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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

– Posted in: Fantasy Book Reviews

It’s a Winner

I bought Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo way back in December, and I’m not certain why I waited so long to read it. Well, it probably had something to do with the fact that I moved twice in the first five months of this year.

Six of Crows is a winner: a fantastic, action/adventure, young adult fantasy. Imagine James Bourne as a teenager with a gang, and you’ll understand the kind of story it is.

This book is set in the same world as Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. You don’t need to read the trilogy before Six of Crows. It stands on its own.

This book is definitely for mature young adults. This group of misfit teens struggle to stay alive in a city that doesn’t care if they live or die. There’s graphic violence and some sexual content.


From Amazon:

“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

“A convict with a thirst for revenge.

“A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

“A runaway with a privileged past.

“A spy known as the Wraith.

“A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

“A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.”

What I Loved!

1) The characters: Although ruthless, the characters are complex and engaging. I loved Nina from the beginning and found Kaz intriguing because he is so damaged. They all have backstories, which directly and indirectly affected them and the group. Their individual inner struggles are as compelling as their outer adventures and conflicts.

2) The plot: lots of twists and turns as well as edge of your seat, nail-biting action. If there’s a pause, take a breath quick because it’s not going to last long.

3) The setting: it’s easy to connect Ketterdam to Amsterdam. Their big heist takes them to the Ice Court, which reminded me of Russia. If you visit Bardugo’s website, you can see some of the things that influenced and shape her world building. She created a very believable and complex setting.

4) The writing: the storytelling was fantastic. It was easy to lose myself in the story and to feel as if I had stepped into another very real world.

5) The Dialogue: it’s excellent. Sit back and enjoy it.

What I Wasn’t Crazy About!

Overall I found this book so engaging that I’m reluctant to point out anything negative, but I’m going to stick to my format.

1) Point of View: the story shifts point of view every chapter. I generally don’t like those shifts, and in the beginning, I found those shifts slowed the story down. However, I got used to it quickly. The positive of the POV shift was getting to know the characters individually. In the end, I appreciated my knowledge of each character and their individual struggles.

2) Background: the story relies on flashbacks for background information. The background information is interesting, but sometimes extensive flashbacks slowed the story. A couple times I was impatient to get back to the present action.

3) Have you ever watched a movie and the guys who’s planning something, says, “Here’s what we’re gonna do” and the scene fades? Sure, it’s done for suspense and surprise, but feels like cheating and withholding information. I’m not a fan of the strategy.

Last Thoughts

It’s a great book. I’m looking forward to meeting these characters again in the second book, which comes out next month.

Extra Goodies

Here’s my review of Crooked Kingdom. Leigh Bardugo continues to story of the Crow gang and wraps the things up.

The banner at the top of this post is by artist Kevin Wada — isn’t it great? He nailed the characters. Visit Kevin Wada, on his tumblr site. In addition to the individual characters and the a banner, there’s a cool map of the Ice Court.

Bardugo has an interesting, fun website. If you want to know what inspired Bardugo’s setting, visit her website. She explains the resources she used to create her fictional world and has a link to her Pinterest page where she’s pinned pictures that inspired her.

Other Reviews You Might Like

The Grisha Trilogy:

Book Review of Shadow and Bone (Grisha Book 1)
Book Review of Siege and Storm (Grisha Book 2)
Book Review of Ruin and Rising (Grisha Book 3)

The Usual Reminders

If you’ve read Six of Crows, what do you think?

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