5 stars · action · Fantasy · series · young adult

Six of Crows convinced me that criminals are cool


Six of Crows

Six of Crows #1

spin-off series of the Shadow and Bone trilogy

author: leigh bardugo

pages: [hardcover] 465

memorable quote:

Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet . . . he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.

favorite characters: nina & inej


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.


Leigh Bardugo proves herself again and again, always reminding me exactly why she’s one of my favorite authors.Six of Crows is her newest book, set in the beautiful (and terribly violent) backdrop of her previously explored world, which debuted in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. You certainly don’t have to read the trilogy to enjoy this book–this series is meant to stand on its own. But there are familiar places, people, and things mentioned; it’s fun to pick up where the books converge. I also feel like this book doesn’t spend as much time concentrating on the world-building and explaining exactly who can do what here. But, if you’re quick to pick up on things and don’t mind a little mystery, by all means dive right in.

Six of Crows is wild from the start. It’s harsh. It’s gritty. Not to say that I couldn’t have expected that from the terrible things that happened in Shadow and Bone but, come on. This one has a lot more terrible things happening to children. People growing up in Ketterdam typically stay in Ketterdam. There’s nowhere to go, no way to really better yourself. And, if you end up in the city without having been born there . . . Chances are you had no other choice and are at the bottom of your luck. Or you’re some rich merch who’s going to have their pocket picked the second they step off a pleasure cruise.

Enter our cast of wonderfully eccentric characters, a heist worthy of a blockbuster action film mixed with fantasy mixed with romantic comedy, and you get Six of Crows. It seemed like every time a new character was introduced I wanted to call them my favorite. They all had their flaws, yes–I mean, they’re a bunch of criminals. But they’re also teenagers! And I’m beginning to realize how my love of YA doesn’t change that 22 year old me sees a 15 year old criminal and thinks Oh my God what happened to this poor baby to make their life this way? Yes, I’m looking at you, Wylan. Whereas everyone else seemed rather rugged and sharp, I just wanted to give him a big old hug and make sure he knows that he’s loved.

Maybe it’s a little corny, but you need someone innocent to think about when you read about all of the things that have happened to these characters as well as the terrible things they’ve had to do, just to survive. It’s hard to blame them when you know they would have been dead long ago if they were kinder and gentler in life. No one survives long in Ketterdam living like that. It’s kind of funny, how quickly you can go from reading about someone’s backstory–Kaz, for instance–and pitying them, and two pages later they do something so twisted that you’re wondering how you could have ever thought they needed to be pitied.

Inej. I can’t wait to see more of her in book two. If I was forced to pick a favorite, it would be her (though I think my favorite romantic pairing doesn’t involve her, though I won’t mention it to avoid any possible spoilers). She’s a tough little cookie. And I absolutely wish that I could move the way she does. She has a twin set of knives that she’s such a badass with, and she pretty much taught herself. She can sneak up on anyone, climb up anything, eavesdrop on any situation . . . If I needed some criminal superpowers, I’d want to take hers. And then both of us could go on to live good, easy lives, because she’s earned it.

I’ll be recommending this book to everyone, really. It’s fantastic. Full of energy, wonderful writing, unexpected moments, and delightful links to the other trilogy. Don’t skip over this book!!

5/5 stars


3 thoughts on “Six of Crows convinced me that criminals are cool

  1. I feel like I definitely need to read this again. I read it while at the beach for a week with my friends and let’s just say there wasn’t a lot of concentrating. And I love Shadow and Bone! Leigh Bardugo is great. Although it looks like she has a lot to answer for if she’s convincing people that criminals are cool haha :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Haha, I feel like it’s way too intense for a beach read. And after reading this, I really want to pull off a heist or something. I’d totally get caught, but y’know. It’s fun enough to read about!


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