Every time I see a fantasy hailed as the next Six of Crows, I step cautiously. Aside from knowing the content of those books like the back of my hand, there’s something special about the feel of those books as well as how the characters all work together. The amount of books that I’ve read that have SoC comparisons are ridiculous, and often they just aren’t like SoC at all.
But now Dangerous Remedy has come along, with its bunch of misfit characters, more scrapes and mishaps than you can shake a stick at, and a story that is engaging, tense and fun at the same time. So it got me thinking – maybe there can be Six of Crows comparisons that are actually right…because this book definitely is something comparable!
Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?
In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.
When a book set in 18th century France starts off with a massive hot balloon crash into a prison, you know you’ve got to buckle in for an exciting ride. Dangerous Remedy is a thrilling heist fantasy done right, and if you’re looking for a beautifully written book with excellent diverse leads then look no further. The book is full of great representation too, with three of the four characters being LGBT+.
The main thing I absolutely adore in Six of Crows are the characters. They’re all well rounded and have their own goals and drives, and the same can be said of Dangerous Remedy. Camille, Ada, Al and Guil are all part of the Battalion of the Dead, a group who try their hardest to save prisoners who are due to be executed. As loveable as all of the characters were, I think my definite favourite was Al. You know I love a traumatised boy burdened with his past and ignoring his responsibilities in favour of awful coping mechanisms. Al fits that description perfectly, so it’s natural for me to love him with every fibre of my being.
I really adored the magic element of this book as well, and the constant discussion whether it was magic or scientific. I’m not a science-y person, but this didn’t mean that the scientific topics sometimes discussed in this book went over my head. It was well-written in a way that is accessible to readers to understand which I appreciate. It was exciting, and I can’t wait to see how this progresses in the second book – whether it will be for the better or the worse for the group.
Dangerous Remedy is full of twists and turns that you may get whiplash from the shocks that come at the end of every few chapters. Just when I thought I was settled with the plan and ready to see it play out well, there’d be an abrupt change and the plans would be left in tatters. I cannot stress enough how much of a good thing this is! Too often, fantasy books end up in a predictable course of events and will have me guessing the outcome. This book makes sure to keep you on your toes – nobody is safe, no plan is set in stone, and things can quickly change from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds. That, in my eyes, is fantasy done excellently. I should be worrying for these characters every step of the way, and I do in this book. When books do this well, I’m often very eager for the sequel and I can happily say that I’m eagerly awaiting it! I just hope that it isn’t too long of a wait…
There’s really only one thing that stops this book being rounded into a 5 star read, and that’s the lack of focus on Guil. It was a real shame as I began to really like his character, but he didn’t seem to have as much of the limelight as the others in the Battalion. In a way, it was almost like he was pushed to the background of the action (he actually was towards the end of the book but I won’t give massive spoilers). I’m really hoping in the second book he’s fleshed out more!
Final thought: A fast paced, whiplash inducing read that fantasy and heist fans will truly adore! 4.5/5