Book Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

5star

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series? Yes, 1 of 2.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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Book Depository


THE HYPE IS REAL, YOU GUYS!!

I was a little skeptical about this book, as I wasn’t too impressed with Shadow and Bone. My doubts have all been dispeled, as Six of Crows is the bestest ever and turned me into a mad Leigh Bardugo fangirl. It was so perfect I couldn’t stop talking about it in ALL CAPS, I also refused to read another book for another couple of days. It was so difficult writing my thoughts down so here, have another list!

Book-Review-Six-Of-Crows

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1. An Ensemble Cast of Badass

In my opinion, multiple POVs in short 400-pages long novels usually fall short on the character development front. I could not connect with the cast of Legacy of Kings or the characters in Zeroes. However, everyone in Six of Crows are precious darlings that holds a little piece of my heart. I love heists, I love it even more when the crew is this flawfree.

Kaz Brekker didn’t need a reason. Those were the words whispered on the streets of Ketterdam, in the taverns and coffeehouses, in the dark and bleeding alleys of the pleasure district known as the Barrel. The boy they called Dirtyhands didn’t need a reason any more than he needed permission – to break a leg, sever an alliance, or change a man’s fortunes with the turn of a card.

First, there’s Kaz, our unscrupulous mastermind and anti-hero. From a wee bitty street rat, Kaz has built up his own legend in the city. He is known throughout all of Ketterdam as Dirtyhands, as the Bastard of the Barrells, as a demon – all titles he accumulated by the tender age of 17. Kaz lives up to this image as a monster. While he’s never cruel, he’s efficient and ruthlessly intelligent. Kaz is not one to shy away from blackmail, violence, manipulation, and espionage to attain his goal.

“Besides, she was the Wraith-the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too”

Then there’s Inej, as Leigh Bardugo puts it, she’s the Robin to Kaz’s Batman. Except that’s somewhat a poor analogy because Inej is more than just a sidekick. Initially born free, Inej was kidnapped and forced into a brothel as a young girl. Kaz helped free her from The House of The Exotics, he also helped her reinvent her identity as the dangerous and elusive Wraith of Ketterdam. Inej is now a formidable spy, with gravity defying ability to scale walls and move unseen. Though she’s had to dabble in her fair share of bloodspill and mayhem, Inej still has a strong moral core and serves as a great foil to Kaz.

Nina just liked to flirt with everything. He’d once seen her make eyes at a pair of shoes she fancied in a shop window.

Nina is the team’s resident Grisha, with the ability to crush hearts and lay men to waste with a flick of her finger. Nina is my spirit animal, my patronus and my everything. I love that despite her fearsome power and her less than ideal life, she never forgets to indulge in the little luxuries of life. The girl wine, dine and appreciates great clothes. Yes, Nina is feminine, but she’s also fiercely smart and dangerous. All the while, she is also compassionate and steadfastly loyal towards her loved ones. She is basically awesome.

Though I love the three above, I only liked the other three in the crew. Matthias is the rigid Fjerdan, who’s tough exteriors hide a wall of doubts and feels. Jesper is the crew’s quick-witted, gambling addict of a sharpshooter. Finally there’s Wyland, who’s cute and unassuming exterior hides a explosive, artistic and musical prodigy, In every other book, they could have been compelling characters. In Six of Crows, I felt they were outshined by their more complex and engaging team mates.

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2. Great Dialogue, Great Pacing, Great Writing

“Our hopes rest with you, Mister Brekker. If you fail, all the world will suffer for it.”

“Oh, it’s worse than that, Van Eck. If I fail, I don’t get paid.”

The writing in Six of Crows was simply arresting. With the plot moving along at breakneck speed, I could hardly tear myself away from the pages and secretly wished for all other humans to disappear while I devoured the book. The plot covered everything from dramatic gang wars, to exhilarating action scenes, to thrilling multi-nation conflicts. I love the hint that this book only scratches at the surface of the greater world, I am so excited for the sequel.

“Wylan,” Jesper said, giving him a little shake. “Maybe your tutors didn’t cover this lesson, but you do not argue with a man covered in blood and a knife up his sleeve.”

I tend to dislike books littered with one-liners, as I feel the dialogue can come across as stilted and forced (looking at you, City of Bones) It totally works here, though. From Kaz’s and Nina’s smart mouth, to Inej’s Suli wisdom, to Matthias’s awkward blunders in social etiquette, to Jesper’s sharp tongue, and Wyland’s self-deprecating humour – all the characters are brought to life by their sparkling dialogue. My kindle is filled with highlights from this book, I want to quote all of the things.

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3. ALL THE SHIPS!!

“If it were a trick, I’d promise you safety. I’d offer you happiness. I don’t know if that exists in the Barrel, but you’ll find none of it with me.”

For some reason, those words had comforted her. Better terrible truths than kind lies.

I shipped Kaz and Inej almost instantaneously. Come on: A demon and his wraith? A religious spy and her immoral gang leader? A pair that strikes fear in the heart of Ketterdam’s criminal society? HOW COULD I NOT LOVE! All their scenes are filled with so much tension. The innate conflict of her freedom VS her loyalty to him makes my heart twist a little. I love them so much together, yet I love that they still stand as full individuals even while they’re apart. I have all of their scenes saved into my memory forever, I have not shipped this hard since Todd/Viola of The Chaos Walking trilogy. I miss being a fangirl *sighs contently*

Traitor, witch, abomination. All those words came to him, but others crowded in, too: beautiful, charmed one. Röed fetla, he’d called her, little red bird, for the colour of her Grisha Order. The colour she loved

There’s also the fiery relationship between Nina and Matthias. One a Grisha, the other a Grisha-hunter, needless to say their relationship is tumultuous – muddled by their previous prejudices against one another’s culture. It part hate, part obsession, part passion – and totally difficult to look away from.

Good things come in three, so there’s a third pairing that comes later on in the book — while I like the idea of them, I wish they had more time together onscreen for their relationship to become more fully fleshed out. I never got fully onboard, BUT I WANT TO. I hope this will be resolved promptly in the next book as I have room enough in my heart for three ships, I really do!

Another kind of ship all abound in Six of Crows is the FRIENDSHIP. The crew don’t only interact with their love interests *gasp* They also have meaningful interactions with one another. My favourite is the lady friendship between Inej and Nina – the two girls are different as night and day, but I love how they instinctively understand one another. HEARTS!

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4. Vivid Worldbuilding and Mythology

Ketterdam – a canvas of black, grey, and brown, tangled streets dense with mist and coalsmoke, ships of every kind in the harbour, pulsing with the rush and bustle of trade. Djerholm’s harbour was crowded with ships, but its tidy streets marched to the water in orderly fashion, and the houses were painted such colours – red, blue, yellow, pink – as if in defiance of the wild white land and the long winters this far north.

First there’s the setting – from the gray, severe underbelly of the Barrell. There’s the austere luxury of the merchant’s villas. There’s also the beautiful but frigid Fjerda, all described in loving detail. While I felt Shadow and Bone was a bit light as a fantasy, Six of Crows build upon the world in the Grisha trilogy and gives it more complexity.

One of the most important things about world building is the cultures within that world, after all – they dictate how people behave. With the crew, we have a whole bunch of different religious and cultural background clashing with one another. Through their interaction, we get a glimpse at the wider world and I adored it!

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6. IT’S FREAKING GORGEOUS

Have you seen the hardcover? HAVE YOU SEEN THE HARDCOVER? I would buy a thousand copies and build a fort if I could. LOOK AT THESE PHOTOS.

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WOW THAT WAS QUITE THE ESSAY. I REGRET NOTHING.

Six of Crows was wicked and astonishing in the best possible way. Definitely one of my favourite reads this year and a contender for top 10 ever. READ IT. BUY IT. BORROW IT. SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! *clutches book to chest forever*

88 thoughts on “Book Review: Six of Crows

  1. So, this book was just alright for you then? 😉 I also didn’t really love the Grisha trilogy. I did like it but it isn’t a favourite of mine, so I wasn’t in a rush to read Six of Crows but after reading your review, I really want to read it now.

    I totally approve of your shipping of Todd and Viola 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss you’re a fellow Todd and Viola shipper!! *squishes* there aren’t enough of us around.

      Six of Crows definitely blows what I have seen of The Grisha trilogy out of the water. I hope you’ll end up loving it!!

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    1. I hope you love it, I’m always afraid of writing these fangirly reviews because it raises the expectations too high but I CAN’T HELP IT HERE XD

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  2. I’ve wanted to read Six of Crows for ages, and it sounds like you loved all the characters and that amazing well built world here! I love how complex and well rounded they sound. Nina reminds me of Celaena in a way. Lovely review Aentee, can’t wait to pick this up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes forget about Grisha for now just read this first. It’s too amazing *sobs* I think you’ll love Kaz and Inej as well. Yes Nina is a bit like Celaena but she’s a lot more volatile and expressive haha. I love her!!

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  3. I saw the words “THE HYPE IS REAL” and that this post was 1500 words long and thought “THE HYPE IS REAL!”

    These characters sound so badass!! Omg I can’t wait to meet them!! I need this. I need this right now. Also your soul sister/patronus, Nina, sounds a lot like Celaena. Are there any gold nightgowns involved 😉

    Man, I had so many things I wanted to say when I was reading your post but now I’m kind of speechless. I don’t even care right now. I just need this book. *runs off to order hardcover*

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    1. You must live tweet me your response to this book though I already KNOW you’re going to fall head over heels for Kaz and Inej. THE HYPE JENNA. THE HYPE!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll get a chance to read it soon, Six of Crows is incredible! Glad I bought it off Kindle the day of the release.

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    1. I have only read one of the Grisha books and can’t remember much of it. I can assure you that you need no previous knowledge to enjoy this one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely don’t need to read Shadow and Bone to enjoy this book. The different types of Grisha might be a little confusing at first but this book doesn’t require any prerequisite reading haha

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  4. The hype is real! That pretty much sums up Six of Crows. I hyped up this book so hard in my mind after I finished the Grisha trilogy at the end of last year and the wait was so long but it exceeded even my high expectations. Everything about this book shines!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! It makes me want to go and try read The Grisha trilogy again to immerse myself into the world. Plus I heard that an amazing character appears in Siege and Storm!!

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  5. THE HYPE IS REAL?! Wow, I can’t wait to get started! I have a buddy read for it on the 20th but, after reading your review, my hands are itching to grab it from the shelf and start reading ittttt. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’re enjoying it Mogsy! I feel Six of Crows is a lot more mature than many YA offerings, hence my love for it.

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  6. Shadow and Bone was my least favorite of the trilogy, I highly suggest you pick up Siege and Storm and see if you still feel the same way.

    I love Six of Crows and all of its characters. Nina is also my spirit animal! I just love her so much XD I love how much you’re fangirling over this, I’m not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep hearing an amazing character appear in Siege and Storm so I’m definitely intrigued to try the series again, esp because I know how much you adore it!!

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  7. You are so dope with the graphics girl! I haven’t read Shadow & Bone yet, but I am sooooooo ready to read this. I won a pre-order giveaway for it, so now I’m just impatiently waiting for it to arrive so I can drop the shit out of my arcs to pick it up. I’ve heard amazing things about Leigh’s writing, so I’m really excited to see what she’s all about!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m technically reading the second book in the Grisha trilogy right now, but don’t think I’m in the mood for it. It’s a shame because I’ve met the author, and really wanted to like her books. This one though sounds like something I’d love. Do you need to finish the Grisha trilogy first? I’m probably going to read Six of Crows before finishing the Grisha trilogy regardless though because I now own a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely don’t need to finish Grisha to start Six of Crows. I couldn’t be bothered with the former and I freaking love the latter!!! Hope you will adore it as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I AM SO GLAD THAT YOU LOVED THIS BOOK! I’ve been waiting eagerly for your review, because I was desperately hoping that you’d love it as much as I did. This is a great review 😀

    Now we have the long year wait for book two….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WE OBVS HAVE GREAT TASTE! The way all 5 main characters were developed was stunning! At least there’s only one more book left so we aren’t tortured for too long!!

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  10. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS AENTEE! I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews about this, and I can’t wait until it’s ready for me to pick up at the library. The characters, the romance, and the friendships sound absolutely wonderful, and I can’t wait to experience them for myself. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a skeptic because I am rather cynical about glowing reviews but OMG THIS BOOK. I CANT STOP CAPSLOCKING ABOUT IT. I hope you love it Zoe or we might not be able to be friends?! Except kidding bc I will love you always 💕

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  11. YES YES YES YES YES! I’m so glad to hear you loved it! I also was not a huge fan of the Grisha trilogy. The end left me disappointed but I loved Six of Crows. I actually didn’t plan on reading it until a friend gave me an ARC. Boy, am I glad I read it. Your review is wonderful and stunningly gorgeous. Your design work truly is incredible!

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    1. THANKS SARAH! You are far too kind and I am SO HAPPY YOU LOVE IT!! My heart does a little dance every time I hear someone love this book because Kaz and co deserves ALL the adoration XD

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with you: The best characters were Kaz, Inej and Nina. The others… they were overshadowed by those three, and tbh, I don’t even remember who Wylan is. xD Anyway, I love this review and how you’re so passionate about the book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmao!! I understand, I felt a bit mean but I was really tempted to skip some of Jesper’s chapters. Him and Wyland are especially underdeveloped. Hopefully they get a bit more depth in the sequel. But idc as long as I get to see Kaz, Inej and Nina!

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  13. Ladjjejdsk. NO MORE LEIGH BARDUGO BOOKS. I still have the other Grisha books to finish *sobs*.

    (I have been seeing the excitement over Six of Crows though…so this is pretty much an autobuy for me later)

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    1. DONT BOTHER MARI. SKIP THE GRISHA. JUST READ THIS. IT IS EVERYTHING. ITS DARK AND SMART AND WITTY AND FULL OF CRAZY WICKED HIJINKS!

      ahem, yes, read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I must admit, I wasn’t a fan of Shadow and Bone. tried to read it a few weeks ago actually and just couldn’t seem to get into it. I wasn’t sure I’d bother to buy this one based on that alone, until now. HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER Aentee! This sounds absolutely beautiful, from the characters, the ships, the world building and the storyline. You’ve completely won me over with one review. ONE REVIEW. You witchy woman you. I loved it and loved seeing you so passionate about a read. Phenomenal review Aentee ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shadow and Bone was a bit of a bore for me but this book was basically just YES YES YES. I am way too chuffed that you’ll read this,I expect that we will become fellow fangirls in the foreseeable future 😉

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    1. Given that the book was only 400 pages it’s freaking amazing I ended up caring for so many characters! Leigh Bardugo deserve some sort of award for this!

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  15. I absolutely adore this review! I hadn’t thought much about reading this book, but I definitely think I’ll be checking it out c:

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    1. I think our book tastes are very similar Kynn,so I would love to hear what you think of the book! It’s worth it, I promise 🙂

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  16. I can’t wait to read this book! Shadow and Bone was okay, but it gets better every book and my favorite is Ruin and Rising. I really liked Bardugo’s writing style. It’s always so vivid and beautiful. Can’t wait to get a copy of this and read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely need to check out the rest of the Grisha trilogy as it sounds like Leigh bardugo’s writing skill improves at phenomenal rate! Hope you will enjoy this one as much as you love the Grisha series!

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    1. Thanks Isha!! I’m so glad we could agree on this and yesss Kaz and Inej are everything! I keep wanting to go back and reread their scenes urgghhh they are TOO PERFECT.

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  17. *standing ovation* YES YES all of this! I support everything you said here – it’s 100% on point 😀 I still swoon for Kaz and Inej, and I’m refraining from rereading already. I think a month is a good waiting time though, yes?? I can’t believe the sequel is a year away… *curls into a ball and sobs forever*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I AGREE. I WANT TO REREAD THIS FOREVER. though I have all of Kaz and Inej’s scenes highlighted and sometimes I go back to pore and ponder on them like the creepy fangirl that I am lmao!

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  18. I find it difficult to write a review on a book I loved, too. I love this format of review. It looks like all of my friends loved this book. And I mean ALL OF THEM. I can’t wait to read it myself. Gorgeous graphics as always, Aentee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you will love it Ksenia! The writing and the characters are definitely amazing so even if fantasy isn’t your usual genre I think you’ll have fun with this!!

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  19. OH MY GOD, WHY THE FFF HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET! I’ve read sooo many amazing reviews and I literally know it’s going to blow my socks off. Okay, that’s it – I’m reading it as soon as I’ve finished my current book. Amazing review Aentee! 😀

    Like

  20. I WANT IT SO BAD!!!!
    I’ve been holding myself back because I have so many books to read, but I might give in to the temptation and get my hands on this baby!!!
    You review is super well written and it just made me want to read Six of Crows even more! I’m not sure if I should thank you or hate you for it…!^^

    Like

  21. Hello, Nick sent me over. Love your blog and your enthusiastic review for this one. I had it on my picks for Fall list and I still havent’ gotten to it as I have been slammed. I can’t wait for the characters, the action and the relationship. I am going to binge read this one on the weekend. Brilly review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Nick is the best for featuring me on her blog. Six of Crows is definitely amazing, hope you get some time off your schedule to read it soon!

      Like

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