Book review: “Six of Crows”

Natalie Brink, Staff Reporter

Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows is a fantastical, witty novel set in the fictitious countries of Kerch and Fjerda. Six murderers, thieves and convicts are tasked with breaking into a Fjerdan fortress believed to be impenetrable. The unlikely crew is forced to depend on one another to survive, but not all of them get along.

 The most important and grounded aspect of the book is the characters. Bardugo never gives too much or too little of their backstories away, and she expertly spins them realistic personalities over the course of the book. With six main characters, this book easily could have had either too much or too little characterization, but it instead effortlessly walks the fine line between the two. Some characters get more personality than others, but it is necessary to keep the story moving, and all the main characters have character arcs. Similarly, not every person in the crew has a relationship with every other member, but the relationships they do have feel real. They aren’t perfect, and sometimes a character messes up, but that just causes the relationship to be more meaningful in the end.

 The characters also face consequences for their actions. If one character splits from the group to take revenge on one of the antagonists, they lose some of the group’s trust. If a character has a bad past with another, then they’ll go out of their way to make their lives miserable. This is important, because there is risk in everything the characters do. These characters are not invincible, and Bardugo makes sure the reader knows it.

 The only problem with this book is that there’s a slight deus ex machina during the heist. Inej, gifted with the ability to scale unscalable walls, is clinging to an incinerator shaft. Since the incinerator had recently been used, the heat is becoming unbearable. She almost gives up and lets go of the wall, but then it begins to rain. Immediately, Inej finds the strength to finish her climb and save the mission.

 Despite this, Six of Crows is an amazing read for anyone, especially people who like fantasy, heist or character-driven stories. It’s humorous and dark, emotional and gritty all while being entirely captivating.