Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crows

Six of Crow (Book 1 of Six of Crows)

By: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy, Thriller

Expected Publication: September 29, 2015

Bang Bang Rating: bang

Overview

Kaz, a member of the Dregs gang, has scored a big heist but he needs help.  He enlists five others to help him break into the unbreakable Ice Court to steal some precious cargo. 

The Good

  • Characters. This story is completely character driven and is told from 5 different POVs in third the person. Kaz is the main character and if you’ve read The Infernal Devices, he reminds me of Will.  Kaz purposely pushes people away and it makes him seem callus but as the reader; you get to know his reasons for the way he behaves. Each character has a hardship story and they are all victims of their environment. This book is 460 pages because Bardugo takes her time to fully develop each character and it’s magnificent. 
  • World Building. SOC takes place in the same world as the Shadow and Bone series. If you’ve seen the map, you’ll see other nations such as Shu Han, Novyi Zem, and Kerch.  SOC takes place in Ketterdam and its characters are from the aforementioned nations. Kettledam resembles Atlantic City with it’s gambling halls and pleasure palaces.  There’s gang territory, sex slavery, poverty, and corruption. Once again, Bardugo takes her time to develop her world.
  • Serious Themes. Racism takes the form of Grisha vs. non-Grisha or witches vs. non-witches. The Fjerds are witch hunters and they mercilessly kill Grisha.  The Grisha who aren’t murdered are captured and made into indentured servants. Matthias is a witch hunter and hates Grisha. He’s been trained to believe that his god hates Grisha and so he also has these strong opinions.  Nina, a Grisha who saved his life, forces Matthias to think about his god and question his people and his beliefs.  These theme is similar to the black vs. white issue we have in the US. 
    • Sex slavery is also prominent in SOC as it is in the US.  Other themes include, revenge, patriotism, and friendship. 
  • WeNeedDiverseBooks. There are brown people of varied shades and it’s not a theme of the plot which I consider to be a good thing.  They are just people in the story who happen to not be white. 
  • Never Boring. This book is huge, not only in pages but in size.  It’s bigger than a normal YA book but it was NEVER boring. Even when the action slowed, we were learning more about the characters.  Sometimes I feel like books have fight scenes just to break up the dialogue and that it doesn’t move the story along but SOC had smart action.  Every action sequenced moved the plot along and contained vital information for the heist to be successful. 
  • Romance. SOC isn’t thick with romance but there’s feelings and smiles and shoulder brushing and it’s frustrating because you kind of want more but you appreciate the courtship. 
  • The Ending. There is an ending so you’re aren’t left with this huge cliffhanger. 
  • Grisha. I like that Bardugo didn’t totally abandon Ravka and the Grisha world we grew to love in the Shadow and Bone series.  You don’t have to read Shadow and Bone to understand SOC. 

The Bad

  • My only issue was that I struggled to believe that Kaz, a seventeen year old, could pull all this off but I had to keep reminding myself that he grew up on the street and he worked very hard to be where he was so I forced myself to let it go.

Overall

Six of Crows is my new favorite book of 2015.  I think it’s WAY better than the Shadow and Bone series which I also enjoyed. It’s got new and beautiful characters, wonderful world building, and it’s very well written.  I wish books like this were considered for the Printz award. 

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