The Grishaverse will be coming to Netflix soon with Shadow and Bone, an original series!
Enter the Grishaverse with the #1 New York Times–bestselling Six of Crows.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right priceand 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 destructionif they don't kill each other first.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunityand the adventureof a lifetime.
“Six of Crows is a twisty and elegantly crafted masterpiece that thrilled me from the beginning to end.” –New York Times-bestselling author Holly Black
“Six of Crows [is] one of those all-too-rare, unputdownable books that keeps your eyes glued to the page and your brain scrambling to figure out what’s going to happen next.” –Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra
“There's conflict between morality and amorality and an appetite for sometimes grimace-inducing violence that recalls the Game of Thrones series. But for every bloody exchange there are pages of crackling dialogue and sumptuous description. Bardugo dives deep into this world, with full color and sound. If you're not careful, it'll steal all your time.” The New York Times Book Review
Praise for the Grishaverse
“A master of fantasy.” The Huffington Post
“Utterly, extremely bewitching.” The Guardian
“The best magic universe since Harry Potter.” Bustle
“This is what fantasy is for.” The New York Times Book Review
“[A] world that feels real enough to have its own passport stamp.” NPR
“The darker it gets for the good guys, the better.” Entertainment Weekly
“Sultry, sweeping and picturesque. . . . Impossible to put down.” USA Today
“There’s a level of emotional and historical sophistication within Bardugo’s original epic fantasy that sets it apart.” Vanity Fair
“Unlike anything I’ve ever read.” Veronica Roth, bestselling author of Divergent
“Bardugo crafts a first-rate adventure, a poignant romance, and an intriguing mystery!” Rick Riordan, bestselling author of the Percy Jackson series
“This is a great choice for teenage fans of George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien.” RT Book Reviews
Read all the books in the Grishaverse!
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy
(previously published as The Grisha Trilogy)
Shadow and Bone
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising
The Six of Crows Duology
Six of Crows
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
About the Author
Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times–bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over two million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and The Language of Thornswith more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including Some of the Best from Tor.com and The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and the forthcoming Ninth House. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and even makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.
Read an Excerpt
Six of Crows
By Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and CompanyCopyright © 2015 Leigh Bardugo
All rights reserved.
Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.
He was supposed to be making his rounds at the Hoede house, but for the last fifteen minutes, he'd been hovering around the southeast wall of the gardens, trying to think of something clever and romantic to say to Anya.
If only Anya's eyes were blue like the sea or green like an emerald. Instead, her eyes were brown — lovely, dreamy ... melted chocolate brown? Rabbit fur brown?
"Just tell her she's got skin like moonlight," his friend Pieter had said. "Girls love that."
A perfect solution, but the Ketterdam weather was not cooperating. There'd been no breeze off the harbor that day, and a gray milk fog had wreathed the city's canals and crooked alleys in damp. Even here among the mansions of the Geldstraat, the air hung thick with the smell of fish and bilge water, and smoke from the refineries on the city's outer islands had smeared the night sky in a briny haze. The full moon looked less like a jewel than a yellowy blister in need of lancing.
Maybe he could compliment Anya's laugh? Except he'd never heard her laugh. He wasn't very good with jokes.
Joost glanced at his reflection in one of the glass panels set into the double doors that led from the house to the side garden. His mother was right. Even in his new uniform, he still looked like a baby. Gently, he brushed his finger along his upper lip. If only his mustache would come in. It definitely felt thicker than yesterday.
He'd been a guard in the stadwatch less than six weeks, and it wasn't nearly as exciting as he'd hoped. He thought he'd be running down thieves in the Barrel or patrolling the harbors, getting first look at cargo coming in on the docks. But ever since the assassination of that ambassador at the town hall, the Merchant Council had been grumbling about security, so where was he? Stuck walking in circles at some lucky mercher's house. Not just any mercher, though. Councilman Hoede was about as high placed in Ketterdam government as a man could be. The kind of man who could make a career.
Joost adjusted the set of his coat and rifle, then patted the weighted baton at his hip. Maybe Hoede would take a liking to him. Sharp-eyed and quick with the cudgel, Hoede would say. That fellow deserves a promotion.
"Sergeant Joost Van Poel," he whispered, savoring the sound of the words. "Captain Joost Van Poel."
"Stop gawking at yourself."
Joost whirled, cheeks going hot as Henk and Rutger strode into the side garden. They were both older, bigger, and broader of shoulder than Joost, and they were house guards, private servants of Councilman Hoede. That meant they wore his pale green livery, carried fancy rifles from Novyi Zem, and never let Joost forget he was a lowly grunt from the city watch.
"Petting that bit of fuzz isn't going to make it grow any faster," Rutger said with a loud laugh.
Joost tried to summon some dignity. "I need to finish my rounds."
Rutger elbowed Henk. "That means he's going to go stick his head in the Grisha workshop to get a look at his girl."
"Oh, Anya, won't you use your Grisha magic to make my mustache grow?" Henk mocked.
Joost turned on his heel, cheeks burning, and strode down the eastern side of the house. They'd been teasing him ever since he'd arrived. If it hadn't been for Anya, he probably would have pleaded with his captain for a reassignment. He and Anya only ever exchanged a few words on his rounds, but she was always the best part of his night.
And he had to admit, he liked Hoede's house, too, the few peeks he'd managed through the windows. Hoede had one of the grandest mansions on the Geldstraat — floors set with gleaming squares of black and white stone, shining dark wood walls lit by blown-glass chandeliers that floated like jellyfish near the coffered ceilings. Sometimes Joost liked to pretend that it was his house, that he was a rich mercher just out for a stroll through his fine garden.
Before he rounded the corner, Joost took a deep breath. Anya, your eyes are brown like ... tree bark? He'd think of something. He was better off being spontaneous anyway.
He was surprised to see the glass-paneled doors to the Grisha workshop open. More than the hand-painted blue tiles in the kitchen or the mantels laden with potted tulips, this workshop was a testimony to Hoede's wealth. Grisha indentures didn't come cheap, and Hoede had three of them.
But Yuri wasn't seated at the long worktable, and Anya was nowhere to be seen. Only Retvenko was there, sprawled out on a chair in dark blue robes, eyes shut, a book open on his chest.
Joost hovered in the doorway, then cleared his throat. "These doors should be shut and locked at night."
"House is like furnace," Retvenko drawled without opening his eyes, his Ravkan accent thick and rolling. "Tell Hoede I stop sweating, I close doors."
Retvenko was a Squaller, older than the other Grisha indentures, his hair shot through with silver. There were rumors he'd fought for the losing side in Ravka's civil war and had fled to Kerch after the fighting.
"I'd be happy to present your complaints to Councilman Hoede," Joost lied. The house was always overheated, as if Hoede were under obligation to burn coal, but Joost wasn't going to be the one to mention it. "Until then —"
"You bring news of Yuri?" Retvenko interrupted, finally opening his heavily hooded eyes.
Joost glanced uneasily at the bowls of red grapes and heaps of burgundy velvet on the worktable. Yuri had been working on bleeding color from the fruit into curtains for Mistress Hoede, but he'd fallen badly ill a few days ago, and Joost hadn't seen him since. Dust had begun to gather on the velvet, and the grapes were going bad.
"I haven't heard anything."
"Of course you hear nothing. Too busy strutting around in stupid purple uniform."
What was wrong with his uniform? And why did Retvenko even have to be here? He was Hoede's personal Squaller and often traveled with the merchant's most precious cargos, guaranteeing favorable winds to bring the ships safely and quickly to harbor. Why couldn't he be away at sea now?
"I think Yuri may be quarantined."
"So helpful," Retvenko said with a sneer. "You can stop craning neck like hopeful goose," he added. "Anya is gone."
Joost felt his face heat again. "Where is she?" he asked, trying to sound authoritative. "She should be in after dark."
"One hour ago, Hoede takes her. Same as night he came for Yuri."
"What do you mean, 'he came for Yuri'? Yuri fell ill."
"Hoede comes for Yuri, Yuri comes back sick. Two days later, Yuri vanishes for good. Now Anya."
"Maybe there was an emergency. If someone needed to be healed —"
"First Yuri, now Anya. I will be next, and no one will notice except poor little Officer Joost. Go now."
"If Councilman Hoede —"
Retvenko raised an arm and a gust of air slammed Joost backward. Joost scrambled to keep his footing, grabbing for the doorframe.
"I said now." Retvenko etched a circle in the air, and the door slammed shut. Joost let go just in time to avoid having his fingers smashed, and toppled into the side garden.
He got to his feet as quickly as he could, wiping muck from his uniform, shame squirming in his belly. One of the glass panes in the door had cracked from the force. Through it, he saw the Squaller smirking.
"That's counting against your indenture," Joost said, pointing to the ruined pane. He hated how small and petty his voice sounded.
Retvenko waved his hand, and the doors trembled on their hinges. Without meaning to, Joost took a step back.
"Go make your rounds, little watchdog," Retvenko called.
"That went well," snickered Rutger, leaning against the garden wall.
How long had he been standing there? "Don't you have something better to do than follow me around?" Joost asked.
"All guards are to report to the boathouse. Even you. Or are you too busy making friends?"
"I was asking him to shut the door."
Rutger shook his head. "You don't ask. You tell. They're servants. Not honored guests."
Joost fell into step beside him, insides still churning with humiliation. The worst part was that Rutger was right. Retvenko had no business talking to him that way. But what was Joost supposed to do? Even if he'd had the courage to get into a fight with a Squaller, it would be like brawling with an expensive vase. The Grisha weren't just servants; they were Hoede's treasured possessions.
What had Retvenko meant about Yuri and Anya being taken, anyway? Had he been covering for Anya? Grisha indentures were kept to the house for good reason. To walk the streets without protection was to risk getting plucked up by a slaver and never seen again. Maybe she's meeting someone, Joost speculated miserably.
His thoughts were interrupted by the blaze of light and activity down by the boathouse that faced the canal. Across the water he could see other fine mercher houses, tall and slender, the tidy gables of their rooftops making a dark silhouette against the night sky, their gardens and boathouses lit by glowing lanterns.
A few weeks before, Joost had been told that Hoede's boathouse would be undergoing improvements and to strike it from his rounds. But when he and Rutger entered, he saw no paint or scaffolding. The gondels and oars had been pushed up against the walls. The other house guards were there in their sea-green livery, and Joost recognized two stadwatch guards in purple. But most of the interior was taken up by a huge box — a kind of freestanding cell that looked like it was made from reinforced steel, its seams thick with rivets, a huge window embedded in one of its walls. The glass had a wavy bent, and through it, Joost could see a girl seated at a table, clutching her red silks tight around her. Behind her, a stadwatch guard stood at attention.
Anya, Joost realized with a start. Her brown eyes were wide and frightened, her skin pale. The little boy sitting across from her looked doubly terrified. His hair was sleep-mussed, and his legs dangled from the chair, kicking nervously at the air.
"Why all the guards?" asked Joost. There had to be more than ten of them crowded into the boathouse. Councilman Hoede was there, too, along with a merchant Joost didn't know, both of them dressed in mercher black. Joost stood up straighter when he saw they were talking to the captain of the stadwatch. He hoped he'd gotten all the garden mud off of his uniform. "What is this?" Rutger shrugged. "Who cares? It's a break in the routine."
Joost looked back through the glass. Anya was staring out at him, her gaze unfocused. The day he'd arrived at Hoede house, she'd healed a bruise on his cheek. It had been nothing, the yellow-green remnants of a crack he'd taken to the face during a training exercise, but apparently Hoede had caught sight of it and didn't like his guards looking like thugs. Joost had been sent to the Grisha workshop, and Anya had sat him down in a bright square of late winter sunlight. Her cool fingers had passed over his skin, and though the itch had been terrible, bare seconds later it was as if the bruise had never been.
When Joost thanked her, Anya smiled and Joost was lost. He knew his cause was hopeless. Even if she'd had any interest in him, he could never afford to buy her indenture from Hoede, and she would never marry unless Hoede decreed it. But it hadn't stopped him from dropping by to say hello or to bring her little gifts. She'd liked the map of Kerch best, a whimsical drawing of their island nation, surrounded by mermaids swimming in the True Sea and ships blown along by winds depicted as fat-cheeked men. It was a cheap souvenir, the kind tourists bought along East Stave, but it had seemed to please her.
Now he risked raising a hand in greeting. Anya showed no reaction.
"She can't see you, moron," laughed Rutger. "The glass is mirrored on the other side."
Joost's cheeks pinked. "How was I to know that?"
"Open your eyes and pay attention for once."
First Yuri, now Anya. "Why do they need a Grisha Healer? Is that boy injured?"
"He looks fine to me."
The captain and Hoede seemed to reach some kind of agreement.
Through the glass, Joost saw Hoede enter the cell and give the boy an encouraging pat. There must have been vents in the cell because he heard Hoede say, "Be a brave lad, and there's a few kruge in it for you." Then he grabbed Anya's chin with a liver-spotted hand. She tensed, and Joost's gut tightened. Hoede gave Anya's head a little shake. "Do as you're told, and this will soon be over, ja?"
She gave a small, tight smile. "Of course, Onkle."
Hoede whispered a few words to the guard behind Anya, then stepped out. The door shut with a loud clang, and Hoede slid a heavy lock into place.
Hoede and the other merchant took positions almost directly in front of Joost and Rutger.
The merchant Joost didn't know said, "You're sure this is wise? This girl is a Corporalnik. After what happened to your Fabrikator —"
"If it was Retvenko, I'd be worried. But Anya has a sweet disposition. She's a Healer. Not prone to aggression."
"And you've lowered the dose?"
"Yes, but we're agreed that if we have the same results as the Fabrikator, the Council will compensate me? I can't be asked to bear that expense."
When the merchant nodded, Hoede signaled to the captain. "Proceed."
The same results as the Fabrikator. Retvenko claimed Yuri had vanished. Was that what he'd meant?
"Sergeant," said the captain, "are you ready?"
The guard inside the cell replied, "Yes, sir." He drew a knife.
Joost swallowed hard.
"First test," said the captain.
The guard bent forward and told the boy to roll up his sleeve. The boy obeyed and stuck out his arm, popping the thumb of his other hand into his mouth. Too old for that, thought Joost. But the boy must be very scared. Joost had slept with a sock bear until he was nearly fourteen, a fact his older brothers had mocked mercilessly.
"This will sting just a bit," said the guard.
The boy kept his thumb in his mouth and nodded, eyes round.
"This really isn't necessary —" said Anya.
"Quiet, please," said Hoede.
The guard gave the boy a pat then slashed a bright red cut across his forearm. The boy started crying immediately.
Anya tried to rise from her chair, but the guard placed a stern hand on her shoulder.
"It's all right, sergeant," said Hoede. "Let her heal him."
Anya leaned forward, taking the boy's hand gently. "Shhhh," she said softly. "Let me help."
"Will it hurt?" the boy gulped.
She smiled. "Not at all. Just a little itch. Try to hold still for me?"
Joost found himself leaning closer. He'd never actually seen Anya heal someone.
Anya removed a handkerchief from her sleeve and wiped away the excess blood. Then her fingers brushed carefully over the boy's wound. Joost watched in astonishment as the skin slowly seemed to re-form and knit together.
A few minutes later, the boy grinned and held out his arm. It looked a bit red, but was otherwise smooth and unmarked. "Was that magic?"
Anya tapped him on the nose. "Of a sort. The same magic your own body works when given time and a bit of bandage."
The boy looked almost disappointed.
"Good, good," Hoede said impatiently. "Now the parem."
Joost frowned. He'd never heard that word.
The captain signaled to his sergeant. "Second sequence."
"Put out your arm," the sergeant said to the boy once again.
The boy shook his head. "I don't like that part."
The boy's lower lip quivered, but he put out his arm. The guard cut him once more. Then he placed a small wax paper envelope on the table in front of Anya.
"Swallow the contents of the packet," Hoede instructed Anya.
"What is it?" she asked, voice trembling.
"That isn't your concern."
"What is it?" she repeated.
"It's not going to kill you. We're going to ask you to perform some simple tasks to judge the drug's effects. The sergeant is there to make sure you do only what you're told and no more, understood?" Her jaw set, but she nodded.
"No one will harm you," said Hoede. "But remember, if you hurt the sergeant, you have no way out of that cell. The doors are locked from the outside."
"What is that stuff?" whispered Joost.
"Don't know," said Rutger.
Excerpted from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Copyright © 2015 Leigh Bardugo. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Shadow Business,
Chapter 1: Joost,
Chapter 2: Inej,
Chapter 3: Kaz,
Chapter 4: Inej,
Chapter 5: Kaz,
Chapter 6: Nina,
Part 2: Servant and Lever,
Chapter 7: Matthias,
Chapter 8: Jesper,
Chapter 9: Kaz,
Chapter 10: Inej,
Chapter 11: Jesper,
Chapter 12: Inej,
Chapter 13: Kaz,
Chapter 14: Nina,
Chapter 15: Matthias,
Part 3: Heartsick,
Chapter 16: Inej,
Chapter 17: Jesper,
Chapter 18: Kaz,
Chapter 19: Matthias,
Chapter 20: Nina,
Part 4: The Trick to Falling,
Chapter 21: Inej,
Chapter 22: Kaz,
Chapter 23: Jesper,
Chapter 24: Nina,
Chapter 25: Inej,
Chapter 26: Kaz,
Part 5: The Ice Does Not Forgive,
Chapter 27: Jesper,
Chapter 28: Inej,
Chapter 29: Matthias,
Chapter 30: Jesper,
Chapter 31: Nina,
Chapter 32: Jesper,
Chapter 33: Inej,
Chapter 34: Nina,
Chapter 35: Matthias,
Chapter 36: Jesper,
Chapter 37: Nina,
Chapter 38: Kaz,
Part 6: Proper Thieves,
Chapter 39: Inej,
Chapter 40: Nina,
Chapter 41: Matthias,
Chapter 42: Inej,
Chapter 43: Nina,
Chapter 44: Jesper,
Chapter 45: Kaz,
Chapter 46: Pekka,
Shadow and Bone Teaser,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A little long, but ver detailed and action-packed. A good book if you are looking for an exciting thing to read.
I usually don't enjoy books that seem as dark as this, but the story was well told and enjoyable. I don't think the summary sounds as exciting as it really is. Great character development and some twists that keep you turning pages.
This book was confusing at first but once it got started I couldn't stop reading! The hints of romance keep me wanting more and the overall plot was very unique and exciting
I absolutely loved it. The characters are vivid and the imagery makes you feel like you are actually there. It's funny and interesting. It's a book that you want to read and then re read to see if you missed anything.
I loved this book it was absolutely wonderful it's action packed, has great characters and kept my eyes glued to the pages.
A fun read. In many ways it's a lot like Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora but with better female characters. And less bromance. Was afraid the latent romance aspect would get goopy but the novel stays away from that, which is nice. Highly enjoyable. I'll be reading the next one for sure!
Quick start and fast paced throughout. The story is told through several perspectives which illustrate both past predicaments and current roles. You will become easily attached to more than one character and will be left hanging at the end. Fantastic world, non stop action, mystery and maybe even a bit of romance. Cannot wait to read the second one.
Can't for the next one! Inej and Nina are so cool. I love the strong women in this book. They don't loose one bit of their feminity, they have their insecurity but keep going. The whole intrigue and suspens is well written as well.
SQUAD GOALS!!!!!!!! Do yourself a favor and read this book. You will immediately want to pour the story into the eyes of every single person you know because you NEED to talk about it. The action is non-stop. The characters are A++++ and there isn't a single person out of the main six that you won't care about. Just read the book. Seriously.
I love this book it's so good
I loved this book. It was so well-written and the characters (especially Kaz ;) were so lively as well as lovely. It was a little confusing at first, but nevertheless it was a stellar plot. I especially enjoyed how the charcter's backround stories were explained as their values shone through. If you want a romantic and brain-scrambling novel full of twists and suprises, this book is for you!
These characters are truly something else. The plot may be incredible and the world exquisite, but it's the six main characters that keep me coming back to reread. They're hilarious in their darkest moments and simply magnetic. I love this book.
What I loved about this book was how well crafted the characters were. The storyline is great. I enjoyed falling in love with the characters. One by one, they took up residence in my heart. I can't wait for book two! Hands down, one of the best written young adult books of my time.
I love heist/con books. I’m always the mark looking the other way, not seeing the weak spot no one’s watching. They keep me on my toes & I rarely guess where they’re going. This one is a compelling and suspenseful tale metaphorically addressing demographically divided cities with hidden dark sides we so rarely openly discuss - intense prejudice, addiction, homelessness, prostitution, PTSD/mental illness...no one quite landing of their own volition. In writing style, not content, this really reminds me of the Hunger Games. It holds nothing back in its violence and honesty, but it isn’t really very detailed either - reading it almost reads like a film treatment, just as Hunger Games did. Though, without the ever repetitive sound of Katniss deciding between two lovers I would say this is the better book. Glad I had the second on hand to dive right into. And hope the film treatment aspect of this book rightly serves its purpose into eventual adaptation.
It’s rare that I enjoy a book with an ensemble cast. It usually feels too disjointed, too scattered. I was hooked on the story, however, and it was so easy to read that I was already halfway through before I realized that I cared about ALL the characters way more than I expected to. Watching their backstory unfurl, even as they’re experiencing this new, Ocean’s 11-esque adventure, is a delicate balancing act that Bardugo handles really well. These characters are all deeply flawed in their own ways, and their arcs are fascinating and wonderful. Their relationships are so intriguing, because they’re all on different levels of their own personal journeys. Sometimes they don’t match up with each other, and that makes for a suspenseful read. I haven’t read anything else in the Grishaverse yet, but I really like Bardugo’s writing and characters, and the world is intriguing. I’m excited to read the sequel to Six of Crows, and more by Leigh Bardugo.
A great different kind of story!! Loved the characters and plot. Lots of action, wise cracks, and chaos! Great character development. And a crazy cliffhanger ending!!! I need to read the next book now! Loved returning to the Grishaverse!
Well, what can I say about this transcendental book that hasn't already been voiced? Not much I know, but allow me to unload the mountain of feels that I have garnered from this book. This is my second time reading this book and the effect on me is not much changed from the first time. I first read this book a few months after it was first released and fell head over heels in love with everything about this book. Rereading the book has only strengthened my obsession with this amazing story. This book slammed into me full force, knocked me off my axis, and gut-kicked me for good measure. An assault I loved every moment of. I fell in love with Bardugo's Grishaverse when I read the Shadow and Bone series. Then I read this and was so in awe of this world. I loved being able to see another part of this incredible world that she has created. There are many elements from the Shadow and Bone trilogy included in Six of Crows but we see a different view, a different way of life, and a few different countries within the Grishaverse. Bardugo is so skilled in differentiating each culture and creating a perfect image of them in the readers' heads. She accounts for political viewpoints, weather, traditions, day to day life, dress, and how these different cultures view the rest of the world. The world building is truly brilliant. You can tell how much Bardugo has grown as an author with the plot of this story. Simply put, it is damn incredible. Each plot point is intricately woven into the overall story to create a masterpiece that is truly grand. The way that the pieces of the story fit so immaculately makes my little fangirl heart cheer like mad. It's just so impressive. The twists and reveals in the story are ones that you won't expect and they all have such a big impact. Equally impressive are the characters. Never in my life have I read about a more deliciously malicious yet morally gray set of characters, and I love each and every one! I really loved the progression of each character's backstory throughout the novel and how it affects their actions in the present. I love how fierce each of these characters is, yet vulnerable at the same time. What makes them vulnerable also makes them fierce. These characters all have tragic pasts that haunt them and/or addictions and inner demons to fight. They haven't had the best hand dealt to them, but they have used this to make them stronger. To make them survivors. While I love each personal journey, I also love the camaraderie and relationships that are formed. The romantic aspects of this book are very subtle. There are definite feelings between certain characters but it isn't told so much in a physical way. It is told in the concise words of the characters and their actions. I really found the budding romance between certain characters incredibly beautiful. I certainly have a soft spot for tortured souls finding love and this book is a menagerie for that trope. Overall, this is a book that I will always cherish. I will come back to this story again and again for these characters that have imprinted on my soul, this harsh world that is displayed so vividly, and a story that will always stick with me. If you have not experienced Bardugo's Grishaverse then you are missing out on a truly exceptional world. These stories are soul-shattering and it is a hurt that you will beg for more of.
It took me quite some time to get to this book, mostly because I never managed to read the original Grisha trilogy, I tried several times to get started with it, but there was something about it that didn’t quite suck me in. Eventually though, I gave up that series and decided to dig into Six of Crows even though I had not read the Grisha trilogy in advance. And I am happy that I did because Six of Crows was an easy read that pulled me in rather quickly. In Six of Crows we follow a group of six criminals from a gang called the Dregs, and when their leader, Kaz, gets a job that would change their lives forever, he can’t say no, despite the job being as impossible as it gets. So, in this book, we get to come along on the quest as they set out to break into one of the most secure prisoners in Fjerda. There’s a lot of things that I really enjoy in this book, but also a few things that slightly annoyed me. But for the most part this is a great read and the way the author has managed to keep the reader invested in all three characters and their separate POVs is impressive, not once did I feel like any of the characters were unnecessary or flat. Every character is well developed with interesting backstory and there’s also a lot going on in their relationships and thanks to the separate POV’s you get a very intimate connection to each an ever characters emotions and reasons to what they do. It’s, like I said, beautifully crafted and the writing too is beautiful and vivid. The wordbuiling is great and Bardugo manages to incorporate details of the world and the scenery in the story without it feeling heavy with information. It all flows very well, and as I read it was easy to picture the scenes. The plot was interesting, full of twists and turns and seeing the team’s job take shape from the eyes of multiple POVs made for a very interesting read and also gave the heist that sense of mystery and surprise that we’re used to seeing on tv and in movies. As for the things that I didn’t quite like it was not bad enough to really make a difference in the overall rating, but it was still things that stuck out to me. The first being that I felt like the heist sometimes got overshadowed by massive bits of backstory. The backstory itself didn’t bother me because they were interesting and great, and they made me understand and connect with the character a lot more, but I didn’t feel like they were necessary for the story in that elaborated manor they had been written in, less information had been enough and kept the pacing of the main plot more consistent. So, even though I enjoyed learning about the characters pasts and the reasons they ended up in the gang, I would have preferred more focus on the heist itself. The second thing is the beginning. It was unnecessary and pointless. Why make us invested in Joost and Anya just to basically never mention them again? I get the point of showing what the drug could do, but there must have been a better way to do it. The third thing is related to the Fjerdans and primarily their language. The Fjerdan’s are, according to what I’ve read from interviews with Leigh Bardugo, heavily influenced by Scandinavia, and more specifically Sweden and Norway. As a swede, I can totally see that, and I knew that it is a fictional language and that my own language has been used as inspiration. But I couldn’t help feel a bit thrown off when there was suddenly words that I knew from my own lan
I've owned this audiobook for two years and I should have read it immediately. IMMEDIATELY. Six of Crows starts off as a simple job. It's a retrieval job - get the man who invented a powerful drug out of the Ice Court and bring him back to Ketterdam where he will be put into sanctuary. The best part? It's going to pay 30 million. But things like that are never really simple, are they? This book is incredible. The plot keeps you hooked - even the slower-paced moments are not dull and the high action is wonderful and immersive. There are love stories for every taste. There's diversity. There's well-layered characters and an amazing magical system and settings that feel so real that you can smell the streets of Ketterdam. I really loved all the characters - the good and the bad of them. Even Jesper at the end. My favorite is Nina. She has such vivacity, such passion, and was an absolute delight to read. Give me a book all about Nina and about her time with Matthais and I will give you my heart. I think that to have a well-rounded character, you need to have layers like that - things that make you cringe, and things that make you want to hug them. It's difficult to find that balance, and I believe Bardugo did it perfectly. I have a lot to say about this, but most of my feelings about Six of Crows are comprised of excited babbling. The characters stole my heart, the relationships were good. The plot kept twisting in ways I didn't expect. There is a LOT of hype around Six of Crows, but it is absolutely deserved. I am so impressed. If you are waffling about picking this one up, don't hesitate. It's a wonderful read.
Guess what? The hype was worth it. Despite being pretty hype resistant myself (*cough* have still not finished the Harry Potter series *cough*), I succumbed to this book after all. I might have not bought it myself – thankfully, I won it in a giveaway! I tend to (in most cases, wrongly) think that all the popular books are either tropey or fluffy or just really simplified – but this one is none of those. Six of Crows had a lot of complex characters, wasn’t linearly told (and that was very well executed). It was also dark and bloody, very serious in places, and of course, it yanked and grabbed at all of those worst #feels of mine. It was amazing!
It throws you into the deep end but if you keep with it you'll be rewarded. It's a fully realized world with well rounded, seriously flawed characters.