Book 1
Six of Crows

September 29, 2015

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)




Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo   


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.


"Captivating!"  By Ashia 2 years ago

- rating
- story
- characters


I've always loved stories of heists. My first experience with it was If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon. And if there are twists along the way, so much the better. Then of course, there's Ocean's Eleven. SIX OF CROWS is more like Ocean's Eleven, where our ensemble cast of heroes and heroines are to pull off a big heist where, if successful, they would be rewarded with lots of money. But the risk is just as huge, because if they were caught, they would never make it home alive.

The story is told from five different viewpoints in alternating chapters--Kaz, Nina, Inej, Matthias and Jesper. Only Wylan's voice wasn't heard from, and though he's the youngest of the group, he displays surprising courage. I especially like the way he took the initiative and sang a Fjerdan song to distract the guards at some risk to himself in order to help Jesper, especially after being teased mercilessly by Jesper on numerous occasions for his "green-ness" in criminal ways.

The five different viewpoints is necessary as they were separated at times due to the different jobs they have to do at several points during the heist. And it worked for me, as it gives me a chance to get to know the different characters. Slipping in their backstory at various points avoids info dumping and also serves the purpose of making readers understand just what it is that drives each one of them. It's hard at times to believe these characters are seventeen or eighteen--they seem so old, so mature--but I guess in their world, you really do have to grow up fast.

The characters were wonderfully three-dimensional and exhibited growth over the course of the book. Just when you thought you knew all about them and how their story is going to go, they surprise you with a revelation or some realization. Inej has a Suli proverb she mentions: “The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.” And halfway through the book, as she was scaling up a chimney, she realized what her heart's purpose would be, and this provided her with a goal for what her life after the heist would be. I think it's also very applicable to us.

The worldbuilding is incredible. It's vividly described and detailed, and it's easy to imagine myself in the Barrels or at the Ice Court. It makes you feel as though you are right there scaling the heights with Inej or sneaking into the Ice Court with them. And don't get me started on the grisha. Where fantasy stories about elementals abound in the market and have become rather tiring, Ms. Bardugo was able to put a fresh spin on it, making it new and interesting.

SIX OF CROWS is a fantastic, page-turning spinoff from the author's popular Grisha Trilogy. It is astounding and captivating, and the unforgettable characters and high stakes adventure will keep readers riveted to the pages for hours on end. I hadn't read the Grisha Trilogy before diving into SIX OF CROWS and I'm happy to report that it didn't mar my enjoyment and understanding of the story at all. That said, I'm going to amend this oversight while waiting for the sequel to SIX OF CROWS. Can't wait!