Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Release date: September 29, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 465
Goodreads || Book Depository

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.

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.


5 stars

Six of Crows is a massive step-up from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy! Every aspect of this book was better. The world was more detailed and intricate. The characters were much more fascinating and developed. The writing and pace of the book were consistent and beautiful. And the plot was much more action-packed.

Six of Crows is set in a completely different part of the world to The Grisha trilogy. It’s set in Kerch and Fjerda, which were not really explored in the trilogy at all. It almost felt like I was reading about a completely different world. Because I read The Grisha trilogy quite recently, it took me a couple of chapters to wrap my head around the new Kerch setting, and distance myself from everything I knew about Ravka from the trilogy. Because the setting is so different, it’s completely fine to read Six of Crows without having read The Grisha trilogy, but you do get a much better understanding of the world and the Grisha system if you’ve read the trilogy.

My main criticisms of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm was the inconsistent pace and lack of action. Those books were action-packed at the beginning and end, but lacked any kind of plot in the middle. Six of Crows did not disappoint me in that regard. The plot has a consistent pace and there’s action throughout the whole book. There were surprises coming left and right, and little twists that will keep you on your toes! The twist at the end was a little bit predictable (I was buddy reading with Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Jesse @ Books at Dawn, and we had kind of speculated and expected it – well Joey did) but there were also elements that surprised me. The ending made me really excited for the sequel, and I’m sad that we have to wait a whole year.

My favourite aspect of the book were definitely the characters. Even though the plot was fantastic, this was definitely a character-driven story. There is an extremely diverse set of characters who hail from all parts of the world, from Fjerda to Novyi Zem. It allowed me to get to know the different parts of the Grishaverse a lot more deeply. I went into the book expecting all six of our heist crew to be Grishas, so I was surprised to find out that most of them were just normal people with some amazing talents. I think I enjoyed the book a lot more because they weren’t all Grisha. The diversity added a lot more dynamics to the book.

“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.”

Brekkar’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.

I loved all of the characters and the interactions between them. They joked around together, supported each other, and had each other’s backs. There was no selfishness and the friendships between all of the characters were lovely to read about. Individually, they were sassy and badass, and I really liked how wise and mature they were for their age (though at times, it was definitely hard to believe that these were just teenagers). The ladies were probably my favourite of all of the characters. They’re so fierce and so relatable! Inej is the quiet and sensitive, but completely fearless and talented spy of the group. I love, love, loved her character! Nina is the Grisha of the group and she has the ability to control the organs and bodily functions of anyone she sees.  Aentee @ Read at Midnight called Nina her spirit animal, and I can totally see why. She loves to eat, isn’t a morning person, and is completely unapologetic about it. Just her love of cake and all things sweet makes her my kindred spirit, but when she drops hilarious one-liners, it makes me love her even more.

“Are you aware that I could waggle my fingers and make you wet your trousers?”

But I also really loved the guys too. I thought the back stories of all of the characters were interesting, but Kaz and Matthias’ pasts were the most interesting to me. We get to see some flashbacks throughout the book and I loved being able to contrast the little, innocent boy that Kaz used to be, to the ruthless, soulless but completely lovable Kaz of the present. I also thought that Matthias’ past was fascinating. He is a shamed Grisha-hunter and I enjoyed seeing all his inner conflict and the growth of his character throughout the book. Jesper and Wylan were some unexpected characters with some unexpected talents. I loved the two of them together and thought their interactions were gold!

“You’re sure we can’t just go in as entertainers? I hear Wylan really kills it on the flute.”

The blossoming romances in this book made me fangirl so hard! Kaz and Inej have this very comfortable and trusting relationship, where they support and rely on each other. Every scene they had together made my heart race and I was rooting for them. I loved that they can’t stop thinking about each other and that they’re taking steps to become better individuals so that they may deserve each other. There was also this tension between Nina and Matthias from the very first time we saw them together, and I kept wanting to know what their history was. Their whole love-hate relationship was definitely an interesting one. For me, their romance kind of overshadowed the relationship between Kaz and Inej, but I’m expecting to see a lot more Kazej/Inaz in the next book! I ship!

Overall, this was a great new novel by Leigh Bardugo and I’m incredibly happy to see that her writing continues to improve! If you love great characters or a good heist story, this is the one for you.


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

  1. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    Omg Kaz and Inej, my heart did wildly leaps during most of their scenes, especially when he saved her when the ship was departing! YESSS NINA IS THE BEST. I love her so much! I can’t wait to get more of this crew next year *hugs them all tightly* PLEASE BE OK KIDS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Now that The Lunar Chronicles is over, I need new babies to coddle *hugs to chest* I just want the whole gang to be together again ❤ I think that scene where Kaz saved Inej was the moment when I first started shipping them. I kinda had vibes at the beginning, when he took his gloves off in front of her and everything but when he was like freaking out over her, I literally went "AWWWWW" ❤ SO PRECIOUS


  2. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    Yes yes yes! I really loved what you pointed out about the story benefiting from the fact that most of the characters aren’t Grisha. I hadn’t really considered it, but Six of Crows totally buries the idea of the chosen one, because none of the characters are especially superior to each other.

    I totally agree with you about it being better than the Grisha trilogy. She’s become a much braver writer between books. Through engaging with the YA market she figured out exactly what it needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lois says:

    I am so glad you enjoyed this book. Kaz and Inej have stolen a piece of my heart, they are well and truly a team. There’s this vulnerability to Kaz that comes out in Inej’s presence and I have no idea where things will go in Crooked Kingdom but I hope it ends with them together. Like you, I thought the characters were the highlight of the book. I love how each of them have their own distinct personality and the banter between them was gold. I’ve been on the fence about reading The Grisha trilogy because I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about it but I might check it out because I want to know more about the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      The Grisha trilogy is not as good as Six of Crows but it has a lot more of the Grisha world and you’ll learn a lot more about what they can and cannot do, which may or may not enhance your reading experience of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom! I am so excited for Crooked Kingdom! It’s one of my most anticipated for next year now. I’m pretty sure Kaz and Inej will be a thing by the end of that book. I’m just hoping that it doesn’t take too long for them to be reunited (would be totally out of character for Inej if she stayed captive, since she can get herself out of sticky situations pretty easily)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lois says:

        I’m definitely intrigued by the Grisha world and would like to know more. I think I’ll end up reading the series but I don’t think it’ll be any time soon. I genuinely don’t know what to expect from Crooked Kingdom. I definitely think Inej will escape, she’s too crafty to not find a way out. I feel like the Kaz/Inej reunion will be emotional and intense and everything in between. These two simply must be together haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ksenia says:

    It’s good to hear I don’t need to read The Grisha trilogy, because I don’t have intentions to do it (I told you before, as a Russian I can’t deal with wrong portraying my culture). I want to read this book, but I don’t want to be left waiting so long for the next book. Probably I’ll wait. Wonderful review, Jenna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      There are a lot less foreign words in this book. In the Grisha trilogy, there were lots of foreign terms and I wasn’t sure if it was Russian or just a Russian-inspired language. I kind of read Six of Crows as if it was an imaginary, fantasy world and didn’t think about the Russian-inspired setting too much.


  5. Josephine says:

    The longing of my heart to read this book is so strong right now! I feel like I’m totally missing out of something amazing right now.
    Wonderful review Jenna! Not only does this make me want to buy this book immediately, it also strangely makes me want to write my current novel right now… 😂💕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    I truly can’t wait to read this one now Jenna, especially after reading your novel! It’s one of the next books on my TBR, just gotta get through some review reads soon. All the characters sound awesome and developed really well and oh, that romance sounds swoonworthy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    So I briefly skimmed your review since I still haven’t started this yet. But I am so ready to give this 5 stars. Though I consider Leigh Bardugo one of my new favorite authors (she was so lovely and nice, like she literally took some time to talk to each of her fans despite the long line-this may have been to some people’s dismay especially the readers that came to the end of the long line but whatever), I still haven’t given any of her books over 4 stars and this may be the one. Plus, I’m ready to fangirl over the romances, hehe. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Silke @Bookinwonderland says:

    I am trying to tackle the Grisha trilogy, because I want to read six of crows. But I am having quite a hard time. I wasn’t blown away by the first instalment in the series and I had so many issues with it. But I am going to keep strong and finish it! I have to!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I wasn’t really blown away by Shadow and Bone either. But I did enjoy each book a little bit more than the previous. I ended up really enjoying Ruin and Rising (the only thing that let it down was the weak development in the first two books). Just keep looking ahead! You’ll have Six of Crows to look forward to after you get through the trilogy 😀 And I think it’s worth it to have read the trilogy first because you get all these little easter eggs.


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