Saturday, 7 November 2015

'Six of Crows' by Leigh Bardugo (****)

Hello, readers! This weekend I am in London, visiting my homies (aka my fam) before I head back up to Manchester tomorrow! The weather outside is miserable and I am huddled in a nice warm blanket after going out for a fancy Brunch ('ooooh how South West London' I hear you moan) so now it is time to treat you to a book review!

I haven't done one of these in a while, mainly because it has been an age since I have actually finished a book. I know, shocking right?! I kind of underestimated how much work university would be. I don't necessarily mean academic study, because at the minute my timetable isn't packed and I'm not overloaded with essays or anything like that, but heading off to university and adjusting to a whole new way of life can be very overwhelming and busy. I am absolutely loving life in Manchester; I just need to learn to balance my work, social and blogging life!

Enough of the rambling. To summarise: I've been reading a book for about a month. That book is Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows. I loved it.

*Images taken from Tumblr*

I have known about Leigh Bardugo ever since I started blogging: Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm were the first two books sent to me by Orion to review. Therefore, I knew before I even started Six of Crows that it would be a book that I would adore, if only for the beautifully lucid writing style I had grown to love. Fantasy has never really been my number one genre of choice when deciding on a book in a book shop, but Bardugo incorporates so much more into her novels than just the fantasy elements. This alone is what makes her books so magical. 

What I loved most about Six of Crows was undoubtedly the characters. The relationship between them all provided a clear structure to the novel, and also made way for the lighthearted and most intense moments. When you can imagine a character clearly in your head, that is when you know that the author has spent months carving out these characters, ensuring the perfect combination for the events that take place in the book. My favourite characters were unquestionably Kaz and Nina. 

There was just something about them that made me immediately warm to them, and their flaws made them much more real to me. There's nothing worse than teenage characters who are so wise and beautiful and clever and smart. Sometimes it works just to make your characters normal. And although 'normal' doesn't really come into play in Six of Crows, they were at least believable and likeable, and they were characters that kept me fixated until the end of the book, and then wanting more. 

The magical, mysterious smoky atmosphere that I adored in Leigh's other books was wonderfully maintained in Six of Crows and I was SO SO GRATEFUL. I'm not the biggest fantasy fan but the Grisha world Bardugo has created leaves me completely transfixed; the complicated names and plot lines are easier to follow when you can imagine the entire scene in your head. I loved the descriptions of Kaz and Jordie in Ketterdam and of the Ice Palace near the end of the novel. These scenes were so intricately crafted that I had to underline certain sentences because they were just so damn beautiful!

Overall, I loved Six of Crows. I was never worried that Bardugo wouldn't live up to the acclaim of her other books, because I knew she would, but there was still that part of me that was whispering 'but Alix, you don't like fantasy!' You know what? Maybe I should stop saying that. Leigh Bardugo takes the fantasy genre and creates something so sparkling and unique. She mixes in romance, mystery, suspense, contemporary and so much more. It's like one huge gleaming cauldron of smoking ice: that's how I feel when I read her books. I hope that she continues writing forever more, the Grisha world is not something I want to leave any time soon. 

The only reason I gave this book 4*s instead of 5 is purely because of the length. I prefer relatively short books of about 300 pages, and this was just a little too long for me. If I read this book in the summer, I would have most likely given it 5*s, but with other commitments I couldn't completely devote myself to it, which is what I wanted to do.

If you're a fantasy lover or not, Six of Crows is 100% a must read. The Grisha world is so magical and unique. You will never read about a fantasy world more beautifully and faultlessly crafted.

I interviewed Leigh Bardugo on Delightful Book Reviews last year, check it out here!

Check out my reviews of Shadow and Bone Siege and Storm here!

Check out Leigh Bardugo here

Buy Six of Crows here 

Until next time :)

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