When I read reviews of Six of Crows before reading the book for myself, I saw mention of how the characters aren’t really the nicest people around. Because of this, I was a little wary of being able to connect with any of the characters, which is what ultimately connects me with the story at large. Thankfully, I found myself liking two of the six main characters a good bit: Inej, and surprisingly, Kaz.
I won’t spoil any details, but what I will say is that Kaz is probably the least nice, least good person out of the crew of six. And yet, I really liked reading about his character. And I wondered why this was.
There is a Writing Excuses podcast episode I listened to a while ago about how to make characters likable, and they talked about “sliding scales.” There are a few different scales you can play with, so while your character might not be the nicest person, sliding that scale low, you crank up the competence scale. This example definitely applies to Kaz. He seems cold-hearted, and for the most part he is, but he is very competent at what he does.
But he does also care for someone, not just Inej, but also his brother, and we see both of these relationships are very crucial parts of him as a character, in how he behaves and the choices he makes. Because of these relationships, combined with his intelligence and competence, combined with physical and mental weakness, he feels like a very fleshed out character. And he doesn’t feel like an antagonist or a villain because he has just enough relatability to make you root for him, even when you know you probably shouldn’t.
Who is a character you like from a book even though you feel you shouldn’t? Who was your favorite character in Six of Crows, and why?
I am not reading this post because even though I pre-ordered it, I haven’t managed to read Six of Crows yet. But I’m totally saving it for… eventually 🙂
It doesn’t have any spoilers! Though I understand that you might appreciate it more after you’ve read the book. 🙂
I really enjoyed Kaz too, which, like you said is unique since he was not a good person most of the time. I love when authors can get it so right that you can love those who seem unloveable!
Yes, me too!
alright… finally I have read Six of Crows and come back around to your character analysis. I like the sliding scales because he is incredibly competent in a way that seems that if we *weren’t* so cold-hearted. But it’s easy to root for him and to want his goals to succeed in the story. Because he is such a fully dimensional character he definitely makes for an interesting character study 🙂