Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Young Adult Fantasy
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes
Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Six of Crows is my first experience with Leigh Bardugo as an author, I have had the book sat on my bookshelf for so long and I am so happy I finally bit the bullet and picked it up to start it. Be sure to read on to find out my thoughts about this book;
First off with my reviews I like to take a moment to say one or two things about the cover or design of the book, I have the cover as shown above. I absolutely love it, I think the dark colours represent the feel of the book and the setting within and it’s just so pretty.
Secondly, I’m not sure if this is a feature in every copy of the book but my copy has 2 maps in the beginning and you know how I’m a sucker for a map. I love them especially in fantasy books where the world is so complex because it allows me the opportunity to continuously flick to the front to see where every area of this world is and I can see where the characters are about to head next. It also just makes the book more real for me, another element which allows me to lose myself deeper.
Leigh Bardugo’s world building is outstandingly extensive from Ketterdam to all of the areas which each character comes from and how their histories differ. I can appreciate from her descriptive writing the effort gone into her world, it did take me a little while to get into the book. I didn’t fully lose myself within until around 120 pages in, however I think this is because there was so many different characters and the world was so big I just struggled at first but it was so worth sticking it out.
One thing I really loved about this book was the fact that it was very much focused on the darker elements of this society and the outcasts. This is something very different from other books I have read which usually focus on characters in grandeur positions or even poverty but those characters aren’t anything like those within Leigh Bardugo’s world. A story focused on outcasts just seems like a new concept to me, it makes it stand out.
Another thing I liked was the prison scenes within the ice court, I actually imagined the prison to look like Azkaban from the Harry Potter movies, a high up concrete tower surrounding by dark clouds.
Where do I even start with the plot? SO MUCH happens in this book.
As previously mentioned it took me a little while to get into because there is a lot going on, I don’t know if it would be easier to fall into if you have previously read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy as you will already know abit about the Grisha’s then. I haven’t read that series so cannot comment if it does make it easier or if it’s in a different world.
Six of Crows is fascinating, the story is told by the 6 members of the crew. The constant shift of POV was extremely interesting, you got to see so many different views to the same story and we also got to learn the history and the childhood of each of the characters within their own POV. This all made the book so unique whilst simultaneously adding to the world building.
Whilst the books theme is dark and somewhat serious and filled with action as the characters begin to take on the Heist Job, it is also very humorous in places and Jesper especially is a character who seems very sarcastic which I love. Although I actually enjoyed each of the characters personalities which is new for me because usually in a book I at least find one to be annoying. Instead I loved each of them within this.
Six of Crows is packed full of different elements to keep you on your toes, I was shocked at numerous things throughout. Kaz is the character known as the trickster and he knows just what to do to get secrets and he knows how to wield them and trick others, but you never expect to be tricked as an audience. You read the plans and then something suddenly happens and it’s like oh my. ok… I did not see that happening. Which is amazing because I hate predictability and this book is far from predictable.
Some of the moments this book has are violent and brutal, I won’t reveal them to you because we all hate spoilers. But when you get to them I guarantee you will be like that’s the moment she was on about on her blog. It’s also a book filled with knives, guns and explosive moments due to the bombs…
The book holds a fast pace and the main plot of the Grisha’s being drugged is very interesting although we never get to see what happens to the girl at the beginning? Where does she go? I wonder if we will find out about her in the next book. I hope so!
Does it sound crazy that I loved them all? All 6 members of the crew, I adored the multiple POV and how it allowed us to learn the pasts of each character and what they have been through. I also found like it made the book full of tension because not all of them got along.
Of course I also have to applaud Leigh Bardugo for her likeable diversity, the crew is very diverse and the different races are portrayed basically on the same playing field. One isn’t treated better than another and the incorporation of diversity seems so natural, it’s not forced or it’s not just been thrown in there by Leigh so she can tick a box. It’s beautifully written. Race isn’t the only diversity shown, Kaz is a character who is also disabled both physically and mentally; physically Kaz suffers from a limp. Therefore he walks with a cane, something that can be quite taxing when he needs to run due to being chased however he’s a ferocious character who doesn’t let it stop him.
Mentally Kaz also seems to suffer from PTSD and he has an aversion to touching, another element which makes this character so complex. It gives reasoning’s to why he might act the way he does, the back story to Kaz is heartbreaking but incredibly detailed. Another plus for Leigh Bardugo’s writing.
My favourite characters would have to be Ijez and Kaz, if you follow me on goodreads or twitter you will have found me commenting on how I need a romance between those two. I want one so bad.
I also really loved how there are different elements to being a Grisha, each have a different skill and they go to school/academy to learn how to do such a skill. I thought this was really interesting because until the Grisha performed their skill there is no way of telling what type they are. I also thought this incorporation of mentioning how they are taught the skills adds the educational element in and further develops this world.
To conclude my review, which your probably bored of reading by now… I adored this book. I think it’s absolutely amazing and there is so much packed within, I appreciate the level of history that is shown, the magical elements and all the gangs which make up this society. It’s a very detailed world, but as long as you stick it out you will soon understand it and fall in love. I also really loved how unique the book was not only through its plot and its diverse characters but also by having the multiple POV, it allows the opportunity to get into the head of all the characters as they attempt to pull of this plan. I would whole heartedly give this 5 stars.
I have the next book next to me now waiting to be picked up after I end this fangirling…
My only tip for you would me – Make sure you read the chapter headers to know who is talking next. You don’t want to ignore them and be confused.