Six Of Crows (Collector's Edition)

by Leigh Bardugo

Hardcover, 2018



Call number



Orion: Collectors Edition


"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"--

User reviews

LibraryThing member pwaites
Six of Crows is a YA fantasy heist story. A scientist discovers the formula for a drug that increases magic users powers to a ridiculous extent, even if it leaves them addicted and eventually dead. This scientist is being held in a strong hold in the far north, one which every country on the map
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now wants to break into. Kaz Brekker, a seventeen year old criminal mastermind, is offered thirty million if he can retrieve the scientist and bring him to the merchant council.

To pull off this impossible feat, Kaz will need the right team. There’s Inej, a girl trained as an acrobat but now a spy for Kaz’s gang; Jesper, a sharpshooter with a gambling problem; Nina, a magic user who can stop a man’s heart with a wave of her hand; Matthias, a former solider looking for revenge; and Wylan, the son of a wealthy merchant and an amateur demolitions expert.

Six of Crows switches between five POVs; we see everyone’s perspective but Wylan’s. The character development is remarkably drawn, and I never had trouble remembering who any of the main six where or what they were after. Each has his or her own life and goals.

The book actually starts off rather slow. It wasn’t exactly boring, but I had no difficulties putting it down. I think this is because it takes them so long to reach the location of the heist itself. So while the beginning was important for set up and character building, there just wasn’t the constant action and excitement that permeates the second half. Around 250 pages Six of Crows stopped being a book I could easily put down.

The world building isn’t the most original I’ve encountered and the author draws from real world cultures more than I usually like (it’s pretty obvious which country is fantasy!Russia or fantasy!China). However, on the whole, Six of Crows has a really good sense of place. The world is immersive and believable, which is what I really want from a fantasy book. The magic system was also well thought out.

There is romance in Six of Crows, but it’s secondary to the main plot. Thankfully, it mostly avoids the aghasty YA tropes that make me roll my eyes. Nina and Matthias came the closest to falling into this – as witch and witch hunter they’ve got a long history that results in some tension over whether they’re going to kill each other or kiss each other. This wasn’t really my thing, but it didn’t bother me too much. Also, Six of Crows is yet another YA novel that loves to pair everyone up. There’s six main characters, and three obvious couples (though the queer one gets less focus than the other two).

For some idiotic reason I also thought this would be a stand alone. Fair warning, it’s not. There’s set up for a second book and a cliffhanger that falls into some frustrating gender patterns.

Do be aware that while this might be a YA book, it is plenty dark. There’s a torture scene where a man’s eyeballs get ripped out, and Inej has a back story that involves being a sex slave.

As a side note, the design for the hardback copy is absolutely gorgeous. Do you see that cover art? Beautiful. But it doesn’t stop there, oh no. The pages are all black lined and the end pages are scarlet red. Plus, there’s maps drawn by my favorite illustrator, Keith Thompson. If you’re choosing between getting this one in physical book or ebook, I would strongly encourage physical book.

I’m very glad I read Six of Crows, and I will definitely be reading the sequel. I love heist stories and this one did not disappoint. Six of Crows is probably one of the best YA fantasy novels I’ve read all year, and I would highly recommend it.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page.
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LibraryThing member Narilka
Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?"

"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.

"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.

"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.

"You're all horrible," said Matthias.

Kaz rolled his eyes. "The easiest way to steal a man's wallet is to tell him you’re going
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to steal his watch. You take his attention and direct it where you want it to go."

Ketterdam, a city of endless opportunity, where anything can be had for the right price. Kaz Brekker, criminal mastermind, knows this better than anyone. When Kaz is offered the deal of a lifetime - break a scientist out of the most secure prison in the world - he knows he has the right crew for the job. If they can pull off the impossible they'll all be rich beyond their wildest dreams. If they can put up with each other long enough.

Six of Crows is the first half of a duology by the same name written by Leigh Bardugo. This is the first book I've read by this author. I understand that there is a Grisha trilogy that is also set in the same world as Six of Crows. This one stands well on its own. There were enough descriptions of the world and how things work that I understood everything well enough. As long as you understand that Grisha = magic user, you're set.

This is, plain and simple, a heist story. It is very much in the same vein as Ocean's 11 and the like. This story has a slow start. It takes Bardugo a while to set up the characters and the world, then put everyone into position before the main action starts. Once it did, the mission impossible music started playing in my head and I couldn't put the book down. That was one wild caper!

I really enjoy the world Bardugo has created. This is the first fantasy novel I've read being Dutch inspired. Ketterdam is based on Amsterdam. While I was reading I knew many of the words had a sound to them I should have recognized but it took me almost the whole book before I placed it. The world is a sort of "advanced medieval" with it's combination of guns and magic. The magic system has some familiarity if you've read the genre enough with it's own little twist to make it interesting.

The characters are nicely fleshed out, all given backgrounds that are revealed throughout the story. It is done is such a way that it doesn't slow down the pacing at all. I think I could easily read a series of short stories based on each of these characters.

On the downside, none of these characters come across as young as we're constantly reminded that they are supposed to be. They're all supposed to be around 17 years old and mostly they act like they're in their 30s. Obviously circumstances will dictate how fast a character "grows up" so you can have very adult seeming teens but it just didn't work for me in this instance. Also, since this is YA, there is romance. Thankfully there are no love triangles, though with 6 characters there are 3 pairings.

And then after the wild ride, it just ends. This is definitely the first half of a larger story. While the main heist is finished several large story threads are left dangling. If cliffhanger-style endings bother you make sure you have book two ready to go so you don't have to wait to finish the story.
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LibraryThing member catnips13
Overall, a pretty quick, enjoyable read with a terrible cliffhanger in the end.

The pacing is good and there are plenty of quotable lines.

The characters are well-developed with enough tragic backstory to justify the (pretty horrific) things they do. Except for Wylan, whom I like a lot because he
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doesn't have any justification, and because he struggles with coming to terms with who he is.

The chapters are named after the protagonists, which gives the impression that 3rd person limited will be used, but the writing quickly evolves into 3rd person omniscient, and by the middle of the chapter, I have forgotten who is supposed to be doing the narrating. This, to me, is very confusing.

Throughout the book, I had pictured Kaz as a protagonist-of-colour and was quite disappointed that he is not. The fact that Jesper, who is mainly there for comic relief and experiences the least amount of growth in the story, IS a POC, is even more disappointing.

However, as I said before, the prose is quote-worthy, and the banter between the protagonists is golden. The world-building is interesting, and I'm definitely going back to Bardugo's older books to brush up on Grisha-verse mythology.
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LibraryThing member anacskie
This book is so great and I love the adrenaline pumping adventure and a lot of plot twist.
LibraryThing member mountie9
Very slow to start and I won't lie, it really took a long time for me to get into this one. But once I did, it was intriguing and well developed. I even ended up enjoying the tale, eventhough I didn't really love most of the characters. Well, with the exception of Nena and Jesper who get most of
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the best lines. The author really has done a thorough job in developing this world and all of the characters that inhabit it. Great character development and she is obviously setting this up as trilogy. Lots of twists and turns and could be described as a Russian, dystopian crime heist. I will definitely pick up the next installment and hope it doesn't drag like the first quarter of this one. But lets face it she is really letting you get to know the ins and outs of all of the characters
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LibraryThing member anyaejo
Sooooo much love. Bardugo's writing has seriously matured even beyond the beauty that was Ruin and Rising. We find out so much more about the Grisha and how their powers work and it is so realistic and interesting. There are a whole lot of physically, mentally, differently sexually oriented, and
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more diversity in the gang and it was so great to see. This is going to be the new fantasy series that everyone is dying for and it is wholly deserved!
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LibraryThing member willowsmom
I was initially disappointed when I picked this book up--as someone who was put off Leigh Bardugo's earlier grisha series because of the YA teen romance focus, I was worried that this novel, set in the same world, would be similar. HOWEVER. I found this novel to be basically perfect--plot engaging
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(seriously kept me guessing), characters interesting and believable, slight touch of romance adding depth to the story instead of overwhelming it. Can't wait for the next novel to come out--I would say the book ended on a solid final note, but there was enough of a teaser for their next illicit adventure to make me wish I could continue the!
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LibraryThing member jmoncton
This book was fantastic fun! It takes awhile to really get into the plot. The POV switches between many different characters, each with his own backstory. And there is the whole world building going on which also takes awhile. But once the action starts, this is hard to put down. Great plot,
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fabulous characters, and well written. Can't wait to read more by this author!
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
A wealthy and powerful man has a job that needs to be done. It won't be easy. In fact, some might say it's impossible. But if Kaz can pull it off, the rewards will be enormous. Kaz pulls his team together: Inej, Jesper, Nina, Wylan, and Matthias. They've never worked together before, and some of
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them hate each other, but Kaz needs the unique skills and knowledge that each of them brings to the table. Will it be enough?

What can I say: I'm a sucker for a good fantasy heist novel. This one has seamless plotting and snappy dialogue -- Jesper's quips had me snorting with laughter more than once. The characters are complex and a real mix of good and bad, and none of them are completely and immediately likable, though I found that they mostly grew on me over the course of the novel. This book was recommended to me because I enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I think that recommendation is a good one. If you liked that, you should try this -- and if you enjoy this, keep an eye out for that if you haven't already read it.
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LibraryThing member acargile
A fantasy novel, Six of Crows is a captivating first novel of a trilogy.

The setting is dark and life is merely survival with the possibility of becoming a slave, indentured servant/mercenary, a thief, or homeless beggar. Death is never far away for anyone. In this menacing place, you will meet six
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people--all outcasts and/or criminals. They didn’t choose this vocation as their dream job, but life has treated them in such as way as this is where they are. There is some goodness within each.

Kaz is the leader, and he is ruthless because revenge fuels every decision he makes. Inej has been a member of his crew for a few years after he saved her from the menagerie. She is his “wraith,” a quiet and deadly spy who believes in the future, has hope, and prays for Kaz. Nina is plagued by guilt and wants to right her wrong, always willing to help in her selflessness and courage. She’s a trained soldier and is a Grisha, which are a group of people who are much feared and also a people that many would like to control in order to have unlimited power. Jesper loves a fight and is a talented shooter but a poor gambler. He owes everyone money and is loyal to Kaz. Wylan has been raised in a privileged, rich home, but he has run away because he finds his father unbearable. He seeks a new life. Matthias is the enemy of the Grisha and is unwillingly forced into the group of criminals to fight with Nina, whom he either wants to kill or love. These six take on the impossible.

This novel really isn’t about good vs. evil; it’s more about their own strengths vs. their own weaknesses as they try to make a big score in hopes of being free--from their pasts, their sins, their fears, and their enemies. The novel builds from seeing some of the characters working together to adding members to the team and finally seeing their abilities that make them a solid team despite their young ages. I loved the book. I like the relationships between the characters; I like that they aren’t entirely good, but they aren’t evil; I like the world building; and I like that you get to know most of the characters as more than stereotypes. It’s not an easy read, and it’s not for those who dabble in books. It’s a book for readers--those who like an engaging, multi-layered story with their fantasy. Maybe I’m just a sucker for outcasts, but I highly recommend this novel.
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LibraryThing member lilibrarian
Promised a large payout, a band of six teenaged gang members sets off to infiltrate the castle of a foreign kingdom to grab a scientist who is developing drugs to enhance magical abilities.
LibraryThing member HHS-Students
Reviewed by Taylor (Class of 2018)

Six of Crows is about six different people that are pulled together, for different reasons to achieve one goal. Their goal is to break into the ice court. The character's stories effect the plot of the book in many ways but make reader's want to know more about the
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characters. Each having different pasts, but all their stories have elements that are the same. For their mission they must put their skills to the ultimate test, putting trust in their worst enemies, and finding the truth within themselves and each other. Six of Crows will leave you wanting more! not just of the story, but more from the characters that you will soon fall in love with in the book. The book is filled with Mystery throughout every twist and turn, blood will be shed, lines will be crossed and lies are revealed. As you read all you can do is hope that all the character's can survive the threats and challenges of the Ice Court.
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LibraryThing member amandacb
I was so angry when I got done reading this book. Why? Now I have to wait until the sequel/next installment comes out. I don't want to wait! While I thoroughly enjoyed the Grisha trilogy, I enjoyed this spinoff even more, if that can be believed. The world-building is stellar, but more remarkably,
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the characters are lovable, foibles and all. Not to miss!
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LibraryThing member krau0098
I really enjoyed the Grisha trilogy by Bardugo and was very excited to see that she had come out with a new fantasy series set in that same world. This was an amazing book that reminds a bit of Ocean’s Eleven but with really cool magic and a much more interesting world.

Kaz Brekker (aka
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Dirtyhands) makes a living running scams and performing crimes and he is very very good at it. Then he gets a job offer he can’t resist. A job that will leave him with all the money he needs to get his revenge and then start over somewhere new. It’s an incredibly risky and deadly job and to pull it off he will need five others with very specific skills to help him.

Enter the Six of Crows. You have Kaz, the leader and general logistical genius. Inej (aka Wraith) who is Kaz’s ghost and informant; Kaz has a special place in her heart and she owes her life to him so she readily agrees. Then there is Jesper, Kaz’s right-hand man and a sharpshooter who has a gambling problem and needs a way out of it. Next is Nina a Heartrinder who needs a favor from Kaz and is willing to help on this quest in exchange for Kaz’s help. The last willing member is Wylan, the son of a wealthy merchant who is very good with explosives. Wylan is unknowingly part of the crew and a hostage all in one! Lastly there is Matthias, a former resident of the Ice Court who is intimately familiar with the White Island and its prison. Matthias is not happy to help in this heist, but he feels a debt to Kaz and is eager to get the promised pardon should they succeed in their mission.

The story is told from the POV of all of these characters and it works absolutely beautifully for this story. I am usually not a huge fan of multiple POVs (more than two of three), but all of these characters are so amazing that it is just pleasure to read about all of them. Not to mention how wonderfully Bardugo blends all these POVs to make an amazing story.

This is one of those perfectly balanced stories that has something for everyone. There is a lot of action, mystery, excellent world-building, some romance, nifty magic, and political maneuvering. Everything is balanced really well and paced just perfectly. This was an absolutely amazing story.

I loved all of the characters too. Although I will readily admit Kaz and Inej were my favorites; they both have mad skills and their respect and unrequited love for each other was endearing and at times maddening. Nina and Matthias were an equally awesome potential couple; they have that whole star-crossed thing going on and there is sooo much anger and passion between them. Wylan and Jesper were just as complex and interesting as the others too.

The story was amazing and intricate and had lots of awesome twists and turns. It really reminds of an epic fantasy Ocean’s Eleven; it also reminds a bit of Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series (will we ever see the next book in that series?!) It was perfectly paced, absolutely engaging, and actual had me physically aching to read more when I was finished.

Overall this was one of the most amazing books I have read this year (I am at 250+ books so that is saying something). It was a perfectly balanced epic fantasy which lots of action, mystery, romance, world-building, magic, and intrigue. The characters are incredible and the story was completely engaging and impossible to put down. I am hooked and am dying to read the next book in this series. It would help to read the Grisha trilogy before this one to understand the world a bit better, but it’s not absolutely necessary. I actually thought this book was a million times better than the Grisha trilogy and am so so excited to read the next one.
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LibraryThing member sobieckj
Six of Crows is wonderful--full of adventure (a prison break, but a break in!), speculative world-building rooted in real-world culture and history (Bardugo's Grisha-verse is very turn-of-the-century Europe), friendship, and romance! It made me very happy, but waiting for the sequel does not. There
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is some violence and the implication of sex trade, so I'm suggestion 15 + for this.
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LibraryThing member mal2012
Almost a 5 star book. One violent scene that was a bit much (eye removing was pretty graphic...)
LibraryThing member stefferoo
Okay, I’m intrigued. Very intrigued. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows may have fallen slightly short of my expectations, but it’s still great. And honestly, it was going up against a super high bar, considering the ridiculous number of good books I’ve read this year so far and the fact that I
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can be very finicky about my heist stories.

First though, let’s get something out of the way, since I’ve gotten asked this question a bunch of times: You don’t need to read or even be familiar with the Grisha trilogy before starting this book. It is set in the same world, but other than a few references to events and people from the other series, Six of Crows features an all new story and an all new cast of characters. Personally, that made me very happy. As much as I enjoyed the Grisha trilogy, it didn’t end as strongly as it started, and I was definitely ready for something fresh.

So here we find ourselves in the new setting of Ketterdam, a bustling trade city and home to a gang of thieves calling themselves the Dregs. Kaz “Dirty Hands” Brekker is their fearless leader and mastermind, willing to take on any job for the right price. When tasked by a powerful crime lord to rescue a scientist with a secret formula from the impenetrable walls of the Ice Court, Kaz goes forth and gathers his crew in preparation for the heist of a lifetime.

For better or worse, the heist itself actually takes a backseat to the amount of attention given to the members of the Dregs. This also means the plot is decidedly uncomplicated once you pare it all down, because the complexity is all in the characters. Probably a good thing too, when you have as many as six crew members to follow.

Kaz is the clever one, the one who makes the plans and takes care of the boys and girls in his crew. A child of the streets, Kaz’s background is one huge sob story, which lends sympathy to his thirst for revenge against the man he blames for his brother’s death. Reserved and coolheaded, Kaz also wears fancy-pants clothes and walks around with an ostentatiously well-fashioned cane due to a “childhood” injury to his leg (in quotes because right now he’s still all of what, 17?) Kaz is interesting, though whenever I think of him I picture a kid trying to play at being an adult, and unfortunately that whole persona tends to drive me crazy.

Then there’s Inej, also known as the Wraith. Her talents lie in being able to melt into the shadows. She has a pretty sad story too (okay, I’m just going to say right now, ALL of them have pretty sad stories. Seems like that’s Bardugo’s go-to approach for every single one of her characters) but out of everyone, Inej was my favorite.

Jesper is the sharpshooter, and he’s also the joker of the group. I don’t think he got near enough the attention he deserved, which is a shame because I really liked him. There was also this great dynamic between him and Wylan, the Dreg’s “outsider” who nonetheless found his way to a special place in my heart. Seriously, the two most interesting members of the crew with the best banter got shafted here, because the story decided instead to shine all the attention on…

Nina and Matthias. The Grisha and the Witch Hunter. Nina brings the magic and Matthias brings the insider knowledge of the Ice Court and its security systems. Together they bring enough YA clichés to fill an ocean. Normally, I am all for forbidden love and a romance between characters who start off hating each other’s guts, but these two were downright insufferable. Just shut up and make with the kissy-face already. Plus, Matthias was distractingly perfect. And Nina was distractingly awkward whenever she attempted her sexy act. Every time they interacted, I had to fight the urge to cringe because it all just felt so damn scripted.

Personally, I would have been happier with less drama, more action (more heist!) The story was also a little slow to take off, with a long and drawn out intro. Most heist stories typically use this time to focus on the planning and preparation, but Bardugo has opted for a different strategy, giving us background information on the characters in the form of flashbacks and memories instead. I really enjoyed some of these flashbacks (Inej and Kaz had great backstories) while others felt more like a distraction (Nina and Matthias), which makes me think your mileage may vary depending on how you feel about the various members of the Dregs. This is very much a character-focused story, which is great, but when you have such a big cast, I will invariably connect with some more than others.

And speaking of a big cast, the audiobook is also a fantastic format to enjoy Six of Crows. I simply adore huge productions that involve multiple narrators because each perspective character gets to have their own unique “voice”. Six of Crows features a whopping seven narrators, many of whom are big names in the world of YA audiobooks. Several of them I’ve had the pleasure of listening to their work in the past, like Elizabeth Evans (she’s great on the Throne of Glass series), Lauren Fortgang (from the Grisha trilogy audiobooks), David LeDoux (who narrated Sam’s chapters in Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver) and Jay Snyder (from Peter Clines’ Ex-Heroes). Everyone delivered fantastic performances, including the narrators who were new to me.

Bottom line, this is a great start to a series with some serious potential. It wasn’t exactly the type of heist story I expected, though it just as well Leigh Bardugo made it all about her characters because characters are what makes a good book. Even though I despised the corny romance, there are some wonderfully unique and memorable personalities here, and I’d like to see more of some of them in the next installment.
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LibraryThing member ShellyPYA
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.
LibraryThing member Banoczi_Henrietta
I was very hesitant to pick this up, mainly because of the huge hype it's been getting since it was released. I wasn't sure that I would love it, and I didn't want to be the one out again. Needless to say, I shouldn't have worried. This book deserves the hype 100 times over, it's incredibly
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written, the characters are so well fleshed out, it feels like you are watching the tv rather than reading a book. The writing style is captivating, descriptive, witty and just beautiful, and I must say the multiple perspectives worked suprisingly well.
For me, this book contains everything I love, and it is definitely the best book I have read so far this year.
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LibraryThing member kissedbyink
I waited for this book. I drooled over this book. I could not finish this book. Never do I ever wish to write a review about a book that's negative, but I just could not get through this one and I'm very sad about it.
LibraryThing member nbmars
This is the beginning of an excellent young adult fantasy series about a group of six smart, resourceful, and very likable members of the underclass of Ketterdam.

This Amsterdam analogue is a teeming soup of gangs, brothels, gambling dens, and a greedy, ruthless merchant ruling class that uses its
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false patina of respectability to control assets and power in the city. Kaz Brekker, de factor leader of one of the gangs captures the truth of it succinctly:

“'I’m a businessman,' the 17-year-old leader of the “Dregs” gang Kaz told Inej, one of his gang members. 'You’re a thief,' she counters. 'Isn’t that what I just said?'”

In this world, there are a set of people called Grisha, who can manipulate matter at its most fundamental levels. Under the influence of the stimulant parem, those manipulations are enhanced somewhat, but with the development of jurda parem, a stronger variation of the drug, the Grisha’s senses are sharpened to the point that “[t]hings become possible that simply shouldn’t be.”

Kaz is approached by a merchant, Van Eck, who wants Kaz's gang to retrieve the kidnapped scientist who developed jurda parem and holds the secret to making more. Van Eck is willing to pay out the enormous sum of 30 million kruge if Kaz is successful. Kaz picks five others to help him do the job. These six unlikely allies agree to this very dangerous undertaking because a cut of the prize could allow each of them finally to escape the lives they never wanted and realize their dreams.

But there are unforeseen complications and betrayals, and whether all of them will make it out is never a foregone conclusion.

Discussion: I love the way the author describes Ketterdam. Anyone who has been to Amsterdam will recognize it immediately:

“. . . most of the buildings in this part of the city had been built without foundations, many on swampy land where the canals were haphazardly dug. They leaned against each other like tipsy friends gathered at a bar, titling at drowsy angles.”

I also liked the way social commentary is woven into the story:

The merchant Van Eck says to Kaz, “I try to find men honest work.”

Kaz laughed. “What’s the difference between wagering at the Crow Club and speculating on the floor of the Exchange?”

“One is theft and the other is commerce.”

“When a man loses his money, he may have trouble telling them apart.”

Kaz Brekker is a wonderful protagonist. Unlike other “bad boys” of young adult literature, he actually is “bad,” but he has his reasons, and there is never any question of reader sympathy for him. And his relationship with Inej, one of his gang, is quite enchanting:

“He needed to tell her . . . what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn’t pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her. That without meaning to, he’d begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near.”

And Inej, to Kaz:

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

The other relationships among the six are as interesting and nuanced, and never seem in the least bit unrealistic or contrived. The possible exceptions to the complex characterizations are the villains of the piece, such as Pekka Rollins, the merchant Van Eck, and Jarl Brum, a Nazi-like commandant. All of them are purely bad, and while their characters are not inconceivable and certainly have historical precedents, their portrayals stand in contrast to the many-layered depictions of the six main protagonists.

Evaluation: I put off reading this for quite a while because I saw it described as a “heist book” in the style of “Oceans Eleven.” It is so much more than that. The plot and pacing are terrific, and you won’t want the story of the main characters to be over. Fortunately, it isn’t. A second book follows.
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LibraryThing member GracePasquale
I had no idea what I was getting into when I first picked up this book. I read the summary very briefly, saw a lot of people loved it, and immediately started reading. I had not read Leigh Bardugo’s other series before this, so this was my first time seeing the Grisha universe altogether.

And wow.
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Where has this been hiding my entire life? The writing was beautiful, the characters had depth and were lovable in their own unique ways, the plot/Kaz’s scheming was brilliant, and the universe was vast and mesmerizing.

Let me just say that I am a huge fan of the villains/thieves/criminals/”the bad guys” being the protagonists in books. Darker characters are always so much more complex and interesting to me. I love to see what happened in their lives to lead them to where they are, I love seeing their aloofness and arrogance slowly break down to reveal their insecurities and weaknesses. Villainous characters just have so much substance.

And we have six all in one book.

“A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse.”


There’s no real introduction into the world in this book, so the first 100 or so pages are a bit confusing as you’re hit with a lot of new words, places, languages, etc.

After reading The Grisha Trilogy, I can conclude that it would be better to start with those books before Six of Crows. You get a better introduction of the world, and also there are some characters from The Grisha Trilogy that make a guest appearance in Six of Crows. There are also some *minor* spoilers pertaining to The Grisha Trilogy characters in Six of Crows.


I absolutely loved every character in this book! I love each of their stories, their strengths and weaknesses, their personalities, their endless banter with each other, their love-hate relationship with each other. They’re such an unlikely and odd bunch yet they work so so well together.

Kaz: Kaz is by far my favorite character. He rarely shows emotions, is incredibly stoic, enigmatic, aloof, dark — all these characteristics that just make you think, my poor child, what ever happened to you. And then you find out and it rips your heart right out of your chest. And yet, despite the wall of defense he has built around himself, we get to see his vulnerabilities, his true emotions and desires, and the fact that there is hope for redemption. And this is just 100% the type of character I absolutely love

Nina: Nina was my favorite female protagonist! She is everything I want to be. She’s strong, fierce, brazen, hilarious, has little concern for what others think, fears no one, stands up for herself. She also has a sweet tooth and — me too girl. I understand you. Yeah, you’re in the middle of a heist, but there’s never a wrong time for sweets.

Inej: Inej “The Wraith” was my next favorite. She’s only 16 but has already been through so much, and yet still has so much hope and ambition for the future. She’s graceful, observant, understanding, kind — while also being a skilled assassin that comes and goes so quickly and silently you’ll wonder if she was ever really there at all. I love how she and Kaz interact, and how she’s the only one he really trusts.

Jesper: Jesper was such a surprise for me! When we first see Kaz’s gang, some serious shit pops off. This led me to believe everyone was as stoic and menacing as Kaz, but Jesper is such a cute little goof. He’s always making jokes, always smiling — he’s such a sweetie. & then when he flirts…my heart screamed

Wylan: Wylan is a 16-year-old boy that comes from a life of privilege, running away from his rich father to live in the Barrel. He’s way out of his comfort zone when he joins the mix of convicts, thieves, and Grishas, but he still stays adorably defiant despite the panic in his eyes say otherwise. He’s smart, but not very street smart. And it’s hilarious. He’s essentially the runt of the group — and I love the way Jesper endearingly picks on him

Matthias: I loved how Matthias evolved throughout this book, I feel like he made the biggest change out of the whole group. However, he’s the only character that I didn’t grow an insane affection towards. I liked him, and I loved him and Nina, but I feel like I didn’t get to see much of who he really is. I hope this will change in the next book!


As many others have said, there’s romance in this book, but not a lot. It’s sprinkled in methodically, as we’re getting a lot of background stories and updates on the heist for the majority of the book. I would have loved to see more but it makes sense that it doesn’t take up a large portion of the storyline.

Kaz and Inej: Such a beautiful pairing. Two characters that make a part of themselves invisible: Inej makes herself unseen, while Kaz makes his emotions and feelings unseen. Kaz needs Inej and relies on her for so much, but his dark past makes it hard for him to show any sort of emotion. I want so much more from them, but the agonizingly slow progression is understandable.

Nina and Matthias: The forbidden love of a Drüskelle and Grisha. These two are such opposites, it makes their pairing hilarious. Matthias is so awkward when it comes to romance, shy, unsure, meanwhile Nina is just like, full steam ahead!! I loved their story, and their fighting and bickering and banter

Jesper and Wylan: So there wasn’t much of their romance in Six of Crows, mostly just flirting here and there, but I am so excited to see this happen in Crooked Kingdom. They are actually the cutest.


My biggest gripe is that is a slow start for the first 100+ pages. That is before all of the characters assemble, so there’s not much happening, just introductions of the characters. My next issues are just my personal taste in books: I don’t like cliffhangers, and I wish there was more romance (yes, I know they were involved in a heist 99% of the time. No, my heart does NOT care!!!). Other than that, I loved this series for all that I mentioned above: writing, plot, characters, setting. It takes a little time to get into, but once you’re in — you’re in.
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LibraryThing member rivkat
Kaz is a criminal mastermind given the chance of a lifetime in his magical version of Amsterdam—go kidnap a high-value scientist who’s invented a drug that enhances the magic that some people can perform to turn them into addicted, dying superweapons. Given that the world is already divided
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into people who value those with magical talents, people who enslave them, and people who kill them as abominations, this drug is highly destabilizing, and the merchants of alt-Amsterdam want none of it. Kaz assembles a team of helpers, each with some amount of tragic backstory, and they go for this great heist. I read the book in a day; it was lively all the way, though it helped to think of the amazingly talented people as in their mid-twenties rather than being from fifteen to eighteen, as Bardugo had them. (Alternatively, Bardugo’s year is just longer than Earth years.)
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LibraryThing member mamzel
So often how I enjoy a book depends on what immediately preceded it. In this case I had just finished another book in the fantasy genre which featured a break in and unfortunately, this one suffered a tad in comparison.

With a kind of Oceans Eleven type plot, a mastermind collects a bunch of kids
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with different talents to break a man out of prison. They make this attempt on a night when a big masquerade party is held next door to the well-guarded prison. However, practically nothing goes right. Will the leader have enough alternate plans to succeed?
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LibraryThing member dmbkel41
This isn't a book I probably would have picked up myself and was a gift but what a great read! It took me a bit to get into and really understand the dynamic of the characters but then I couldn't put it down! Definitely recommend!


Soaring Eagle Book Award (First runner-up — 2017)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2018)
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2017)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

493 p.; 9.29 inches


1510106286 / 9781510106284
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