Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

51hjvf0y8llSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult

Publisher: Indigo

My Rating: 5_star_rating_system_5_stars

Synopsis: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached);

Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world);

Survive long enough to collect his reward (and spend it).

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

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My Review (Spoiler-free)

I was hoping Six of Crows would live up to its insane hype. Did it? Definitely.

I read Shadow and Bone (although my early edition is called A Gathering of Shadows), the first in the Grisha trilogy, when it was originally released. I liked it, but I didn’t like it enough to immediately pick up the sequel. As a result, it fell to the wayside and I just never got round to finishing the trilogy. Then along came Six of Crows. I saw so may rave reviews, saw so many people gushing about it, that I decided to give the world of the Grisha another go.

Bardugo’s writing has certainly improved. Smooth, decorated with emotional flourishes, but not pulling any punches when it came to some of the more gory aspects, I loved every minute of it. Bardugo keeps the plot moving along at a steady pace and there isn’t a single word that feels unnecessary. And whilst the plot itself was unique and interesting, a kind of mashup between Ocean’s Eleven and Peaky Blinders in a world of magic, it was the characters that definitely stood out for me.

They’re all unique and diverse. Perhaps Wylan fell a little bit by the wayside, never getting a chapter dedicated to himself which I would have liked to have seen, but other than that they’re all exceptionally crafted. My favourites, however, were Kaz, Nina and Jesper. Kaz in particular was very complex and, as I’ve mentioned before, is basically a teenage Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders – both dress in smart suits, both have their hair shaved at the sides (which is a staple for the Shelby brothers), both are very good with words, and both have a troubled, traumatic past that affects them in the present. Oh, and they’re both gangsters, of course. If you love Kaz, go watch Peaky Blinders now, I can’t recommend it enough; I’d be very surprised if Bardugo wasn’t watching the show when writing Six of Crows. However, that’s of course where the similarities end; Kaz is his own person (although it was hard not to read his dialogue without a Brummy accent). I really liked learning about his childhood and discovering more about his habits and quirks. Whilst his choices were perhaps sometimes hard to swallow, you can see what drove him to it.

The standout character for me, however, was Nina. I really loved Nina. She was witty, headstrong, loved to eat and didn’t care who knew, and powerful yet compassionate. My favourite chapters were definitely hers, whether it was discovering more about her or learning more of her relationship to Matthias. Their journey together was one I really enjoyed finding out more about.

There are also a fair few twists and turns in this book and, I have to say, I didn’t see any of them coming. Normally, these things can be quite obvious, especially in YA. I don’t know if some authors just think readers of YA are dumb, but I can assure you we’re not. Thankfully, Bardugo isn’t one of those authors. All the twists caught me by surprise and kept me reading.

As for the world-building, I really enjoyed it, and it made me consider going back and trying the Grisha trilogy again. However, and this is a big however, I’m 99% sure there is a mahoosive spoiler in Six of Crows for that series. So now I’m a little bummed. I’m not going to mention what it’s about because even hinting at it will probably spoil it for those who haven’t read the first trilogy. You find out early on that this book takes part after the events of the original trilogy, so I can’t complain too much for skipping that trilogy and going to Six of Crows, but it was still a bit disappointing; I didn’t expect such a major spoiler. Anyway, you have been warned.

So, overall, a seamless story with excellent, complex characters. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, then do it! It certainly deserves all the hype it gets. I’ll probably wait a little bit until I get Crooked Kingdom, allow myself to digest this book first. In the meantime, I still have the last episode of series 3 of Peaky Blinders to watch…

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Have you read Six of Crows or the Grisha trilogy? Or are you planning to read them? Let me know in the comments below!

caitlin

 

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

  1. Oh bummer! I asked a few people if you could read Grisha and Six of Crows separately and people said yes. I’m not sure I ever would have gone back to read Grisha (never read any of them) but knowing that there is a giant spoiler is a bit disappointing. It means now I definitely won’t. Oh well, I’m not said I read this.

    I’ve never heard of Peaky Blinders. I’ll have to check that out.

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    • Yeah that’s what I was told too, which is why I went ahead with SoC, but I’m pretty sure what I read was a major spoiler, and it’s strange that I haven’t seen anyone else mention that. It was something said in passing so perhaps those who read the Grisha series first didn’t really notice this spoiler in SoC? Still give this book a go though, it’s so well written and many have said it’s better than the first series. And Peaky Blinders is an amaaaaazing programme, it’s won a fair few awards, definitely check it out if you can. 🙂

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  2. I love watching authors grow as they write. I haven’t read any of the Grisha books yet, but they are on my TBR, for sure. Particularly now after reading your review– you didn’t see the twists coming? That’s HUGE in my book. I’ve read enough YA at this point that I feel like I predict 90% of what will happen in books. Same for you?

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  3. I’ve never read the Grisha trilogy and read and absolutely loved both the books in this duology. Honestly, ever since I read SoC, I’ve kinda lost interest in the Grisha trilogy because I’ve heard that SoC is SO much better, and now that I’ve read the better books, then why go back to the previous ones? 😂😅 Also, now that I know there’s a spoiler, I’m pretty sure I’m never picking the Grisha books up!
    Also, I’m glad you enjoyed this! When are you picking up Crooked Kingdom?

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    • Yeah exactly 😂 I’ve heard everyone say SoC is much better and whilst I liked Shadow and Bone, I didn’t think it was anything special so I don’t know if I’ll go back to that series tbh, especially after the spoiler! It was such a big one as well which was just so annoying and unexpected. However if you read it not knowing character names from the Grisha series, the spoiler might have passed you by and you might be able to read that series without knowing anything. But like you said, SoC is the better series anyway! Thank you! I’m probably going to wait a few months, maybe I’ll ask for Crooked Kingdom for Xmas haha but I have some other books I should probably get through first. I’ll see how long I manage to hold out 😂

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  4. I love your review! 🙂
    Six of Crows was definitely one of my favourite reads this year, and definitely because of all the reasons that you mentioned. The characters in this series are amazing. I loved Kaz and Nina… but I also loved everyone else… I don’t think that I can choose an ultimate favourite among the group.
    Bardugo has definitely matured as an author. Her writing has developed a lot from The Grisha Trilogy!

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    • Thank you! 😊 I’m glad you agree. I struggled to choose favourites too haha but I knew that Kaz and Nina were the ones I enjoyed learning about the most. I’m definitely glad Bardugo’s writing has improved, it’s really good now and was one of the reasons that this book was so good!

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  5. I love this book! I finished it a few days ago and was so impressed. Great review! I didn’t even think of Peaky Blinders until read this. You’re so right! I love that show. I kept telling everyone it’s like Ocean’s Eleven and X-Men with magic, but yeah, it’s also like Peaky Blinders for sure with that gang mentality and the underworld. I’m glad you love this as much as me. Nina was an awesome character. I loved her POV chapters. I’m not gonna lie though because Kaz is my favorite. 😍

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    • Ah that’s great! Haha I’ve been catching up on Peaky Blinders series 3 recently so maybe that was why the comparisons were more obvious to me. I can see the X-Men similarities too! Haha I really liked Kaz, I just think Nina pipped him to the post for me, I’m not sure why haha. I’m so glad you loved it too! 😊

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  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed this a lot! ❤ I totally agree the characters are so precious, and EVEN MORE SO in Crooked Kingdom! Everyone gets more spotlight, especially Wylan, so I'm sure you'll be pleased 😀 Nina was also my favorite character, she was so talented and sassy and she thinks a lot about food #relatable haha overall great review, waiting for a while to read CK is a wise decision 😀

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  7. Awesome review! 🙂
    I just have to say that I was told we could read this without finishing The Grisha Trilogy as well and I’m about 99% I know exactly what spoiler you’re talking about! When I was reading I was shocked and sat and thought about it and I decided there’s no way it wasn’t a spoiler! So while I didn’t really like “Shadow and Bone” I may go back and finish the trilogy….

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    • Thank you! Ah I’m glad someone else has noticed it! I was so shocked too when I read it because I’d also been told you could read the two series separate. I guess people meant that as in if you haven’t read any of the Grisha trilogy at all. I feel like going back and rereading now too but at the same time I feel like what’s the point as I know what happens! I was so surprised by that obvious spoiler.

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  8. I need to read this one so badly. It’s been on my TBR forever though and part of the reason is because I am so scared of the hype! Also I do want to try Shadow and Bone first…. And the mention of a massive spoiler makes me want to do that even more.

    My poor TBR pile. 🙂

    Great review!

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    • Haha yeah I was scared of the hype too. I think it has been a bit overhyped but I still really enjoyed it, it’s very well written with great characters, I just think people have gone on about it so much I was expecting the greatest story of all time haha. Yeah if you plan on reading the Grisha trilogy at some point then I do recommend reading it before Six of Crows because the spoiler is huuuuge. Good luck getting through your TBR haha! And thank you! 🙂

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