Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo was honestly one of those books that really surprised me because it was so good. I have heard very mixed things about the Grisha trilogy Bardugo has written and although I haven’t read it myself, the reviews I have heard kind of lowered my expectations for her novels. After reading this book, however, I am interested in reading the Grisha trilogy books and am majorly excited for the second book in this series to be released.
The book itself follows a group of six criminals as they go on an impossible heist to break into one of the most secure places in the world and take back a man who is being held there. The team consists of Kaz, the leader, a boy who grew up in the Barrel (essentially the ghetto) and became a master thief and lock-picker; Inej, a girl who sort of owes her life to Kaz for saving her from the menagerie houses, also an acrobat of sorts, she’s particularly good as a spy; Jesper, a gambler and marksman, when he’s not playing with his guns, he’s playing tables; Nina, a heartrender Grisha (a being with a certain set of powers) who’s handy in bad situations; Wylan, an amateur explosives person, who’s real purpose in the group is later revealed; and Matthias, an ex-Fjerdan soldier who’s the only one who can help the group get where they’re going, if only he can get over his past with Nina.
The story is told from each characters’ perspective, each chapter jumps to a different character; the only character whose perspective we don’t see is Wylan, but his doesn’t really seem significant anyway because although he has his purpose, he’s not really too central to the story until we get towards the end. I really enjoyed the characters, they are all very individual and unique and all have troubling pasts that ultimately led them to where they are now. The story line is fun and exciting and full of twists. Although Kaz isn’t my favorite character, he really is brilliant in the plans that he comes up with and how he always seems to be a step ahead of everyone else.
I really enjoy the magic that is throughout the story too. So often with fantasy, we see so many of the same stories or powers or tropes, and this is a nice refreshing, different story line with unique fantasy powers throughout. If I had to make one complaint about the story, it is that I feel like certain things were minimally explained, but it may be that they were things that were explained in more depth in her Grisha trilogy and you’re really meant to read that first, I’m not sure, but it certainly didn’t make the story difficult to understand or anything, I just felt like things could have been described slightly more. I would highly recommend this to anyone who’s into fantasy, or stories about heists and the like.