Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo Rothdas book review RSS
3.7 Stars

A well-written story of heists, cons, and criminality set in a low-fantasy world that contains Benders of different types but also pre-modern technology and guns. If you can imagine a series of dark and gritty Avatar episodes set in the slums of Republic City, it is a bit like that. The first part of the book is the better and more grounded part, and introduces characters that are genuinely likable and have interesting and non-cliche backstories. I particularly liked the world building around the relations between Benders and non-Benders, and their histories and various civil wars in different countries. Besides the criminality and the main-heist and the world building, the story is also about the relations of the main six, with the six resolving into three different pairs. The Nina-Matthias pairing was by far the best since Nina was by far the best. The constant tension between her and Mathias was the highlight of the book, just like the constant sexual tension between Aang and Zhuko was the highlight of the early Avatar seasons. The other 2 pairings were ok-to-meh. Kaz and Inej could have been good, except that Kaz is a constant, edgy, Marty Stu throughout the book, while the remaining two characters of Jesper and Wylan are never as fully realized and so don't really register.

The last quarter of the book is a bit of a let down, as it resolves into young-adultisms and increasingly improbable turns of fortune. Overall though the book is quite good, and is a fast and satisfying and well crafted read. Oh! And best of all was the book design; they added some coloration to the page edges to give the thing a really neat matte-black look. It is a neat but understated effect, and really pulls the book together.