Given how much I loved the Grisha I doubted myself when I picked this up, bit glad I did. Because this was one addictive book.
Despite my lukewarm feelings to Shadow And Bone, this was just utterly fascinating. In fact, I rooted for all the characters here from the beginning even though they are far from your usual heroes. In fact, that’s why I like them even more. Because she managed to make me care for them and even know them deeply.
Be it from Kaz, who is a criminal prodigy to even Wylan who was a rich merchants son, I loved all of them. It was such an intriguing cast when all made their stupid decisions, their mistakes. They all have pride and emotions, even goals. All the while they were together despite it all and in the beginning I was truly thinking they might just kill each other. Mostly Nina and Matthias killing each other.
I have never liked this cast of characters all of them have such depth, and even possible romances. I’m thinking that Jesper might just be in love with Wylan, and the romance in the back was perfect. And all of them had their weaknesses, and their interesting points. I loved the mention of the letters to see how much it was an insult as Wylan couldn’t read, maybe he has dyslexia seems possible. And that they all have their issues and grudges, such as Matthias against Nina, to Kaz and his revenge.
And stupid mistakes all shared and made. No one was flawless here and I loved them for that. They are misfits and this crew was interesting. My favourite scene was reading how they would threaten another to get a thief. It was an accurate portrayal of their methods and also, their morals. And I just loved the witty banter here, which showed all their characters well.
But the plot, being an impossible heist and the money. Somehow, I cared for them as all have their backstories which were very very important. Inej’s whose background comes in real handy, Jesper’s secret which was blown. Wylan’s own abilities. Matthias for his own freedom and knowledge of the Ice Court. And Nina. They all played a role here and their complex motivations weren’t just there, it all eventually caused them to make new bonds,to set aside their grudges and work together.
And their backstories, I loved every one of them. As I slowly understood Kaz where he was forced to do all he needed, because he wanted revenge. And that all didn’t matter to him. In the end, it was ironic about how it ended. But I loved how he would pick this up, even getting help from his own personal enemy.
Inej’s touched on my heartstrings the most, as she was quite pitiful. But eventually she made many decisions, to help Kaz and even more. She is skilled and took on the job, although she isn’t that bad of a person.
As for Nina, her hands were tied and she did pretty terrible things but at the same time, I could understand her. In the end, it was a misunderstanding as she was forced to do what she needed, and stayed on when she could have just left and said goodbye to Ketterdam.
Either way, every character has their own challenges. And that they eventually made me care for them, I have never been even more interested in a story about a heist when concerning this group. As they aren’t really criminals, not all are, but they are rather unique and original. Their skills cannot really be replicated or even seen. And each of them were essential and even needed every time.
Overall, I would recommend this book with my heart as a great piece of work. I have never bothered and even cared this much for six main characters who all narrated at the same time yet my head was never messy. This was skillfully handled and for once, go for this by Leigh Bardugo it is a much better work than the Grisha Trilogy.
Rating: 5 out of 5