This is one of those hyped up books I just had to read. I’m sure you’ve all seen Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
You recognize that cover? Right? Okay, so this is the start of a new series, but it is based in the same world as Bardugo’s other series (which I have not read). This is a fantasy type world where we have some people who are blessed (cursed?) with magical abilities. A man discovers a drug that makes these magical beings super powerful and is kidnapped by the one nation who has vowed to destroy these ‘atrocities of nature’. Oh, and the drug is addictive after one dose and deadly over a short period of time. So, a group of thieves is hired to go and save the man.
This book is written from six different perspectives. And when I say different, I mean very different. Each of Bardugo’s characters are so unique and distinct it is amazing. The world building is great. Our characters are raw and harsh and we learn more about them slowly as the story goes on through flashbacks. This is really a great technique because it keeps you open-minded and guessing about character’s and makes you like them, sometimes despite yourself. The excitement builds amazingly well and the subplots feel very natural and don’t detract from the story. Bardugo achieves everything she sets out to in this story and does it with such talent, I’m a bit in awe.
Because of that, I will be giving this book five stars. Still, I’m not sure I can say I enjoyed this book. About a third of the way in, there’s an incredibly violent act by a main character. It was pretty shocking and we weren’t even to the intense part yet! So, I spent the whole rest of the book expecting even more grotesque, horrific violence because usually the most violent act isn’t a third of the way in! Luckily, it never again became more than I could stomach..but I was uncomfortable the whole time. Not only with the violence, but these character’s are so raw and flawed it makes you squirm a bit. Again, probably exactly what the author was trying to do…and achieved perfectly. Oh, and one other minor thing I didn’t like was that each and every one of the six character’s either had or developed romantic relationships. I feel like this kinda takes away from whole team/loyalty aspect of the group, lessening the feeling of brotherhood.
Overall, I would warn you to go into this one prepared for some emotional rocking. If you’re squeamish (like me) you may not love it. But the talent of Bardugo’s writing is undeniable. I can see what all that hype was about!! Happy (or angsty?) reading, my friends!