Monday, 25 July 2016

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // one heck of a fun book

Title: Six of Crows (#1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Warnings: blood, torture, violence
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
Okay, okay, I admit it. I was wrong. This is one heck of a fun book.

I was so unengaged when I first tried to read Six of Crows back in March. I couldn't put my finger on it - it just wasn't clicking for me, and I stopped at around 25%. But four months down the line and it was like I was reading it with completely new story.

There's something about the concept that makes this book so consuming. A world of magic and underlying disorder, six criminals and a hiest. It's hard not to get sucked in.

I adore stories with an ensamble of characters and the fact that they are a band of misfits makes it all the better. We've got:
  • Kaz, a young criminal mastermind who runs the streets
  • Inej, a brilliant spy who can vanish in the blink of an eye
  • Nina, a confident Grisha with the power to kill with a look
  • Matthias, a witch hunter who is presumed dead
  • Jesper, a gambling gunslinger who loves the rush of a fight
  • and Wylan, a runaway rich kid with a gift for mechanics
Together they are the Crow Club, and they take on an suicide mission for wealth beyond their wildest dreams. How awesome is that?!

The characters are awesome, but there are a lot of them. Each of them have their own backstory which I think took a lot of time out of the book from the present day plot, and away from there being any solid protagonist. I would have preferred a fully omniscient 3rd person narrator rather than abrupt changes in 3rd person perspectives, which would've made reading more like shifting from one character's mind to another, which would've made connecting the puzzle pieces of the characters and their motives a lot more fun than simply being told.

Despite Six of Crows being a spin off of The Grisha series, reading them isn't necessary to fully enjoy this book. The worldbuilding and development had all the flare of a standalone story, and it was so good to see it from the eyes of such a diverse range of characters. It really enabled the world to expand to beyond a couple of locations, which makes it unique to other fantasy novels which tend to focus only on one.

Six of Crows is a YA story that is fresh and new from anything I've read before - it's no wonder it's taken the blogosphere by storm. Take note, other writers - this is how you grab your readers.

Diversity Note: POC and queer protagonists

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