What You Need To Know:
Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Number of Pages: 491
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Adventure, Action
Series/Standalone: First Book in the Six of Crows Duology
Publication Date: 29th September, 2015
Rating: Five Stars
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward (and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has no offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
I enjoyed the Grisha trilogy. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. I enjoyed it. And when I heard about Six of Crows I was slightly sceptical because loads of people adored the Grisha trilogy and that just didn’t pan out in the way, personally, I think it should of. So many people love Six of Crows and, eventually, I caved and I bought the first book when it was on sale on Amazon. Thinking that maybe i’ll like it. I was wrong. I didn’t like it. I loved it. Cliche, I know. For once, the hype was true. I was addicted from the get go due to anti heroes who had so much more depth than any of the characters in the Grisha trilogy. It’s true, authors do get so much better with each book.
“No mourners. No funerals.”
When I opened the book and learnt that there were five main characters who we see the perspectives of the story from. I was nervous. I haven’t hidden the fact that I don’t enjoy multiple points of view in novels. Most of the time it makes the story hard to follow and I can’t connect with the various characters. Meaning that the book, even if it has a great plot line, is a bit of a meh. This didn’t happen this time. I enjoyed learning about the different thoughts of all the characters and see the events through their eyes. Especially in the latter section of the book. Though in that particular section when ever a chapter would end and we’d move onto a different character, I did kind of scream that we’d move somewhere else even though it kept frantically turning the next page so that I knew what happened. So that’s both a plus and a negative. But not really a negative because it did make the book incredibly addictive.
‘Kaz leaned back. “WHat’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inez.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.’
Each of the characters were incredibly well developed and had a complex thought process. Yet through this the plot line wasn’t spoiled. Which can sometimes be the case because the author places in subtle sections of foreshadowing through pieces of conversation; although they aren’t always that subtle. But in this case, even when we were looking at the mastermind of the operation, Kaz, things weren’t revealed. I wonder though, if I read it again, if the plot line would have been more obvious. But who knows. It is also likely related to the fact that the perspectives are all in third person. So we had a narrator who understood what was going but we learnt everything at the same time of the majority of the characters. Minus Kaz, of course.
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
Talking about Kaz, I know his character arch is really cliche. He’s heartless and he learns how to not be heartless. It was a subplot that becomes relatively important later on. But it didn’t feel cliche. We see what caused him to be who he is and how that still affects him today. And the one person he reveals everything to. I was hooked on this relationship straight away and now I kind of want to go out and go by the second book so that I can immerse myself in it once again. He also showed us what a real villain is, in a typical novel. Usually we have these people who think that to be terrifying they need to prove themselves. Example Darth Vader and his force choking. But as shown in the quote above, to be truly terrifying you don’t need to always do the horrific thing. Because people know what you’ll do. And that introduction at the start would have been terrifying if Kaz were the villain rather than one of the heroes. That’s why I’m really coming to adore stories with the anti-hero as the protagonist. They’re far more interesting.
“The water hearts and understands. The ice does not forgive.”
Another thing that I want to mention is the LGBTQ+ character. The fact that this character is bi wasn’t thrown at us straight away. In fact i didn’t even realise until three hundred or so pages in because it wasn’t incredibly important to the plot. But it is who that character is. For once in a fantasy the fact that a character is gay isn’t a pinnacle moment. There is no big reveal that shocks everyone. Because that was just who he is. It didn’t really matter other than to develop the character further. Now i’m not saying that being gay is a form of character development or anything like that. All i’m saying is that it was displayed without being a huge deal. Because unless someone is coming to terms with the fact that they aren’t straight, then it’s not a big deal. At least for me and i’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community. So I think I kind have a valid opinion about it. It was excellently done and I just sort of went “oh, he’s gay. Cool” but it didn’t affect the story other than, as I said earlier, developing the character further and making him more real.
“I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”
In total, I loved this book. I’m still thinking about this book and I need to read the sequel. Like now. But student. Poor. So, at the moment, I cannot. If you like the Ocean films, is that what they’re called. Oceans 11 and that with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Then you’ll most likely end up loving this story and the world that Leigh Bardugo effortlessly created.
Book Total of 2017 – 114