A Winning Combo of Thievery and Fantasy | Review of ‘Six of Crows’ (Six of Crows #1)

By Cynthia Ayala

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Company
Image Credit: Goodreads

Kaz Brekker, criminal prodigy has just been offered a job, a dangerous heist that would mean wealth beyond his wildest dreams. Should be a piece of cake, all they have to do is break into an impenetrable prison, retrieve a hostage and live long enough to claim the reward. With a crew full of some of the most desperate and dangerous criminals, what could possibly go wrong?

Published September 29, 2015, by Henry Holt and Company, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a young adult fantasy about six thieves challenged by one incredible heist.

Quite possibly the best thing about the story is the characterization and the unique feeling behind the story. This is a story about thieves, these aren’t typical heroes, they aren’t villains either, they are a group of misfits, criminals who were hired for a heist. Nothing more and nothing less, and that’s what makes this novel so interesting because it’s atypical because it’s unique and a fresh way to tell the story. What’s more is the fact that the story provides so much backstory for the characters. But the backstory doesn’t drag the story down. Those elements of the story are important at those moments by adding a level of depth and understanding to the characters and how they operate, how they function with one another and with the story. The elements of the characterization work so well to make the characters and the novel, by extension, so engaging to the reader. The backstory element allows the characters to have such strong dynamics with one another because their personalities are tethered to what they have gone through, making each of them unique to the story, distinct in their own way.

Kaz specifically is an interesting protagonist to follow because of all the reasons listed above. He comes off older than he appears on the page and it’s so easy to forget he’s not much older than 18. He’s such a strong and broken character, charismatic and calculating at the same time. He’s selfish but he looks out for his crew, making him honorable, even if he does have lapses in judgment. But that’s what makes him such a good character, the fact that he’s no infallible.

As for the story itself, it’s very reminiscent of the show Leverage. To have a story follow thieves rather than a group of heroes is truly fascinating because it’s such a fresh idea. A story about thieves, while not wholly unique, is presented in this novel with such fresh ideas, incorporating magic into this unique world. Then there are the obstacles that Bardugo put in front of the characters are high in tension and nail-biting moments that hook the reader to the story. Those are great moments in the story because they flow because the drive between the characters and the story is intense and addicting. It’s riveting, non-stop, and such an amazing novel. The characters are worth every minute of reading. (★★★★☆ | A)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Sept 29, 2015

Page count: 462pp

Age Range: 15 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-6277-9212-7

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

List Price:  $18.99

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