My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
Well, folks: Bardugo has done it again.
I remember reading through the Grisha trilogy a few years ago and thinking it such an interesting world. I had never read a Russian-inspired fantasy before, and found the way that Bardugo crafted the world of Ravka and its magical-system of Grisha fascinating. There was a pervasive darkness to the story and the characters that made Shadow & Bone and its respective sequels stand out from other YA-fantasies that I had read.
And that darkness continues here, but with (in my opinion) a far more entertaining and action-packed plot. This book promises a magic-filled, high-stakes heist and it more than delivers on that promise. It features a true ensemble cast — read: no one character is more important than the other to the narrative — that reminded me of Ocean’s Eleven or Atlantis: The Lost Empire; the Dregs not only made me think of Burgess’s “droogs” from A Clockwork Orange, but were motley crew that ran the gamut of age, origin, body type, motivation, and personality. What they all had in common: distinguishable, unique narrative voices that not only made it easy to always remember whose perspective I was reading, but emotionally invested me in every single one of them.
I’m sure people will all have a favourite member of the Dregs that they like just a little bit more than everyone else, but I love each person of this rag-tag team equally. They’re all different, but still enjoyable, even when they’re despicable — and, oh yes, some of them really are. Bardugo loves to flirt with the line between antihero and villain, and the characters of Six of Crows are no exception. And the book is all the better for it.