Summary Bardugo

What we enjoyed about the book:
– We love the characters and their dynamic; improvement from the trilogy
– Ketterdam is fascinating, great world-building, you can really feel that city
– Heist stories are the best!
– Characters fully fleshed out, most of them are funny
– The book is so good because of the characters
– We love all the crows, shipped all pairings
– General plot well done, well crafted, great plottwists
– Waffles!!!!
– Character management well done, development very well done, good quality
– Highly entertaining
– Story, characters, world building well done
– Jesper one of the favourite characters, banter on point
– Nina & Matthias GREAT
– Dialogue hilarious, interplay between characters well done
– Kaz’s trauma well done; Bardugo portrays trauma and phobia well, not a heroic challenge but real and human (“anybody could suffer”)
– Kaz is extremely determined, smart, well organised but cannot overcome his trauma; very real, there is no easy solution
– Representation well done in the book
– Kaz traumatised and disabled
– Nina curvy and embodies body positivity
– Cliffhangers were really really well done; “forced to read yet another chapter in the middle of the night”, “properly hooked”
– Smart storylines, suprising
– Smart worldbuilding by combining pseudo-Europe and magic -> draw on the reader’s knowledge
– Touching scenes with Kaz’s trauma resurfacing better than the big dramatic heist scenes
– 4/5 star read when it was first read, too over the top, but now after having read all of the other books, now 5/5 stars, “come to love all of the characters”
– two ratings: as fantasy it’s 3.5/5 because it has its flaws but also great moments, just keeps me curious and interested; as crime fantasy it’s 4/5 “I really enjoyed it, there is crime, there is action”
– 5/5 because we love character driven stories and a good heist
– “I just set Sunday aside, just for reading”
– “it just stuck with me”, “I greatly enjoyed it”
– 5/5, “Crooked Kingdom” also great but “I had to cry for a day”
– 4.5/5 really enjoyable, but tiny issues like teenagers acting like adults became a problem after reading and not while reading
– “Gave my younger sister the first Shadow & Bone book”, she read it really fast (WE LOVE THAT, SAY HI FROM US!)
– 5/5 thankful for the book for introducing the Grishaverse

What we discussed:
– Fjerda weak in comparison to Ketterdam
– YA protagonists hilariously young; Kaz only 19, slightly ridiculous, BIG DISBELIEF HERE
– Partly super confusing, “what is going on!?”
– “a little bit too much”
– reading SoC without having read the trilogy super confusing
– cliffhangers a bit too much, too unbelievable –> gets worse of in later instalments of the series (Rule of Wolves) -> already see that here
– Add 10 years to every character. Nina 27? Nice! (It’s good that YA tries to empower teenagers, but it’s too much in this one.)
– Wyland an enigma, likeable, “for the entire book I was like: why is he there”? –> makes more sentence once one starts to read “Crooked Kingdom”
– way too heteronormative and in that way quite boring
– transgressive mature fantasy like GoT and a crime novel, book tries to finds its niche with nihilistic depiction of corruption, but it’s a bit much, supermerchant bit ridiculous; “not enough grey”
– beginning of the book quite weird, why perspective of a character who’s killed off? Interesting technique, also works because the reader already knows what’s going on while the characters are still investigating –> plays with a traditional prologue
– heist bit wild, superpowers and tanks, well that escalated quickly 😀 “too much action based”
– tank scenes fun but the more touching scenes were better
– Why is everyone working in a brothel? Why is Nina working in a brothel when she is offering therapy basically? Add sex to make it darker? Weird.

Your opinion on the Netflix series:
– actors are older, more mature and fitting
– casting really well done
– Shadowfold well done
– Chosen one storyline a bit meh
– CGI partly a bit meh
– Props and costumes really well done
– Real sets were well designed
– Unprofessional main character: Alina a bit annoying and a soldier but does not act like one. Doe-eyed girl who has no clue: “look it says gullible on the ceiling”
– Ketterdam bit underwhelming in the series (especially compared to SoC)
– “I want those Grisha coats” — WE WANT ALL THE COATS AND CLOAKS
– combination of Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows was really well done, less boring, “smart move”
– Grisha movements really cool, we all practise them in front of a mirror
– Darkling depicted pretty well, charismatic, backstory
– filter and colourgrading very dark, annoying to watch 😀 Details get lost, meh! Sad that so much got lost because it’s too dark
– WE LOVE MILO THE GOAT

Other books we talked about:
– “The Kingdoms” by Natasha Pulley: alternate reality, French have won the Napoleonic wars, protagonist has lost his entire memory and is a slave in London, receives a postcard from the past
– “Nimona” by Stevenson: graphic novel, loved the story, intrically crafted, went into different directions, surprising, you just fall in love with the characters
– “Fortunately the Milk” by Neil Gaiman “put a big grin on my face”, sweet story, felt giddy
– “Sunlight Pilgrims” by Jenny Fagan: in a world where climate change has gone the other way, the world is getting colder, not a lot of speculative fiction, but just a very good novel, great descriptions, trans girl as protagonist, “so beautiful”

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