No mourners. No funerals.
Six of Crows was one of those books that was on my list FOREVER. It kept getting shunted around my TBR and taking a backseat to books I had to read for work. But then Crooked Kingdom came out and I couldn’t put it off anymore. The hype got to me, ok guys?? yeesh.
And the hype was right. This duology (ooh, fancy!) was so so good. Like SO GOOD! It has everything you could possibly want: magic, schemes, sticking it to the man, disguises, broken characters, humour, diversity. All the things! And so artfully done that you’re not sitting there like “Huh, this author thinks she’s pretty clever.” but you’re like “Wow, this author is so clever!”
In case you’ve been living under a rock, this two book series by Leigh Bardugo is set in the universe of the Grisha (her earlier series) but is a story all of its own. It follows a band of street kids – cripples and ex slaves and sharpshooters – as they perform the heist of their life. It’s fun and twisty and heartbreaking and the characters… well the characters deserve a separate paragraph.
Although the plot is interesting, it definitely takes a back seat to the characters. With so many people populating these books it could be so easy for them to merge into one, but Bardugo excellently handles each character’s personality, mannerisms, thought process and quips. They feel real and individual and they make you care. They all become your broken little babies. The girls are badass, the guys are flawed, and their friendships, the ways they interact with each other, made me so happy. Even when I wanted to scream at them!
And guess what? They’re not all white and straight and able-bodied. And none of them feel like they’ve been thrown in to up the “Diversity quota”. WIN!
But this book isn’t all sun and rainbows and running through a meadow. It’s dark. People die. Sometimes in really gruesome ways, some of them at the hands of the “good guys”. Every one of the characters has a past and all of them are fighting to reconcile that past to their present as they suffer from addiction, panic attacks, intimacy issues etc…these are broken people who have found each other and are learning to survive the best they can.
A week after finishing this series Leigh Bardugo came to my workplace. *internal scream!* She was in England for her Worlds Collide tour with Rainbow Rowel and popped in to speak with us and sign books. She walks with a cane that inspired the one used by Kaz in the series, and she was so lovely, taking time to speak with each of us and personalize her messages as she signed.
I brought in my copy of Six of Crows, and since Jesper is one of my favourite characters, she wrote one of his quotes!
Facts are for the unimaginative.
After being so incredibly lovely, how could I not give her books 5 stars? Well played Bardugo, well played.
5 out of 5 stars