Ten Reasons To Read Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

By Jim Dean, November 11, 2015

(Note: I was provided with a proof copy of Six of Crows by the publisher in exchange for review consideration. I then went out and bought my own finished copy because it is AMAZING!)

TEN reasons to read Six Of Crows

1. It’s a brilliantly-plotted heist story set in a richly described fantasy world. Do you even NEED nine more reasons?

2. Just in case, it also features six absolutely fabulous main characters, all of whom are very well-rounded, highly skiled and realistically flawed.

3. And the relationships between those characters are amazing! The loyalty, the friendship, the dislike in some cases, and the shipping potential is, to be honest, through the roof.

4. Speaking of shipping potential, EVERYONE will have a favourite Crow! I’d love to hear who yours is!

5. For those of us who’ve read and loved Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, it’s a welcome return to her world, with her usual excellent world-building, but with a new focus on a part which we haven’t really seen before.

6. But it’s also a perfect place to start for newcomers; the book has proven popular even with those who haven’t read any of the other Grisha books.

7. The twists and turns are incredible, but make perfect sense looking back – Leigh is nearly as much of an expert as misdirection as Kaz himself!

8. Leigh’s writing style Is wonderful, despite this being quite a lengthy book it drew me in completely and I flew through it.

9. Perhaps less a reason to read, and more of one to buy rather than just borrow (although to be honest, you’re sure to want to reread it anyway!) – Rich Deas’s cover is STUNNING!

10. And, most importantly, there is another book coming in 2016! I can’t wait for Crooked Kingdom.

 

EIGHT wonderful Six of Crows-related posts

1. Over on my YA Yeah Yeah blog, I was lucky enough to take part in the blog tour for the book – a fabulous idea with six UK blogs, and six US blogs, each writing a piece on the Grishaverse with Leigh doing a special introduction for each one.

Due to time constraints, I rarely do blog tours where I have to write anything myself, but I jumped at the chance to be involved in this one – partly because of how much I loved the book, partly because of just how cool the idea for the tour was, and partly because I really wanted to see what Leigh would write for an intro! She definitely didn’t disappoint. Head over to read her intro, and my tips for the Grishaverse. (SORRY IN ADVANCE, btw, the giveaway referred to on the blog has now closed!)

2. Each UK blogger was paired with a US blogger; my partner was the fabulous Bookiemoji blog! Crystal and Jenna have an awesome blog; I loved reading Crystal’s tips.

3. Daphne, one of the awesome friends I’ve made since moving to London, picked her book boyfriends/girlfriends of the Grishaverse in another superb post at Winged Reviews.

4. I tend to mainly read British blogs but one of the non-UK ones I ADORE is the brilliant Cuddlebuggery. Daph’s partner for the blog tour was Steph over at CB; great choices of book boyfriends from her as well. (Well, mostly great. But THE DARKLING, really?!)

5. And another one of my super-talented friends, Charlie, wrote a FABULOUS piece for Mugglenet in which she recommended a read for each of the six Crows!

6. And then there’s the reviews! I admire, and enjoy, Georgia’s fabulous graphic reviews over at The Bibliomaniac – this one was great!

7. “Leigh Bardugo’s ability to create flesh and blood and living, breathing people out of words is astounding.” I agree completely with Hawwa!

8. And when a YA fantasy tempts Darren at The Book Zone away from the world of MG, you can tell it’s something special. “I’m no fantasy aficionado but I very quickly got sucked into the sights, sounds and smells of Bardugo’s world and it stayed with me for some time after I had finished the book (which, by the way, ends with more than a few strands left untied, setting us up for what I hope will be an equally brilliant sequel).”

 

SIX authors we’d choose if we were putting together a Six of Crows style heist

1. Leigh Bardugo herself – hey, all the detailed planning for this book HAS to have given her a great insight into how to pull it off.

2. Ally Carter – While I know from hearing Leigh talk about Six of Crows that she did a great job of planning this book, I’ve talked to Ally previously about her planning for her series, Heist Society. Add in a wonderful six book series about a school of spies (Gallagher Girls) – she must have learned SOMETHING from them, yeah? – and I think it’s clear she’s another must-have author for something like this. Oh, and due to her Embassy Row series, she’s probably even got a good enough knowledge of diplomatic relations to come in very handy if we cause an international incident. (Given my fourth and fifth picks, I probably mean WHEN we cause an international incident.)

3. Katherine Rundell – Bonus points if she can bring us some wolves to help out in the same way Feo, heroine of the stunning The Wolf Wilder, is aided by some. However, with or without animals, Katherine’s hobby of scaling rooftops is certainly going to come in handy.

4. Abi Elphinstone – She travels the world, she’s lived with eagle-hunters, she’s a great shot with a catapult, and she’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. The Dreamsnatcher author is another I’d love to have alongside me.

5. Melinda Salisbury – If everything else fails, we can always terrify everyone else into sheer obedience, and Mel Salisbury – as Slytherin as they come – is the perfect person to do that. Anyone who can create a character as evil as the queen in The Sin Eater’s Daughter HAS to be feared.

6. Tom Ellen – I don’t see Tom (author, with Lucy Ivision, of Lobsters and upcoming Never Evers – both fabulous!) often enough, it would be good to catch up. I’m not sure he has any particular skills to bring to the group, but with the five above being a squad fairly clearly capable of taking down any obstacles, I feel that there’s room for two token boys to stand around talking!

 

FOUR other brilliant stories about great groups of characters

The Baby by Lisa Drakeford is a really promising YA debut. It’s a contemporary story about a girl who gives birth at a party and follows her bringing up the baby – through 5 points of view. The story is told in five parts, following the teenage mother, her best friend, her best friend’s sister, and two of the boys they know. It’s a really interesting read, the differing points of view work very well, and it tackles some topics not usually seen in YA – notably relationship violence. (Because of this, it’s perhaps one for older teens.)

For younger teens (well, for EVERYONE because it’s brilliant!) Julie Berry’s The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is an outstanding farcical murder mystery. I’ve described this as Robin Stevens written by Alan Ayckbourn – the detective story here matches any of the superb Murder Most Unladylike series, but the style is definitely reminiscent of the playwright’s hilarious comedies.

Half A King by Joe Abercrombie – the established adult fantasy author’s YA debut, and the first in a trilogy, is a brilliant story of a one-armed boy king betrayed by his uncle, who gathers a ragtag bunch of companions around him to seek revenge. I raced through this one and absolutely loved the ending, which left me trying to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Department 19 series by Will Hill – Five books which are individually some of the longest YA novels I’ve ever seen add up to a truly epic series. Hill uses every word to maximum effect, though, creating a complex cast of outstanding characters with brilliantly-defined personalities and motivations. Add in a truly engaging plot for each book, and a fabulous overall arc, and this is one of the best YA series ever written.

 

TWO Crows who are even more awesome than the other four.

(They are ALL amazing, but just to stick to 10-8-6-4-2…)

1. Jesper, the bold risk-taker, has my heart completely. I want nothing more than to see him be happy.

2. Inej, the stealthy thief, is my other favourite. And like Charlie in the Mugglenet post mentioned earlier, I would read ALL the Inej/Lila Bard crossover!! Make it happen, Leigh and VE Schwab, PLEASE. (Alternatively, if there’s fanfic going, send it my way pleased…)

What do you think?