Six of Crows is the best duology that has recently graced my bookshelves. I don’t even know what to say first…
Let’s begin with plot. The series is about a thief, a sharpshooter, a spy, a Grisha (a.k.a. person who can pull off really cool magic,) a soldier, and a runaway, who work together to pull off an impossible heist, and then have to orchestrate an even greater con when everything goes completely wrong. There’s also lots of witty humor, gangs, and rooftop running.
The story filled me with so much anticipation, and the fact that every character besides Kaz (a.k.a. best thieving main character ever, but more on that in a moment) isn’t exactly sure of the next move means that there are lots of plot twists. I know that might sound disconcerting and make you think “Oh, there must be lots of plot holes and events that don’t line up,” but trust me the author knows how to make the story flow smoothly. Another thing I loved was how important the little details were. What I mean by this is that you’ll read a paragraph that just sounds like a regular description, but then three chapters later you find out that the nuances make all the difference to the outcome of the characters actions.
Leigh Bardugo has incredible world building skills. Each country she created has its own culture and politics, and the web of international relations feels real. I liked how each place had something it was renowned for and how each place had prejudices against the others because even though its fantasy, I like seeing the parallels to the real world. It makes the characters all the more believable.
The characters in these books! Where to start? My favorite character was (obviously) Kaz, and next in line was Inej. First of all I love how Kaz wasn’t one of those insecure characters who’s conflicted the entire series because that becomes really annoying. I felt that what made him a strong character was the fact that he knew what he wanted, he decided how he was going to do it, and he executed his plan, but at the same time he adapted to situations with the least amount of complaining. And I love how in the end he doesn’t become “good” or “fix his ways,” he becomes a better version of himself, but still retains the essence of what makes Kaz, Kaz.
I admire Inej for the same reasons. She remains true to herself and what she believes in despite the fact that most of the people around her become corrupt, and she’s not ashamed of what she believes in. Overall Bardugo did a stunning job with all her characters, and even managed to give her secondary figures a depth of character.
Plus I never got over the fact that the edges of the pages in the books are black and red. Or the really cool maps in the books. I mean, books with maps instantly get more points with me.
Seriously Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are Bloody Amazing! Totally recommend!