This magical heist story stole my heart

Six+of+Crows+cover+art.

Henry Holt and Co Publishers.

Fans of the Six of Crows series can see some of the characters incorporated in the Shadow and Bones series on Netflix.

Jessica Liu, Intern Reporter

After over a year of hearing rave reviews, giddy exclamations like, “Oh my God, this book is so good,” and three students in my classes recommending this book when asked about their favorites, I finally read the popular young adult (YA) fantasy bestseller, “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo.

I wish I had read it earlier. 

Bardugo’s writing is lyrical yet impactful and elegant while still packing a punch in all her prose. She mixed action-packed adventure scenes with adorable slow-burn romance subplots, yearning, meaningful quotes, and lessons– all in one book. I loved the unique plot, masterful world-building, entertaining dialogue, and how character-driven this book was. I had been in a bit of a reading slump before I picked up this book, but devoured the 400-something pages in less than two days. 

This novel is the first of a duology, and follows a cast of six unlikely protagonists going on a heist together with the hope of returning super-rich. The cast of “Six of Crows” was so diverse, and I loved all the different characters individually as well as their group dynamics.

Kaz is the “leader” of the crew. He is mercilessly cruel, never acts without a motive driven by greed or self-interest, and kills a man or a dozen without hesitation. I was head over heels for him. Deep down, he is the classic antihero with a heart-wrenching backstory and really cares about the people around him, though he’d probably never admit it.

Inej is the spy of the group. Brave, strong, kind, and possessing a badass skillset, she’s had a rough past but nevertheless tries really hard to do the right thing. She was a character I felt I could relate to, with her inner battle of wanting to find a purpose that wasn’t fulfilling someone else’s wishes, her quiet skepticism of others, and of course, her crush on a boy who shows little emotional reciprocation.

With his witty banter and quick sarcasm, Jesper is a pleasure to read about. He’s not perfect none of the characters areand wants to make up for the consequences of his actions resulted in. While he wears a nonchalant and aloof mask flawlessly, he reveals insecurities and doubts he carries about his character and the decisions he chooses to make.

The last of the six include: Nina, a Grisha, someone born with the ability to manipulate the world around them at a basic level– or in easier terms, can do magical stuff. She can drop someone’s pulse with a raise of her hands or change someone’s eye color from amber to ash. She is wild and reckless and cares immensely about her friends. Matthias a super intimidating guy, yet has the heart of a teddy bear. Wylan, the cinnamon roll of the six, is a boy who blushes easily, with a past shrouded in mystery. He contributes some great banter and super cute moments with Jesper, and was overall a super entertaining character to read about. 

“Six of Crows” is fantasy, but the magic is pretty minimal, with a focus on more realistic and grittier scenes. The romance also doesn’t overshadow the actual story, which is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to so many YA books. The moments between characters were so well-written they had me smiling at my book behind my mask. 

The only downside to the book is that the first 100 pages or so were a bit confusing and slow for me. It mostly focused on understanding the setting and all the complexities and intricacies of the Grishaverse world. Stick it out, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll fly through the rest of the book.

Ultimately, I am really happy I decided to hop on the hype train and read “Six of Crows,” and I think it might just steal a spot on my top five favorite books of all time list, since it has already stolen my heart.