Book Club

Flashbacks and learning more about the characters

When I last left off in “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo, the crew had been ambushed by gang members as they tried to board their boat to go to the ice court.

During this ambush, Jesper and Inej were injured. Luckily, Nina — the crew’s heartrender — was able to heal them, which brought them both back to full health by the time they made it to the ice court.

A lot of this section of “Six of Crows” was helpful in learning more about the characters and their backstories — Kaz Brekker, our main character being one of them.

As it turns out, Kaz moved to the city where this story takes place with his brother after their father died and they sold their family’s farm. Kaz and his brother struggled to get jobs and were eventually scammed of the little money they did have, which forced them into poverty. 

Soon after this, they got sick. Both of them were too weak to fight the illness, which resulted in Kaz’s brother’s death and a near-death experience for Kaz. 

Kaz later learned that the man who scammed them was a gang leader known as Pekka Rollins. Rollins turned out to be the reason why Kaz joined a gang; he wanted to get revenge for his brother.

Another backstory we learned in this section was between Nina and Matthias. 

Before now, I knew these two had some kind of history that revolved around their shared feelings of hatred and love. Now, we know why.

Nina had been kidnapped by Matthias with the intention of putting her in jail just for being a Grisha heartrender.

Matthias locked her up on his ship and started to sail them back to his home in the ice court.  They hit a storm before they got there and the ship sank, which forced them to work together to survive the icy waters and the frigid tundra of his homeland.

Throughout this experience, the pair grew to trust each other, but that ended as soon as they made it back to civilization because Nina turned Matthias in for attempting to capture her as a slave.

Matthias was then thrown into jail, which is where he stayed until Kaz and his crew broke him out to join them on their mission.

At this point in the story, I was really upset with Nina for turning in Matthias because I like his character a lot. My dislike of her ended though as soon as she explained why she turned Matthias in.

As it turned out, Nina ran into some other Grisha she knew in the town they found. This Grisha recognized the threat Matthias posed to themselves and Nina, so they threatened to harm him. Nina turned Matthias in for his protection.

After learning about these characters’ backstories, the crew finally made it to the ice court where their plan began to unfold.

The crew snuck into the city by breaking into a prison cart and replaced six of those prisoners with themselves. 

Once inside the city’s prison, they broke out of their cells and made their way to the incinerator room where Inej would climb up the chimney and let down a rope for the rest of them.

As Inej was climbing, however, Kaz and Nina went to search the rest of the prison to make sure Bol Yul-Bayer wasn’t being kept there. The pair then split up to check the two wings of the prison.

Nina got distracted after finding torture chambers for holding Grisha captive and ended up setting off an alarm, which alerted the city of their presence.

At the same time, Kaz’s search brought him to something unexpected. He ended up finding Rollins locked in a cell, where we learned that he had also tried to break into the ice court but was caught by the guards.

So far, I am really getting into the story and it has been very hard for me to put down. I am really liking the complexity of the characters and the plot progression of the story.

Join me next week for the conclusion of “Six of Crows” and to learn how these character’s stories end.

Smith can be reached at [email protected]