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 (Back cover)
You are in for a roller coaster of plot turns, impossible stunts, and intriguing characters in Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. My favorite part of the book, by far, were the complex backstories and insights into the protagonists. This book review will tell you my favorite characters, give you a summary, and talk about the books inventive plot.
He had to keep going. But he felt like he’d left some part of himself in that courtyard below, something he hadn’t known mattered, intangible as mist (388)
Six of Crows is essentially a heist novel, sort of like the Oceans movies: high stakes and almost impossible challenges. Presented with obstacles of all sizes, the crew must deal with team dynamics, competition before they get to the target, and a series of unknown challenges when they arrive. The plot, along with its multiple perspectives, allow the reader to be swept along with them, seeing behind their eyes, and witnessing the intersection of their histories and their current heist.
‘He wants his revenge, Kaz’…
‘That’s what he wants, not what he needs…Leverage is all about knowing the difference’ (80)
The characters are what kept me reading. They are all wonderfully intricate, coming from different backgrounds and cultures. Not only are they diverse in those terms, but they have differing motivations and events in their lives that have resulted in their participation in the crew. My favorite characters were Inej and Matthias. For a while I was having trouble identifying with Kaz, because he seems to be conflicted between his outside and inner persona, the boundaries between them shifting and dissolving. But Inej is definitely my spirit character and I admire her skills and character. Matthias and Nina were so interesting to me and taken together, I was really rooting for them.
‘Why did you do it?’
‘Because you’re a human being.’ (225)
Even though I sometimes have trouble really connecting to younger protagonists, these have old souls and they are aged by their varied and intense experiences. Bardugo does a fabulous job with characters that leap from the pages and mirror feelings we all have felt: the confusion of love, honor to our country, and betrayal. These characters cover all ranges of emotions and Bardugo’s weaving together their personal stories with the overall plot is brilliantly done.
‘This life you live, the hate you feel—it’s a poison. I can drink it no longer’ (385)
Being allowed a glance into their minds and through the eyes puts the plot over the top for me because I could really connect with the characters. We know the secrets, their thoughts, and this makes them even more human. Which is why their perseverance and sheer luck is not off-putting, because we see their vulnerable side. Six of Crows has it all. There are hints of romance, revenge and redemption. I am so glad I was gifted the sequel so I can continue the story immediately (even though I have a few other books to finish first) because that cliff hanger is larger than those the Ice Court is built upon.
You can pick up a copy for yourself here, add it to Goodreads here, and visit the author’s website. You won’t regret the hardcopy version because the maps are gorgeous and the fonts for the chapter headings are beautiful too. This is a truly beautiful book inside and out.
Let’s Discuss: Based on the book and the back cover, which character is your spirit character?
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If you liked this review, you might like my Traitor’s Blade review.