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Six of Crows: Book 1 Paperback – 12 July 2016
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Ocean's Eleven set in a Game of Thrones-esque world ... The result is a pacey read with electric prose and well-drawn characters ― THE INDEPENDENT Published On: 2015-11-13
Cracking page-turner with a multi-ethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family ― KIRKUS REVIEWS
Six of Crows is impossible to put down. Bardugo is a master at an ensemble cast, and it is a joy to see her wonderfully crafted characters come to life ... The fantastic plot is fast moving and full of twists and turns, but it is the fate of the characters that really draws the reader in. Bardugo has an incredible imagination and Six of Crows showcases her writing at its very best. ― BOOKTRUST Published On: 2015-09-30
Fast, thrilling heist fantasy, boasting a brilliant new cast of characters ― METRO Published On: 2015-11-30
A twisty and elegantly crafted masterpiece that thrilled me from beginning to end ― HOLLY BLACK
- Publisher : Orion Children's Books; 1st edition (12 July 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1780622287
- ISBN-13 : 978-1780622286
- Reading age : 12 - 16 years
- Dimensions : 12.8 x 3.8 x 19.6 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Let’s start with the positives shall we. The idea itself was really good and I loved Kaz and Inej. In fact it was their chapters and stories that kept me going and kept me wanting to read, especially Kaz with his attitude and antics. I loved Kaz so much.
Now for the negatives. For the most part I just didn’t care what happened and I wasn’t feeling all the usual emotions I feel while reading. I’m not sure if I just don’t click with Bardugos writing but I have struggled with all her books.
I’m glad that I saw this one through to the end and it did have some brilliant moments. Unfortunately for me though it just didn’t live up to the hype. I know so many people absolutely love these books though and I still can’t wait for the show. I’ll definitely still be bingeing the show like crazy.
Bardugo's Shadow and Bone was one of my favourite releases that year, but unfortunately the next books in that series paled in comparison. I hope that doesn't happen with this series as it has started really strong and ended on a great cliffhanger. I have high hopes for the series :)
But again, I still love the characters and the plot was interesting enough, I just wish it had less point of views, or just a couple of “main” characters.
Top reviews from other countries
People have been recommending Six of Crows to me for a long time now. It's a book I've always meant to get to - who doesn't love a heist story? - but this year I finally sat back, opened it up and was sucked into the seedy underbelly of Leigh Bardugo's fantasy world.
As someone who hasn't read Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy this world was entirely new to me, and I loved it. 2018 feels like the year in which I'm rediscovering my first love, fantasy, after several years of being intimidated by it for a reason I still can't quite put my finger on, and Ketterdam has to be one of my favourite fantastical places now purely because Bardugo brings it to life so vividly.
While Ravka, which we hear of but don't go to in this book, seems to be a Russian-inspired country, there's no doubt in my mind that Ketterdam is a fantastical version of Amsterdam, with its waterways, merchant-run economy, and the entire districts whose cogs are kept whirring by a constant stream of gambling and prostitution. The Barrel, not at all dissimilar from Amsterdam's Red Light District, is ruled by gangs, and one gangster in particular has Ketterdam in his pocket.
Kaz Brekker is one of the most compelling protagonists I have come across in a fantasy novel in a long time. From the blurb I thought he would be very different to the kind of boy he is, but I love how Bardugo has imagined him; she straddles the line between 'criminal prodigy' and 'only a 17 year old' beautifully, creating a character who's had to grow up far too fast and has the dirt of the worst and best of humanity wedged under his fingernails. He's like that first sip of a bitter coffee in human form. It was also so refreshing to read about a protagonist who needs the assistance of a cane to walk and I'd like more protagonists like this please!
What makes Six of Crows really sing is its characters. The setting is brilliant and the plot is wonderful, but the characters are what make this book - dare I say it - perfect. Alongside Kaz we have his right-hand woman Inej Ghafa, who was stolen from her home and her family as a child and sold into human trafficking before she began working for the Dregs. Known as the Wraith, she's an expert at going undetected and is yet another example of Bardugo's wonderfully complex characters. Inej's faith is important to her and her morality is something she struggles with when she has essentially become Kaz's personal assassin, but how else is she supposed to survive in a land that sees her as a commodity that can be sold for profit?
I loved Bardugo's exploration of religion through Inej and through Matthias, another protagonist from Fjerda, the country next to Ravka, who has essentially been raised in a cult of witch hunters whose own religion teaches that Grisha aren't human. Like all six of the protagonists in Six of Crows, Matthias has found himself washed up in Ketterdam by accident, beginning the novel in prison thanks to a Grisha, Nina, who serves as another protagonist. I'll be saying this for all of them, but I loved Nina, too. A child soldier from Ravka, she was forced to work with Matthias, a boy trained to kill her, after the ship they were on sank and they found their way to Ketterdam. Nina is bubbly and vivacious and loves food - who doesn't? - and I particularly loved her friendship with Inej. There's no competition between them, just the utmost affection and respect and when I say I want more female friendships this is what I mean.
Then we have Jesper Fahey, another member of the Dregs who loves gambling and guns a little too much, but another character who is complex and, though flawed, incredibly loyal to Kaz. I adored his sense of humour and his shameless bisexuality. Finally there's Wylan, a boy with a knack for explosives and keeping secrets. He's the kind of character that grows on you as the story progresses, and once you get to know him you can't help but love him.
Six of Crows works because each of its protagonists are fleshed out and such fun to follow separately, but they also have brilliant chemistry as a group, too, which is for the best considering they have to rely on each other to pull off a heist that's believed to be impossible. Kaz makes a deal with one of Ketterdam's merchants to break into the Fjerdan Ice Court - a place that has never been breached - and smuggle out a prisoner associated with a drug that, when used on Grisha, turns them into unstoppable weapons who crave the drug more and more and eventually die as nothing more than husks of their previous selves.
Kaz doesn't take on this mission out of the goodness of his heart to liberate the Grisha who are being mistreated or to bring order back to the world of the merchants, he takes on the mission because each of them will be rewarded with an inordinate amount of money that will pay off their individual debts and set them up comfortably for life. What ensues is a twisty, turny heist story that keeps you guessing at every turn and makes you genuinely worry for the characters' safety. I love that Bardugo doesn't make this story safe. Kaz has a plan and his plan has a plan, but when things go wrong - and they really do - these kids are forced to improvise if they're going to live to claim their reward.
It's been a few months now since I finished this book and I'm still thinking about it. The plotting and character development is exquisite. I fell for this book and these characters and this world so hard, and it's safe to say that this duology is now one of my all-time favourite series and this book has definitely earned a spot on my favourite books of all-time list. It was such fun to read, and it reignited not only my love for fantasy but also my love for YA done well. I escaped into a different world where all the threats and the tears and the love and the smiles felt real, and I will be gushing about it for a long time. And I'm not sorry.
So I finally yielded to peer pressure and picked it up last month.
I was a bit nervous about it because I was not well versed in the Grishaverse and because of the hype. The initial few chapters didn’t do anything to allay my fears. But I hate dnf-ing books and decided to stick with it. And boy- oh -boy, was I glad I did that.
Eventhough there was too much of the world and the characters to get used to, once you get oriented, the book is unputdownable. The fact that it is a heist rather than a revolution, which is the norm for fantasy, made it all the more interesting.
The care with which the characters are created is evident in each and every page of the book. Eventhough I loved Kaz, Mathias, Nina, Jesper and Wylan, Inej managed to borrow a tiny corner of my heart. There are either character driven novels or plot driven novels. It is extremely rare to find a book where both the plot and the characters are both so well developed and well etched that they sweep you off your feet. Hats off to Leigh Bardugo for managing to do that with such èlan.
Everything you need, SoC has it. Humor, romance, friendships, twists, turns and lots and lots of action. It as an epic tale of complex characters, amazing word building and a gripping plot.
The hype is real people. I repeat THE HYPE IS REAL!!! It would be a crime to miss this one. Stop procrastinating!!!
What happened to the rest of the book? Really disappointed that this finished with such a cliff hanger.
I hate it when books are released and the story finishes half way through. There is no real end to speak of it just stops abruptly.
So many questions are left unanswered - I shall not be buying the next book. Disgusted that I paid over £10 for this book - its going straight in the bin.
I was so unengaged when I first tried to read Six of Crows back in March. I couldn't put my finger on it - it just wasn't clicking for me, and I stopped at around 25%. But four months down the line and it was like I was reading it with completely new story.
There's something about the concept that makes this book so consuming. A world of magic and underlying disorder, six criminals and a hiest. It's hard not to get sucked in.
I adore stories with an ensamble of characters and the fact that they are a band of misfits makes it all the better. We've got:
- Kaz, a young criminal mastermind who runs the streets
- Inej, a brilliant spy who can vanish in the blink of an eye
- Nina, a confident Grisha with the power to kill with a look
- Matthias, a witch hunter who is presumed dead
- Jesper, a gambling gunslinger who loves the rush of a fight
- and Wylan, a runaway rich kid with a gift for mechanics
Together they are the Crow Club, and they take on an suicide mission for wealth beyond their wildest dreams. How awesome is that?!
The characters are awesome, but there are a lot of them. Each of them have their own backstory which I think took a lot of time out of the book from the present day plot, and away from there being any solid protagonist. I would have preferred a fully omniscient 3rd person narrator rather than abrupt changes in 3rd person perspectives, which would've made reading more like shifting from one character's mind to another, which would've made connecting the puzzle pieces of the characters and their motives a lot more fun than simply being told.
Despite Six of Crows being a spin off of The Grisha series, reading them isn't necessary to fully enjoy this book. The worldbuilding and development had all the flare of a standalone story, and it was so good to see it from the eyes of such a diverse range of characters. It really enabled the world to expand to beyond a couple of locations, which makes it unique to other fantasy novels which tend to focus only on one.
Six of Crows is a YA story that is fresh and new from anything I've read before - it's no wonder it's taken the blogosphere by storm. Take note, other writers - this is how you grab your readers.
Diversity Note: POC and queer protagonists
Warnings: blood, torture, violence
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker 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.
Oh, how I've missed my angsty YA stories.
I'm a sucker for a book filled with twists and heartache. Six of Crows has certainly help fill the Cassandra Clare void I've been in since Clockwork Princess!
I've had this book a while and finally caved to the Kaz Brekker hype...
And I'm here to stay for it!
This book was full of twists and turns (predictable in that I never doubted Kaz always had something up his sleeve).
The writing style was addictive enough that it pulled me through the multiple character POVs. I tend to have a habit of skimming through 'lesser characters' POVs in most stories - but I found that I enjoyed reading through all five of them in Six of Crows.
I'm emotionally invested in each of the main characters and that's rare for me. They all have their own horrific backgrounds and I can't wait to read through their development in the next book!
I'm diving straight into Crooked Kingdom because if my heart is going to be broken - I just want to get it over with!
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
Kaz knew death. He could feel its presence on the ship now, looming over them, ready to take his Wraith. He was covered in her blood.
The autumn leaf might cling to its branch, but it was already dead. The only question was when it would fall.
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.
She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and got drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.