I found myself at home and sick this week. When I am sick all I crave are comfort reads. For me a comfort read is something not too challenging that I can wrap myself up in, enter a different world with a bunch of loveable characters. This week I found myself purchasing Six of Crows to satisfy my craving. Rookie error, I did not purchase Crooked Kingdom at the same time and found myself racing back to the shops the very next day. For those of you not familiar with this duology, it has been described as Game of Thrones crossed with Ocean’s Eleven. Kaz Brekker, criminal mastermind of the Dregs gang has been offered a deal that can make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. The catch: break into a court that has never been breached and retrieve a hostage several nations are fighting to acquire. These novels follow Kaz and his chosen crew across an ocean to the Ice Court and back to claim their reward.
In all honesty I knew I was going to love these books from the second paragraph in with the sentence “…her eyes were brown – lovely, dreamy…melted chocolate brown? Rabbit fur brown?”. These books were funny. Laugh out loud funny. The prose, particularly between the six, was witty and quick and I loved every minute of it. I was surprised at how intelligent and well-put together these novels were for YA. I don’t mean anything against YA but often the fantasy genre is rife with cliches and predictability (not always a bad thing!) and this series had none. There was one twist that I saw coming and to be honest, you expected it knowing that there was two books in this series.
The characters were also a strong point of these novels. They were perfectly unique and in my opinion the best squad going (sorry Harry, Ron & Hermione). I loved each and every one of these characters. They all played their role, each one of them was flawed and had so much room for development. I don’t think I could even pick a favourite (maybe Jesper, but only by a fraction). What I loved about the way the book was written was how the story was told from each of their points of view across the two books. I loved this technique as it allows the reader to see so much more in the novel without having to resort to making the lone protagonist unusually and unrealistically perceptive, which happens a lot in these types of novels. It also allows you to get to know what makes each character tick, what makes them unique.
I couldn’t praise these books enough. They are fast-paced with many twists and turns you don’t see coming and laugh out loud funny which balances the tension perfectly. The characters are to die for and so diverse! We have disabilities, mental insecurities and even a same-sex relationship. Also, quite touching, was learning that one of the characters disabilities comes from the author herself. Something she wrote into the books to show that we can all be our own hero, even if we are flawed. I would highly recommend both of these novels, particularly if you enjoy a good fantasy world. I give both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom four crows, both cracking reads.