I am doomed to love any book that promises thieves, assassins, heists, and evillery. WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE AND ITS COOKIES. (Yes, “evillery” is a word, why are you looking at me like that?) Plus when a book promises to be “dark and scary” and actually is dark and scary, it has my vote. And love. And all the epic feels. Six of Crows is insanely dark, ergo I love it insanely much. (Although not as much as I thought I would?! But I’ll get into that in a minute!)
SO THIS CALLS FOR A LIST! 6 Things about Six of Crows, obviously, because six.
(Oh and quick note: this is by the same author, Leigh Bardugo, and set in the same world as the Grisha Trilogy. You do NOT have to read the Grisha books first!! So go wild with this one, young crows.)
6 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SIX OF CROWS
(Which sort of rhymes! Admire my genius!)
- It puts the EPIC in “epic fantasy”. No doubt. No question. ONLY SCREECHING. It’s basically a heist book, set in a Russian-inspired fantasy world, where a crew of thieves go after The Ultimate Big Haul to become rich as kings or queens respectively. They’re dark and dastardly fiends. And when I say “dark” I mean SUPER DARK. Their backstories are heartbreaking and there’s torture, slicing, bleeding and dying. Also magic. ALSO CAKE.
“How about cake?”
“What about it?”
“I’m very keen on cake. I’m wondering if we can find some common ground.”
(You found common ground with me, Nina. <3)
- The characters are INCREDIBLY dimensional. It balances 6 main characters, and 6 POVs. That’s, um, a lot. And while I do have twitches about this, ultimate the characters were extraordinary. And I’ll throw a brief description of all these dark hearted darlings at you, just because:
• KAZ: He’s the coldhearted mastermind and yet somehow so tragically wonderful?! He cheats death and he’s endlessly clever. And he has a limp.
• INJE: She’s the “spider”, acrobat, and hears and sees everything. I be shipping her with above very very aggressively.
• NINA: She’s a Grisha (magician, basically)! She’s also sassy and capable and epic.
• MATTHIAS: He is like a bulldozer and hates everything. Meh to him.
• JESPER: The dorky comic relief and likes to shoot everything copiously.
• WAYLAN: He’s the filler character who’s name I forgot the second I read it but he was little and defiant and still cute.
I loved the characters…they are dimensional and interesting and I loved and hated them all at once. I particularly love Kaz because — HELLO MASTERMIND. I also have a decided weakness for clever, tortured and despicable characters. #sorrynotsorry Matthias I did not like becuase he has a self-righteous vibe going and it just annoyed me.
When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.
- Buuuuut, the characters are also the reason the book lost a star for me: TOO MANY. NOT ENOUGH FOCUS. Everyone narrates. Everyone has this massively complex backstory. While reading pages of Matthias/Nina’s backstory (which was interesting, don’t get me wrong) but I started to think “Is this strictly necessary????” I drowned in too much info. Plus I don’t think we needed ALL the perspectives. You can enjoy a character without seeing out their eyeballs, okay?! Plus we didn’t even get that much of Kaz!! Is it his story or not?! GAH. I felt he was knocked to the wayside a lot and while I liked the other characters, I would’ve way preferred more Kaz. (And less of Matthias’ whinging. Omg, dude, go eat a sugar cube and lighten up.)
- And the book is super long. Too long? If we’d had less backstory that would’ve kept the pace chuffing along faster. I loved reading it, but when I put it down I had a severe sense of exhaustion. I crave conciseness.
- Buuut, HEISTS AND WORLD BUILDING AND HUMOUR AND HEISTS. Did I mention heists?! I LOVE HEISTS. Show me Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job, or Leverage and I shall prattle on for HOURS. (Though, I assure you, I personally do not steal. I mean, I stole chocolate from the fridge once? So that was pretty evil since it wasn’t strictly mine.) And the heist is complicated and the plans are awesome. Plus stuff continually goes wrong and the characters aren’t spared and the world-building is complex and blood everywhere and YESSSS. I LIKE THIS. Did I mention cons and manipulation?!!
- I loved it. But it lacked tightness for me. I wanted less of EVERYTHING and more intensely a few things. Also please no to that nail-biting ending. I need the sequel now. I NEEDED THE SEQUEL YESTERDAY. I’m entirely sure Six of Crows is the kind of book I will hug and then murder softly with a small 50ft pole because it hurt my feels but I love it. Definitely a new favourite fantasy!!
THE DEAL IS THE DEAL.
THANK YOU TO HACHETTE AUSTRALIA FOR THE REVIEW-COPY! Six of Crows (book #1) by Leigh Bardugo was published October, 2015.
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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
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