I’m still trying to quiet my mind and relax my body. After seeing the book cover and title, curiosity got the best of me so I made the plunge into fantasy. I’m glad I did with Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Young adult books aren’t one of my favorite genres, and when it comes to fantasy and science fiction, my brain can’t envision such worlds and characters. They’re too complex, uninteresting, and unbelievable…but not this book. Bardugo’s writing makes reading easy. Not because her writing is juvenile; on the contrary, she makes writing look easy, which is a great compliment to a writer. The ease in which she balances backstory and current actions is admirable.
Six of Crows is about a gang of thieves, murderers, and leftovers, who form a bond in a cruel world where one will do anything to survive. Kaz, the main character and mastermind of a gang, gathers this eccentric group to take on a dangerous heist, which will make him and the others rich. While planning, executing, and surviving the ordeal, they must learn to trust each other. At times, this becomes more challenging than the job itself.
The story drew me in from the start and I had trouble putting the book down. Even though it’s an imaginary world, I didn’t struggle trying to figure everything out. Bardugo plunges you into the story without explaining everything at once. It unwinds as you read along, and is constantly moving, interlacing character history with present action.
Some character names and places began to stick out to me. This never happened before. Living in Germany, we often travel to Holland, so I’ve grown accustom to Dutch words. I don’t necessarily know the meanings, but the spellings are unique and Leigh used Dutch spellings to create a world and characters, such as Ketterdam, Joost, Burstraat, Fjerda, and Tante Heleen (Tante means ‘aunt’ in German and Dutch), to name a few. To me, this was quite creative.
They’re thugs, and I loved them all: Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan. Aside from Wylan, the rest have done unthinkable acts…but I couldn’t help cheer for them. Each chapter focused on a particular character, which gave me more insight into their motivations. I learned what brought them to that moment in time, and their connections to others. Even though this gang was far from good, they still had redeeming qualities making me want them to succeed.
The only negative I would say, even though it didn’t bother me, is that the characters’ ages did not reflect the dialogue and action. To me, they’re a bit too intelligent and crime savvy for teenagers. I’m sure this might be a put off to some, but I was immersed in the story and characters, so I forgot they were in their late teens.
Damn you, Bardugo! I loved this book so much, I bought the second book in the series, Crooked Kingdom, before I even finished this one. All I can suggest is get it! Whether or not you like fantasy, if you want to escape reality for a little bit, press that purchase button.
Fantasy and Fan,