I went to see Leigh Bardugo a few weeks ago at a panel she had with a few other authors, and it was really great!
[a few highlights:
billy taylor: i wanna be the mastermind.
leigh bardugo: maggie stiefvater’s driving the getaway car.
random girl: *asks all authors what the biggest plot twist they’ve ever written is*
all authors on panel: spoilers!
ally carter: everyone dies.
leigh bardugo: everyone dies and the rest is a poem. about border collie puppies.]
And afterwards, I bought Six of Crows, even though I didn’t get it signed since Bardugo had the longest line out of everyone. But I still got the book! And I absolutely do not regret it at all. It is fantastic and complex and all around VERY well-written. There’s a lot to love about it.
INEJ GHAFA, for instance. She’s an incredible character; she has to work so hard and pull off impossible tasks for the rest of the crew, but after that’s all done, she knows exactly what she deserves and won’t settle for anything else! She also reminds me of Lila Bard from the Shades of Magic series (because of all her knives and a spoilery thing), which is a very good thing because Lila is splendiferous.
Another aspect of the book that I love is its diversity. The characters all come from really different backgrounds in different fictional countries (something I’ll talk about in a moment), and these differences are fleshed out enough that it causes conflict between them. More than that, their thought processes and arguments makes sense with their backgrounds. None of these characters are cardboard cutouts, whether it’s in their appearances, personalities, or backgrounds. And with six main characters? That’s really impressive!
And I can’t not mention the worldbuilding. The author doesn’t just flesh out one setting and leave the rest undeveloped–she develops a whole world and then has characters from all over it so you can see that development. There’s Ketterdam, which is a huge center for international trade filled with gangs, and is also where the story starts out. Then there’s Fjerda, a really icy country with the most impenetrable compound ever, where everyone ends up going to pull off a huge heist. There is so much more to everything than that, but I’m not going to spoil it because the fun is in learning it. But basically it’s a super cool world that you get to see different parts of throughout the book–and did I mention the MAGICAL PEOPLE? Because they’re very important too! But I’ve rambled on long enough and so it’s time to move on.
To the PLOT.
It’s about a heist–a heist that they have to pull off in the absolute most secure building in their world. And yes, everyone questions why they agreed to it multiple times throughout the book. Their adventure is twisty and complex and intriguing and I feel like the best way to really describe it is that everyone is two step ahead of each other. People have plans, back-up plans, partially-revealed-and-partially-hidden plans, failed plans, triumphant plans, completely-secret plans . . . just lots and lots of plans! So don’t read it if you don’t like plans. It would be nightmarish. But who doesn’t like plans? I dunno. I hope all of you like plans.
Here are some wonderful quotes:
- “There was no part of him that was not broken, that had not healed wrong, and there was no part of him that was not stronger for having been broken.” (this sums up Kaz’s entire character and I didn’t even get to him in this review but he is incredible and you’d better love him)
- “When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
- “Kaz leaned back. ‘What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?’
‘Knife to the throat?’ asked Inej.
‘Gun to the back?’ said Jesper.
‘Poison in his cup?’ suggested Nina.
‘You’re all horrible,’ said Matthias.” (honestly this one could so easily be a Shades of Magic quote!)