Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I was waiting to read this book since it got published. After reading the Grisha trilogy which I loved (reviews of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm), I had a lot of expectations for Six of Crows, but I’ve approached it carefully and I didn’t allow my expectations to spoil the reading.
In case that you are worried about the hype behind this book, you can relax. The book is amazing.
“Six Of Crows” is constructed in such manner that every new chapter is told from a perspective of a different character. I really liked that since every single character here is original and well thought. Their voices are indeed recognizable and Bardugo managed to build a story packed with action, while occasionally bringing back characters’ past. She did it truly brilliantly. It’s an epic tale with six main characters, five perspectives, complex and detailed world-building that is seamlessly integrated into the story, and a wonderful blend of darkness, magic, action, humor and romance.
It’s set in the same Grisha universe (this time in an alternate Netherlands instead of Russia), but it’s much darker and more adult. These characters are thieves, convicts and runaways. Street gangs compete for territory and power. The author takes all these dark “real world” factors and enthuses them with the supernatural. They must first break into a heavily-guarded prison and smuggle a convict out and then, with his help, they will attempt to break into the Ice Court – a place that has never been breached – all to get their hands on a LOT of money. But all these characters have their own personal agendas too (and because of the third person narrative we don’t always know what they are).
So, nicely done characters, book full with action, and inventive plot. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for me it was just the feeling that I was watching an action movie, not reading a book. In some moments, plot was more important than the world building or characters themselves, and I don’t think that is a good thing. At least, it wasn’t for me. Story reminded me of the movie Ocean’s 11.
To be honest, this book was a lot of fun, characters were creative and the plot really imaginative. Many people will simply adore Six of Crows, I have no doubt.
Kaz leaned back.”What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?” “Knife to the throat?” asked Inej. “Gun to the back?” said Jesper. “Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina. “You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.
Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.
The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.
No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.