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Taft Tribune

The Student News Site of Taft Charter High School

Taft Tribune

The Student News Site of Taft Charter High School

Taft Tribune

REVIEW: The book that was a global phenomenon: Six of Crows

Shravanthi Raja
Six of Crows – Book

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo was a New York Times Bestseller for a year and has an average rating of 4.9 on Goodreads. Bardugo donated 10% of her tour sales to GEMS, an organization that fights against human trafficking. She is a human rights activist within and outside of her writing.

With amazingly dynamic characters, the book was a gripping read. Six of Crows was originally published on September 29, 2015 and is part of a series known as The Grishaverse. Her debut novel, Shadow and Bone was recently adapted into a Netflix original series. In the show, Kaz Brekker and The Darkling are played by Freddy Carter and Ben Barnes (Ben Barnes starred as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia).

Six of Crows is the first book in a duology filled with mystery, intrigue and emotions that tug at the heartstrings, with Crooked Kingdom being the second book of the duology. Bardugo writes a story of six outcasts, who team up for an impossible heist. The book starts with Kaz Brekker, the leader of one of the most feared gangs in the city, receiving an offer to be paid a million dollars to retrieve a wanted captured man from one of the most secure prisons in the world. He assembles a team of infamous criminals with a unique skill set:

  • Kaz Brekker is the most feared person in the city of Ketterdam. At the age of 17, he is a criminal mastermind and the leader of this team.
  • Inej Ghafa is the only person Kaz will ever trust in his life who begrudgingly agrees to the idea of breaking into the prison. Affectionately known as the ‘mom’ by the fandom, she is an acrobat with an uncanny ability to melt into shadows, earning her the name ‘Wraith’. She is also a beacon of representation being one of the few brown protagonists in Young Adult fantasy.
  • Nina Zenik can control the cells that make up a living thing. Living with this ability, she has a tough life. A soldier who used to fight for her country, she is a loud and boisterous character who can charm just about anyone.
  • Jesper Fahey is a sharpshooter with a weakness for gambling. He is part of Kaz’s gang and has excellent aim. Unable to close decade-long wounds, he gambles and flirts to cope with his issues. He is funny, charming, and everyone’s favorite character.
  • Wylan is a runaway with a privileged past. He is dyslexic, but his condition isn’t officially diagnosed in the book. He is creative and extremely well-versed in chemistry, music and math. Dubbed ‘Merchling’ by Jesper, he is the sweetest character in the book. His simple innocence is adored by the readers.
  • Matthias Helvar spends his days in a place where the worst criminals are held. Betrayed by his lover and banished from his country, he is a fiercely loyal soldier who would do anything for the people he loves.

Not only was Six Of Crows a delightful read, but it is one of the few Young Adult novels with a brown protagonist with PTSD. As a brown girl myself, representation is very important to me. The book is filled with diverse characters, each with their own type of character development and story arcs.

I loved the intensity of the emotions; all of the characters have a unique perspective on life and love. The way all of them learn to love is absolutely heart-wrenching, but they are ultimately scared to trust someone.

Leigh Bardugo (Wikimedia Commons)

Bardugo weaves an intricate plot with nothing amiss. Her first book, Shadow and Bone, was a success and lacked the depth and dynamic qualities of the characters in Six of Crows despite being set in the same universe as Six of Crows.

Bardugo’s style of writing is the perfect mix of flowery and blunt. She paints a beautiful picture of the city and the characters’ personalities but gets to the point during pivotal moments. Her writing is expertly structured while still being easy to read and understand. Bardugo’s writing plays a huge role in making the duology an engaging read.

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About the Contributor
I'm a freshman at Taft High.I spend my time reading YA novels and obsessing over certain characters from those books :) I'm so excited to be a part of this awesome team!

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