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This article contains mild spoilers for “Six of Crows.” Read at your own risk!

If you’re a part of the book community, then I’m sure you’ve heard of — and probably read — Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling novel “Six of Crows,” the first book in the “Six of Crows” duology. These books are uber-popular and everybody seems to love them. After having this book on my TBR since 2016, I decided to finally give it a chance. 

“Six of Crows” is a fantasy novel set in the Grishaverse that Bardugo created in her “Shadow and Bone” series. To take control of their destinies, a group of six outcasts chooses to take part in a seemingly impossible heist that promises a life-changing sum of money if they’re able to succeed. 

As a side note, you don’t need to read the original series to understand “Six of Crows.” 

When reading this book, I was concerned it wouldn’t live up to the hype because I’ve never heard a negative thing about it. Typically, when something has that much buzz around, it falls flat for me. However, “Six of Crows” did the exact opposite for me because it deserves every ounce of hype it’s gotten! And this is coming from somebody who rarely ever reaches for fantasy. The book is masterfully crafted and features one of the best cast of characters I’ve ever read. 

Speaking of characters, can we talk about how lovable all of the crows are? I was expecting to like them, but wow did I really enjoy learning all about them! This book is told from five of the crows’ points of view, and they each added something special and worthwhile to the story. Of course, there were certain characters’ POVs I liked more than others, but I never dreaded reading from anybody’s perspective. Going into the book, I figured Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar would be my top favorite characters, and I was certainly right. Nina is a body-positive, badass girl. Dare I say she may be my favorite female character ever? As for Matthias, I know he may be problematic, but he’s definitely got his redeemable qualities. I mean, if Nina can love him, then there’s clearly something there, right? Not to mention that Helnik is my new favorite ship.

And the character dynamics are fantastic! One of my favorite dynamics was Nina’s friendship with Inej because I loved getting to see two strong women who support one another wholeheartedly. The dialogue was witty and fast-paced and made the characters feel that much more real. It shows just how clever Leigh Bardugo is as a writer.  

As for the plot, I honestly was expecting to be bored. Heist stories tend not to be my thing, so I was really only reading this book for the crows. But then I actually got invested and was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I’m usually pretty good at predicting plot twists, but I was caught off guard throughout the entire book. One of my favorite elements of Bardugo’s storytelling was how she’d slowly reveal information after the fact to make you believe one thing when, in reality, something much more intricate was happening. Also, the characters’ backstories are slowly told throughout several chapters, so you aren’t overwhelmed with all of the information at once. It felt like putting the pieces of a complex puzzle together. 

The “Six of Crows” duology, along with the “Shadow and Bone” series, has been brought to the small screen through Netflix’s adaptation named for the original series. From my understanding, the storylines of the show involving the crows give us more information on their backstories and what they were doing prior to the events of “Six of Crows.” I’m excited to give the show a watch soon, especially now that season two has started production!


So, would I recommend you give “Six of Crows” a read if you haven’t already? I most certainly would, collegiettes! 

Nickie Johnson

George Mason University '22

Nickie Johnson is a junior at George Mason. She is majoring in history and hopes to one day become a school librarian. This is her second year writing for Her Campus, and she has loved every minute of it! She is involved in GMU's Honors College and the George Mason Chapter of Educators Rising Collegiate. In addition to writing, Nickie loves watching movies and reality television, performing showtunes in the mirror, and reading.
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