Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows (book #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback (491 pages)
Publisher: Indigo (September 29th 2015)
My Goodreads rating: 5 fabulous stars
Book Depository: Six of Crows
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 to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
Hey there, strangers! I’m really on a roll with these book reviews (for now, lol). But I’m back again with a review for what is possibly one of my favourite books EVER, Six of Crows.
I was fully aware of the love and hype surrounding this book, which is why I bought it. But I didn’t want to get into it without first getting to know the world established in Leigh’s first trilogy (Grisha trilogy). However, I only managed to make it through the first book before I simply gave up (it just wasn’t for me), but I figured that was enough to get me through this book. It was. So I’d recommend just getting a feel for the world before reading this book, which is miles better than the Grisha trilogy anyway.
What can I even say about this book? I guess I’ll start with this: Six of Crows is everything I hoped it to be. Everything. From the writing, to the characters, to the plot, it far exceeded my expectations and was well worth the hype surrounding it. It was seriously cool and bad-ass, and at times I forgot that it is a YA book simply because it was so well- crafted and mature.
“We are all someone’s monster.”
The book is a classic heist story at its best: a group of well fleshed-out characters with vastly different personalities banding together to carry out a dangerous mission. What stands out in this book compared to the Grisha trilogy is just how much better the world-building is; yes, it’s the same universe, but even the fact that it’s set in a different country makes a huge difference. I think the focus on the goings-on in the city, with its gang wars, references to slavery and violence is much more interesting. It reads less like fantasy, which I really enjoyed.
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
The best part about this book for me is the characters. They are all completely flawed but in a way that is completely realistic. Often, authors struggle to write characters that are flawed but still likeable, making them almost antagonistic. I’ve rarely read a book with characters so well-written with complex characteristics and personalities. But Leigh does a fantastic job, and I’m so impressed! And you can’t get a character any more complex than Kaz Brekker. He is fascinating, alluring in a bad-ass way, frighteningly intelligent and low-key terrifying. But none of these characteristics are wasted or arbitrary. Leigh gives him a reason for everything he does, and I loved it. I’m actually obsessed with him. Help?! As for the other characters, we get a comprehensive understanding of their back stories, their hopes, fears and motivations all in the space of one novel, which is an amazing feat in itself considering there are multiple characters working together. We get to see how they clash but also how they bond and complement each other, as well as how each of their skills contribute to the mission. And each of them get equal time and attention, which is fantastic.
I can’t stress enough how much I loved the grittiness of the story. In one word, I would describe this book as dark. Seriously, seriously dark. There is violence, deceit, enough action for a blockbuster, and some pretty terrifying moments. But around all that there are some truly tender moments, great character arcs, hints of romance, and friendship. Everything in this book fits together so well, with fantastic writing. I almost want to say that it is too good for the YA genre, but that isn’t fair. I think I’m just not used to this level of grittiness and craftsmanship in a YA novel. But it’s refreshing to see! And I was left reeling for days after finishing this book. Safe to say I immediately ordered the sequel when I finished. I’m not even joking. I read the last page, cried for five minutes, then ordered the next straight away. That’s how much I loved it!
“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”
So, if I haven’t sold you to the novel after all that, I don’t know what will. It’s seriously brilliant, incredibly exciting and fast-paced, and has none of the usual tropes I’m used to seeing in YA, let alone anywhere else. I seriously recommend it, if like me you’re late to the Six of Crows party. And just a little side note: I listened to the song “End of Me” by A Day to Remember at the same time I was reading this, and it fits soooooo well. Give it a listen if you’re interested!
That’s it for now! Let me know what you thought below, and as always thanks for reading 🙂