Novel Captivates Teens with Nail-Biting, Action-Filled Heist

Six of Crows Review

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Six of Crows charcoal binding and chapter headings help paint the dark theme of the book.

Laura Renfroe, Staff Writer

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”

Kaz Brekker and his crew are not your typical pocket-picking criminals in the dark cobblestone alleyways of Ketterdam. They seek revenge and sweet dollar bills, and they will stop at nothing to get them.

The book Six of Crows was published in 2015 under Henry Holt and Company. The duology written by bestselling author of the popular Grisha Series, Leigh Bardugo, consists of two spellbinding books, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, both which have attracted many fans. It was nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and was a New York Times bestseller, instantly stacking up teens’ shopping carts.

“Having already read the Grisha trilogy, I was pleased to return to a world I know and to be reintroduced to characters I know as well,” PHS librarian Mrs. Renfroe stated.

“However, the author Leigh Bardugo creates a unique setting for the six new characters introduced to us in Six of Crows.”

The novel takes readers on an emotional and heart-racing journey with six dangerous outcasts as they try to complete their near-impossible heist across raging oceans and frozen porcelain white snow in the Ice Court.

“When I got the idea for Six of Crows, for this heist story . . . it was like . . . it was like I was waiting to assemble my Avengers, essentially,” author Bardugo said in The Grishaverse.

The characters in the novel are all ruthless thieves and criminal prodigies, but throughout the novel, we experience how raw and broken they really are, desperate for freedom. Six of Crows develops such complex and lovable characters throughout their intense journey in rescuing Bo Yul-Bayur, a Shu scientist, from the Ice Court in the fantasy world of Fjerda, in return for a lofty sum of money.

Skirmishes ensue in trying to sail from the Ketterdam streets, they learn that Pekka Rollins, leader of the Dime Lions gang, is after the scientist as well. Kaz Brekker and his crew must find Bo Yul-Bayur for Van Eck before Rollins and confiscate the lethal addictive drug parem that heightens Grisha powers and can become very dangerous if overused.

PHS book club representative, Jordan White, enjoyed reading the heist book and the ventures of Kaz and his gang last year with the book club.

“I really liked how the book was split into different point of views and came together to create one story. I also liked how it was a heist book. It reminded me of ‘Oceans Eleven.'” said White.

The Six of Crows gang “The Dregs” consists of a broken thief who wields a monstrous secret, a passionate girl who is looking for a place where her heart can aim to land true, a Fjerdan soldier, a dark-skinned sharpshooter with gambling issues, a powerful Grisha Heartrender, and a merchant’s son who has more talents than just playing the flute. Together, they develop a strong unbreakable bond as they wander on their robbery mission.

Many people recall Six of Crows for its distinguished five points of view throughout the chapters.

“That’s sort of one of the pleasures of getting to play with 5 POV is you got very, very different personalities to play with. And they all have their own motives,” the author declared.

With this book, we experience a lavish and multi-layered story filled with plot twists and turns. Bardugo brings a completely immersive and rich world in this novel, with suspenseful action and immensely elaborate characters.

She keeps the reader constantly trying to guess what will happen next. From dreamy and umbral cities to emotionless glacial courts, Six of Crows has become an ultimate hit.

“The city is just as much a character in the story as any of the people. With its murky haze, Ketterdam is just the place to mould our thieves into shifty, dark denizens ready to complete a daring heist. Add that the binding of the book is black, and you wind up with a really cool story,” said Renfroe.

Eerie Ketterdam was something that stood out to many readers, just like it did to Renfroe. It fit perfectly with the dark tone of the book.

“It’s interesting . . . I think of settings as additional characters because they play a major role in the world. The characters that arise become who they are because of where they’re from,” Bardugo explained.

You can pick up this fantastic heist fantasy, along with other books from Leigh Bardugo, at the high school library or your local bookstores. After all, “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet,” American author Jhumpa Lahiri wisely remarked.