Rating: 5 Stars
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a clever, intriguing heist novel set in the a well crafted, almost visceral world. This book was on my TBR for god knows how long while I put off and put off and put off reading it. I didn’t put off reading this book because of the hype or because I didn’t think I would like it. It just somehow kept getting pushed down the list by every other book that caught my eye. Putting off reading this book was a mistake.
This book is set within the world of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse but with only nods to the original trilogy. The book is it’s own creature and while I’m not about to start comparing the two Six of Crows has a certain grit that spoke to me on a different level from the Grisha trilogy. The book follows Kaz “Dirtyhands” Brekker and his five person motley crew of thugs as they embark on the biggest heist of their lives. You have: Jesper the sharp shooter, Inej the Wraith, Wylan the munitions expert, Nina the heartrender, and Matthais who sort of serves(slightly against his will at times) as their inside source of information and muscle. When Kaz decides to take on a seemingly impossible job this is the crew he assembles to do so.
Talking too much about the plot of this book would give it away since every twist is tied into the next turn and to give away almost anything would set dominoes tumbling in your brain and let you in on too much. Instead I’ll talk about the characters and how they’re the real reason you should read this book.
The beauty of this book isn’t just in the depth of the world building which is so rich you can taste it, or in the swift subtlety of the plot line although that does sweep you up and not release you until the bitter end, it’s in the complex brokenness of the characters. Kaz has a limp and why is it that he always wears those gloves?, Inej is scarred from the brand put on her by the monster who kidnapped her and sold her for her body, Jasper has ADHD and a gambling problem, Wylan can’t… well spoilers, Matthais is torn between his heart and what’s he’s been taught to believe not to mention the scars from prison and Nina has lost her identity is so many ways since leaving her home behind. Every character in this book is struggling with something and while the average reader might not be a member of a street gang, a grisha hunter, an ex-circus performer, or a powerful heartrender, everyone can relate to at least one of these characters struggles.
So if you like fantasy books full of low level street thugs who commit everything from petty crimes to grand infiltration schemes. If you’re okay with knowing the vast majority of your cast of characters are people you wouldn’t want to encounter in a dark alley even with backup. If you’re prepared to turn yourself over heart and soul to these Barrel Rats then I couldn’t recommend this book to you more.
And remember… No mourners, No funerals.
Until next time, stay passionate and excelsior!
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