Ever read a book and knew that you were supposed to like it and that it’s really solid but you just can’t seem to find the thread of the story? Well, Six of Crows was like that for me. The world was fascinating, but I felt like I was missing something HUGE. Really Yuge! Then I read Shadow and Bone by the same author, Leah Bardugo. Shadow and Bone is set in the same world, and as far as I can tell isn’t a prequel or even really related but it’s what I was missing!
Shadow and Bone begins with a pair of orphans, Mal and Alina. They are inseparable at their orphanage and when they grow up they join the King’s Army. Like many friendships it seems like they are growing apart. When faced with a dangerous mission that goes horribly wrong, Alina demonstrates an ability that even she did not know she possessed. This changes her life as she becomes Grishna and is whisked away to a life of training and learning. She never forgets Mal even as she blossoms as part of the “privleged” class. When she is confronted with information of world -ending proportion she relies on Mal to escape.
This book was so good. I too have been going through a reading slump. I don’t know why other than sick kids, beautiful weather, and general malaise. When I picked up this book, however, I was surprised how much I liked it. The story progressed nicely and the world building was quite satisfying. I liked how this seemed to be steeped in Russian tradition. Often we have Western European centered fantasy and the Russian elements brought a nice change.
My one gripe I have is nothing to do with the writing and everything to do with the e-book formatting. The story ended at 59% I mean seriously. It was a complete story, but with this issue I felt like I was missing out.
I give this book a solid 4 stars. I am excited where this story will lead. Ages 13+ Language, violence