Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: YA fantasy
First published: 2015
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Synopsis: Kaz Brekker, criminal prodigy receives an offer he can’t refuse: wealth beyond anything he’s ever known. All he has to do is pull off an impossible heist to retrieve a dangerous prisoner that could unleash magical havoc on the world. His crew? A convict, a spy, a sharpshooter, a soldier, a runaway and himself – a thief. If they manage not to kill each other, they might just make it.
This book has been SO hyped and it deserved every second of it! I absolutely loved it! First, let me introduce you to the cast:
Kaz – a beautiful, clever bastard with a knack for achieving the impossible.
Inej – a tiny badass assassin-spy.
Matthias – a giant, overmuscled war kitten.
Nina – a gracious gazelle who can and will flirt your face off. Also, she can kill you without touching you.
Jesper – a hyperactive sharpshooting puppy who loves to gamble.
Wylan – a hella smart donut.
These six set out to break out a prisoner from the world’s most secure prison (which happens to be somewhere in the Arctic circle and is aptly named the Ice Court), receive a fortune as a reward and possibly save the world in the process. If that doesn’t seem like the coolest thing ever to you, then I don’t understand you.
So the plot is like a very awesome and magical version of Ocean’s Eleven. It’s pretty obviously badass from the start. The book is set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy but it isn’t necessary to have read that before. I haven’t and I had no problem understanding it. It’s got new characters, new locations (I think) and it doesn’t spoil the Grisha series in any significant way (as far as I could tell) even though it takes place a couple of years after that series ends.
Anyway, the story itself is one whirlwind after another. It’s very action packed, full of daring schemes and impossible escapes and mad, brilliant Kaz pulling it all out of his ass. I don’t think it’s possible to be bored while reading this. But the thing I loved even more (if possible) is the dynamics between the characters, The way they grow together throughout the book and are forged into a family. A bunch of misfits who at first can barely keep from murdering each other, brought together by a broken genius with the promise of wealth and kept together by the bonds they’ve formed. It’s just awesome.
I love ever single one of these six. I don’t think I’ve read a book with a better cast of characters (not even the Night Court, which was freaking awesome!). Just, squad goals. Also, there is not one pairing in this book that I do not ship. And they’d better get a happily ever after in the next one because I’m going to cry otherwise. Or at least a… not dead and together for a while longer, since I don’t really see any of them putting their feet up and staying out of trouble.
This is going to be a duology, a strange occurrence in today’s YA. I kind of like that about it. Even though I want to read about these guys forever. If you have not read this book, what are you doing with your life? Go buy it and read it and prepare to fall in love with it!