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BOOK REVIEW: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

| 21 October 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

September 2015
Paperback, £8.99
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli



We are all someone’s monster.


Six of Crows is a danger-filled, fast-paced, action-packed book ready to blow the socks off every reader that picks it up. Set two years after the first Grisha series (Shadow and BoneSiege and Storm and Ruin and Rising), it takes place in an alternate Netherlands, in a place called “the Barrell” where gangs rule. Kaz Brekker, leader of the Crows and owner of the Crows Club, is a ruthless “entrepreneur” and never says no to any job, regardless of how bad it may be, which has earned him the nickname “Dirtyhands.”

A liar, a thief, and utterly without conscience. But he’ll keep to any deal you strike with him.

So when he’s approached with a suicidal offer, Kaz can’t say no.

The Mission: Break into the impenetrable Ice Court and kidnap the mad scientist/genius in charge of creating multiple quantities of a drug called jurda parem — a powder that amplifies Grisha powers to deadly levels.

The Reward: More money than he could ever imagine. Enough money to secure his land and status amongst the other gangs and thieves of the Barrell.

The Problem: Kaz needs to find a group of people willing to go on this suicide mission with him.

Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.

In the Barrell, finding the right people isn’t hard. It’s keeping them from killing each other that is the real issue. Each of our Six have a history with each other and a backstory that made my head spin. We have Inej, otherwise known as “the Wraith“, Kaz Brekker’s most prized spy and ‘collector of secrets’, someone he has a soft spot for, even though he wouldn’t admit it in a thousand years; Jesper, a gambler who can’t say no to a wager and the best sharpshooter in the entire Barrel; Nina, a Grisha working in one of the brothels, using her powers to administer happiness and good thoughts to her clients; Wylan, the son of an important man (a rich boy, and no one lets him forget it) with an affinity for demolition; and Matthias, a drüskelle, otherwise known as a ‘Grisha-killer’ currently imprisoned in one of Ketterdam’s worst prisons.

And don’t forget Kaz Brekker himself, a boy turned monster, the most feared seventeen-year-old in Ketterdam, as well as the most suave.

A gambler.
A convict.
A wayward son.
A lost Grisha.
A Suli girl who had become a killer.
And a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse.
Six people, but a thousand ways this insane plan could go wrong.

Six of Crows could have gone wrong in so many ways. A book over 400 pages long with five different point-of-view characters, and a plot so thick and intertwined it would only take one tiny plot-hole to ruin the entire story. However, that was not the case. Although I was fearful to begin with, Leigh Bardugo did what she does best and swept me off my feet as she took me on a journey I will never forget: a heist that blows the mind, with characters that are worthy of world-recognised prizes.

The characters! I seriously cannot sing their praises enough. Not only are they all realistic, but they all have distinct personalities that set this book apart from the countless YA fantasy novels currently populating the book world. Each one of them has a history and is connected with at least one of the others in some way which makes the tension between them even more delicious. What I absolutely adored was how different Bardugo made them all from each other: Kaz uses a cane to walk and wears gloves 100% of the time, refusing to take them off and no one knows why; Matthias, the Grisha-hunter, has taken a vow to remain celibate and his interactions with Nina are the best thing that could have happened to this book; Inej’s past as a girl in a brothel, as well as a tight-rope walker. Each one of them has a distinct history, and I can’t wait to find out more about them.

Not to mention the budding romances, the banter that will make you laugh so hard your stomach will hurt, and the constant back-and-forth that will practically give you whiplash, guarantee the Six are the perfect combination of smooth, sweet, and amoral.

“I’m a business man,” he’d told her. “No more, no less.”
“You’re a thief, Kaz.”
“Isn’t that what I just said?”

This book is highly quotable, tension-filled, romantic, and adrenaline-coma-inducing. The heist made me grip the book until I had to put it down purely because I was scared the pages were going to tear; the characters, as mentioned before, were bloody perfect; the ending was OMG-WHAT-IS-EVEN-HAPPENING worthy, and I found myself opening and closing my mouth like a drowning fish, and I cannot wait (CANNOT WAIT) for the second book to come out!

And you know it’s a good book when you’ve bookmarked your favourite passages and have reread them 2,000 times already. If you’re a fan of jaw-dropping heists, banter, humour, and a little bit of romance to keep things interesting, Six of Crows is the book for you. 

“It’s the one day a year they all stop acting so miserable and actually let themselves have a good time,” Nina replied. “Besides, only the drüskelle live like monks.”
“A good time needn’t involve wine and… and flesh,” Matthias sputtered.
Nina batted her glossy lashes at him. “You wouldn’t know a good time if it sidled up to you and stuck a lollipop in your mouth.”

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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