Small Disclaimer that this review is not spoiler free.
It’s A Feeling Of Freedom, Of Seeing The Light(summoner)
I’m going to say it – I think I was too hard on the Grisha Trilogy. Because after reading Six of Crows I’m sitting here and I miss Alina and Genya and the Darkling. I don’t miss Mal, but some things have to stay the same, I suppose. The good thing about that is that I can maybe learn to appreciate the prequel of Six of Crows despite its flaws. I just have to give it some time. The other good thing is that Six of Crows makes it easy to forgive the Trilogy for its mistakes because the character building is so damn well that you kind of forget why this hasn’t been one of your favorite settings so far.
So yes, it happened. Leigh Bardugo’s universe has finally made it to my top settings. Now I’m sitting here praying that Crooked Kingdom won’t let me down. Please don’t let me down.
Give Me The Perfect Character – And Make Me Fall For The Girls
I’ve been part of the Bookstagram community for almost three months now and I’m starting to know it a little. What I know for sure is that Kaz Brekker seems to be everyone’s favorite anti-hero. Don’t get me wrong. Kaz is a character pretty much how I like them. A con-artist with a mysterious past who survives because of his wits instead of his muscle and more than that who survives despite all odds. You can’t really create a character closer to what I like. It’s like Bardugo had a check list and built Kaz out of that.
The funny thing is that Kaz isn’t my favorite character. It’s Inej. And I can’t help but wonder if maybe the entire series – from the Grisha books to the Duology – isn’t aware of its true own strength. And that’s the friendship between the female characters. Alina and Genya had a far more interesting relationship in the Trilogy than Alina and Mal if you ask me. And one of the saddest parts about Six of Crows for me was that Nina and Inej didn’t get as much screentime as I had hoped. I do think that building friendships between female characters is done on purpose in these books, but I also have the impression that Bardugo isn’t aware just how precious those relationships are.
What I loved about Six of Crows is that this time I was rooting for the couples. I love Nina and Matthias to bits. It might be my favorite couple of the entire universe. I do love Kaz and Inej. And I even dig Jesper and Wylan even when there’s hardly anything there at the moment. I’m about one hundred percent sure that rooting for those people will rip my heart out in the second book – because that’s what Bardugo does best – but I can’t really help this. This time the chemistry is there.
At the same time – and I think that’s what I love the most – I love both Inej and Nina enough to think that if Kaz and Matthias can’t make them happy, they shouldn’t be together. And that, my friends, is a true gift. I can’t stress enough how important characters like that are in fantasy books or even in books in general. Readers are supposed to love a female character as a part of a pairing or they are supposed to love a female character as an island. It’s so exceptional that there is a woman in a book that goes through the heartache of saying ‘This man isn’t good for me and I deserve better.’ when the character she has feelings for is not only as complex at her and therefore not even a really bad person, but also one of the heroes of our story. In Six of Crows we don’t only have one story like that, we have two. I love that so much, I can’t even express myself properly.
About White Collar Fanfiction And What It Has To Do With Six Of Crows
Getting away from the romance and the characters, even when characters are my favorite thing to talk about… The one thing that turns Six of Crows from a good book into an AMAZING book is the heist.
I don’t know how many readers – especially in the YA fantasy fandom – are aware of how hard it is to pull off a story like that. Let me tell you. It’s hard. So very hard.
Once upon a time there was an Austrian girl who wrote fanfiction for White Collar and unlike most people she didn’t write romance, but case fics. The time alone that went into research and throwing away ideas because of the realization that it’s not possible or that it doesn’t work with this set of characters… Writing a good heist feels about as hard as pulling it off. You don’t want the whole thing to be impossible, but you don’t want to make it too easy for the characters either. You have to lead your characters into one-way-streets only to find a way to get them out of it again.
Reading about the characters making it to the Ice Court and out of it again made me realize more than once how hard it must have been to write it. Even when a few twists were pretty obvious to me, others really came out of nowhere. Six of Crows is a gem for everyone who loves a good story above everything else.
Six of Crows has absolutely everything a good book needs. It has great characters, amazing female characters, just the right amount of romance, a neatly stacked narrative and on top of it all a formidable story in a breathtaking setting. Steampunk meets fantasy meets Leverage. That it was a bit hard to get into the book after all is forgotten once the real story kicks off. And then it can’t be stopped.