Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Published by Henry Holt BFYR on September 29, 2015
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
Pages: 480
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
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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. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Wow. Just wow. I was kind of terrified that I wasn’t going to like Six of Crows. After my disappointment in Ruin and Rising last year, anything was possible. Plus, what I really wanted was a book about Sturmhond, where he finally got all the sexy adventures he obviously deserves. I no longer want that book. Okay, jk, I do still want that book, but I’m no longer sad that Six of Crows is the book that exists. In fact, I’m thrilled Six of Crows exists because it is actually WAY better than Shadow and Bone.

gif nice shot firefly

Mind you, I don’t say that lightly. I really liked Shadow and Bone, and I loved Siege and Storm. Bardugo blew me away with her gorgeous prose and fast-paced, unpredictable plotting. Yet there were elements to the Grisha trilogy that weren’t quite perfect for me, even before the ending. Six of Crows does everything well: writing, world building, plot, characterization, romance, and pacing.

Something I generally don’t like is when an author never leaves their one world. I like to see fantasy authors branch out and not just rest upon that one fantasy world they’ve created. Though set in the same world, with some minor references to the Grisha people, Six of Crows also stands apart. Since Six of Crows takes place in other parts of the world, there was so much new world building that it in no way felt half-assed to be back in this world.

The first couple of chapters of Six of Crows were a bit slow, while the cast of characters was introduced, but after that I couldn’t put this book down. I read most of Six of Crows in one day because how could I stop reading? Multiple POV third person limited fits Bardugo’s writing so perfectly. Starting with a larger cast does mean it takes a bit more time to get used to who everyone is, but it also allows so much more freedom and possibility.

gif mal naked firefly

There are six main characters in Six of Crows, which sounds like a lot, but Bardugo makes it work. Within 150 pages, I was completely in love with all of six of them, and it would have been sooner except that one of them didn’t appear until then. If I had to pick a favorite character, I think I’d go with Inej, but all of them are precious to me, which honestly is really stressful given how much danger they’re in ALL THE TIME.

While I find them all immensely lovable, they’re thieves and killers and very much not sweet and perfect. They’re streetrats who steal to survive, and many of them even enjoy that lifestyle to some degree. They don’t get off on killing but all of them are willing to do pretty much whatever it takes to survive. Basically Six of Crows is a tale of antiheroes, and I love that so much. It’s not a battle of good and evil because everyone in this book has darkness in them.

gif firefly someone tries to kill you, kill them back

If, like me, your favorite part of the Grisha books was Sturmhond, you’re going to LOVE this book. The Grisha Trilogy wasn’t the most bantery series ever, though Sturmhond definitely tried to get it there. The Dregs are so bantery and hilarious and laughing in the face of danger. It’s really no wonder they’re my favorite.

gif firefly that's what makes us special

Also ALSO I was totally not on bored with the ship in the trilogy, but I SHIP ALL THE SHIPS SO HARD. There are THREE ships in Six of Crows, all of which I ship with a burning fiery passion of a million suns, even though I know that Bardugo’s going to use them to bring me massive pain. My favorite ship I totally thought I was headcanoning at first but it’s so legit and YASS. View Spoiler »

gif firefly ship like this

Here’s my pitch for Six of Crows: it’s the Grisha trilogy meets Eli Monpress. I know a lot of you probably aren’t familiar with Eli Monpress, but he’s a bantery thief who comes up with the cleverest plans. I NEED BOOK TWO RIGHT NAOW.

Favorite Quote:

“I like it when men beg,” she said. “But this isn’t the time for it.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif i aim to misbehave firefly

4 responses to “Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo”

  1. Caroline says:

    YES! I loved every aspect of this book, it was just so epically we done! And I love all three ships. I can’t wait to see how they all develop, especially with how things were left off with all of them! I also really loved that they are such unconventional heroes, who are all decent to the core but haven’t lived lives to really be decent. Such an amazing book, it’s so clear how Bardugo has developed wit her writing with this story.
    Caroline recently posted…Coming This Week: Oct 5My Profile

  2. shae says:

    *chants* IN-EJ! IN-EJ! IN-EJ! IN-EJ! IN-EJ! IN-EJ! IN-EJ! IN-EJ!

  3. Lyn Kaye says:

    “Plus, what I really wanted was a book about Sturmhond, where he finally got all the sexy adventures he obviously deserves.”

    AMEN! #onlinepetition

    I just finished this book today…and I swear I almost had a break down. Bardugo just throws you into the world, and you hate to surface. Her humanity in the books, her humor, her way of snagging you, is just top notch.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Inheritance of AshesMy Profile

  4. I’ve been weirdly hesitant about Six of Crows, I think because Ruin and Rising wasn’t my favorite and I was afraid of the mega hype. But you said all the right things- our feelings on each Grisha book aligns and I LOVED Sturmhound! And ships! Glad to know the first couple chapters are slow. I read 10 pages and felt overwhelmed and had to put it down. I need a very specific mood to read complex fantasy with lots of characters hehe. I’ll be coming back to Six of Crows soon though!!
    Morgan @ Gone with the Words recently posted…Review: The Lake House by Kate MortonMy Profile

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