Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo

Incoming, unpopular opinion alert….


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.

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 destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.


Do you ever feel like you read a completely different book to everyone else? Six of Crows is widely loved but, I just didn’t get it. The plot and pace were slow, and there was no real character development. With about 150 pages to go, I was really struggling to finish the book; and this should, in my opinion, have been the part that had me most gripped because the heist was taking place. But the problem, for me, was there was no real tension, no nail-biting moments. It seemed every obstacle the gang faced was too easily overcome, every enemy too easily defeated. Six of Crows is highly character-driven but, too much at the expense of the plot. And, bar Kaz and Inej, I didn’t like any of the characters, so that made it even more of a struggle. I did like Kaz, as a main protagonist, he had this whole antihero vibe about him. And I like the mysterious aura he created for himself, this feared persona.

As for the Grisha universe itself, yes, I liked the world, because I enjoyed the dark underworld Kaz and his crew lived in but, the magic of the Grishas and the different abilities didn’t grip me. It just lacked the magic, the element of wonder, that I so loved about the Maji clans in Children on Blood and Bone, for example.

One of the things I really did like about this book was the understated romance – understated in the way it was written, that is, it was obvious to everyone else except the two people it was between. The romance element in previous YA fantasy has bugged me because, I don’t want to read about her staring at his chiselled body and dreamy eyes, but in Six of Crows, it was subtle, this made it more impactful and didn’t have me rolling my eyes – it had me wanting the romance to happen! Saying that, there was a more obvious romance, a ‘love/hate thing’, happening with two of the other characters, so I got my eye-rolls in there.

I enjoyed Wonder Woman: Warbringer, also written by Bardugo, so I will read more of her books, as long as they aren’t set in the Grisha universe because, nothing in this book wowed me. I love the feeling of awe these YA fantasy novels bring, in their world-building and their magic, but that was missing for me in this one. I enjoy Bardugo’s writing, this plot just didn’t hold my attention; I am glad I read it though as it’s been a highly anticipated read of mine for ages, it’s just a shame it didn’t live up to the hype for me.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Book Depository

16 thoughts on “Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  1. I felt the same way until I went back and read the author’s Grisha Trilogy. I with the SOC duology wasn’t billed as a separate series because without reading the first trilogy, which sets up the world building and history that the characters refer to in SOC, it’s insanely confusing and quite uninteresting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, that’s interesting because I asked a few people if I needed to read the trilogy first and they said no, they’re set in the same world but not connected. But I suppose if the world “was built” in the trilogy, you wouldn’t need it “re-built” in SoC 🤔

      Oh, and any YA fantasy recs would be much appreciated…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s exactly what everyone told me too. And technically it *is* set centuries after the first 3 books, but they expect the reader to have a basic understanding of the world and I was all “wth is going on?!” 🤣 I actually enjoyed the grisha Trilogy much more than SOC, so I highly recommend those (they are also much shorter novels). I’ve also (for the most part) loved the A Court Of Thorns And Roses series, as well as Strange The Dreamer, and Cassandra Clare’s novels (first one is called City of Bones).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ok, I don’t want to make the same mistake twice…. I have Lady Midnight by Clare, and was informed, I can read it without reading The Mortal Instruments series first, is that true or show I start with City of Bones??

        I have seen ACOTAR everywhere, so maybe I’ll give that one a go. I think I’m done with the Grishaverse so won’t read that trilogy. Also, The Raven Boys has been recommended to me so I’m going to listen to that one on audio.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 😬 the problem with Clare’s books are that, while it’s new characters in Lady Midnight, it heavily relies on all the old books and is riddled with spoilers. Hers have to be read in a very specific order and there are soooo many of them that it can feel overwhelming. If you start with Lady Midnight it’ll probably be a similar experience for you as SOC was. 😔

        I’ve heard great things about The Raven Boys too! I have them all but haven’t managed to start them yet. Hopefully soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I keep seeing high praise for this so it was interesting to see a different perspective. I just finished listening to Everless on audio – it’s a YA fantasy and I really enjoyed the world building. Not sure if it would be more to your taste or not…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everless, that sounds familiar, who’s the author? I’m going to listen to The Raven Boys on audio, I could add Everless to my audio list too. I don’t know what YA fantasy is too my taste yet, I’m too much of a newbie 😂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This was a really fair review Janel of a book that has had so much hype! I thought it was good but I wasn’t blown away by it. I certainly haven’t rushed to pick up the second in the series which says a lot doesn’t it? 😕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I definitely don’t get the hype on this one, I was looking on Amazon and shockingly, I bought this book in 2016, and only got around to reading it now, haha, clearly it wasn’t that much of a highly anticipated read

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderfully insightful review and helpful! As it is the first that I have encountered that does not rave. I almost picked this up for my “heist” challenge read but opted for The Theif. Reading through the comments and your review I am guessing I should maybe tackle the Grisha trilogy first to gain more from this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you like my review! Yeah I think all the world-building happened in the trilogy, which explains why it’s so lacklustre in this one, but I really couldn’t be bothered to read three books in order to read the one that I actually wanted to read, and I had it on good authority that it can read as a standalone. Either way, I’m done with the Grishaverse haha


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