“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.” -Six of Crows
Sometimes, for whatever the reason, there are books that are perfect you, but they don’t ping your radar. Nearly five years from the release of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, I have finally met Kaz Brekker and his crew. If you are like me and haven’t picked up Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, consider this your reminder that a great duet of books awaits you.
The best way to describe Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is if you combine Ocean’s 11 set it in a fantasy world, and have the characters be both ethnically diverse and utterly alluring. To me, one of the best ways an author can connect an audience to a book is to have the characters be diversely unique. Six of Crows bands together characters from different walks of life but they all have depth, something to lose, and most of all something very precious to gain: money and freedom.
Kaz Brekker is your classic schemer. Not quite a man, not quite a boy, he simply is himself. Reborn from tragedy, sheer will and determination, Kaz Brekker is the go-to guy when someone needs something. Nicknamed ‘Dirtyhands’, Kaz and his chosen crew have been given a job to break into the Fjerdan stronghold of the North, The Ice Palace. Kaz and his crew need to recover a Grisha (a term for magical people) scientist who has developed a powder that will enhance a Grisha’s natural abilities to mythical levels. Luckily, Kaz has a Fjerdan on his crew—albeit reluctantly—as well as the Grisha woman on whom Matthias the mighty Fjerdan has sworn revenge. Kaz has also assembled his spy known as The Wraith, a gunslinger with a gambling problem, and even a reluctant heir with a penchant for blowing things up.
This is one of the most cleverly written books I’ve come across in a while, and I’m grateful a friend told me in no uncertain terms to “drop everything and go read this book.” So I did. With each chapter told from a different character’s perspective, the adventure and the fun elevates with each turn of the page.
Trust me, go read this book, and then immediately pick up Crooked Kingdom which is the second part of the duology. While Six of Crows is a complete story in itself, Crooked Kingdom brings resolution to Kaz’s crew which wasn’t quite grasped in the first book (I’m trying to prevent spoilers!). Both books are highly enjoyable, and I cannot recommend them enough!