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Leigh Bardugo has done it again. I fell in love with the Grishaverse when I read the Grisha Trilogy, or Shadow and Bone series. It’s truly one of my favorite Young Adult series.
Here is the link to the Grishaverse website. Yeah, you’re welcome.
I ended up finding out about Six of Crows while searching for a story with multiple points of views in 3rd person. I personally find it difficult to find a Young Adult story that’s not written in 1st person. However, I think I ended up buying Young Elites because I mixed up the titles and the dark covers. After doing some more research, I decided to read the Grisha Trilogy first.
So, it’s been a long time waiting to read this story. I, then, got involved with the fandom, and everyone kept talking about Six of Crows. The anticipation was real.
After reading the whole Grisha trilogy, within a month, I began Shadow and Bone during finals weeks on my Kindle app. While reading it, my friend and I went to Barnes and Noble’s to study, but I walked out with all three books in a nice plastic bag. The books republished with new covers recently.
But Six of Crows is totally different from Shadow and Bone. Leigh’s writing definitely grew up from Shadow and Bone. She said expanded her own universe, gave each character depth, and pulled off a multiple 3rd POV so well.
So let’s get down to the basics of Six of Crows.
Six of Crows takes place on the harbor city of Ketterdam, a bustling trading spot in the sea. Our main characters are sent on an action-packed mission to capture the scientist beyond a Grisha drug, called jurda. The reward to risk their lives? 30 million kergs.
Yes, this story normally would not be a typical read for me. I’m not a huge action person, but I’ve heard raved reviews and many recommendations, and I love the Grishaverse.
Things I Loved:
There was never a dull moment. Most action-packed YA stories elongate the action. Sure the first chapter was off-putting and seemed off, but it catches up with the story a few chapters down the line. Once the story kicked off, it didn’t stop, even at the end. I was on the edge of my seat with some scenes.
Then that ending just ripped my heart out. I was in bed and dropped the book. It was like a punch to the face to me and the gang.
If there is one thing I have to choose to learn how to do from Leigh Bardugo is how to write some clever dialogue and banter between her characters. Dialogue pushed this story. I love Kaz’s cunning quotes and Inej’s spirituality, and Jesper’s jokes. I found myself laughing at the tension between Nina and Matthais. Then poor Wylan…poor baby.
Each Character Has a Background.
Okay, think about it. Our protagonists are seen as criminals in their world. They’re not the typical YA main characters. Barudgo gives each character a background, which I applaud her for. Most YA stories introduce characters to us without the complexity. Place the characters’ criminal background aside, if they were normal citizens, they’d still be complex. I love when authors put readers in places and in the minds of unstereotypical characters.
Kaz, the leader of the Gregs, a prominent gang in Ketterdam, is feared by many and money hungry. (He’s a Capricorn, I’m calling it now.) Yet he hates the feeling of being touch and wears gloves. He comes from a terrible childhood, where he lost his parents and later his brother. Kaz also, no matter how hard he tries to be cold-hearted, has a soft spot for Inej. He “protects his investments.”
I mean, my favorite scene is in Chapter 13 when Kaz rips a guy’s eye out because he stabbed Inej.
(^me, the whole time, trying not to laugh)
Like Kaz lost his sh*t. Cruel and dark that moment was, but it shows how much Kaz truly cares for Inej. Sure, he sees her as an investment, but throughout the rest of the story, she’s always on his mind.
Speaking of Inej, I really love her character. I loved all the main characters, but Inej stole the cake for me. Being one of the two girls in the main cast, I was drawn to her. Inej reminds me of a cat, and I love cats. She’s spiritual, yet strong headed.
So I’m pretty familar with the Grishaverse since I read the first trilogy. I haven’t read The Language of Thorns yet. It’s on my Kindle but that’s going to be a long time because I can not read a book on the Kindle within a week or even two.
Bardugo expanded her world by introducing us to the harbor of Kerch and the cold landscape of Fjerda. She has created this world of magic, and balances it.
The Crew’s Ages:
I don’t have much to dislike about this story. I love Bardugo’s writing style and the whole Grishaverse. But I have a few critiques.
This is a common critique about Six of Crows. The characters are 16-17 years old. 1.) I appalud them for surviving this mission because I know that when I was 16, I wouldn’t have made it past the meeting Kaz had. I would have sat there and cried.
Of course, it’s hard to believe that these teens can go on this dangerous mission be assigned it by a government official and actually get back home with their target. But I can also see how it can work.
Kaz, even though he joined the Dregs at 12 years old and had plenty of street smarts and experience, was double-crossed by Van Eck. There was some naivety from a young age from that mistake.
Matthias and Nina both were in service to their countries from a young age as well. Inej was taken from her family. Wylan was kicked out of his home. Jesper left his home then joined the Dregs to gain an income.
These characters had to grow up quicker than a normal teenager in a first world country.
I Took Too Long
I disliked that I took a whole month to read this story. It shouldn’t have taken me that long. Since I waited so long to finish it, I couldn’t enjoy Six of Crows as much as I wanted. Every time I read this book, I was laughing and smiling. I was enjoying myself, but they were sporadic. It is difficult for me to keep up with the stories, along with reading for school.
I didn’t receive that drained feeling or felt a deep emotion after finishing the story.
But I can not wait for the Netflix adaption to be come out. There is no exact date at the moment, but I am excited.