Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) (Grishaverse, #4)

by Leigh Bardugo

4.48 of 5 stars 85 ratings • 37 reviews • 158 shelved
Book cover for Six of Crows

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Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) (Grishaverse, #4)

by Leigh Bardugo

4.48 of 5 stars 85 ratings • 37 reviews • 158 shelved
Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand new fantasy epic from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo. As gripping, sweeping and memorable as the Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows will be perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Laini Taylor and Kristin Cashore, and will take Leigh's fans back into the world they know and love. Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker 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.
  • ISBN10 1627792120
  • ISBN13 9781627792127
  • Publish Date 29 September 2015
  • Publish Status Active
  • Imprint Henry Holt & Company
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 480
  • Language English

Reviews

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This is going to be a very long review. I’m sorry ahead of time, but I knew it wouldn’t be a short review after I finished the book. Lots needed to be typed, but I promise no spoilers.

Six of Crows is set in Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, but this time readers will get to follow six different characters on a mission to pull off a very dangerous heist together. This book will pull you in different directions because all six characters get to tell the story from their point of view before, during, and after the heist. It’s crazy how Leigh Bardugo managed to keep up with all six points of view while building the storyline to this new epic adventure in the Grishaverse. 

Storyline/My Thoughts: First, if you read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, then I will let you know now that Six of Crows doesn’t take place simultaneously as the trilogy. It’s set further in the years after the war has happened. Unfortunately, the Grisha are still treated horribly, and most are hidden or at Ravka helping the King rebuild, but this book is not focusing on that storyline. Instead, it’s focusing on six different characters, which each have a different personality and background. They are all supposed to be in their teens but come off as maturer in age. If you lived the way they did, then you would be much wiser in years to deal with the issues they have had to succumb. Readers will get to read some of their backstories when they tell their points of view in Six of Crows. (It’s amazing how authors can keep up with everything. I can’t even remember yesterday sometimes due to memory issues.) 

I’m going to try to break down what I liked about each character without going overboard. I loved how Leigh Bardugo wrote each character differently. This is one reason why I was interested in the book.

  1. Kaz Brekker has a heartbreaking back story, but he has managed to fight through everything thrown at him. He has a disability that requires him to have a cane, but he’s stronger than ever. He’s one scary character, even to his team, because he plans things that will put himself and everyone at risk. I enjoyed his character, especially after finding out what happened to him. He’s on a mission for revenge for what happened to him, and he will do anything to get that revenge. One thing that drove me crazy about him is his feelings for a particular character that he would rather deny than tell the truth. Just tell her!!!!
  2. Inej Ghafa is by far my favorite character of the six. She’s been through a lot too, and Kaz saved her from the life she had at the Menagerie. She became known as the Wraith since she’s able to sneak up on people. She’s a fighter. She puts Kaz in his place a couple of times, and only she can do it to him. I could go on and on about her character. I loved getting to read her point of view.
  3. Jesper Fahey has a secret that he’s unwilling to share with anyone on the team until he has to on the heist. He has a gambling issue, but he’s an excellent sharpshooter. I loved how even he questioned Kaz, but he also became friendly with another person on the heist.
  4. Nina Zenit is a Grisha Heartrender who uses her magic to survive the slums. Her abilities include controlling someone’s breathing, heart, and cells in their bodies. She’s one Grisha you don’t want to mess with, and in this book, she ends up putting herself at risk for everyone else to survive.
  5. Matthias Helva is a former druskelle and a Fjerdan witch hunter. Both Nina and he are dangerous together because he can’t stand what she is, and Nina is trying to make it right by Matthias. They have a complicated past and relationship that could put the others at risk. Matthias is one person you either could trust or not, and there were times I didn’t feel I could trust him with the group during the heist.
  6. Wylan Van Eck is someone that Kaz brings to the crew for leverage since the person who requested Kaz’s help happens to be Wylan’s father. Wylan, though, has his own tricks up his sleeve, and I hope I get to know him more in the next book. He fit right into the crew during the heist.

All six are on a dangerous heist to break out a scientist from an impenetrable prison and put themselves at risk of being put in jail or, worst, being killed. (It’s all Kaz’s fault, but it was a deal that no one could turn down.) The heist reminded me of the movie Ocean’s Eleven, but much more risk to it, and instead of stealing money and gold, they have to steal a person. This person is someone everyone wants for themselves since they have created something that will change the odds.

The thing that drove me bonkers about this book was how slow it started for me. It took me a while to gain my interest in the story. I’m used to reading multiple POVs, so that was not an issue. It was the issue of getting to the heist, going through everything, and then how it ended. It took a while to get through it all. I also was bothered by how Kaz did not get the revenge he wanted in this book. He had a chance but didn’t take it. He deserves revenge for what happened to him. He also didn’t share his feelings with a specific character that he should have in this book. I hope he starts sharing them in the next book. I know Kaz will be out for revenge even further in the next book, but for something else entirely. Overall, this book receives four stars from me. I think if the book would’ve grasped me from the beginning and not been slow to start, then I would have given it five stars. There was a lot to take in the beginning.

Leigh Bardugo is a master at storytelling, though, and I can’t wait to see the Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows books be brought to life in the Netflix series. I already love the actors/actresses they chose to play the book characters.

Now I need to make time to read the Crooked Kingdom because this book left me with a cliffhanger. 

Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the Six of Crows Duology. It’s also part of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. (If you read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, then you will read about certain characters in this book from the current characters. There will be a moment of clarity of who Nina is and where she came from, and why she ended up with the crew. I don’t think you have to read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy to read this book, but I feel readers will miss out on some connections between the books.)

Cliffhanger: Yes.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. If you are a fan of YA Fantasy involving a dangerous heist with six different characters, you will enjoy this book. I also would recommend the audiobook if you enjoy listening to books. The narrators were fantastic at having the characters come to life when I listened to the book instead of reading it.

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Quirky Cat 4 of 5 stars

Okay, so I am very obviously pretty behind on the times, but I finally sat down and read Six of Crows! Actually, I enjoyed it so much I read both it and Crooked Kingdom back to back, but more on that in another review.

Six of Crows is the first in a duology by Leigh Bardugo, but all of it fits within her Grishaverse world. Meaning it is tied very strongly to Shadow and Bone. Also, it looks like there will be more for this crew in particular, from what Bardugo has been hinting (I may be a new fan, but I'm already super excited about this!).

Enter Kaz Brekker. A criminal prodigy who turned the Dregs into something to be feared. He's a man that never lets an opportunity pass him by, so you can imagine how quickly he jumped on the heist of a lifetime.

One that would require the best team in order to have even the slightest chance to pull off. But if they do, they'll have all the money they could ever have needed, or wanted. Certainly enough to attain their dreams, and then some. But first, they must survive.

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for 'good luck.”

You know how sometimes, when you read a book that has been hyped SO much, it ends up not living up to your expectations? That didn't happen here. I adored Six of Crows. It was rich and intense, and had so much tension and action.

Actually, I might even be bold enough to say that I liked Six of Crows better than Shadow and Bone. The world may be the same, but in many ways, it felt different. Likely thanks to the shift in focus from the Grisha to some (amazing) criminals. On the bright side, I don't have to choose between the two, and can enjoy them for totally different reasons.

The cast of characters for Six of Crows are, simply put, amazing. I love how unique – and broken – each and every one of them is. I imagine each and every reader will pick their own favorite over the course of these two novels. I know I did.

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”

One of the best things about this series has got to be the quotability of it all. Seriously, the quotes! There are so many amazing one-liners from just this book alone. It was almost impossible to pick which ones to go with. Almost. I really hope a lot of them make their way into the Netflix series...

I feel like this was a perfect storm scenario. The world, the characters, the plot. It all worked together. Having read both books (back to back) I do think that I liked Crooked Kingdom even more. So if you haven't read both, I recommend it!

Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

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Steph L 5 of 5 stars
A wild read from beginning to end

When I say wild I mean that in a good way. I loved the characters and their story. This book involves a Heist, and boy was there a heist in the book. I loved all the action in this book so much. Note: You can read this book without reading the first trilogy because it’s different characters.

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Nessa Luna 5 of 5 stars
Reread Mar/Apr 2020: I am feeling all the feelings and I love these characters so much.

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I first found out about the Grisha trilogy thanks to Lauren DeStefano, an author I follow on twitter (even though I still haven't read any of her own books, I am so sorry Lauren). I decided to buy the first book Shadow and Bone and completely sold my soul to this series. When it was announced Leigh Bardugo would be writing a companion series in the same Grisha world, I got super excited! A couple of days ago I finally got my hands on the first book in the series called The Dregs; Six of Crows. And oh my gods, it is amazing!

Six of Crows is about a group of six (hence the title) people - thugs, criminals, assassins - who get the heist-deal of a lifetime. If they manage to do this, they'll be rich - very rich. But in order to make it happen, Kaz Brekker needs the perfect team.

I honestly loved this story. Mainly because the characters are all from Ketterdam - which is a city based on Amsterdam, according to the author. So yeah you had some dutch influences. There were characters with Dutch (last)names, including Van der Poel and DeWinter. Ketterdam was full of canals, and there were houseboats which you see in Amsterdam (and other cities of course) a lot. At some point they ate Hutspot, which is a Dutch meal we eat a lot during winter (basically; potatoes, carrots and onions mashed together, it's nice (but I don't like onions so I eat it without those)).

There were six main characters in this story, so there were six POV's. I liked it in this book, because we got to see multiple sides of the story - which was probably necessary for a story like this. Because the team got split up several times in the book, and it's be a lot more boring if it was only told from Kaz' point of view, for example. Out of those six characters, I liked the girls - Inej and Nina - the best. They were just so amazing, and bad ass and oh my gods I just love them okay. Out of the guys I guess I like Jesper the best, because he's just so in love with his guns and yeah I just didn't really like the other three guys that much. Kaz was both cool and annoying - he was so interested in the money and it seemed almost as if he didn't care whether his team made it out alive or not.

Matthias was just too invested on revenge that I just - I don't know I just didn't like him. Until he did something near the end of the book that made me respect him more. And Wylan - well we didn't get any chapters from his POV, so we didn't get to know him as well as the other characters, which was such a shame - because I think I may have liked him more if he'd had any POV chapters. Maybe he'll get some in the next book, I don't know?

There were also some 'ships' in this book, one of them very obvious from the start, and the other (two?) weren't that obvious but I still liked them. I'll be using a spoiler tag, just in case. The first, obvious, one was Nina and Matthias. That ship was already very obvious right from the start, and yeah I didn't really ship them much throughout the majority of the book, but at the end I was very happy with it. Then there were Kaz and Inej and I did really like them from the moment I started to realise that was happening. I just never had expected Kaz to feel something for her, oh well. And then there were Jesper and Wylan - and I am not sure if Leigh meant for that to be a ship, but I kind of just felt as if they were becoming a 'thing'. Maybe something will happen in the next book?

There were some small mentions to the Grisha trilogy, mostly talking about the Ravkan Civil War and Nina thinking back to her days as Grisha soldier at the Little Palace. I really enjoyed reading about those, because yeah I just love that series so much! Personally, I think you don't really have to have read the Grisha Trilogy in order to read this book, but you probably just should because it's an amazing series! And then you'll know exactly what the Ravkan Civil War was.

So yeah, Six of Crows was an amazing book, full of Dutch references and Grisha trilogy references. The characters were amazing with amazing backstories, the writing is amazing - everything about this book is amazing! If you want to read a cool heist story (like Now You See Me for example, the first heist movie that pops into my head), you should definitely read this book!

My opinion on this book in one gif: 

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ADORED this book. I really like Leigh Bardugo's books but there was something about Six of Crows which took it to a whole new level. I finished it and immediately texted my friends like "I WANT TO BE LEIGH WHEN I GROW UUUUUUUUP!"
Excellently written, well-executed and I had nooooo idea what was going to happen next.

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moraa 3 of 5 stars
It was okay.
I mean everyone keeps saying that this book was amazing and pretty close to perfect but it was really just OK.

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ladygrey 4 of 5 stars

Definitely 3.5 stars. 3.75. There was so much I liked about this book but it didn't quite cross over into a rampant desire to reread it (which is usually my threshold for 4 stars).

This book was grittier than I expected, so grounded in Victorian style slums it was almost unnerving (deservedly so) but it also gave the story such authenticity. This was a very real, very rough world with characters who do what it takes to survive - to more than survive.

And even in the midst of that world, these characters are likable, they're interesting and dimensional. They fear and they hate and they betray each other sometimes themselves and yet they're very easy to care about and to root for. And that's the key to any good novel - you have to love the characters.

I also really liked the multiple povs and that they weren't first person. They provided so much depth in getting to know the characters and the intricacies of their relationships and the close third person kept it from getting confusing at all to know whose pov you were in.

More than that, I loved how it ended. I waited so long to read it that I already knew it was a two book series. So, obviously the last page wasn't going to be the end of the story. I wasn't sure if she'd leave us off mid-heist; with the characters plans gone awry and in terrible danger. But this isn't a cliffhanger. It's a story that begins and ends. That opens the world up to new challenges and new possibilities without leaving the ones in this book unfinished. That's a fantastic series.

I was a bit confused going into the last chapter - of where it fit in the timeline and what was going one. I had to read the first few pages of it a couple of times to sort out where we were, but once I got that... it ended really well.

 

REREAD: I think the thing that makes heist stories really great is when you enjoy them even when you know the turns. The characters in this one sustain it well. I like that theres so much going on within each of them and that the really interesting turns have nothing to do with the heist. 

But… reading it right after Ruin and Rising, I miss the magic of the world. I miss the feel of the other books and of Ravka and the fantasy of the stories. I’m not quite enamored with the gritty world of these books, however much I like the characters. 

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Vicki 4 of 5 stars
Wow...what an amazing cast of characters. Every single one was so different with their own demons and troubled pasts, but you come to love them all. The multiple POVs and flashbacks throughout the book made me feel like I really knew each of them. Kaz was the most interesting character...he's not your typical protagonist. He's a criminal mastermind and morally questionable, but I found myself rooting for him. There's just something about him, like I was waiting for him to crack.

The world was wonderfully crafted. It's been so long since I read the Grisha books that I was nervous to pick this up because I don't remember much, but you don't need to at all to enjoy this. You see another side of the Grishaverse in this book and it was the dark slummy side.

The story was like Ocean's Eleven with darker characters and magic. After the opening scene I was hooked and it set the tone for the rest of the book....fast paced, twists (some were predictable and some surprised me) and just awesome. There was a splash of romance (although not as much as I personally would have liked) that had me rooting for them. Overall, an awesome read.

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Stephanie 5 of 5 stars
This time I listened to this on audiobook (totally worth it with the six different narrators for each character) and it's just as good. Ahhh. Time to re-read Crooked Kingdom, I guess!

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Emma (SCR) 4 of 5 stars
This review was originally posted on Star Crossed Reviews If you saw my reviews of The Shadow and Bone Series you know that I wanted to read this book for a little while but I also wanted to read the books in chronological order. I'd seen this book a lot on Instagram but the main reason I picked it is because the audiobook has a full cast. I recently enjoyed Illuminae which had a full cast so went looking for more audiobooks like this.

I found the first few chapters of this story quite confusing and I think I was a good 40% in before it all clicked. There are multiple POV in this book which is always something I enjoy but it did make this more confusing, to begin with. It takes quite a while to get to know each of the characters and learn their backstory but its definitely worthwhile.

My favourite characters were Inej and Nina. Both have harrowing backstories and are still so brave. I loved seeing these two develop throughout the story.

The pace is quite slow, to begin with, but really speeds up about halfway through. There were a few twists and turns along with a few heart-stopping moments.

This was an epic story that I can see myself listening to again and still enjoying it just as much.