Book Review: Enter a World of Magic and Mischief in Bardugo’s ‘Six of Crows’
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 479 pp. Henry Holt and Co., 2015
by Kirsten Moore
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a story of six teenagers trying to pull off the ultimate heist. Kaz, known as Dirtyhands, is a naturally gifted thief and convict; Inej, the Wraith, is the ultimate spy; Jesper is a gambler who relies too heavily on armory to keep himself safe; Nina is a hated Grisha with the ability to heal and calm; Matthias is a Grisha hunter torn over his nature to kill and his love for Nina; and Wylan is the runaway son of the Merchant tasking the Dregs gang with this heist.
This story starts out pretty straightforward—six teenagers have been tasked to break into an impenetrable prison to free a scientist and earn a 30 million kruge reward. The characters are daring, brave, and a little bit insane, but they think they can get the job done. As their mission progresses, the story turns darker, and the characters’ pasts are revealed. All of the main characters have unique backgrounds shown throughout the novel that explain why they are the way they are, and everything molds into one big plot for Six of Crows. The story is told from all six characters’ points of view, so readers are able to truly learn a lot about the characters.
The thing about this novel is that you are always on your toes. The world of Ketterdam created by Bardugo is complex and entertaining, so you are always left wanting more. The magic of the Grishas creates a perfect mix of action, darkness, and romance—everything you want in a novel and more. The characters are masters of coming up with improvised plans that seem impossible but somehow always work out in the end, and that proves to be one of the most exciting portions of the novel. The characters are all tangled together in one way or another too, but the romance never overshadows the plot of the story.
The magic in this book is refreshing and new. There are three types of Grisha, each with their own set of powers. Corporalki focus their power on the human body as Healers and Heartrenders. Character Nina Zenik is a Healer. Etherealki can manipulate different elements such as fire and water, and Materialki focus their power on materials such as metals and glass. Grisha prove to be the driving force behind the heist in this story, which allows the magic to be a main focal point in the novel, while the characters without magic still get their time to shine as well.
Overall, Six of Crows is a daring story that fantasy lovers will fall in love with. The characters are intricate, the plot is obsessive, and the whole story is a rollercoaster of events and emotions that constantly leave the reader wanting more.