“There’s always more to lose”
There are those books that become instantly popular, Six of Crows being one of them. For me, it was one of those books that I had always meant to pick up but never seemed to make it to the check out. It took me over two year to finish The Grisha Trilogy (finished just this December) because I could never seem to get behind the characters. I feared that it was the writing, so I was afraid to pick up this new duology. Not only that, but this book is so hyped, how could it possibly be as good as everyone says? it cant POSSIBLY be that good? that FANTASTIC? that incredibly SOUL CRUSHING AND MIND BLOWING? but my friends I am here to tell you, OH HELL YES IT CAN!
This novel follows six incredibly diverse characters and one impossible heist. They are thieves and gamblers, spies and bombers attempting to pull of the biggest con ever known for the prize of money and power. The incredibly complex and diverse set of characters are complemented wonderfully by the intricately built world and eery settings. Bardugo does an incredible job of putting us inside each characters mind and plotting along with them at every turn, only to be constantly surprised by the twist of events.
I think this book is made incredible by so many wonderful things: the setting, the world-building, the imagery, the plots and schemes. etc etc etc… but the best thing Bardugo does is makes this novel revolve around the characters. She creates depth in each character that drives the plot backward and forward in engaging stories that wind together to create this book.
Kaz- I cant even with him. Half the time I’m like “oh my sweet darling baby Kaz what has this world done to you” and the other half I am screaming at him to stahp being so damn cruel. What I love about Kaz is that he blurs the line between hero and villain. He does whatever is necessary, and I mean WHATEVER, to complete his goal of ultimate revenge for his brother death. He oozes with power and cunning cleverness that makes him an incredibly complex protagonist. His actions as the leader drive the stories of each of the other main characters. It is obvious he cares for his friends but has shoved everything so far down to protect himself it can be difficult to see the good. Ps. Him and Inej ASDFKJUG.
Inej- It took me a while to unravel Inej because she both belongs among the thugs and thieves, and yet doesn’t. I admire Inej the most out of any character in this novel, and most novels. She has a good, kind heart and a strong faith that stays with her throughout the HORRORS that have happened to her. Being taken and sold into prostitution is a very real thing that happens in our world, and this makes it so much more horrifying to me. There is a realism placed on Inej because of this issue in our society today and the way that she handles it is admirable. She does what she has to in order to survive and does it with such grace and faith. ps. He and Kaz YAAAAS.
Nina- Oh my. Nina is everything I aspire to be in life. She is confident in every situation she is faced with, an absolute flirt who loves to eat. Everything that might be seen as a weakness is Nina’s strength, and she goes through hell and back, taking a lethal drug to save her friends because she is incredibly loyal. Nina is everything. She uses what might be deemed as “feminine weakness” as her weapon, and on top of it all, she’s curvy and sassy as hell- what is not to love. I ADORE her snippets with Matthias and their banter, they are just toooo cute.
Matthias- A giant Fjerdan with a love for a witch (Nina) and a heavy taste for propriety. It took me a while to warm up to Matthias but I just think of his as a large teddy bear that blushes a lot and can snap a tree with his hands. I love that Matthias’ character gave depth to the world of the Grisha and the customs of their world- and ours. Despite what he had been taught his whole life he was able to eventually put aside his prejudices and look at the world through the eyes of others. And oh man he loves Nina so much, they are so cute together, completing each others personalities so perfectly.
Jesper- For a while I was like, Jesper who? thinking that he was a side character, but there is so much to Jesper’s character. He has an addiction to gambling, which gets him into a lot of trouble, specifically getting him kicked out of school for spending all his money at the tables. Also, plot twist, he is a Grisha Fabrikator, which was super handy while getting the gang out of a few tricky situations during their heist. I love Jes’ ability to ramble and to talk to everyone. I love his relationship with Inej, specifically on the boat talking about Kaz (sigh). Jesper x Wylan 5ever tho.
Wylan- Oh my baby. He has his ups and his downs of course. Most are totally justified considering he is new to the whole “being an outcast” thing and all that. I think it is incredible how well he fits himself into the group, despite firstly being there as a captive. He is incredibly smart, despite not knowing how to read (dyslexia perhaps?) and builds bombs and other science related things that help with escapes and ultimately their heist. He is a sweet little cinnamon roll that should be protected at all costs. ps. Jes is allowed near the cinnamon roll.
Altogether I could write an entire essay on the merits of this novel. There are so many real world issues addressed in this novel that are so important and maybe one day I will write about them in a formal essay, because I think Bardugo has done an incredible job at making an important, beautiful, romantic, hilarious and spectacular book for all audiences.