Every so often I come across an author who simultaneously has the power to make me smile like a blissful school girl and also sob my eyes out in the pits of despair.
Leigh Bardugo is one of these. At some point I’ll manage the willpower to review all three of the Grisha Trilogy (her first series in her fantasy world and my first introduction to her ability to wreck me beyond belief) but for now, I want to focus on her newest book and the one to most recently destroy my emotions, SIX OF CROWS.
This book. THIS BOOK, y’all. Bardugo has an amazing ability to weave character and story and setting and plot into this masterful creation that flat engulfs you from the first moment you open the book on to the very last page. None of these characters are heroes in the traditional sense; let’s be real – they’re on a mission to kidnap/steal someone from another country. None of them are angels.
But they are so, utterly, real. Not every writer can make me believe so whole-heartedly in a fantasy character, magically inclined or otherwise, but Bardugo manages it. I was cheering on this ragtag band of miscreants for the entirety of the book and all the twists and turns of loyalty, betrayal, and action that were thrown at us. Each of their six respective POVs felt as fleshed out as the others, something that is so, so hard to manage with multiple POVs, in my opinion. In particular, Kaz’s backstory completely fascinated me, as did Inej’s deep rooted desire for freedom. I absolutely ship them, by the way ;)
As far as the story arc, it blew me away with how well-crafted it was. The plot was definitely complicated enough to keep my attention, but I was never confused about what was going on, if that makes sense? Bardugo did a great job keeping me intrigued enough to keep reading without kicking me out of the narrative due to too much going on. I am so totally looking forward to seeing how the plot continues on into the sequel, as well. I need to know what happens next, y’all, and really that’s about the highest compliment I think I can give!
Basically, I’ve got the released date for the sequel, CROOKED KINGDOM highlighted and circled in red on my calendar. It may have taken me a few months to dive into SIX OF CROWS, but I’ve learned my lesson and will be waiting by the mailbox for my preorder in September. Don’t expect to hear from me for a few days – I do read fast (again, I finished SIX OF CROWS in a single evening), but I daresay I’ll need a day or two to recover from epic levels of a book hangover.
So, has anyone else been personally victimized by the awesomeness that is a book by Leigh Bardugo? Any other new fantasy books you think I should check out? Let me know! @C_L_McCollum