Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Book Review


Lily Pliske, Editor

Six of Crows is arguably one of the best young adult bestsellers of all time. It checks all the boxes you look for in a book you never want to put down. Sarcastic humor that never ceases to bring a smile to your face, romance,  detailed backstories, danger, and plot twists that just keep coming. It has it all. 

The book is about six young criminals: Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Nina Zenik, Jesper Fahey, Mattias Helvar, and Wylan Van Eck. These six criminals who are all under the age of eighteen, are hired by a very wealthy Merchant, Jan Van Eck, who wants Kaz to break into and then out of the most secure prison in the world, with Yul-Bayur who is a Shu chemist and a Grisha Fabrikator.

Yul-Bayur is the most wanted fugitive in the whole world because he was the creator of jurda parem, which is a very powerful drug that when used on a Grisha can make them extremely powerful with their special ability. This drug is extremely addictive and very dangerous and kills almost any Greisha who consumes it.

This book is by far one of my favorites I have read. The way it constantly keeps you on your toes with every new scheme Kaz comes up with, and the twist and turns it takes before the amazing plot twist at the end that makes you immediately want to start the second book. Not to add that the writing is just flawless. The book itself while complicated in the plot, is easy to read and understand. Bardugo leaves you in the dark, seeing the book switches from the six character’s points of view, but it’s extremely special to be able to progress with the book as the characters do. This aspect just adds a little extra to feeling even more incorporated into the story and the little world she creates than other authors do. 

One of the things I love about this book is how all the characters fit with the succession of the plan they come up with to break into the Fjerdan Ice Court, and steal Yul-Bayur. Kaz is the planner, and person who makes this whole heist happen in the first place. Inej is the person who can scale any wall, and be more silent than silence itself. Nina a Heartrender/Healer Grisha proves herself with her ability to heal their injures, silently drop anyone who proves and threat, and her tailoring abilies allow her to change peoples appeances.

I personally love the backstories of this book has. I’ve always been the kind of person who loves a good back story. That kind of completes the character and allows a reader to feel like they know the person they are reading about. The way the author writes about the horrors Kaz went through to become the rather soulless and ruthless person he is in this book is nothing like I or anyone else has ever read. The creatively Bardugo has, and the fact that she is not scared to push outside of the box and do something never done before makes her book all the better. Bardugo, along with creating complex and creative backstories for all six of the characters focused on in the Six of Crows, also cover’s many things present in our world today. Inej sold into slavery before she was even a teenager and forced to work in the pleasure houses. Nina and Mattias’s complicated past, and romantic tension that makes you smile just reading it. Jesper’s gambling addiction that screwed up the whole course of his life, and of course, Wylan. Jan Van Eck’s son and the mystery of why he ran away from his father and the very rich and cushy life he would be living if he hadn’t.

The romantic tension between all the characters is something I really like about this book. I’ve always been a sucker for a romance book, and this aspect added on to the many amazing other aspects of this book is a kind of the cherry on top for me. Reading about the way Mattias loves Nina even though despite everything he learned as a child, that Grisha are an abomination to the Earth and to his God because of the special abilities they hold, makes you want to smile and cry. The internal fight he has to go through in accepting that what he has been told since birth is not true, that Grisha are just as human as him, and allowing himself to love her unconditionally is truly moving. The way Nina loved Mattias even when she thought he hated her and would die to save him before herself is definitely worth a quick cry. Kaz is a very complicated character and my best advice is to just read the book to gain an understanding of him, but the internal conflict he faces with loving Inej and vice versa leaves you feeling all the emotions a good romance should. And because Bardugo just had to go and check all the boxes, she adds and very funny and kind of steamy LGBTQ+ romance between Jesper and Wylan.