Synopsis (with Spoilers)
WHERE DO I BEGIN? Lots of things happen in this novel, so I’m just going to condense it, and talk about the parts that I loved by talking about each character because each character has their own story. If you want an in-depth summary click on this link.
But if you want my summary in short: The heist was a success, but they were betrayed by being played, and instead, they were given another mission, in exchange for money and a girl named Inej. Did I see this coming?? No!
He is the head honcho of the gang. He is like the father of the group. Kaz is the one who gathered the group into the heist, and executed the plan. What brought him to complete this heist of stealing jurda parem, was the money. To Kaz, money talks and money is huge motivation in his life.
What I loved about this book is that it mostly displayed Kaz a character with no morals, driven by greed and money, but the internal thoughts of Kaz showed Kaz’s soft side. It showed his experiences of living on the streets, and Kaz grieving the loss of his brother, Jordie.
He held tight to his brother and kicked toward the lights of Ketterdam. Together, they drifted, Jordie’s distended body acting as a raft. Kaz kept kicking, trying not to think of his brother, of the taut, bloated feel of Jordie’s flesh beneath his hands; he tried not to think of anything but the rhythm of his legs moving through the sea. He’d heard there were sharks in these waters, but he knew they wouldn’t touch him. He was a monster now, too.
Can we also talk about his love for Inej? Bardugo shows us his internal thoughts of how Kaz cannot live without Inej. What bothers me the most is that he doesn’t act upon his love for Inej. Kaz, just kiss her!!!!
Kaz is a smart man too. He used everything he knew about being a thief, and used it on his heist. If it weren’t for his brilliance, Nina, Wylan, and Kuwei would all be dead.
“I’m a business man,” he’d told her. “No more, no less.”
“You’re a thief, Kaz.”
“Isn’t that what I just said?”
Inej (My favorite character)
A smart, brave, and quiet performer from the circus. It made sense why Inej was able to sneak up behind people, and spy on others while being quiet. It takes a flexible circus performer to be quiet and walk on their toes.
I loved Inej because she was so brave, and self aware of her abilities. She knew she was strong and when she wasn’t, she pushed herself to climb up the chimney despite it being hot, and it burning the soles of her shoes. She knew she had to listen to Kaz, and followed his orders because she had no other choice.
Is she a feminist? I believe so! She is a woman who believes that she can do things on her own, while having to rely on a man’s status rather than her own. She’s self aware that men are dominant in society, but her ambitions of buying a boat to stop slave traders, makes her a feminist in her ideals.
One thing that bothered me about Bardugo’s writing on Inej, was the fact that she got captured by Van Eck in the end. I’m only bothered because she was given that female prisoner stereotype that is often portrayed in YA Fantasy. I’m hoping in the next book, Bardugo is able to create her own narrative of how a female warrior is in captivity, while breaking down sterotypes.
I want to call that storm, she thought. And four million kruge might be enough to do it. Enough for her own ship—something small and fierce and laden with firepower. Something like her. She would hunt the slavers and their buyers. They would learn to fear her, and they would know her by her name. The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true. She clung to the wall, but it was purpose she grasped at long last, and that carried her upward.
Can we also talk about how KAZ LET JAN VAN ECK TAKE INEJ???? Yes, Inej can defend herself but KAZ! YOU LOVE HER!!! WHY DIDN’T YOU ATLEAST PUT UP A FIGHT OR EVEN BARGAIN?
Hold your ground, Kaz’s instincts said. Van Eck has the money. He is the key. Inej can fend for herself. She’s a pawn, not the prize. But he was already turning, already sprinting to get to her as the Grisha attacked.
I love Nina. Every time she used her powers to heal and hurt others, I found myself screaming in enjoyment. She’s the kind of character where you find yourself encouraging them to kill. She’s so tough, strong, and brave. We all need a Nina in our lives.
Her backstory is probably the one I loved the most. That paragraph where her father told her that some day she’ll met her future prince, made me cry!!!
Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.
I loved reading about Matthias throughout the book. He was a man who loved his country, his people, despite the fact that his homeland wasn’t on the right side of history, Matthias stands tall with his values.
When I picture Matthias, I picture a big, tall, brave man who is brave at any situation given to him.
Now he looked like what he truly was: a killer. His bare torso seemed hewn from steel, and though she knew it wasn’t possible, he seemed bigger, as if the very structure of his body had changed.Nina catching some feelings.
Jesper & Wylan
They were both minor characters through the book. Yes, without them the heist wouldn’t be possible, but we saw more of Kaz & Inej and Matthias & Nina than Jesper & Wylan.
Nevertheless, I still loved them both. They were both our queer characters that showed feelings for one another. Although their sexual orientations weren’t explicit, I loved the hints that Bardugo dropped.
If you aren’t born with every advantage, you learn to take your chances.Jesper to Wylan
What I liked about the book:
I loved that this book had many points of view. I was able to learn about every main character in the book. Not only that, after every chapter, I looked forward into reading the next point of view. This sort of technique allowed me to wonder what will happen next.
What I didn’t like about the book:
I didn’t like how the first two chapters were confusing into understanding the plot. But after pushing through, I was able to catch on and enjoy the book.
What could of made the book better:
If they showed more Jesper and Wylan scenes. They are an adorable couple that could of shed more light.
Will I read more books by this author?
Hell yes! This was my first book by Leigh Bardugo, and in the grisha world. Despite that, I was able to catch onto the world, and appreciate the book for what it was: perfection.