Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Crime, Fantasy, YA, Heist
5 out of 5 – This is a book that I really enjoyed, with beautiful writing, great characters and a fantastic plot. I will definitely be picking this up again.
A rag, tag band of criminals embark on an impossible mission that they are certain they can complete – for enough money. The crew face constant trials, both personal and professional, as they work towards a job that has the potential to change all their lives, and maybe make their dreams come true.
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
Six of Crows is a fast-paced, exhilarating ride. While most enjoyed the Grisha Trilogy, it seems to be almost universally agreed that Six of Crows sees a great development in Bardugo’s writing, and I definitely agree. I thoroughly enjoyed the world of the Grisha Trilogy and felt the character building and pacing were reasonable and enjoyable, but Six of Crows takes that to a new level.
Firstly, I’ll address the pacing and writing of this novel. The language was beautiful, clever and tricksy. Each sentence was almost a philosophical, psychological joke, but it all made the reader think. The jokes are not actually as throwaway as they seem. The way that the dialogue is written is vibrant and immersive. The characters all seem to have their own patterning, which is smartly done and in Six of Crows, Bardugo seems to have developed and really immersed herself within this world, to write something so intensive that it is like reading a movie. I remember the book clearly, even a year or so after reading. As for the pacing, the book will drag you along kicking and screaming. From the start, you’ll be completely captivated and it will end all too soon.
This is only intensified by the characterisation. Bardugo has achieved a great feat, managing to make a very fast paced and enjoyable read, that is also full of intense characterisation and relationship building. There are scenes that made me squirm with glee, eager for the characters to go further. Moments when the characters almost touched each other that made my flesh crawl as if they reaching out and touching me, and an ending that made me gasp. I fell in love with each member of this distinctive crew, and there wasn’t a single character I didn’t like.
As for the plot. It is twist after twist here. The characters are clever, and this is a heist novel, not a mystery. Bardugo does not lay down any obvious clues for all the plans and twists that are to come, and the pacing means that you are misdirected in the same way that a lot of the marks on. The twists sneak up on you, steal your wallet…and your watch. And it is such a fun ride.
If you liked this…
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett is my recommendation here. It is funny, entertaining and filled with a cast of amazing characters. Different from Bardugo, but with a very similar feel, it is definitely worth a read, and a quick, simple standalone book (you don’t have to know anything about Discworld to read this).