January 19, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Geek Lit Review: Leigh Bardugo’s Six Of Crows

A group of criminals attempt to break in and out of legendary fortress in this YA fantasy novel.

Six of Crows is the first of three books the Geek Founders selected for a book club to run throughout 2019.

Of course, they won’t be covering the book on the show until later, but I’ve already finished it.  As it is, this is a SPOILER FREE review that will probably be expanded upon in a future “podcast reaction” column once they’ve discussed the book on the show.

Kaz Brekker is a criminal mastermind known for basically never getting caught.  A consummate conman, thief, and planner, he soon finds himself given a job that would seem to be impossible:  break into the ominous Ice Court and retrieve a prisoner there.  The Ice Court, a capital complex for a militaristic nation, has never had anyone successfully break in or out.  The payoff is too huge to decline.  To do it, Kaz will need to lead a group of six consisting of himself, ninja-level spy Inej, sharpshooting gambling attic Jesper, small-scale sorceress Nina, disgraced former soldier Matthias, and rookie demolitions man Wylan (the only one who doesn’t get to narrate his own chapters).

Bardugo’s plot is good, and her setting is interesting.  She has a couple different countries floating around in this setting, and there are conflicts that have been going on between at least two of those for quite some time.  That said, I can’t say I found any of the various narrator characters all that compelling.  None of them were bad, but they all seemed like characters I had seen many times before.  And there were two things about these characters that really bothered me, and those were the sorts of things that are common to Young Adult novels, but that didn’t make me any less bothered by them.  The first was the characters’ ages.  All six of the crew are between the ages of 16 and 18, and while most of them grew up in horrible circumstances, every single one of them seems to be far more knowledgeable than other adult characters who have presumably been doing the same thing, only longer.  Likewise, every member of the crow crew had to have a romantic subplot.  True, one of these love connections seems to be more implied than anything else, and we are dealing with teenage hormones, but still.  Did they all have to be in love?

Anyway, the book was fine, but not fine enough for me to want to read more from this series.  7.5 out of 10 conveniently present old adversaries.

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