Book Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows (#1)

by Leigh Bardugo.

Six of Crows My husband asked what this book was about while I was reading it, and for brevity I answered “It’s like Ocean’s Eleven, but with magic.” This is not an inaccurate representation, I think. There’s a motley assortment of crooks planning a grand heist, and the mastermind thief has more motivation behind it than just the job at hand. There’s danger, violence, intrigue, a smidgeon of romance, and of course some humor. But on the other hand, it takes place in a fantasy world, some of the crooks are also magicians, and the stakes of failure are not just their own lives and freedom, but repercussions for the world as they know it as well.

I highly enjoyed this. I liked the grand adventure framing, but I also liked that the author didn’t paint the criminal life as something glamorous or easy. All of the crew have pasts that are pretty terrible in one way or another (or many). I liked that the chapters rotate who the narration is following, so we get a glimpse into different characters’ heads.

Kaz, the main character and mastermind, is an intriguing fellow. He’s got a very harsh exterior, but the looks we get into his mind tell a much more complex story. I liked his diabolical approach to planning – even down to details that one wouldn’t normally be able to predict. I did feel that his bad leg was never properly explained- in a world where there are magicians who can heal bodies, and with how much wealth he’s accumulated, why on earth had he not gotten that fixed? For a character as coldly practical as Kaz, it didn’t make sense to me.

I’m torn about the ending. On one hand, certain aspects were REALLY predictable. But other minor aspects weren’t. I’m happy about some of the outcomes, and unhappy about others. And I felt like the action there all happened rather abruptly.

That said, I do absolutely intend to pick up book 2 when it’s out later this year. I like a good fantasy heist, and a good cast of characters, and this has both, other minor issues aside. If you like those things, too, give this a try. Also for its packaging. 🙂

I give it 4/5 stars.

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Six of Crows

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Book Review: City of Stairs

City of Stairs (The Divine Cities #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett. Disclaimer: City of Stairs does not actually feature stairs as much as you might think. What it does feature is a no-nonsense & brilliant spy, her hulking Nordic ‘secretary’, a handful of maybe-or-maybe-not-dead gods, a murder mystery, pocket alternate realities, magic-as-religious-act, and a whole host of interesting characters and political-bureaucratic tangles. In sum: it’s a full, fun read. The Continent, blessed by their 6 gods, used to be the most powerful empire in the world. Until a hero from Saypur (one of their colonies) managed to kill off the […]

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Book Review: Stonehill Downs

Stonehill Downs by Sarah Remy. I’ve been on a bit of a non-fiction kick lately (thanks, book club) and let me just say that it was so good to get back to my regular fantasy wheelhouse. And this book in particular was a good step back into it. Stonehill Downs is the story of Malachi, the king’s vocent (talks to spirits) and last magus in the kingdom, sent to the remote village of Stonehill Downs to investigate the very weird and bloody murders of a local lord and some Kingsmen. It is also the story of Avani, a foreign weaver, […]

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Book Review: Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy

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Book Review: Seraphina


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman It’d been too long since I read a book with dragons! This was an excellent remedy for that. Seraphina takes place in a fantasy world where humans and (shape-shifting, uber-logical) dragons live in uneasy peace since the war that raged between them 40 years ago. Now, dragons live among the human population, in their human-like form, trying to understand the lesser race and yet not become influenced by the volatile emotions surrounding them. The title character Seraphina, caught between both worlds, has taken a new position at court right before the anniversary of the peace treaty […]

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