After reading the entire Shadow & Bone series, I could NOT wait to start on the Six of Crows duology. When I first heard that the Crows were going to be included in the S&B show, I was super excited. Because I knew SoC took place well after the S&B series, I couldn't wait to see what sort of new tales we would get with the Crows!
Six of Crows is Leigh Bardugo's best book. One thing that she does masterfully is write character driven stories. Given that S&B was so plot heavy, I was pleasantly surprised by SoC!. I LOVE stories that are character driven. I want to feel every single thing the characters feel. I want my heart to race alongside the character. I want to want everything the character wants.
In Shadow & Bone, I didn't always feel that way. Alina wasn't my favorite narrator. In Soc, we get multiple narrators. Also, if we are being honest, I like morally grey characters, and what else would you call Kaz Brekker?! From the start, Kaz doesn't give a lick about other people. He believes in loyalty, but if you cross him, you'll never do it again.
It was refreshing to read SoC having already known the plot, because I could appreciate the characters more deeply.
Overall, I love the plot of this book. Firstly, found family is one of my favorite tropes of all time. I believe there is no stronger bond than the people you choose that choose you back. Secondly, Jesper Fahey is probably the most accurate I have ever seen another author to write my favorite trope: smartass, chaotic bisexual who is insanely talented with firearms. If you've read Guns & Smoke, Will Ellis is my favorite character, and Jesper Fahey is just like him. Thirdly, one thing that Bardugo usually doesn't do is a lot of romance. She took two characters that have a bad history and made us root for them so hard!
Six of Crows is a fun fantastical book, where this found family has to venture into an impenetrable fortress to complete an impossible mission. If you're looking for something fun and adventurous with sometimes questionable characters, definitely check out SoC. You don't have to read S&B, but be warned that SoC does provide some mild spoilers for the S&B series.