Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

TitleSix of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows Series | Book 1
Pages: 480
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 29, 2015)
Rating: 4 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The Grisha novel, Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardguo describes criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker’s perilous quest for wealth.

When Kaz Brekker, deadly criminal prodigy with a mysterious past in the city of Ketterdam is offered a chance to earn gold–a dangerous offer which might get him killed–he accepts. If he can break into the notorious Ice Court of Fjerda and retrieve a hostage harboring secret knowledge that could destroy the world, he will be showered with wealth.

In his quest for wealth, Kaz assembles a cunning group of six dangerous outcasts: Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan.

Considering the hype and stellar five-star reviews surrounding Six of Crows, I was very disappointed…on my first read of the book. For the first half or so of the book, I felt extremely bored. Then, the last 20% of the book is so action packed I had to re-read everything twice. As I reread the book, I think it was because it took some time for the author to artfully develop the personalities and histories of the original and witty characters of Six of Crows. Also, prior to reading the book, I had not read The Grisha trilogy, so it took me awhile to understand the world.

Although the main plotline (characters daring to do the impossible heist) was not very original on first read, the many plot twists and turns more than made up for it. Kaz is undeniably and incredibly clever and devious character who more often than not has all of his bases covered. Did I mention all of the characters are good at improvising on the spot (life or death situations) too?

I think the star point of Six of Crows were the six protagonists. I felt that they were unlike any other characters I’ve ever read about and their words seemed to fly off the pages. Their witty dialogue alleviated some of the tension:

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”
Brekker’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”
“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”
“It’s not natural for women to fight.”
“It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.”

The characters were very layered and complex, which I liked–I especially liked Inej and Nina’s characters. On my first read of the book though, to be honest, I had a hard time liking the characters until the last 20% or so of the book. On reread 1 though, I loved all the characters (now that I understood them more) and now I’m anticipating the sequel The Crooked Kingdom. Because of my first read of the book though, I’m giving the book 4 stars instead of  5.

I would definitely recommend this book to young adult fantasy readers. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  1. Great review! I read a short story by Leigh Bardugo and loved it, so I definitely want to pick up her books soon. I am considering reading this, but I think I’ll probably read the Grisha trilogy first (although it’s good to know you don’t necessarily need to in order to enjoy the story – I wasn’t sure!). I like the quotes you shared, looks like there’s plenty of wit and banter in this, so I’m looking forward to reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear that this book was difficult to get into for you – I personally loved it from the get-go! Glad it still worked for you in the end 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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