing something (ex. when he was on the boat to the Ice Court in Six of Crows).
Something was missing with him and he didn’t know what it was.. until a very smart someone gave him something to wonder about.
Side note for these two: it isn’t rejected in this book to play the lines of who you are attracted to. It isn’t even mention to be weird. Another reason why Leigh Bardugo has my absolute respect.
Nina and Matthias
These two… my word.
One is very free with whom she is and the other is very strict and orderly. One is a Grisha, someone who holds other worldly power, and the other was raised to elimiate the previously mentioned abomination. One has no restraint and goes for what she wants and the other knows discipline and control.
These two could be no more different, yet they completed each other. Half the time, I don’t think Matthias would have been there if Nina wasn’t. His loyalty, in my opinion, was more for Nina than the whole crew.
Nina dealt with withdraws of a power drug and learning she isn’t who she thought she was. You see her struggle to grasp who and what she is through out this whole book and how she is kind of hating it but trying to learn to deal with it.
Matthias struggled with seeing Grisha not as an abomination and more of a blessing. Throughout the whole book, you can see him struggling to deal with that because he knows that they are humans and worthy of life because of his relationship with Nina.
Kaz and Inej
Kaz is the weakest person in this crew; yet he is also the strongest. It would be an understatement in stating that he is also the most brilliant person in that whole universe. I’m not sure anyone can think out a plan as well as he can.
Inej was sold into sex-slavery and came out as one of the most feared and valued people in all of Ketterdam. So feared, that when someone is trying to take down her crew, they hire AN ASSASSIN to kill her. A trained, deadly assassin.
The relationship between these two is a very different one. They both hold each other at arms length while never wavering their eye contact. They both know that there is no one else in the world they want to be with, but they also know that it isn’t something that can come easiliy or maybe at all.
Kuwei and …yah
I just wanted to include him because he’s ridiculous and I’ve learned to hate him and his obsessive and selfish ways. Even though he really didn’t do anything to the actual plot, just to one of my favorite character.
A lot of scheming.. A lot of death… A lot of heartbreak… A lot of growing… A lot of love… A lot of satisfaction.
This book will forever be apart of my soul. Thank you, Leigh Bardugo.