Six of Crows (Six of Crows Series #1)
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Six of Crows (Six of Crows Series #1)

4.6 48
by Leigh Bardugo

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A #1 New York Times bestseller

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and 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


A #1 New York Times bestseller

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and 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 destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Margaret Wappler
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.
Publishers Weekly
★ 07/13/2015
When the score of a lifetime presents itself, criminal mastermind Kaz Brekker assembles a crack team of talented outcasts. Their mission: to rescue a prisoner from the most secure prison in the world, so that the secrets he holds can be exploited by the right people. As Kaz and his compatriots put together a daring plan, they contend with old grudges, mistrust, lingering secrets, and deadly rivalries. Naturally, things go wrong once they start their mission, and now they must escape the very prison they sneaked into. Bardugo expands on the world of her Grisha trilogy with this series opener, which marries heist and action conventions with magic and mystery. Her characters are damaged, complex, and relatable, and her worldbuilding is ambitiously detailed. As various characters’ backstories unfold, Bardugo reveals intriguing new depths and surprises. This has all the right elements to keep readers enthralled: a cunning leader with a plan for every occasion, nigh-impossible odds, an entertainingly combative team of skilled misfits, a twisty plot, and a nerve-wracking cliffhanger. Ages 12–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“This has all the right elements to keep readers enthralled: a cunning leader with a plan for every occasion, nigh-impossible odds, an entertainingly combative team of skilled misfits, a twisty plot, and a nerve-wracking cliffhanger.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review (on Six of Crows)

“Cracking page-turner with a multi ethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review (on Six of Crows)

“Set in a world that will be familiar to fans of the author, this book can be fully enjoyed without having read any previous title. . . . This is an easy choice for teens who enjoyed The Grisha Trilogy, Diviners, or any of the Shadowhunter books.” —VOYA, starred review (on Six of Crows)

“an exciting beginning to a new sequence from a fantasy author swiftly becoming a talent to watch.” —The Horn Book (Six of Crows)

“Unlike anything I've ever read.” —Veronica Roth (on Shadow and Bone)

“A heady blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure.” —Rick Riordan (on Siege and Storm)

“Triumphant.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review (Ruin and Rising)

“Mesmerizing. . . . Bardugo's set up is shiver-inducing, of the delicious variety. This is what fantasy is for.” —The New York Times Book Review (on Shadow and Bone)

“This is one book series you want to get hooked on.” —

“These books are the greatest things since Harry Potter AND sliced bread.” —

“Rich, satisfying, and gorgeous, laced with heart-pounding action and pitch-perfect romance.” —Cinda Williams Chima, bestselling author (on Shadow and Bone)

“Completely engrossing.” —Romantic Times (on Siege and Storm)

“Fast-paced and unpredictable. . . . A unique world complete with monsters, magic, danger, romance, corruption, and extravagance.” —School Library Journal, starred review (Shadow and Bone)

“Filled with lush descriptions, intriguing magic, and plenty of twists, this memorable adventure offers action and intrigue mixed with an undercurrent of romance and danger.” —Publishers Weekly (Shadow and Bone)

“Bardugo weaves a captivating spell with lushly descriptive writing, engaging characters, and an exotic, vivid world. Readers will wait impatiently for the next installment.” —Booklist (Shadow and Bone)

“Readers will be rooting for this lonely, tough heroine as she navigates perils physical, magical, and emotional.” —BCCB (Shadow and Bone)

“A rich fantasy landscape, an inspired magical structure, and a gratifying emotional hook keep the pages whirring.” —The Horn Book (Shadow and Bone)

“Scheming and action carry readers at a breathless pace . . . and will definitely leave them panting for the series' conclusion.” —Kirkus Reviews (Siege and Storm)

“Richly crafted . . . An engaging wish-fulfillment fantasy.” —The Horn Book (Siege and Storm)

“[Readers will be] tapping their feet impatiently for the concluding volume.” —Booklist (Siege and Storm)

“Readers won't be able to turn the pages fast enough.” —Booklist (Ruin and Rising)

“Bardugo is a master at building an action-packed fantasy with extraordinary world-building and comple characters.” —School Library Journal (Ruin and Rising)

VOYA, August 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 3) - Stacey Hayman
Dangerous and deadly, the streets of the Ketterdam are home to criminals of all ages and abilities. The Dregs are just one of the criminal gangs controlling the gambling, thieving, and shipping of illegal goods, but under Kaz’s leadership, they always seem to be a step ahead of the rest. Approached by Van Eck, a leading member of the Merchant Council, Kaz agrees to do the impossible for an impossibly large sum of money. Kaz is going to take a crew into the impenetrable Ice Palace to retrieve the source of a new drug that heightens a Grisha’s powers beyond expectations, sometimes past all reason or control. Set in a world that will be familiar to fans of the author, this book can be fully enjoyed without having read any previous title. Great characters with complex backstories, dynamic relationships that show growth, and plenty of action to keep the pace lively, are set into a landscape that offers a variety of occupations and social strata. The criminal elements that pervade the story give a pleasantly gritty edge to it all. Definitely the start of a new series, the last page should come with a countdown to the publishing date of the next book. This is an easy choice for teens who enjoyed The Grisha Trilogy, Diviners, or any of the Shadowhunter books. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman; Ages 15 to 18.
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Although this book is set in the Grisha world, it is not part of Bardugo’s previous “Grisha” trilogy. However, life is still uncertain and dangerous. Six unlikely heroes and thieves, of various nationalities and ethnicities, work together to accomplish an unthinkable heist in order to save themselves and possibly the world. Each member of the Six of Crows has different skills needed to break into the most secure location in the world and steal one of the deadliest things in the world. The characters are reluctantly willing to lay it all on the line for one chance of happiness, since they each have everything to gain and only their lives to lose. Bardugo threads this new story into the world of Grisha, so readers are able to visit this world again while falling in love with six new characters and their stories. For any libraries where the “Grisha” trilogy is popular, this volume is a must. For all who have not read the preceding trilogy, this story can stand alone—at least until the companion novel is released in September of 2016. First in the “Six of Crows” series. Reviewer: Joella Peterson; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
★ 09/01/2015
Gr 7 Up—Bardugo has created a wildly imaginative story of six young people who have been commissioned to pull off the greatest heist of all time. They are to nab the creator of jurda parem, a highly addictive product that enhances the innate paranormal powers of the Grisha peoples, in the hopes of creating weapons of war that will upset the balance of power and destroy the economies of rival governments. Kaz, the hero of the story and mastermind of the plot, recruits five others to aid in his quest for revenge for the loss of his brother and the promise of vast wealth. Taking what could have been stock characters of young adult fiction—the loner, the rebel, the outcast, and the con artist, the author has fashioned fully fleshed out, dynamic protagonists who will engage and enchant readers. What a thrill it is to return to the world she created with her popular "Grisha Trilogy" (Holt). While the unresolved ending may frustrate some teens, the promise of a sequel will give them hope that this unsettling, captivating, magical journey will continue.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-06-29
Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age. The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It's a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2. Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Product Details

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
Six of Crows Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.70(d)
HL790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Six of Crows

By Leigh Bardugo

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 2015 Leigh Bardugo
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-07696-0



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."

For good?

"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."

"Do it."

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.

Meet the Author

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Grisha Trilogy. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

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Six of Crows 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Amy_Jo More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 11 months ago
A little long, but ver detailed and action-packed. A good book if you are looking for an exciting thing to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
pooled_ink 3 days ago
pooled ink Reviews: MIND BLOWN. YES. ALL THINGS AWESOME THRILLING & EPIC. ...deep breath...(haha) The story of Kaz and his gang and their impossible heist is dark, terrifying, horrific, thrilling, seductive, tantalizing, shocking, and always trying to kick soot over the tiny beating glow of hope. Utterly thrilling, gut clenching, and skin tingling SIX OF CROWS will have you mourn the price paid to be one of the six crows but your eyes will be glowing with the deep-seeded greed and lusting desire to join them. Read my FULL review here:
Anonymous 21 days ago
Another fun trip to the Grishaverse. Its worth the read but a little slow in places (lots of back story).
Anonymous 4 months ago
Awesome, incredible, and one of my favorite books ever are just a few words to describe this book. It keeps you on the edge over your seat and leaves you with the biggest cliff hanger you will ever read. Just incredible.
Coreena 7 months ago
First off, it is impossible to talk about this book without commenting on how physically beautiful it is. And, because I initially picked this book up because of how it looks, I’ll start there. Six of Crows is stunning. The cover art immediately draws you in, then you pick it up and see that the three outer edges of the pages are coloured mat black. Opening the book, the end papers are a crimson red. The font is lovely, and the illustrations for the chapter headings mirrors the cover. This is one book where it really is worth reading the physical hardback copy. Then there’s the story, which is fantastic. This is the first in a companion series set in the Grisha world, a world where Bardugo immediately draws you into its harsh and brutal world. You don’t need to read Bardugo’s first series to appreciate this one. In Six of Crows, Kaz is a mobster type criminal genius who takes on an impossible job — rescue someone from a prison that no one has escaped from in the middle on an impenetrable fortress. But the pay and prestige is too much for Kaz, so he gets together his crew and the six of them tackle the challenge. I enjoyed all six of the main characters in this book. They each had their own motives for their actions, even when they went against each other or the bigger picture. The story is told so that we are in the head of a different character in different chapters, so the reader really gets to connect with them. Each one is likable in their own way and despicable in their ow way. I loved this book — the world drew me in, and it was filled with action, magic, conflict, drama, and great characters.
Anonymous 7 months ago
KatieAtTheBookSphere 11 months ago
I will admit that I was a bit hesitant going into this one. I was worried about the hype. Everyone that has read this so far that I've seen has raved about it. It's still early since the book just released this week, but I was still nervous going in and pushed myself to go in with a blank slate and just enjoy the book for what it is/what I would make it out to be. I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed, not in the least. This new series is promising lots of things that I love to see....fantastic worlds, complex characters, action, and romance. The world. This book is set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy (Shadow & Bone, Siege & Storm, and Ruin & Rising). In this world, there are Grisha which have magical abilities to manipulate different types of things. Heartrenders, like a character in this book, can manipulate a person's body, such as stopping their heart or closing up their lungs. A few others include Fabricators which can manipulate materials (like fabric or metal), Tidemakers which can manipulate water, and healers that can heal. There are more complex parts to this world and the more I learn about it, the more I fall in love. My favorite parts are seeing what the Grisha can do with their abilities, it's just so fascinating to me. The complex characters. Each of these characters are developed so well throughout the book. We start by knowing very small, basic things about the characters but grow to learn so much more. The alternating chapters between all the perspectives really helps to show different sides of the characters and the underlying reasons behind why they're doing what they are doing and who they are. I grew to care about each of the characters in this book. Also, the witty banter was a favorite of mine throughout this book. Like most heists, you have a bunch of smart and clever people together that might not always get along and have some interesting and occasionally hilarious things to say about each other. I really enjoyed seeing these playful type of interactions among the characters, I loved that it added a bit of humor into the story. The action. There is no shortage of action and adventure in this book. I think Bardugo did such a great job intermingling action with characters and other pieces of the story all within a well-balanced plot. There wasn't a time where I was bored when reading, in fact, I didn't really want to put this book down. This one did take me a few days to read but I was glad because it was that much longer that I got to live in the world. The romance. I have so many ships in this book that I think my heart might have exploded. I was rooting so hard and reading quickly (as I could without missing anything) at points because I was so excited and had to know what was going to happen next with my ship(s). I love everybodyThe only thing about the romance plots that I wasn't very fond of is that there seems to be pairings that fit a little too perfectly. I just wonder about why characters have to be paired off..can't they just be awesome without having to have romance in their storyline? I don't have any complaints about specific romances in the books, I love them all, but I wonder about this in general when things seem a little too good to be true. This review was originally posted on my blog, The Book Sphere:
YoungMensanBookParade 12 months ago
Everyone likes a good heist. This one does not disappoint. Six of Crows focuses on the team efforts of 6 dangerous teenage adventurers as they try to make money and rescue a scientist from Fjerdan witch hunter kidnappers. The teens travel on ships away from their fictitious home city of Ketterdam, across oceans to reach an impenetrable ice palace. The hazardous mission is focused on rescuing the scientist who created Jurda Parem, a drug that is sought after by many rival groups and has the capacity to magnify the power of the witches. Throughout the book the author weaves themes of adventure, friendship, alliance, love, trust and betrayal into almost every step. The story is intense and fast paced. The characters are so different but they have to work together to accomplish their goal. The six teens vary in their strengths and each bring something unique to the table. The author infuses compelling conversations in the story and captivating inner monologues into the characters. The story also includes the idea of falling in love with someone you’re not supposed to fall in love with, a type of forbidden love. Although this is an interesting book, it did take me some time to get into it. The author tells the story from six different perspectives, from each of the main character’s point of view. Initially, the story is confusing to understand since the perspectives keep changing every 15 pages or so. Additionally, there is a very large learning curve at the start of reading this book since there is a new vocabulary with many book-specific words about the characters, places and ideas about the adventure. Once I dedicated time to learning the vocabulary and as I read further into the book, I was able to understand what was happening. Overall this is an intense book centered on a quest with many close calls that keep the reader on the edge. The characters are relatable and fun. I associated most with the main character Kaz Brekker, since he had a brother Jordie in the book and I have a brother Jordan. As the leader of the gang the Dregs, Kaz has a vendetta against Pekka Rollins whose actions led to the death of his brother, Jordie. As I was reading this part, I could understand his motivation and felt sympathy for his situation. In general, I would recommend this book to others. I would suggest reading the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo first, which is set in the same world as the Six of Crows book but includes a different time and place. Once you are captivated by the book, you can’t put it down. And the ending is worth the wait. Cameron H., 15 years old, Mensa South by Southwest
JetsyJames More than 1 year ago
Truly a phenomenal book. I was completely blown away by the characters and depth of world building that Bardugo has written. Six of Crows in a must read !
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars - Original review @ So I kept hearing about this book Six of Crows, like hearing about it over and over. Seeing it on best of lists and on a ridiculous number of book blogs. I requested it from the library to see what all the hype was about. And hoo boy was it hyped correctly. I have seen quite a few comparisons to a teen band similar to Ocean’s Eleven and that is a true match. Set in an alternate Netherlands (shout out to my peeps!) Kaz is an upcoming crime boss who strikes fear in those he rules. Faced with a prison break that will make him insanely rich, he cobbles together five others to help him. Told in third person from all six perspectives, I went in a little apprehensive as that is a lot of thoughts to shift through. But they all made sense, a cohesive voice tied them all together. A group of teen thugs taking on a government set to destroy them and risking it all for one big shot, Six of Crows was a fantastic trip. I have not read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy (set in the same world, but in an alternate Russia), so I was not sure how her writing would be. Well no fear, it is great. Engaging and strong, she writes in a journey, a path to follow. The plot was well structured and had a solid foundation. The pacing built. It took a little bit for the story to ramp up, but when it did, it was non-stop. The characters all meshed well together, a cohesive unit that played very well off of each other. There was also a nice emotional pull to each one. None of them came into a life of crime easily, and their backstories added to the nuances of each. Leigh Bardugo crafted a world that I will happily dive into time and time again. Six of Crows is an epic root for the thieves tale and I really want them to succeed. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment. I may have to go find her Grisha Trilogy to reenter a piece of that world before number two comes out. Favorite lines – “It’s not natural for women to fight.” “It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those books that will stay with you for a long time to come. I can't wait to read the next book!!
Calla_Walker More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I can't believe I love every single character, but I love every single character. Especially Inej and Kaz though. They break my heart. And Nina and Matthias do too, but they seem to be more emotionally healthy than the other two, which is really funny because they're not really. The plot never let up and the entire heist part was going to make my blood pressure explode. SO GOOD.
Mindy_Lou More than 1 year ago
The book had ALOT of hype around it.. I do not think it lived up to it.. I was into it while I was reading but as soon as I put it down I didn't really have the urge to pick it back up.. It finally gets my attention at the end when some action was going on.. Would I read book 2? Possibly just to see where relationships go.. But it's not high on my to buy and read list.. ~Happy Reading~
RayannD More than 1 year ago
(original full review at The plot of this novel was driving, building and building, until the tension of the actual heist is enough to get you on the edge of your seat. I tip my hat to anyone who could see every twist and turn that Kaz and his crew either fell for or orchestrated themselves during the entirety of the novel. There's almost a distinct Sherlock Holmes feeling - so many scenarios considered and planned for that you don't realize until the very end. The crew is nearly always one step ahead. But it's the characters and their relationships that was the ultimate determiner of how this heist would go. What was most interesting here was seeing the contrast and effect that certain characters had against one another - the tensions between them absolutely palpable and that leaves you a little disquiet and completely nervous about where things might go. There is that sense of impending betrayal hanging over the crew and for most of the novel, you just wonder who it's going to be. Overall, this was a well-balanced book between plot and character. The characters were fascinating to learn about and to follow through the story, while the plot never had a dull moment, fast-paced and thrilling to read. Six of Crows was entertaining, to say the least, and one-hundred-percent enthralling to say the most.
LW_TYF More than 1 year ago
A masterpiece. There is simply no other word for this book. Bardugo hasn’t just told a story in Six of Crows. She has woven a masterpiece. The story starts a little bit slowly, but it’s carefully and deliberately constructed. We’re introduced to Kaz and the members of his crew and begin to learn the layout of Ketterdam. Once the foundation has been set, she starts to work in the details. This is when we learn what the heist is going to be and what is at stake: a drug that dangerously affects Grisha power has been invented and the inventor is being kept imprisoned by another government. Kaz and his crew are being hired to break him out, which is supposed to save both Grishas from this dangerous drug and the world from an economic collapse. By the time you get to the middle, Leigh Bardugo has pulled out all the stops. Six of Crows is a dense book, and I mean that as a compliment. There is so much information fit into these 480 pages, and it’s all relevant. Six Of Crows has layers upon layers of incredibly detailed storylines. For the most part, there are five main points of view that we see the story from: Kaz, Nina, Inej, Jesper, and Matthias. Other points of view are thrown in here and there when it’s necessary, and somehow, every single explanation or detail you need comes up as the story progresses. So many questions are answered but in such subtle ways, blended in through flashbacks and explorations of the past. It’s incredible how intertwined every single piece of the story is and how it all works out so well. The switching of POV is very easy to understand and never got confusing for me. Every single piece of the plot fits in perfectly, and the world building itself is flawless. Besides the heart-pounding suspense I experienced, I was in awe the entire time I was reading. The characters all have very distinct identities and their complicated relationships with each other and Kaz add yet another dimension to the story. These aren’t good people and yet somehow, Bardugo has us rooting for them the entire time, even though they’re technically criminals. I get it. I get the hype. It is truly so deserved. Heist stories are hard, and Six of Crows is one of the best I’ve ever read. I recommend this book to basically anyone, especially if you love heist stories or anything fantasy. It’s fun, exciting, intriguing and keeps you on your toes from cover to cover. And even though Six of Crows may have spoiled some things, I’ll be picking up the Grisha trilogy as soon as possible.
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
SIX OF CROWS is basically the equivalent of what the show Firefly might've been with a few more seasons under its belt. The only differences are that it's fantasy, not sci-fi, and it's at least ten times more awesome. Kaz Brekker is a criminal prodigy trying to pull off an almost impossible heist. His crew are a gang of thugs and misfits and thieves living in the Barrel, which is basically the criminal underbelly of the city of Ketterdam. Though the potential payoff is its own lure to every person on Kaz's team, there's a whole heck of a lot standing between them and the money--including each other. Seriously, there are so many incomparable badasses on this team, and they're at each other's throats all the time. It's amazing. The tension stays high, the stakes stay high, and the sheer scope of the universe Leigh Bardugo has created is enough to blow your mind. I almost didn't start this series because I was convinced it couldn't possible measure up to the Grisha series (although they are set in the same universe). And I have to say, I have never been happier to see all my expectations completely blown to bits. I'm completely obsessed with these characters and their struggles, and if I had the next book in my hands tomorrow, I would basically drop off the face of the earth until I finished it. A must-read.
CSnow More than 1 year ago
4.5/5. I really liked this book. It focuses on an impressive cast of characters who are diverse and each is interesting and unique. The story is dark, violent, and very mysterious. The worldbuilding is crafted very well and woven beautifully into the narrative. There are friendships between these criminals, small moments of stolen peace, and dangerous emotions running high in stressful situations. The characters break your heart and piece it back together again. It's a really strong story and deserves all of the praise it gets.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I really liked this one. The world was intricate, the character work was clear: each character was clearly a different person. Granted, I wasn't sure about the ages of some of them...Kaz in particular struck me as much older than seventeen (more like 35...). Jesper is definitely my favorite: witty, reckless, and probably the most out-going of the bunch. If you're looking for a character who's a breath of fresh air, he's probably the closest. He's got a lot of angst, but definitely less than the others (especially broody little Kaz). Inej was also great, and well, spoilers, but she's got a heck of a backbone! I did think the romance was a bit overwrought. Once I realized the book had six main characters and they started pairing off, I got significantly less interested (even though one of those couples is M/M for a change). And I didn't know it was a series getting into it, so the ending kind of frustrated me, having read it only weeks after its release and now having to wait ages for the continuation. And hey, isn't making me impatient for the next book the best thing a book could do?
TheBooksBuzz More than 1 year ago
Six of Crows has been the January book pick of the month for The Readers of the Round Table. I was, unfortunately, praying that this book wouldn't be chosen as the readalong choice because I had previously had some bad blood with Leigh Bardugo's books. Her Grisha trilogy did not live up to the hype for me and was kind of a disappointment. That may be the reason for my disbelief as I'm writing this review. My mouth is wide open and I'm shaking because despite how I thought this book was going to turn out, I am completely flabbergasted right now. You guys are lucky. You're getting a fresh review (which means I finished the book yesterday and have had one day to collect my thoughts and sit down and write). The book follows 6 main characters that are all apart of a heist to retrieve a man from an impenetrable ice fortress. This man is responsible for creating a formula that can alter a Grisha's powers and make them 10x more formidable and dangerous. Therefore, he needs to be retrieved and kept away from those who want to use the formula to create an army or experimentation. Wait, I know what you're thinking. 6 point of views? Holy s*** that must be hella confusing. Nope, it wasn't. Leigh Bardugo intertwines 6 unique and diverse point of views flawlessly and once you read a line of a new chapter, you immediately know which character is speaking. It's kind of brilliant! BEWARE AND WARNING (it's not a spoiler). You will be shipping super super hard in this book. Ughhhh. I can't even. The one thing that I actually liked in Shadow and Bone (Book 1 of the Grisha trilogy) was the romance. It was captivating and torturing, just as it is in Six of Crows. Leigh Bardugo has such a way with her character's dialogue. She can make you hate a character in one instance and then hate him/her a second later. It was such an incredible feeling, and if only you could have seen all the faces I made while reading this book. Six of Crows is fast-paced and action-packed. You won't find yourself in a dull moment with info dumping, which tends to appear in a lot of YA fantasies. The cast of characters alone bring the story to life without the author needing to add action or a story to tell. And oh boy, there is such a diverse lot of characters. The best stories are those written by the characters themselves. Haha, I just made up that quote right on the spot! You can quote me if you'd like. Final verdict: Go. Put the book you're reading down and read Six of Crows! You won't be sorry. And for those of you that are wondering-- I'd recommend reading this one first before starting the Grisha series.