Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (2015)
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Reading Time: 10/10/16 – 17/10/16
★★★☆☆ (3 ½)
This book has been all over my social media feeds for a while now, I heard of it’s witty ways and the amazing characters, so I began to wonder what all of the fuss was about. I have had a copy waiting on my bookshelf for a while now and with the release of Crooked Kingdom, I felt prompted to pick it up at last.
Instantly we are met with characters in peril, loyalties being tested and some backstories that need exploring. I have to say I didn’t warm to any of these characters from the off, but having finished the novel I would put Jesper in the running for a favourite of mine. Kaz is a fearless leader, with a limp (of course we want to know where this has come from) and he has some loyal followers that he chooses to take on a dark and scary mission with him.
* I can’t guarantee there will be no spoilers past this point, read on at your own risk*
So these characters must break into a prison and steal back a guy that has been creating some formula to amplify some people’s abilities. And I have to say that for me this was the hook, that there were Grisha’s who could control certain things, such as water, blood, materials etc. I have never been one to turn down a bit of element specific magic and this seemed to fit into this box for me. So I was intrigued to see where this would go and was my main reason for staying. I was also eager to see what these amplified abilities could do, how far could they stretch?
I found this to be a rather bleak story, there wasn’t much happiness, despite the humorous nature of some of the team. It seemed there might be solitude found in blossoming relationships, but alas this also seemed clotted with doom and gloom. Nina and Matthias clearly have some heavy history that wasn’t expected. This story line surprised me, I assumed it would be a typical love story of a couple reunited, but the two have a very odd back and forth going on – who knows where they stand. Matthias was interesting as a character, he is clearly having some loyalty dilemma going on, Nina or the rest of his Drüskelle soldiers. He is also the most serious one of the bunch, I don’t think we hear him laugh? Nina is a fun loving girl that is up for Kaz’s crazy plans and Matthias doesn’t seem to suit her, I am hoping in Crooked Kingdom she will bring out the best in him and bring him out of his shell a little more.
Speaking of the romantic relationships, Jesper and Wylan?! They are most definitely the couple I will be shipping throughout this series. The flirting and the jokes going on between them was perfect, I loved how casual Jesper was about it all! I really hope we get to see more of these two as the series keeps going, I need them to get together. I feel like Wylan really needs someone to appreciate him and treat him as he deserves to be treated, clearly he has missed out on that with his dad for a long time. Also will someone please teach the boy how to read?!
So despite being keen on the other characters, I’m not sure if I actually like Kaz, he seems to be a sleazy kind of guy, his back story definitely helped to warm me to him though. I felt my sympathy reach out to him, but I just can’t help but also read him as being a bit pompous and not as scary as he is meant to be? I liked that he didn’t perhaps look as beefy and as a intimidating as someone in his position should, but for me I just couldn’t imagine him as I think Bardugo intended him to be imagined.
Overall I am intrigued to see where this story goes in Crooked Kingdom. I want to know more about the Grisha and how they came to be, is the ability in their blood and hereditary? Was it some experiment gone wrong? Or is it something that randomly appears in people? I want to explore what other types of people there are in this world and why there has been such a segregation between the different groups. Bring on Crooked Kingdom!