November 2017 Book of the Month: SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo

This is incredibly late and I have not posted in a while, mostly from a lack of creativity and busy-ness due to the nightmare that is holiday retail. But I’m still reading, of course – because how else would I stay sane amidst the insanity?

So. I have a new favorite book, everyone. It’s Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It’s the first of her duology (the second being Crooked Kingdom, which I have already finished reading, of course).

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It takes place in the same world as her Grisha trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Seige and Storm, and Ruin and Rising) shortly after the Ravkan civil war. Kaz Brekker is a young criminal with a mysterious past, the active leader of the Dregs, one of the many gangs that fight for control of the streets of Ketterdam. When he is offered wealth beyond belief, he needs to assemble the right team to perform an impossible heist. He recruits Nina Zenik, a Ravkan heartrender, Jesper Fahey, a sharpshooter and addicted gambler, Matthias Helvar, an escaped convict from an enemy nation, Wylan Van Eck, privileged son of a rich mercher, and Inej Ghafa, a.k.a. the Wraith, silent on her feet and deadly with a knife, who wants nothing but her freedom back. While they may seem like a motley crew at best, only they may be able to pull off something as impossible as breaking into the Fjerdan Ice Court to retrieve Bo Yul-Bayur, the Shu chemist who invented the dangerous drug jurda parem.

Bardugo tells this story in the most exciting way possible – through multiple perspectives, with cliff-hangers left and right, keeping me reading for hours on end. She reveals details slowly, giving us just a nibble here and there of each character’s past and motivations. The world she has created (the Grishaverse, as some may call it), is absolutely gargantuan in scope, but what she has done with this duology is focused on six people, each fully fleshed out and supremely real. She proves that she can write an epic fight scene from multiple viewpoints, and simultaneously scale back to a scene between two characters alone in a room, full of tension and love for one another, each unable to find the words to express how they feel. The story goes from exciting to heartbreaking to hilarious and it was never not enjoyable to sit down with this book and spend an hour in its pages.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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