Did you know Six of Crows is not a story about six crows… crazy stuff! Anyway I’m going to start by saying this was an incredible read and by far the best of what I’ve read from Leigh Bardugo so far.
She’s created six incredible characters, told perfectly through the eyes of five of them, with each character having their own personal issues with one and other… a recipe for disaster in a team environment. Good thing they didn’t need to work as a team… Oh wait, that’s right THEY DID!
She develops each character and their relationship with one and other exceptionally, but that was not the highlight of this book. The highlight was her ability to encapsulate each character’s back story, giving direct links to the current events they were facing, while giving context to who they are. Even Wylan had a bit of this without having his own point of view written.
Where Bardugo deserves the most praise is her ability to incorporate real world themes within the pages of this book, dealing particularly with trauma and racism, without expressly stating it.
Kaz: Sneaky, resourceful and intelligent, his back story was perhaps the most heart wrenching. It was a perfect iteration of how poverty, and criminals can corrupt even the most innocent of children. The enigma of his always gloved hands was beautifully written, showing a deep rooted trauma can lurk in the depths of our souls years later. However what I loved most, was despite his disability, Kaz was still incredibly badass in a fight, proving brains will always prevail over brawn.
Nina: Powerful, and strong, Nina was a perfect female lead, showcasing that leading ladies are more than just their looks. Her relationship with Matthias was my favourite in the book, having me wanting more Nina and Matthias chapters. Her backstory was heartbreaking where she was proverbially being pulled by the limbs between her lover and her nation. I loved her sass and interactions with the others, especially with Matthias.
Matthias: The perfect example of how cats and dogs can be friend after all. Nina was the flame to Matthias’ ice, showcasing that beneath all else, people are people. His relationship, from hate to love, back to hate, then one final turn to love, shows that no matter what bias or stigma you might have about other people, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. A message Bardugo writes extremely well, without needing to explicitly say it, something most authors struggle to do.
Inej: This is a strong, capable, badass character! Inej is the embodiment of always choosing fight over flight, unhampered by gender stereotypes. I wasn’t particularly fond of her budding romance with Kaz (burn me at the stake if you must), but I feel like her character didn’t need it. She was a lone wolf capable of anything, though then again, is it inherent for all wolves to search for a pack? It will be interesting to see how this is developed in the next book.
Jesper: More than a comic relief, but nonetheless a great one (maybe Bardugo pulled Jesper from Jester…) We don’t really go deep into his character, though the seeds of his relationship with Wylan were sown. Bar this he proves himself a resourceful ally. I am curious to see how his need to be Kaz’s number one guy is impacted after the knowledge that he inadvertently betrayed them to Pekka Rollins was revealed.
Wylan: Even without a POV, Bardugo wrote him quite well. His relationship with the ultimate antagonist, his father, will prove to be a key point in the next book. Will he struggle with his filial duty in order to help his new family? Guess I’ll find out when I read Crooked Kingdom.
Left on a few great cliff hangers, Bardugo ensured there was no point of boredom from cover to cover. Something she’s definitely improved on since the Shadow and Bone trilogy.
Six of Crows Duology
King of Scars Duology
Want More Young Adult Fantasy?
If you’re a fan of young adult literature, specifically in the fantasy genre, then you’ll love The Lost Artefacts series >