Six of Crows is my new favorite-ist series ever.
I couldn’t get enough of these books, and it doesn’t shame me in the least to share that I screamed at my phone for a solid ten minutes when I finished the second one on y my way home from work the other day. And even though I knew it was the last book just based on the way everything got tied up in a tidy bow, I spent hours scouring the internet for ANY sign of plans for a third book. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. That said, this duo did feel complete where it ended, so it’s not as if I felt shafted or left hanging.
The scheming was fun, intricate, and flexible.
One of my favorite book things is reading about crazy complicated schemes where everything goes just according to plan (with the exception of having to adapt to the unexpected things), and where those plans are ridiculously complicated.
There’s always a very tiny part of me that questions the actual odds of these elaborate schemes, but no matter how much I picked them apart, they still worked. Yes, the odds were defied time after time, but you want to know what was truly wonderful about it? The original plans went wrong repeatedly, and the team managed to scrape by, revisit the drawing board, and adapt to a new strategy. And that was wonderful.
The world building was simple, meaningful, and believable.
There are a TON of books out there that do some pretty amazing things in the world building department. Bardugo’s world is honestly relatively simple, but it’s beautiful in its simplicity. We were introduced to the world of the Grisha (in Ravka) in the Grisha Trilogy, and that was interesting and exciting because it was all original and new. Honestly, most of the rest of the world is simple and not overly complex. But it all feels real. More importantly, the world itself played a role in the plot(s), which of course made things super interesting.
The Characters were thoroughly fleshed out and a lot of fun.
Not only that, but they all had their own back-stories. In the first book, we got some very thorough background stories from a handful of the main characters. And in the second book we got the back stories of all the rest. It gave them all depth. And while the first couple of flash-backs seemed a little bit jarring in the audiobook format (I didn’t have any formatting clues), they felt perfectly placed. There were times that I found myself more interested in the back stories than in the main plot! (Which isn’t to say that the plots were boring, by any means; instead, the personal history of some of the characters was just that intriguing).
And something I really liked? None of these back-story bits felt in the way. Every single one of them added depth that contributed to the main storyline in some way. Sometimes it helped explain a character’s motive; others it helped give credence to a character’s particular skill. It made these convenient little quirks that progressed the plot seem less random and more appropriately placed, and I loved every minute of it.
Random side-note: Six of Crows is way better than the Grisha.
And I did really like the Grish series.
Let me just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the Grisha series when it was first released — the first book was so-so, but the world was so vivid (for me at least) that I still find myself revisiting Ravka in random dreams. Or making reference to the Darkling in casual every day conversation — conversation that rapidly confuses whoever is unfortunate enough to be talking to me at the time.
But the Six of Crows duology surpassed the Grisha series by a mile, and then some.