Six of Crows: A Book Review

Six of Crows: A Book Review

Jasmine Washington

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.” – Leigh Bardugoh, Six of Crows 

Kaz Brekker lives in Ketterdam, the city where trade, lying, and becoming rich can all happen in a second. He works as the leader of a branch of a gang, which involves two other characters: Jesper and Inej. Kaz is about to get the calling of a lifetime. However, there’s no way he’ll be able to complete this mission alone.

Working with one of the most well-respected merchants in Ketterdam, Kaz has to recruit a group of “criminals” in order to complete the heist being asked of him. What are they taking? Kuwei Yul-Bo, the son of a scientist who created something terrible. The reward? 30 million krunge – enough for Kaz and his crew to never worry about money again. The problem? Kuwei is held in the ice castle, a high-security castle guarded by well-trained soldiers.

As all of the characters are introduced in Six of Crows, I found myself absolutely adore every one of them. Each character in this book has their own personal backstory and goal in taking part in this heist. Jesper Fahey, the charismatic fool with revolvers, has a gambling issue. He tends to just spend and spend and spend…then he’s in debt. Though he would do anything for his friend Kaz, he knows going on this mission could save his father and the farm they work on. Inej Ghafa wants to finally get out of the city, escaping her traumatic past in pleasure homes. She knows that the money she’ll receive from this is enough to get on a ship and try to find her parents again. The problem? Kaz Brekker…

Wylan Van Eck is the son of another famous trader in Ketterdam, but he’s supposed to be dead. Being illiterate his entire life, Wylan has struggled to form a good relationship with his father. When he “vanishes” from the Van Eck estate, he has an extremely hard time having a good life in the city of Ketterdam. Taking up this heist is incredibly risky, but it may be the only way he’ll stay alive. Nina Zenik is a Grisha. These are people with certain powers that correlate with others. Her power is basically being a healer, where she can change and help the bodies of others. Nina’s curiosity about the juda perm – a science experiment that basically acts like steroids for Grisha – drives her to agree to the heist with Kaz Brekker. Plus, she knows who else is being thrown into the mix.

Matthias Helvar was a former soldier of another country. His people were extremely conservative and against the country that Nina comes from. Regardless of this, Matthias and Nina have a history together. They haven’t seen one another since Matthias was locked up in Ketterdam’s high-security prison and assigned the role of fighting beasts to the death. Kaz finds a way to break Matthias out of prison (pretty easily, in fact), and drags him along the mission with them. Though Matthias despises every second of him being near Nina or anyone else, he’s the only person who knows how to get around the ice castle. Finally, there’s the leader: Kaz Brekker. His goal? Revenge. He wants to avenge his brother, who, in his mind, died at the hands of a merchant who tricked the boys when they were younger.


What could be the problem with combining all these people together? Half of them find someone else attractive, and basically, all of them are on the brink of killing one another…


“No mourners. No funerals.” – Leigh Bardough, Six of Crows 


I seriously loved this book. All of the characters, except for maybe Matthias, are my favorite. They’re each incredibly unique and have their own reasons for joining the heist, and the bickering between these characters is extremely hilarious. The action involved in the book and the character development provided is incredibly amazing.

Though I do feel like the development of the plot was slow in the beginning, it was definitely worth it in the end. I liked how there was more to the book than the heist scene readers see at the end. I also really enjoyed the plot twists of Six of Crows, and how it sets you up for what’ll be in the second book of this duology – Crooked Kingdom. 

In terms of ratings, this book received a 4.4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, 4.7 out of 5 stars on Barnes and Noble, 4.5 out of 5 stars on Audible, and a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on the Amazon website. Hundreds of readers who have read this book seriously enjoyed it, making it no surprise that the second book is quickly bought after finishing this one.

Readers from Goodreads left their reviews after reading Six of Crows, and overall, the comments on this book are incredibly great. 

In their review of Six of Crows, Angela started it with, “Side effects of reading Six of Crows are, but not limited to: Shortness of breath. Heart palpitations. Nausea. Weak knees. Dehydration. Dizziness. Headache. Constant sweating. High blood-pressure. Congestive heart failure.” She goes on to say that while she was worried that the hype of Six of Crows would ruin the book for her, she was absolutely thankful that she read it. Towards the end of her review, Angela writes, “The first three parts of this book set the bait out, parts four and five have you snapping for the treat, and part six pulls you in. My jaw was on the floor 99% of this book.” 

In Elle’s review, she wrote, “Five solid stars. This book pulled me in from the beginning…Bardugo integrates a creative plot, interesting and morally grey characters, group dynamics and banter, a great writing style, and some really, really prime romance plots…There are very, very few books that I love wholeheartedly. This series truly is my favorite fantasy series of all time. There’s no competition whatsoever.” 

Jesse (JesseTheReader) wrote, “I had forgotten how rich this story is in detail. From the characters to the world, to the plot, everything is built up so beautifully. The ending gave me the chills and I need Crooked Kingdom right. Now.” 

If you’re interested in finding your new favorite book (or let’s face it, favorite character), I suggest this book fully. As the reviewers from Goodreads said, this book isn’t one that you’ll want to miss. It’s a literary masterpiece that’s also a complete mess of characters and plot. Readers who enjoy fantasy, action, adventure, romance, or even urban fantasy books are bound to fall in love with the world that Leigh Bardough creates. But just for the future, if you begin reading Six of Crows, make sure you’re able to find Crooked Kingdom immediately. It’s an ending you won’t want to miss.

“‘Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?’ ‘So?’ said Kaz. ‘Well, usually it’s just half the city.’” – Leigh Bardough, Crooked Kingdom

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