For those who’ve read The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and are expecting Six of Crows to be just like it, I will warn you right now that this is a very different story from that of the Sun Summoner. That isn’t to say that Six of Crows is not good. In fact, it’s an excellent tale that, though it is in the same world as that of Ravka and the Grisha, it stands on it’s own.Read our
Six of Crows plays out very methodically well. It takes place in the very unforgiving city of Ketterdam, on the island of Kerch. This is not a place to be alone, nor is it a place to be flaunting your wealth or beauty, unless you want to attract trouble. And yet, in this city filled with thieves and miscreants, this is where we find our mesmerizing characters.
Author Leigh Bardugo doesn’t mess around. She shows us just what these characters are capable of, and it isn’t pretty. You won’t find them doubting their abilities or finding themselves seeking their worth. They know how much they’re worth and whatever their circumstance, they don’t whine about it, either.
Six of Crows refers to one particular group of people that run part of the city, mob-like style. They make deals with other groups, they take revenge when needed, and they punish those who wrong them. Kaz Brekker, the leader of the Crows, is offered a chance at a lot of money for a job. A lot. And despite how dangerous it is and how improbable it would be to accomplish, he accepts.
When he gathers the people he needs for the job, we are introduced to a very diverse and somewhat desperate group of people. So diverse, some of them might end up killing each other if they’re not careful. But it makes for some great moments.
The story is told from multiple points of views, in the traditional third person narrative, which is different from the author’s debut series, as that was told from one point of view in first person. The third person narrative works in this novel, though, as it doesn’t give anything away too soon, and allows for the reader to keep guessing about certain characters’ thoughts and motivations throughout the story.
The job itself runs much like an Ocean’s Eleven plan, meticulous and carefully thought out, with Kaz being the George Clooney of the group. However, you’ll find that you might end up liking Kaz and his group much more than you would the group of the Clooney-led heist movie. Throughout the book, we learn how each character operates, why they do what they do, and who they are, even if they don’t really know who they are themselves. Yet another reason why the technical aspects of the story work well for this book.
In that sense, it’s unfair to compare this book to Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy by saying that it’s better or not as good as. I can’t say. I can only say that I ended up loving the Six of Crows team as much as I loved the characters in The Grisha series. Even the bad guys were delectably bad and I didn’t have any trouble raging against them. Each one of them is very different but at the same time, well complemented by the rest of the group. They’re like the Firefly/Serenity of Ravka, and if you’re not familiar with my reference, let’s just say they’re really awesome (and go watch Firefly!) Not one of them doesn’t add something worthy to the story or the job.
Honestly, this review doesn’t express how much I really liked this book. It’s an excellent and worthy follow-up to a very successful debut series.
Six of Crows hits bookshelves September 29, 2015.
My Grade: A