Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Book Review: I run a monthly poll on my daily blog where voters choose a book I read each month from my Book Bucket List. Last month, voters chose Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

crows

Before I get into the review, a few housekeeping items… I do not normally read fantasy or young adult books as a regular part of my reading genres. I tend to prefer historical, contemporary, thriller or mystery fiction; however, I try to branch out each month and read something out of my ‘comfort zone.’ I love Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Book Thief, The Hunger Games, and many more, so I do often find myself with top ratings for books in fantasy and young adult. Before I opened Six of Crows, I had been warned the first 50 to 75 pages would be difficult until I was absorbed into the story, given all the background on the fantasy world and the new terms / descriptions; however, I was not warned it was almost 500 pages long. I probably should have put something smaller on the list that voters could have chosen! Let’s get into the review…

The plot, characters, setting, themes and perspectives are intense and beautiful. I could easily see the story unfolding before my eyes as I immersed myself into the new world. It feels like this could grow as popular as some of the other fantasy tomes I’ve read (see above) among various reader groups. It hits all the sweet spots for transferring your mind from the monotonous and ordinary to an explosively and wildly imaginative universe. The way character back stories are woven together, the order in how events unfold and the dynamics between so many of the major and supporting characters is well thought out, planned and developed. Kudos to the author for building such an amazing playground for readers to frolic in.

All that said, I struggled through the book – not because it wasn’t a good one – because it was so different from what I normally read and enjoy. I need clarity on a world when I read about it mostly because I like to figure out the connections and history of what’s going on. I wasn’t sure of the boundaries and parameters here because it could literally have gone anywhere (then again, that’s the point of fantasy, so it seems like an obvious statement). If I put my analytical cap on, I think had I watched this as a film to gain the broader perspective of all the components of the world and the character profiles, I might have had a strong enough baseline to let myself become completely absorbed in the book while reading it afterwards. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible at the moment, so I read it first.

One of the key things I believe in life – especially as a book reviewer and a writer – is to be honest and fair, but to also look at a situation from all perspectives. This is a tremendously good book with a huge and wide appeal for its audience. It wasn’t an ideal match for me as a reader, perhaps right now, or perhaps given its genre. That said, rating it is tough. Ratings are personal and reflect how a reader feels about a book, but as an author, I would hate for someone to rate my book poorly because it wasn’t a good match for them; because a reader doesn’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t a fantastic book. It is in that tenuous space that I try to come up with a rating that is fair given all the circumstances. If I loved fantasy and this type of novel, it would hands-down be a 5-star rating. Because this is not something that normally appeals to me with great significance, it’s probably a 3-star rating. To be fair, I think the book deserves a middle-ground to represent the best of both worlds – my personal opinion and that of a critical reader and author.

4-stars to this book… while some may applaud my effort to be fair, others might yell at me for misunderstanding the book or not being creative enough. Either way, I would recommend this to anyone who loves this genre or even wants to explore the genre more. If you’re not a fan of this type of work, don’t start here. You won’t be able to absorb what is probably the true greatness of this book and its appeal until you’ve had a bit more experience in the fantasy world.

Kudos to the author… and hopefully people reading my review see that I did not follow my normal review style in this book, rather I took a step back to find the best approach for me to review it. Thank you to the voters in my poll. I’m definitely open to more fantasy, but perhaps I should start a bit lighter to grow into this genre. I think you voted A Crown of Thorns and Roses for November… here I go!

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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

    lifepunchesback said:
    November 6, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Great review. I’ll wait for the movie. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    coffeelovingbookoholic said:
    November 6, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    great review jay! your rating is totally fair. it’s always hard to rate a book, that is hyped so much and that is good but just wasn’t the fit for you. i had the same problem with “i’ll give you the sun” by jandy nelson. at that point i read it, i wanted something different, so it did not have the effect on me, it had on others. sometimes it just is, how it is. i also think, that for fantasy readers, this book is amazing! i am glad you made it through, even though you don’t read much fantasy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 6, 2017 at 12:47 PM

      Thx! I want to read other ones… I think Crown of Thorns is next. Is that fantasy? LOL

      I know what you mean about the effect of books – great POV!

      Liked by 1 person

    […] the 5th entry off my Book Bucket List:  Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. You can see the review here. In its place, I’ve added Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak to round out the 12 options […]

    Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    November 6, 2017 at 3:56 PM

    Great review James!! I love reading all kinds of genres but I had a hard time getting into this as well. Eventually though I got really into it. I ended up giving it 4 Stars. I haven’t read the second book yet but I want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    Mischenko said:
    November 6, 2017 at 4:13 PM

    Awesome review, James. I still need to read this one. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 6, 2017 at 4:17 PM

      It was tough, but I saw the beauty. I don’t think I could read the next in series tho… at least not for a bit of time!

      Liked by 1 person

        Mischenko said:
        November 6, 2017 at 4:23 PM

        I get like that with fantasy sometimes. It’s like I get lost or something. I felt like that when reading Nicholas Kotar’s book, but then as time went on, it was good. I had so many highlights though. I have friends that ONLY read fantasy and I just couldn’t do it! Funny how we are all so different. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        November 6, 2017 at 5:31 PM

        It is… I wonder how that develops… I’m sure at a young childhood age, but is it dependent upon what we’re exposed to or just random!

        Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    November 6, 2017 at 4:31 PM

    Heads up Jay, fantasy novels, even YA, are generally 5-800 pages long! 😂
    Great review though, I shan’t be reading I’ve made a conscious effort to move away from YA if for no other reason (there are loads) it reduces my TBR massively!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 6, 2017 at 5:32 PM

      It’s exhaustive. I like books around 300 pages. Enough to excite and tease me, but not enough to make me yell “I need to go to bed. Stop it.” Lord, I don’t think this comment is saying what I meant it to say.

      Like

        BrizzleLass said:
        November 6, 2017 at 6:50 PM

        Haha!!! I love tomes with fantasy, all that world building and detail makes me happy. In any other novel though any thing more than about 350 and it needs to be really special.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        November 6, 2017 at 8:26 PM

        Like rockin our world special!

        Like

    Noriko said:
    November 6, 2017 at 4:45 PM

    Glad you got to finish the book, Jay! I thought you would give up on this one! Great, objective review! Kudos to you!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 6, 2017 at 5:36 PM

      It was tough. I threw the iPad twice across the bed and onto the chair in the corner (I didn’t want it to break). W laughed a few times at my childish responses. Ryder didn’t even move. He just laid on my feet and must have been thinking “this one is crazy tonight.” But seriously… oh… it hurt to read at points. I got thru it. Thx for reading the review. I had to find a polite way of responding to it.

      Liked by 1 person

        Noriko said:
        November 6, 2017 at 6:30 PM

        Wow!! That’s a new one on me, even though you didn’t want it to break, but did you THROW your iPad???? This is indeed a new side of you, that’s interesting 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        November 6, 2017 at 8:24 PM

        Yes, I was very much “grr… no, won’t read tonight” ten I picked it up again and read. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    theorangutanlibrarian said:
    November 6, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    Well I think you’ve been very fair considering this isn’t something you normally read!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 6, 2017 at 8:28 PM

      I tried so hard! And I did like it. Especially the second half. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        theorangutanlibrarian said:
        November 6, 2017 at 8:34 PM

        Well that’s fair enough- I think that sometimes some books just aren’t for everyone- at least you gave it your best shot!

        Liked by 1 person

    Darque Dreamer Reads said:
    November 7, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    This is a great review Jay! And I love how fairly you rated it! It makes sense to try to look at all aspects as a reader. This duology is my favorite at the moment and I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy, but for those who don’t usually read that genre, I can see how it would be difficult to fully enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    November 15, 2017 at 8:04 AM

    Great review. I agree, it is hard to rate a book that you might not have loved because of the genre. I am that way as well.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 15, 2017 at 8:11 AM

      Definitely, tough sometimes. I also think I miss light cozies with everything else I’m reading, so I am reading a few of those next before I jump back into anything heavy.

      Liked by 1 person

    Zoe @ Stories on Stage said:
    November 18, 2017 at 12:22 AM

    I completely agree! This is such an amazing book and I’m so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂 The characters, the plot, and the setting are all absolutely flawless. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 18, 2017 at 7:54 AM

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear from you. Following you on Bloglobin and Twitter now too.

      Like

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 18, 2017 at 7:54 AM

      Umm… Bloglovin… Silly Auto-Correct!

      Like

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