Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo (2015)
YA Fiction | Dark Fantasy
“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.”
pooled ink Review:
One of my favorite reads this year and definitely in my Top 10 favorite books ever.
I know that’s big talk to give the first book in a duology. Maybe I’m being hasty or impulsive by believing that this series by Leigh Bardugo will be one of my forever favorites, but despite how the rest of the series turns out I will not change my opinion on Six of Crows.
Six of Crows is ruthless, calculated, lawless, and contains no room for wild chance. While its characters are the dregs of the barrel in Ketterdam serving greed, blood, and survival there is humanity in all of them and as the story twists, unfolds, knots, and unravels you see glimpses of the people they were before and how they’ve been brought to sacrifice bits and shreds of their innocence and watch their humanity slough off in payment for survival.
This book has been described as Oceans Eleven meets Game of Thrones and while I accept that as an accurate comparison I also saw ties with Oliver Twist albeit much darker and far less hopeful (also no songs if you’re thinking about the musical…although Nina does try I don’t think she’s ready for Broadway).
Bardugo’s gift with words and storytelling, her skills with crafting worlds and characters, her brilliance with plots and back-stories, it all bursts through Six of Crows dripping from each word, each page, each bend in the epic tale. It will pull at a dark side you may not have even known was hiding within you.
The story of Kaz and his gang and their impossible heist is dark, terrifying, horrific, thrilling, seductive, tantalizing, shocking, and always trying to kick soot over the tiny beating glow of hope.
There’s not much I will sink my teeth into for this review only because the possibilities are infinite. When a book is awful and disappointing it is easy to reach in and tear its heart out writing hundreds or thousands of words complaining about the errors and let downs it spewed. When a book is quite good it is just as easy to write so many words analyzing, glorifying, and celebrating its success…but every once in a while one comes to a book that is genius and any words to fully describe it dissolve in inadequacy. Every book has flaws of course and the celebration of books is indeed subjective, as it must match a person’s particular taste. So while I cannot speak for anyone but myself I will do so with surety. In my humble, and not particularly important, opinion Six of Crows is not only Leigh Bardugo’s best book yet but it’s also genius and will refuse to be overlooked.
So keep your fairytales, your spaceships, your giants, your football championships, your ghosts, ghouls, and vampires. But I shall take Kaz’s gang up on their offer and join the Dregs for another adventure. Revenge is powerful and it can make people do crazy or incredible things and I want to be there to witness what will come next.
Utterly thrilling, gut clenching, and skin tingling, Six of Crows will have you mourn the price paid to be one of the crew but your eyes will be glowing with the deep-seeded greed and lusting desire to join them.
This book is neither for the weak hearted nor the faint. It’s far truer than most people would prefer to believe even if it is set in a fictional fantasy world. Somewhere sometime this place is, was, and will be real and Kaz will teach you just how real it can be.
P.S. If you’ve read Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy then you’ll already be generally familiar with the geography, the Grisha, and maybe a few names. If you haven’t then you’re in for a thrill. But regardless if you have or have not read The Grisha Trilogy this book will be a new experience. It takes place in the same world but that’s it. This has nothing to do with Alina and it doesn’t even take place in Ravka. So no spoilers, no blanks, no worries. Enjoy.
Side Note: This book doesn’t end in a horrible cliff-hanger! Hurrah! Loads of books do that and sometimes it’s epic but other times it just feels cruel. This book instead completes its task and it ends with the acceptance of a new one (which I suppose could technically be interpreted as a cliff-hanger). Even without a jagged cliff-hanger you can’t read this book without needing the next one.
Purchase here: Six of Crows
Check out the rest of the series: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
Fierce Reads Book Tour Q&A: click here
Meet Leigh Bardugo!
She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band. Her new book, Six of Crows, arrives fall 2015.