Six of Crows: Review
Six of Crows is the first in a duology by bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo. You may remember her name from The Grisha Trilogy, or maybe from the upcoming Wonder Woman novel, Warbringer! Six of Crows takes place within the Grisha universe, but set a bit further into the future after the conclusion of her first three books. In this gritty adventure, we get to see the after-effects of the decisions made in The Grisha Trilogy and meet some new and endearing characters.
This is a SPOILER-FREE review!
Six of Crows immediately opens up in the slums of Ketterdam where we witness a negotiation between leaders of two gangs in the area. Within the first few chapters, the reader is made aware of the ruthlessness required to survive here and how far the Grisha have fallen. This is nothing like the glory and power of the Ravkan Second Army that we were so close to in the original Grisha trilogy. Bardugo does a great job in establishing that while this setting does contain memories of the original Grisha books, it is also very different and much, much darker. In this way, I think the universal struggles presented in the slums allow for significant character development. There are hidden corners, mysteries, and secrets that each character holds close, and we read on to unravel their tangled relationships.
There are six main characters in this book, all of whom are risking their lives on a huge gamble, but with an equally huge payoff. Kaz is the mysterious ringleader of the crew, with an eye for business and a hand for violence. Inej was trained as an acrobat and now serves as Kaz's right hand woman- his master thief and spy. Jesper is a sharpshooter with a penchant for gambling and easy smiles. Nina was a member of the Second Army and uses her Corporalki skills in a pleasure house and treats those who want subtle cosmetic improvements or simply a calmer state of mind. Matthias is a druskell from Fjerda, a witch hunter fallen from grace whom we meet as Kaz busts him out of prison. The last member of the crew, and perhaps the most understated, is Wylan Van Eck, who isn't much of anything, but is a fabulous hostage.
There's a lot of scheming and strategizing, but also a lot of playful banter and fun interactions between our crew. Just from my brief descriptions above, you can easily see that each character is full of personality and backstory. Bardugo switches from present to past in a seamless way to allow us a glimpse into each character's past. This is a great read, and to be honest, I much prefer it to the original Grisha trilogy!
I rate Six of Crows 4/5 stars!