It’s taken me far too long to get around to reading Six of Crows, but the bonus is that at least I have the next book ready to read. Like the Grisha trilogy, I absolutely sped through this. It’s an interesting crew of characters, with their own history and background that informs how they react and what they do. I was a little put off that the characters seemed to pair up so readily: I wouldn’t expect stable romantic relationships to come out of forming a team for a heist, so it feels like I’m being asked to invest in something fairly transient. Kaz and Inej, of course, make sense, and so do Matthias and Nina (in their conflicting way), but Jesper and Wylan… I have a feeling about where that’s going, and right now I’m not sure that it was narratively necessary or realistic.
On the other hand, it’s a fantasy novel, so realism can be somewhat overrated, and if my feeling is right about where they’re going, then yay for rep.
For a heist novel, it does spend a lot of time on the characterisation and how they interact: Nina and Matthias’ history, Kaz’s motivations and his feelings for Inej (and the complications in the way of them having a relationship)… I still want more of Wylan and Jesper before I really invest in either of them, though towards the end of Six of Crows they have a couple of good scenes.
In terms of the fantasy world, well, it helps to know the Grisha trilogy as well, to really understand what Nina and other Grisha can do. Ketterdam comes to life somewhat, particularly with the addition of Kaz’s memories from before he joined the Dregs, but it isn’t the richest world-building I’ve ever seen. Still, the characters are enough to keep me engaged, and of course, that cliffhanger…