Six of Crows was a deviously well-developed book

Six of Crows was a deviously well-developed book

Everyone says don’t judge a book by its cover. Fortunately, I did and picked up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

At times, I wanted to reach into the book, pull a character out, and give them a hug. At times, I wanted to slap the characters. At times, I laughed. At times, I cried. At times, I threw the book across my room, buried my head in my pillow, and screamed. At times, I closed the book and did a little happy dance. The book was a roller coaster I never wanted to get off.

In this fantasy read, criminal prodigy and mastermind Kaz Brekkar is in need of a team. Each skilled in their own trade, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan join him on the heist of their lives that would make each rich beyond their wildest dreams. While Kaz has yet to meet a challenge he cannot best, this just might be too much for him to take on.

While the story is truly a gripping one, the beginning of the book was a little confusing. The first chapter begins with a completely different set of characters than the main ones. For a few chapters, the first characters and events seem wholly unrelated to the plot of the book. However as the story unfolds in later chapters, the reader begins to understand the connection.

Each of the main characters emerge from different backgrounds and different hardships. Bardugo intentionally doesn’t give you each character’s life story all at once. The reader gets little snippets that ultimately come together to add depth to the story. The backstories also help explain the motives for a character acting or behaving a certain way. They are devastating, sad, and depressing. But with each backstory, you fall even more in love with the characters.

From many of the characters’ pasts stem gut-wrenching internal struggles and insecurities. Since the book switches perspective often, the reader gets to peek into what runs through each character’s head. It’s physically painful to read about each character’s internal struggles. Many the of the struggles and insecurities demonstrated in the book are realistic and apply to people everywhere.

I love the diversity and anti-stereotypical aspects of the book. A wide range of people can find someone or something to relate to in Six of Crows. Though it’s not overpowering, the LGBTQ+ community is represented, and the relationship between characters incorporating this is adorable. Another more subtle stereotype broken is that powerful people are all one look. In our day and age, they seem to be older white men. Six of Crows shows that powerful and strong people can be all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, and ages. The main characters brought together in this book all have different ethnic traits, cultures, and religions from a variety of regions. The ample assortment of all these aspects is astounding.

The book was a roller coaster I never wanted to get off”

My favorite sub-plot in the book was the romance. They were very subtle and did not overpower the plot as many other books do. The romances aren’t your typical love story either; they are filled with boundaries, obstacles, and denial. The characters don’t proclaim their love for each other in a big, clich way. They progress at turtle speed, dropping hints of attraction here and there. When larger moments between characters do occur, they are intense and avoid all the typical romance novel elements that make most people roll their eyes.

Moreover, Bardugo’s writing style is one that connects with her readers. It draws the reader into the book in a personal way that makes the reader become invested in the story. It’s as if the reader is part of the story. Furthermore, Bardugo has a way of turning the simplest moment into something beautiful. She is fantastic at building her story and developing her characters.

Six of Crows kept me turning its 465 pages, hopelessly enthralled from the moment I opened the book. For many days straight, the book was never more than a couple feet away from me. Immediately after finishing it, I scoured every library for the second and final book, Crooked Kingdom. You will fall in love with the characters just as I have. The action-filled plot was full of devious twists and turns sure to keep you on your toes. It had the right amount of mystery to keep you pondering, yet it didn’t leave you completely in the dark. The best moment for me was when all the puzzle pieces Bardugo dropped carefully throughout the book finally fit together. It was truly riveting.