Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Six of Crows’ is fantasy genius


Photo courtesy of leighbardugo.com

“Six of Crows” is the fourth book in the Grishaverse series.

*Spoilers ahead!*

A month and a half into the new year, and my book count for the year is already climbing. I am currently on my 25th book: “Rule of Wolves”, the seventh book in the Grishaverse series by Leigh Bardugo

Fans are mostly in agreement about which books are the best in the series. Between the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy, the “Six of Crows” duology or the most recent “King of Scars” duology, most are saying the “Six of Crows” duology is the best. I want to focus on the fourth book in the series, “Six of Crows.” 

I have talked about “Six of Crows” before in my articles about the Grishaverse Netflix series. It is my favorite book in the series for the sole reason of Bardugo’s incredible way of writing characters. The Crows make this book, and they’re why the duology is so popular. These characters hold a special place in my heart and inspire my own writing. 

The Crows: Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Jesper Fahey, Wylan Van Eck, Nina Zenik and Mattias Helvar. How does someone write characters that are so complex and diverse that fans can’t even rank them? I go back and forth between who is my favorite.

The representation alone is groundbreaking for the young adult (YA) fantasy genre. The race, sexuality and disability representation mean so much to the fans who aren’t used to seeing themselves represented in stories. 

The characters are revolutionary. Their complexity makes them so interesting. They each have their own heartbreaking backstories and distinct personalities. Inej and Kaz particularly stand out with their relationship. They’re so different, and seeing how beautifully written their arc is makes me so happy. 

The plot of the story shows off how fun these characters are. The gang goes through so many trials to complete their mission, and their goals are different. They all want a prize but for different reasons. This adds to the story by making the audience want to see the Crows succeed. 

We see how vulnerable they are, but also how they interact with each other while trying to pull off a suicide mission. The stakes for each character are high. The writing establishes that these characters are strong but vulnerable and young compared to the rival gangs that are also on this mission. We see the characters struggle, but also Kaz Brekker’s infamous “scheming face.” 

The man always has a plan. And a backup plan. And several backup plans. Readers are constantly taken aback by how clever he is. When you think something’s going wrong, Kaz comes in to pull the rug out from everyone — including the characters themselves. 

THE. ENDING. Where do I start with it? Wylan’s ableist dad? Inej’s kidnapping? Kaz’s ending line that makes me squeal even when I know it’s coming? THIS is how you write an ending. All the plots come together, affecting each of the characters physically and mentally. It’s still my favorite book ending of all time!

No one feels out of character as the plot moves along, which is a big problem in a lot of stories. We see their relationships with each other grow, as well as internally, throughout the story in a way that doesn’t feel forced. Readers will laugh, cry and come to love these characters. 

Rating: 5/5 stars