I actually read this around half a year ago, but I had taken a break from writing reviews at that time. This week though, I found out that the Grishaverse will be picked up by Netflix this year!! This is such hugely exciting news that I immediately had to tell everyone about it, but I’m also nervous that the adaptation won’t live up to the glory of the novels.
When I first picked up Six of Crows, I’d heard praises for months, but chalked it up to being just another YA fad. After finishing up final exams though, some YA filler material was exactly what I wanted.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.
Okay. So I was wrong. This wasn’t just mindless YA cringe-worthy “romance” ensconced in a wild criminal adventure. This was an intense, dark, and gritty world that was navigated by capable, complex characters.
The first few chapters were the weakest part of Six of Crows. The characters we meet seem lazily stereotypical; the plot goofily centered on attaining wealth and glory. In fact, the first chapter was so underwhelmingly uninteresting that I almost regretted picking up this book.
But, almost between one page and the next, Bardugo elegantly rerouted the slightly juvenile story thread into a masterpiece of character development. While how the crew deals with the complications threatening to sink the heist is enticing on its right, it also serves as a perfect backboard for Bardugo to skillfully tease out all the psychological complexities governing her characters. This is absolutely my favorite aspect of Six of Crows. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan are all completely different personalities with a huge array of different weaknesses. It’s astounding how every backstory is fleshed out and slowly helps the reader understand all of the internals conflicts and previously incomprehensible actions that a character has struggled with. Bardugo makes it impossible not to love each of them and feel fully invested in their lives and motivations. In doing so, she makes her audience care about real-world themes of racism, human trafficking, lgbtq issues, disabilities, ptsd, and addiction.
The world of Six of Crows is so broken, and these children are continuously stepped upon by that world, yet Bardugo makes this a novel about the gentleness and healing that can be found in human relationships despite everything working against you.
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.