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Book Review: 'Six of Crows'

Sadie Quimby

Posted on September 27, 2020 04:22

3 users

'Six of Crows' is a fantastic book, and now I'll tell you why.

Six of Crows, written by Leigh Bardugo, is one of my favorite books, and I’ve probably read it three or four times. It’s a YA book, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out, because it’s one of the good ones.

The first thing I love about this book is the world-building. It’s a fantasy novel, set in a world that’s beginning to industrialize, with places based loosely off real-world countries, cities, and continents. This isn’t the first book Bardugo wrote that’s set in this world. The Grisha Trilogy came first and established the world. However, the order doesn’t matter, and while the two series are very different, in my opinion, Six of Crows is a more enjoyable read.

Anyway, Six of Crows is grounded in one place, a city called Ketterdam, on an island nation Kerch. The city is a sort of combination of Victorian London and Amsterdam: there are canals all throughout the city, but overall it’s a filthy place with a high degree of inequality.

The great thing about this book is how it explores larger themes. Six of Crows looks hard at the failures of capitalism: vast inequality, corruption, and callous disregard for human life. Capitalism is the closest thing to a religion in Kerch, and this shapes all the main characters in different ways.

The criminals in Six of Crows are not shown as flawless individuals, but they are clearly the heroes of the story. They’re simply people trying to survive and find some happiness, while the wealthy merchants are corrupt and conniving villains.

That’s the best part of this book: the characters. Six of Crows is centered on six teen criminals, and they’re all excellent, well-rounded characters. The book is told from the perspective of all of them, and as time goes on their backstories are all revealed, which gives more insight into their individual motivations.


In addition to all of them being great characters, they’re a pretty diverse bunch. They come from many different backgrounds, and all of them deal with some kind of trauma, which is handled very well. One character is disabled and walks with a cane, while another has a learning disability, and a couple of the characters are gay or bisexual.

Inevitably, there are multiple romances, but I actually enjoyed them. Similar to the different, unique traits of the characters, the relationships weren’t there just to be there, and they didn’t get in the way of the plot. They were well-paced relationships that contributed to character development and were actually fun to read about.

Finally, it’s a heist novel. The main plot is these six dysfunctional teenage criminals trying to pull off a major crime. Personally, I’m a sucker for a good heist novel, but Six of Crows is entertaining in multiple ways. The plot hooks you; there’s a perfect mixture of humor, pathos, and action; and the characters make you care about them.

Sadie Quimby

Posted on September 27, 2020 04:22

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Source: Deadline

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