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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (2017)

by Leigh Bardugo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Six of Crows (1), Grishaverse Series (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6561722,349 (4.3)88
"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"--
  1. 70
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    wordcauldron: Alanna's George was my first exposure to books about thieving, espionage, gangs, assassins, etc., and this book sort of seemed to me like an in-depth look at that side of life (though a little more violent than it would have been in Alanna's universe), plus Alanna's all about magic and dangerous adventures and such.… (more)
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» See also 88 mentions

English (171)  Dutch (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
I had a great time reading this the first time around, but now I thought this was outstanding and it has a firm place in my favorites. Great characters, great plot, great everything. The audiobook is amazing, too.

Original rating: 4 stars ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
Very much enjoyed this novel, which is basically an elaborate heist story with six intriguing POV characters in a detailed fantasy world.

This fantasy world, I know, was introduced in Bardugo's Shadow and Bone trilogy but that just didn't look as interesting to me as this did. And honestly, I don't regret that choice; while it's obvious that things have happened in the world before this story starts, it never feels like there's anything “missing”. This book stands on its own two feet.

That said, the major flaw to this book probably is the slow and confusing beginning. I could easily imagine Bardugo having drawn up a detailed city map of Ketterdam, with every building labelled, and being unable to resist the temptation to put all that information into the story. So many names of different gambling dens, brothels, gangsters, gangs and neighbourhoods just get thrown at you in a very short space of time. I'm glad I've never had something like a “read the first hundred pages, then decide if you want to keep going” rule because this book would've been thrown on the backburner so fast and then I'd have missed out on something that becomes a really great story, once it gets going.

The core cast consists of six characters, all of whom are interesting if (inevitably) to different degrees. My two favourites were Nina and Matthias, who have a complicated history with each other. They fought on opposing sides of a devastating war, and have a relationship full of mistrust but mutual attraction. I just devoured every page with them – and it helps that Nina herself is a fun character, flirty and hedonistic but extremely clever and a dedicated spy.

Kaz Brekker, I did not like so much at first. He's set up as this seventeen-year-old criminal mastermind, the kind of character who's cold-hearted and arrogant but the reader's supposed to like him anyway, just because. More depth is added to him over the course of the novel, so I did warm up to him a bit. He gets paired up with Inej, whose background involves being captured by slave traders, sold into a brothel, and then purchased by Kaz's boss because Kaz was impressed with her sneaking skills. Her major skill is climbing. Then, bringing up the rear, we have Jesper – another member of Kaz's gang – and Wylan, the runaway son of a powerful merchant. These two also get a great rapport going.

Once we actually get into it (and that takes a third of the book), the heist plotline moves swiftly, full of tension and excitement. Unsurprisingly, there is a twist at the end, laying the ground for the next book. The real strength of this book, though, has been the major characters, and it's out of interest in them that I'll be reading the next one. ( )
  Jayeless | May 27, 2020 |
(I gave the Grisha trilogy a 3.5/4 stars overall iirc, so Six of Crows seems to be a pretty easy 5 for me.)

I enjoyed Shadow & Bone and its follow-ups, but I was COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY by this one. Six amazing main characters (I LOVED - and sometimes hated - ALL OF THEM; so much bosom-clutching), great world-building, and plenty of cutthroat action. The marketing blurb says "Ocean's Eleven meets Game of Thrones" but this to me was reminiscent of Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards series and Sanderson's Mistborn books (though I found this much more compelling than Sanderson). A great book for cross-promotion to adult fantasy fans as well.

That cliffhanger though???????!!!!!! ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this book; I had only seen great reviews about it all over Tumblr. It moved quite slow at first, then suddenly I needed to know everything these characters went through, and once I found out, I needed more. I couldn’t help but ship the obvious couples and I really loved the diversity between the characters. They come from all walks of life; they’re all different colors, sizes, and orientations. The world building is vivid and immersive. I can’t wait to read the sequel because I already miss these characters so much. Bardugo is quickly becoming a favorite author. ( )
  hexenlibrarian | May 19, 2020 |
Man, this was so long ago, let me see if I can remember it. Imagine Ocean’s Eleven crossed with The Lies of Locke Lamora. I know Locke Lamora is already kind of a caper book, but that one focuses on two people and it’s very character driven. This one’s closer to that classic “golden fleece” caper story–a team of eight people with different backgrounds and skills come together to get some prize (in this case, kidnap someone during a party in a fortress.) Includes the “getting the band back together” and “breaking the team member out of jail” scenes.

It’s pretty darn good. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a fantasy novel with an ensemble cast. Usually a fantasy novel is very “hero protagonist” focused. They’re always “super important” or “the key” or “the chosen one”.When there’s more, they’re usually epics that with multiple POV characters in separate settings, so it’s really just three short novels. The problem becomes that there are so many characters it’s hard to keep track of, like a D&D party of eight. In this case, the characters feel lived in. Each has a distinct background and way of thinking so when the narrative switches to their POV, you remember who it is.

My other worry was that, in fantasy, it’s very easy to “deus ex machina” an ending. “They were trapped in the pit with the falling ceiling and the spikes and alligators, but, oh, they just used the wand of teleportation and escaped.” That doesn’t take place here, and it helps that there’s good world-building here. The world has been tested, abused, like Star Wars–someone’s established a history and presented the effects of it in the present-time. That means you get a nice mix of plotting and character development.

The problem is that the ending is unsatisfying, and that’s because it just stops. It’s split into two books, like Harry Potter 7 and Mockingjay. Is that the thing we’re doing now? “An Absolutely Remarkably Thing” by Hank Green did the same thing — left the story open-ended. Or you can say it ended on a cliffhanger. I say it ended unfinished. Fortunately, the book is good enough that I want to find out what happens next. ( )
  theWallflower | May 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leigh Bardugoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Berman, FredNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deas, RichCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evans, ElizabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fortgang, LaurenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ledoux, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morris, TristanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, BrandonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snyder, JayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, AprilDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Kayte -- secret weapon, unexpected friend.
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Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.
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Haiku summary
An audacious plan
Six dangerous criminals
Only one way out

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