Grishaverse Gush: Part 2

So unless you’ve been living in the middle of The Fold, I’m gonna assume you’re aware of two huge moments in the Grishaverse fandom: Rule of Wolves was just released, and later this month, we’re finally getting the Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone!

Well, in light of both, like many Grisha fans, I had to reread the entire series. (What else?) And when I was about two pages in, it occurred to me: I really want to just have the space to gush about how much I love these books and this world. And so, friends, I bring you part two of a three part series of Grishaverse Gushes: this week, covering Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, and King of Scars!

(See part one, where I gush over Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising, The Lives of Saints, and The Language of Thorns, here!

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Warning: spoilers ahead!

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Six of Crows

This is the book that sold me on the Grishaverse, and it’s still one of my all-time favourites. Every time I come back to it, it strikes me how brilliant it is. That gritty realness of Ketterdam that you can practically breathe off the page; the organic diversity of the cast, and how they’re perfectly crafted to break your heart; the genius of having an entire magic system, and then having four of your six characters be entirely outside of it and holding their own anyway. It breaks all the rules and establishes an entire new standard–and I can think of no higher compliment for the Crows than that.

Favourite Characters

  • I know I can’t say all of them, so I’ll say Inej, and then I’ll shut up before I wind up adding ALL OF THE CROWS.
  • All of them.
  • (Sorry not sorry.)

Favourite Moments

  • Every chapter we get from Kaz’s POV
  • The wonderfully frightening and disgusting bit at the start with Kaz and Oomen’s eye. 🤢
  • That beautiful camaraderie between Inej and Nina (and then Inej and Jesper) on the boat on the way to Fjerda 💕
  • Inej’s climb up the incinerator in the Ice Court, and those spine-tinglingly badass realisations she has about her future that carry her up (almost literally) through the flames
  • TANK

Favourite Quotes

  • ‘The full moon looked less like a jewel than a yellowy blister in need of lancing.’
  • ‘She was the Wraith–the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.’
  • “You’ll get what’s coming to you some day, Brekker.”
    “I will, if there’s any justice in the world. And we all know how likely that is.”
  • “Stay and play a bit. Kaz will stake you.”
    “Really, Jesper? If I want to watch men dig holes to fall into, I’ll find myself a cemetery.”
  • ‘Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”
    Brekker’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”
    “My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Mattias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.’
  • “It’s not natural for women to fight.”
    “It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.”
  • “Nina is everything you say. It’s too much.”
    “Mmm. Maybe you’re just not enough.”
  • ‘”We have a tank,” marvelled Nina. “Kaz, you creepy little genius, the plan worked.”‘
  • ‘The look that passed over the boy’s face then had taken Rollins back. It was hatred–pure, black, long simmering. What have I ever done to this little pissant?’
  • ‘Dirtyhands had come to see the rough work done.’

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Crooked Kingdom

On first read–thanks largely to That Ending–I couldn’t appreciate this one as much as Six of Crows. On reread, I think I like it even more. Yes, it’s more heartbreaking; but there’s also much more depth there. The world–not on a grand scale, but specific to these characters–is already established, and explored even further. The characters are a real family, and the stakes are higher than ever–I almost feel Wylan’s anxiety first-hand. And we’ve already had one entire book to see how they can achieve the impossible by sheer will and nerve, so we’re not surprised when they do it again–just awed and relieved. Genius.

Favourite Characters

  • Not even fighting it this time: all the Crows.
  • Also Colm.

Favourite Moments

  • Kaz’s entire quote on coming for Inej and fighting their way out, knives drawn, pistols blazing. GOOSEBUMPS. EVERY SINGLE TIME.
  • Also Kaz and Inej in the bathroom. The tension.
  • Matthias guiding Jesper and Kuwei out of danger, and realising he’s just led his own Grisha army. The arc!
  • Genya! Zoya! Sturmhond!
  • Kaz and Jesper fighting, and no one stopping them because they’re not using canes or guns. And Kaz calling Jesper ‘Jordie’. MY HEART.
  • And off the back of that… Every single time Colm Fahey is on the page. The YA dad we deserve.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Nina is fine. Jesper is fine. Everyone is fine except me because I’m stuck with a gang of hand-wringing nursemaids.”
  • “This is not a negotiation.” “Everything is a negotiation with you, Brekker. You probably bartered your way out of the womb.”
  • “Zoya used to say that fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”
  • ‘A moment later, Kaz heard panting and Wylan rounded the corner, bustling along like a harried goose.’
  • “You’re not weak because you can’t read. You’re weak because you’re afraid of people seeing your weakness. You’re letting shame decide who you are.”
  • “Stop treating your pain like it’s something imagined. If you see the wound is real, then you can heal it.”
  • ‘”I didn’t raise you to be a gambler, Jesper. I certainly didn’t raise you to be a criminal.”
    Jesper released a bitter huff of laughter. “I love you, Da. I love you with all my lying, thieving, worthless heart, but yes, you did.”‘
  • “We are the Triumvirate. We do not take orders from Kerch street rats with dubious haircuts.”
  • ‘”Preening, ridiculous peacock. You stink of Grisha foulness.”
    Sturmhond sniffed the air. “I’m amazed you can detect anything over the reek of ice and inbreeding.”

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King of Scars

I love Nina, and Fjerda is interesting and all, and Nikolai’s war with his literal and metaphorical demons is very interesting, but nothing about this one stands up to ZOYA NAZYALENSKY, GENERAL DRAGON QUEEN.

Favourite Characters

  • ZOYA. Anything for my General Dragon Queen!
  • I also adore Nikolai, but that’s nothing new.

Favourite Moments

  • Any time Nikolai, the Triumvirate, and Tolya and Tamar gather together to banter talk politics.
  • The moment I realised exactly who Leoni is.
  • That Zoya/Nikolai tension. Oooof.
  • The fever dream quality of everything that happens on the Saints’ Fold.
  • DRAGON. QUEEN.

Favourite Quotes

  • ‘Perhaps she was doomed to stand on docks and murder Fjerdans. There were worse fates.’
  • ‘The Darkling could have killed either of them, but he had wanted to punish them instead. He might have been an ancient power, but he certainly had a petty streak.’
  • ‘”I need you calm, Zoya. The Apparat isn’t fond of the Grisha Triumvirate to begin with–“
    “I weep.”‘
  • ‘”Matthias, your country can kiss my fat Grisha ass.”‘
  • ‘”We should send him to Ketterdam to preach to Kaz Brekker and the rest of those reprobates,” suggested Zoya.
    Nikolai winced. “He’d certainly get his martydom.”‘
  • ‘Zoya was surprised to find she liked seeing Alina’s name on churches, liked hearing it spoken in prayers. Ravka had given too much of its love to men like the Darkling, the Apparat, even the Lantsov kings. They owed a little of it to an orphan girl with no dress sense.’
  • ‘”Most of us can hide our greatest hurts and longings. It’s how we survive each day. We pretend the pain isn’t there, that we are made of scars instead of wounds.”‘
  • ‘”When it was all over, the Darkling had me brought to his tent and said, ‘So, Zoya, you freed the tiger cubs. You did the selfless thing. And yet somehow you are the one who has finished the day with greater power. More than any of your betters who have patiently waited their turn. What do you say to that?’ […] I put my chin up and said, ‘They can all hang. It was my blood in the snow.'”‘
  • ‘”Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve. You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself.”‘

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Which is your favourite of these Grishaverse reads? Come back next Fangirl Friday for a Grishaverse Gush entirely devoted to Rule of Wolves! (Eep!)

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