Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows
Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt & Co./MacMillan
Published September 29, 2015

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Kaz Brekker, a renown thief, has a chance at a heist that could make him rich as a king. But in order to pull it off, he’ll need the right crew. He chooses a girl as sleek as a ninja, a wealthy runaway with inside knowledge of the target, a sharpshooting gambler, a Heartrender with terrible power and tortured past, and her once lover, a soldier who has sworn to kill her. If he can keep the team from killing each other, they might have a chance at the heist, and for Kaz, at a revenge of his own.

At more than 450 pages, this novel is longer than my usual read. I’d heard so much buzz about it, though, that I couldn’t resist giving it a shot. Now, after I’ve recovered from sleepless nights huddled in my bed reading far too late, I can say it was absolutely worth it. Not since reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak have I read a novel that has affected me so.

The characters immediately hooked me. Each one of the heist members is unique and has so much to lose if the job goes wrong. I loved the way Bardugo set up the romantic tension. I was absolutely dying for the couples to find their way through the conflict to at last reveal their true feelings for one another. Totally swoon-worthy. Wow.

At its heart, Six of Crows is a pretty simple story about a team who get hired to steal something valuable. What makes it so truly spectacular is the complex story world in which the characters exist and the relationships and experiences that bind the characters together or drive them apart. The narrative is also fantastic. Fantasy lovers absolutely need to give this a read. Even if you didn’t enjoy Bardugo’s Grisha books, trust me and give this one a go. This was my first experience with her writing, and afterward I went back to read the first in the Grisha series. The style and the story are so different. It took me a lot longer to get into Shadow and Bone. Not that it isn’t good, I just feel like it’s a mistake to compare them.

Now I’m off to scratch another mark on my wall counting down to the release of Empire of Crows next year. Must. Have. More.

Language Content
Infrequent use of profanity.

Sexual Content
While there’s no explicit sex, there are some intense moments. Nina and Inej both have a history working in a brothel, though very few details are given about that, and Nina uses her Heartrender gift to soothe and calm the minds of her patrons rather than the… ahem… more traditionally employed brothel approach. Nina and Matthias have a history and she makes a couple of crude comments about his arousal, but there is no description of sex.

Spiritual Content
The story includes some fantasy story world lore, especially Fjerdan traditions.

Fight scenes, references to torture, some moderately gory battles. Also, one character has a bit of a gruesome (but SO genius!!) backstory with regard to being trapped among dead bodies.

Drug Content
Grisha are vulnerable to a highly addictive drug which grossly amplifies their power. Exposure to even one dose can turn them into desperate, terrorized addicts.

What’s the last book you read that left you totally breathless?

When I finished this book, I just sat speechless for a few moments. Then I honestly had to stop myself from turning the book over and starting again! I loved loved loved it and cannot wait for the sequel.


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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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