Bingo 2: Rep
The more I thought about it, the more I think Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows 2) really does work for the Rep square. I saw an article from Tor.com that argued that Nina rep’d for body positivity arguing that it is unusual for a main character/heroine who is female and larger and not just there for the comic relief or for the eventual slim down/glow up. While I do agree with this, I think it’s a bit more of a factor in the previous book than it is here. Nina certainly has her role to play in being the spy of Kaz’s group as they work to first rescue Inej and then to secure their revenge against Van Eck (and Rollins too but most of the crew doesn’t know this bit until later), and she’s also the Grisha survivor of the jura parem drug who has to deal with the addiction and the changes to her powers. The addiction thing is a factor for Jesper as well since his gambling habit is open noted as such although not in that direct language. The differences in how they deal with and talk about their sort of but not really shared problem is interesting since you usually don’t see different types of characters with different types of addictions facing their issues in such different ways in the same story.
I would argue that the main rep here is actually Wylan and his learning difference, probably along the lines of dyslexia since he can’t read or write even though he’s good at several other subjects and was given extensive tutoring to “fix” him. Wylan’s struggle with his self-esteem and this problem of his actually becomes a focus of the story in more than one place, and plays a role in the grand deception finale. This character is somewhat typical in that he’s the former rich boy who has to learn how to live in the world of thieves, killers, thugs, etc. of the Barrel, and yet he’s got something that makes him a little different from this stereotype. Yes, Wylan is also starting to adjust to his feelings for Jesper, but that kind of rep is getting a lot more common in fantasy these days.
You could also argue that physical disability gets a rep by Kaz, who openly acknowledges this fact about himself and uses it to his advantage in a few places, but really the more interesting thing about Kaz in this sense is his PTSD and resulting phobia of touching skin to skin. A leading (anti-)hero guy with some terrible traumatic past is not that uncommon but Kaz having to face his phobia and struggle with it and maybe start to deal with it is still unusual, but again, not as much as Wylan’s case.
One of the interesting things I found with this story overall is how everyone has to face something about themselves, often to do with their pasts, and how after the final confrontation with the villains who wronged them in the previous novel, some of them get a lot more closure than others. Kaz and Inej both settle their personal pasts for the most part, and start to move forward both personally and professionally; Jesper and Wylan do much the same. And it does not escape me that the somewhat shared levels of settle just so happens to match the personal pair-offs too. It’s almost cliché except that no one’s exactly running into their other’s arms. The kind of interesting part was that it’s Nina who doesn’t get that closure. Matthias sort of does and he accepts his ending, but Nina still has a lot to settle and deal with at the end of the novel. It’s certainly set up to include her in the next series in the Grishaverse, but I wouldn’t necessarily have picked her as the most interesting character who needed more story.