About the Story:
"A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist."
Redemption comes at a cost.
This story is told from many different point of view, of which the main protagonists are Kaz, criminal mastermind and Inej, the silent spy. We first meet the six main characters as they prepare for the heist of their life; riches, independence, and salvation at their fingertips. Each character has their own reasons for agreeing - as Kaz pulls their strings - but we slowly learn that the cause of this mission is bigger than any one of them. With plot-twists from cover-to-cover, Leigh Bardugo has incorporated action, suspence, and romance in the Six of Crows.
Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias, and Wylan were the main six protagonists. This story switched point of view frequently, akin to the Game of Thrones. However, I did find myself lacking a connection to Jesper and Wylan. Though Wylan was integral in the latter story, I wonder if the story could have been the same for me without these two characters.
Kaz is a man of cold mystery - always a big draw. Deep down we wonder - as Inej does - whether we can change Kaz, heal him, or get him to admit he cares. Inej is a beautiful character - so fun to read as she leaps from roof-to-roof, fulfilling her reputation as the Wraith.
I grew to be quite fond of Nina, and Matthias by default.
Each character had their own sordid past, their own motivations and ambitions, yet they each shared something vital; each had run from something, or someone. The group dialogue was highly entertaining.
Intricate and well-crafted. We get a clear sense of the Barrel, of the disparities between rich and poor, of the prison, and the crossing to the Ice Court. The setting is this novel's strength. Particularly in the beginning, the world-building holds the reader’s attention. I had few qualms in this area, though a glossary could have been a nice as there were many unfamiliar terms - this novel would not be kind to someone who only reads a chapter a night.
By halfway through, I began to feel emotionally invested in this story. Most fantasy novels take a little to set up the world - especially one as intricate as this - before picking up pace. Despite this, the start was slow and I had to force myself to continue in parts. The writing is professional with few errors, and technically sound, but I wonder if the editing of some of the initial scenes could have improved pacing. From the mid-mark, I only put Six of Crows down once, to sleep - always gets in the way - and was satisfied with the ending, and what should prove to be a good sequel. Kaz and Inej are still ingrained in my mind after closing the covers.
A unique world, largely lovable characters, and a detailed, unpredictable plot. If you plan to read Six of Crows, you can be assured of a YA novel unlike any other. For me, the pace dragged initially, and there were some characters I felt little for, but it was worth continuing for the final showdown.
“What is he doing?” asked Matthias.
“Performing an ancient Zemeni ritual,” Kaz said.