For What It's Worth

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)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.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first. ~

Source: ARC provided by the publisher


SixofCrows*smacks myself in the head for not reading sooner*
Last year, Macmillan sent this awesome Six of Crows promo/ARC package out to bloggers and I was excited to read it but thought I needed to read the Grisha trilogy first.

Fast forward a year and I’m trying to clean out those long ignored arc’s and TBR books so I decided to give this one ago. I had since learned that this takes place in the Grisha universe but stands on its own.

This book is fan-freaking-tastic on so many levels that I don’t know where to begin so I’ll just break it down so this isn’t a incoherent, flail review.

World building: I was a tad confused at first. Bardugo just plunges you into the dark, magic filled world of Ketterdam without much formality. It was disorienting but it really isn’t all that complicated once you get the feel of the story. And whatever it lacks in background information – it more than makes up for with detailed descriptions that make you feel like you are right there. You experience the fear – wonder – and horror that the characters are feeling in each new surrounding.

Characters: Six of Crows is a multiple pov, character driven novel. Often with multiple pov’s, some characters are more developed than others or the shift to another pov is jarring, but not in this case. It was hands down the best multiple pov book I’ve ever read. Each character built upon and expanded the story – rather than competing or distracting.

And what wonderful, diverse, complex characters they are!

Brought together for the ultimate heist, some willingly, others not so willingly, the six teens have to learn to work together despite their baggage and man is it fascinating.

I am in awe and bow down to Leigh Bardugo for writing not one, not two…but SIX characters that are equally compelling and for writing such intricate relationships between them all.

Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Helvar and Vaneck were humorous, heartbreaking and bone chilling cold at times but you always have empathy and understanding of their actions.

Plot: I’m not going to say too much here because it’s twisty and glorious – better to just go in cold turkey. I will say that this story was fun!, refreshingly original, and had me at the edge of my seat the whole time.

Romance: There are several romance(s)/potential pairings going on in this book. But I promise none of them are cliche. They’re vital to the story arc and so beautifully and subtly written that I would recommend this book to both romance and non-romance lovers alike.

This goes way beyond looks, rock hard abs or lust. Every relationship is complex and meaningful.

Overall: So basically, I would recommend Six of Crows to everyone I know – young or old. It’s the whole package. Interesting characters, smart story, kickass action sequences, diversity. And a special shout out to the girl power and friendships here!

The only warning I have is that this is a violent world. Very bad things have happened in the past to the main characters and the author pulls no punches – but it shapes who they are now and they’re future actions. 

And they do bad things now. It’s graphic at times. But I didn't feel that it was gratuitous. It fits the harsh realities of kids living on the street and the things you need to do to survive. And they are survivors - despite the lack of options - the characters have agency. It was all SO well done.

Personally, I LOVED every single thing about this book – but if you’re sensitive about that there’s your heads up. Six of Crows is a mature YA when it comes to violence.

Blogger Shame

Six of Crows is part of my Blogger Shame reading challenge hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Blogger Shame Review Challenge Progress  
  3/12 books


  1. I loved it too. So glad that I finally read it along with you too. It reminded me of Leverage ( tv series) but I loved being back in the world again :)

    1. Yay! It was such a fun book - even though it was kind of dark too.

  2. *adds to the head-smacking°
    You get such a wonderful package FOR FREE and don't read it right away?!?!?
    Evidently, you can't be bought easily ;D.

    Mm, so...I'm not keen on fantasy, but I might try this sounds like it ticks a lot of my check-boxes. Plus, your enthusiasm :D.

    In a way, it reminds me of the Dark Passages duology by Ilsa J. Bick - minus the metafiction/multiverse angle...

    1. This is going to sound like I'm ungrateful (& I'm not!) but a lot of these arc's/promos come so early - maybe 6-8 months before the book comes out - so I tend to stick to the books that are coming out soon, and then I forget about the older arc's. It's my own fault for not beign able to read/review that far in advance.

      And in this particular case I didn't think I could read it without reading the Grisha trilogy first and I don't like fantasy either. So it didn't really appeal to me but boy was I wrong!

      The fantasy element isn't really very strong or confusing. This is more character driven.

  3. Ok, I may just have to pick this one up again. I *tried* starting it awhile back but I don't think I gave it a fair shake. I've heard nothing but great things and I'm all about that romance and violence! :P

    1. The beginning is a little confusing if you haven't read the other series I think but I'm 99.9% sure you will love this one if you hang int here a bit longer.

      Once the whole gang is introduced it's amazing!


    Bardugo definitely plunges you in the world, but it felt right when I read it. It felt gritty and mysterious, and that worked for me when I was reading it.

    What was in your promo package btw?

    1. I know...*SHAME*

      It was SO dark and gritty - it felt more NA than YA to me.

  5. Oh so jelly you got that great package. I have been wanting to dive into this book for some time now and all my efforts in getting said arc were thwarted. I do have this one on my must read list especially since book 2 should be coming out this year... I think. Glad you loved this one and she does do a multi POV well.

    1. I think it's just a duology so you can read them together!

  6. Fine! I'll read this, I trust your judgment ;)

    1. If you think it's slow in the beginning - hang in there! I PROMISE it gets better.

  7. Great to hear there were complex and good to read about characters

  8. I wasn't a fan of her Grisha series, but I knew I had to read this one because I love humans with some sort of powers. Her world building is incredible! I'm glad you gave this one a chance and have enjoyed it immensely, Karen. :)

  9. Woohoo for an awesome blogger shame book! I just finished one of mine and loved it too :D I've had this one on my tbr pile for a while. Looks like I need to move it up!