I never really dived into the magical fantasy genre before because I was afraid of how foreign everything will be; how I might not be able to understand and imagine the world created in the book. Then, as I passed by the YA epic fantasy section of the bookstore, I think I heard Leigh Bardugo whisper to me, “That’s because you haven’t read Six of Crows yet,” and after turning the last page of this book, I realized that it’s all in the way the author presents the characters, the world-building, and the plot.
A drug that modifies Grisha powers is in danger of being available to those who intend to misuse it, and the only person who knows the formula is locked away in the most secure place in the world. A thief, a spy, a convict, a Grisha, a gambler, and a merchant’s son. These six eccentric teenagers must come together and pull off an impossible heist in exchange for an incredible amount of money that could alter their lives’ directions forever.
I like backstories.
I love a good backstory.
I devour a sickening, gut-twisting, and heartwrenching backstory.
(But maybe that’s just the OITNB fan in me.)
Six of Crows is full of these. It was rewarding to travel along with the characters and watch them develop while learning more about their dark pasts at the same time. The third person narrative could have rendered the characters flat and emotionally detached from the readers but Bardugo knew how to avoid that and make this book amazing! Two main characters didn’t have enough spotlight on them but I guess Bardugo left something out for the second book (which I am in dire need of right now!).
The subtle jabs at slavery, child labor, drug addiction, and racial discrimination were perfect as well as the interesting concept of gangs and gang wars in small neighborhoods. I think it showed how growing up as “orphans” really affects the child.
This book is a fast paced, edge-of-your-seat adventure full of characters with enough shades of darkness that keeps you guessing just what their next move is going to be. If you haven’t read the Grisha Trilogy (I haven’t but am planning to), you’ll still find this a very entertaining read.
Rating: 4.5 stars