Written by Beth Winters
I love “Six of Crows.”
Let’s start at the beginning. I prepared for this year’s BookExpo America (BEA) by making a “most wanted books” list, and “Six of Crows,” the first in a new duology by Leigh Bardugo, was near the top. Lo and behold, I was lucky enough to snag a copy.
Admittedly, I was a little hesitant to read this book because though I very much enjoyed “Shadow and Bone,” the first book in Bardugo’s "Grisha" trilogy, I thought the last in the "Grisha" series left something to be desired in terms of both plot and character development. I am happy to say that those worries are unfounded when it comes to “Six of Crows.”
“Six of Crows” begins a bit slowly because there is a lot of introductory information, which is especially necessary for those who have not read any of the "Grisha" trilogy. The good news? You do not need to have read the "Grisha" series to enjoy this one.
Within the first few pages, you are thrown into a whirlwind of thievery and deception, a trend that does not end until the book is over. The book begins with our heroes meeting a gang for a discussion, but someone rats out these characters’ actions to another gang, so the meeting goes awry. One of the heroes is shot and left behind. What a way to open a book.
In addition to being a good story, this book is told in a way that presents the points of view of all six main characters. This aspect is especially enjoyable when you experience one character in a particular situation and then are presented with another character’s experience, which picks up in the middle of that previous situation. This writing style helps readers better understand each character and how they handle and survive various events, such as the large attack that occurs early in the story.
The main aspect of the story, a heist the protagonists are hired to complete, is complicated, but Bardugo masterfully explains what the characters must do. Also, it is helpful that the map the characters create toward the beginning of the story is replicated in the book jacket, which is particularly useful for those who enjoy visualizing what they read. I found myself referring to the map throughout the heist scene in order to see where the characters are in relation to each one another.
Another great feature is that you do not have to wait long for the heist, which is the main action sequence, to begin. Being the main part of the book, you would expect it to take a while to get there. But not in “Six of Crows.” Bardugo gives readers pertinent information but not so much that they will know for sure what happens next. Be prepared for a surprising ending, I am sad now that I finished the book and have to wait until the next one is released to discover what comes next.
Do not be hesitant to read this book, even if the "Grisha" trilogy is causing you doubts. “Six of Crows” is completely different and action-packed. I recommend this book to Bardugo fans, fantasy readers, action-lovers, and anyone looking for something unique. Get ready to get hooked on this duology.
Title: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication date: September 29, 2015
Page count: 480
List price: $18.99
Nominations: 2015 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction; 2017 Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults; 2017 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee
Book type: Advanced Reader’s Copy from BEA
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