Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: Six of Crows #1
“Six of Crows” is my first book by Leigh Bardugo and one of the most hyped novels of 2015. After finishing it, I can say all the buzz is well deserved.
Kaz Brekker will not let anything stand in the way of his revenge. He plans to take apart the man who ruined his life, inch by inch. When a huge job that could put him closer to his goal comes across his path, he can’t turn it down. The heist seems impossible and most likely to get everyone involved killed. So, Kaz assembles a team of people just as desperate as him: a sharper-shooter with a gambling addiction; a Grisha heartrender attempting to make-up for a past mistake; a convict with a grudge; a wraith with a conscious; and the son of a wealthy merchant…for insurance.
At it’s heart, this is a heist book. The goal is for all the characters to break into what is thought to be an impenetrable fortress to steal something. What makes this story so good is how well fleshed out all the characters are. I loved how diverse everyone’s reasons for agreeing to do the job were and how we were given glimpses into all their backgrounds. But what really made the character development so intriguing is that we got to see almost all of them in a vulnerable situation. Even Kaz, who is the mastermind and could have easily been portrayed as this invincible character, was given a few vulnerable moments. The only people who we didn’t get too much background or page time with were Jasper, the sharp-shooter, and Wylan, the wealthy merchant’s son.
I also have to give Bardugo kudos for not pulling any punches. It seems like in a lot of Young Adult novels that there are invisible lines that some authors are unwilling to cross. When the world is supposed to be dark this can sometimes make it feel like the book is missing something. Bardugo does a wonderful job of not talking down to her audience and of keeping her world gritty.
Out of everyone my favorite character was Inej, the wraith. She’s someone who has gone through horrible experiences and, while she’s a little jaded, she still hold tight to her faith and morals. There were several points in this book where I was saying “hell yeah” when Inej would decide a course of action or take a stand for herself. I loved where Bardugo is taking this character and I’m most looking forward to seeing where she’ll go with her in the future.
The only downside of this book is that the end is hardcore sequel bait. While the main heist is completely tied up at the end, the last 20-ish pages are set-up for the next novel. So, the ending doesn’t give you a satisfying feeling. Instead, it works more as a cliff-hanger since events are set into motion and our characters are left in a kind of limbo. So, if you’re not good with cliff-hangers and would prefer to jump immediately into the next book, I would recommend waiting until September (when the next book is schedule to release) to read this one.
All in all, this is a title I would recommend to anyone who is a fantasy fan. Even if you’re not into young adult, it’s well worth the read.