Friday, October 2, 2015

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
Read: August 12 - 21, 2015
September 29, 2015 by Henry Holt and Company
Source: BEA
Category: YA, fantasy, Grisha-verse, heists

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.

I'm not sure why, but I've struggled to write a review of this book. I read Six of Crows back in August and enjoyed it so much. Plus the more I think about it, the more I like it. Over time, I've found that one of the best indicators of how much I enjoyed a story is how much it's stuck with me. In leu of a proper review (hey that rhymes!), I'm going to write a list of why I think you should read this book: 

You should read this book if...

1) You loved the Grisha trilogy (obviously!) - I don't think you people need much convincing, Hopefully you all have your copies already. This book has a completely new cast of characters but there are some hints to our beloveds, and it's wonderful digging further inside of a world you've already visited. There is so much more to explore, and many more fascinating characters to meet. Plus a lot more danger and intrigue, magic and mayhem to be had. 

2) You didn't like, or didn't read the Grisha trilogy - This story can stand on it's own, so don't worry about missing past information if you haven't read the other books (although I do recommend the trilogy). Six of Crows is set in the same world as Shadow and Bone, but this book felt a little more grown up to me. I think because it's a third person narrative and an ensemble cast, all of which I enjoy in my fantasy. The book isn't focused on one girl's growth like so many YA trilogies, and I think following a group of characters makes it feel more complex. 

3) You like heists with impossible missions - I don't go much for comparisons, but I like the Ocean's Eleven compare here. We have a group of very different individuals, who are assembled for a mission that they'll be lucky to survive, if not succeed. They have to gather their group and then travel to this place, all of which builds the story and characters. I love this set up, and how we learn more about each of the players as the plot unfolds. If you aren't sold already, there's even a map of the heist location! 

4) You enjoy ambiguously moral characters - In this book we have a group of thieves who are all a lot more than the sentences we're told about them in the description above. One of my favorite things about the story is the way the characters are revealed over time and the richness that brings to this tale. They are all very different, some friends, some enemies, but all with slightly - or more than slightly - grey pasts. They also aren't that willing to share information about themselves, so you have to be patient for it to come. These chracters have been broken, but they are survivors and will do anything to succeed (though whether they all want to succeed at the same thing remains to be seen). It makes for exciting storytelling to watch them at it. 

5) You like romance, but you don't like triangles - Romance is decidedly not the central focus of this story, which I appreciate, but it is present, which I also appreciate. We have three relationships brewing, though some are much more subtle and slower to build than others. I love the hints to each them, and the underlying tension throughout the book. There aren't any distracting love triangles involved either. Thank goodness

Some concessions: This book starts slowly, but speeds up as the heist gets going and the characters reveal more about themselves. If you haven't read the other series (even if you have) remembering the different orders of Grisha is challenging. But you can find some links online that will help. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium/High - we are definitely mid-series here. The objective of this book has been finished, but the story ends with a very clear indication of the characters' next mission. And not all of them are in safe places when the book concludes.


  1. I just finished reading this one a few days ago and I absolutely loved it! I didn't expect annything less than an amazing story from Leigh Bardugo though.
    I really liked the Ocean's 11 feel to it too. The heist was so much fun and even though I wanted a teensy bit more romance, the plot itself was more than enough to satisfy me. I like how slow the romances are too and yes for no triangles!
    Great review, Lauren! So happy you loved it too! :)

  2. I've been dying to read this since it released but I'm deep in the heart of midterm season and haven't been able to get my hands on this yet. Still, I am so excited to see that it really lives up to the hype and I haven't read a heist novel in so long, it seems, so I'm really looking forward to this one. Lovely review, Lauren--will almost definitely shoot you an e-mail once I've read this to compare notes!

  3. I loved this book, I thought it was so well done. My only complaint really is that there is just no way the characters are only 17. They just read so much older. I guess it could be explained by their tough upbringing and therefore they had to grow up fast, but it would have made so much more sense had they been mid-twenties. But I guess the author wanted to keep it YA? Anyway, I was so impressed with this one, glad you loved it too! ~Pam

  4. Gorgeous review Lauren :D I'm SO HAPPY that you loved this book. <3 I did too. FINALLY got to read it last week, lol. Never got an ARC :( Sobs. But anyway. So glad you loved it :D I did love her other books ;p And these characters were just so amazing. Ahhh. But I am dying for book two :) Thank you for sharing your stunning thoughts sweetie. <3

  5. I'm halfway through this right now and I'm loving it so much! Seriously, the romance is great and the characters are so awesome (yes to the moral ambiguity!)! Awesome review, Lauren!


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