Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The basics

Title: Six of Crows


Series: Six of Crows #1

- Six of Crows (September 2015)
- Crooked Kingdom (September 2016)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.

In short

Set in Ketterdam, Kaz is the head of an awesome bunch of people. They’re hired to perform a heist. They have to get a Grisha called Bo Yul-Bayur out of prison. Bo Yul-Bayur accidentally developed a drug called jurda parem, which makes Grisha abilities go crazy. The team gets Matthias out of Hellgate first. They travel to Fjerda together and look for Yul-Bayur in prison. They don’t find him, but they do find his son, Kuwei. They take him instead. They fight a Fjerdan army and return to Ketterdam for their payment. Van Eck, the guy who hired them, refuses to pay for Kuwei, and takes Inej hostage. Kaz goes to Pekka Rollins for help, as Rollins owes him a debt. The crew steals from Rollins, which means they now have two people after them. And possibly a whole bunch of Fjerdans.

What happened in Six of Crows?

  • Jan Van Eck hires Kaz and his crew to break scientist Bo Yul-Bayur out of a prison in Fjerda.
  • Bo Yul-Bayur created a drug called jurda parem which enhances a Grisha’s abilities.
  • The crew breaks a Fjerdan guy called Matthias out of Hellgate prison because they’ll need his help.
  • Kaz’s crew is to board a ship – the Ferolind – and make their way to Fjerda. The crew is ambushed at the docks and Inej gets stabbed by someone working for Pekka Rollins, who is apparently also going to break Bo Yul-Bayur out of prison.
  • They reach Fjerda. Matthias plans to kill Bo Yul-Bayur in order to stop anyone from making any more jurda parem.
  • Pekka’s men burn Grisha on stakes. Nina and Matthias bury the bodies. Nina agrees that Bo Yul-Bayur needs to die.
  • They arrive in Dierholm.

  • They disguise themselves as prisoners and hitchhike to the castle on a prison wagon.

  • The guys and girls are separated.

  • The guys escape using Jesper’s Grisha magic. Kaz and Wylan go to help the girls.

  • Kaz and Nina go to find Bo Yul-Bayur.

  • Nina comes across a torture room and some guards. One of their guns goes off, which is heard and leads to the prison being put into lockdown.

  • Inej climbs the incinerator and drops a rope from the top so everyone can climb up to her. Jesper waits for Kaz, who is looking for Pekka Rollins. Kaz returns to the group without him in the end.

  • Inej and Nina disguise themselves as performers. Nina gets through but Inej looks suspicious so the guards make her wait.

  • Kaz and Matthias enter the castle by crossing the moat. They disguise themselves as guards.

  • Wylan distracts some guards and then he and Jesper sneak in and get to work on breaking the metal chain that holds the gate. They manage it and the alarm sounds.

  • Inej’s ex-madam from the Menagerie, Heleen, sees her. Heleen tells the guards that Inej is now working for Kaz, but they’re all distracted when they hear the alarm.

  • Nina comes across Yaro Brum, someone who was assumed dead in a shipwreck. The same one that Nina and Matthias were involved in. Nina tries to find out Bo Yul-Bayur’s location from Brum, and he takes her to a vault that is now being used as a lab. There’s a bunch of cells with Grisha trapped inside. He locks Nina inside a cell. It turns out he recognised her from before.

  • Matthias appears and it turns out he went straight to Brum, his old mentor. He wants Nina to be drugged with jurda parem because she is the one who got him locked up in Hellgate. He feels guilty but it’s a bit late for that now.

  • Brum reveals that Bo Yul-Bayur is being held in this same prison.

  • Brum says he’ll allow Matthias to become a druskelle again. Matthias realises that he actually quite likes Nina, and the Grisha aren’t all that bad. He knocks Brum out, which was actually the plan all along. Matthias takes Brum’s key, locks him up, and goes to get Nina out.

  • There’s a fight between some guards, Jesper and Wylan, and some Shu. The Shu kill the guards, and Jesper kills the Shu.

  • Matthias and Nina go to find Bo Yul-Bayur. Instead they find his son, Kuwei, who is a Grisha. Bo Yul-Bayur apparently died in battle. Kuwei destroys the laboratory.

  • Kaz, Matthias, Nina, and Kuwei all fall into the moat. They ingest pellets that allow them to breathe underwater. They follow the current and hope they don’t drown.

  • Jesper and Wylan take out the guards who have Inej. They escape by drilling a hole in the glass and hijacking a tank.

  • Nina, Matthias, Kuwei, and Kaz wash up. Kaz is unconscious but he comes around. They see the other group’s tank being chased by more tanks, but it’s fine because Inej and co. destroy the bridge behind them.

  • Then they run into a Fjerdan army, which has a drugged up Grisha. The army is to attack the group if they don’t hand Kuwei over. Nina takes jurda parem despite the risks of getting addicted. Nina takes down the army and the Grisha. She heals Matthias after he is shot. Matthias asks her not to harm the druskelle. The crew boards the ship and leaves Fjerda.

  • Inej tells Kaz she wants to buy a boat, hire a crew, and learn to sail. Kaz asks her to stay with him. Inej says she would if he’d stop hiding from her.

  • Nina starts to come down from her high.

  • They reach Ketterdam and meet Van Eck at Vellgeluk.

how did it end?

Van Eck tries to double cross the crew. He tries to take them out with Grisha. He also wants to destroy the ship. Kaz reminds him that Wylan is still on the ship with Nina, assuming that Van Eck won’t want to kill him son. It turns out that Van Eck doesn’t like Wylan all that much anyway. Van Eck commands the Grisha to destroy the ship.

It turns out that Wylan is there after all, disguised as Kuwei. Kaz will only tell Van Eck where Kuwei is if they are allowed to leave safely with their money. Van Eck commands his team to kill everyone but Kaz. Kaz lets slip that he is worried about Inej and Van Eck notices. He tells the Grisha to take the money and Inej and they fly off. Van Eck says they have one week to exchange Kuwei for Inej.

It turns out that Jesper accidentally gave their plans away to Pekka Rollins. The whole crew (minus Inej) goes to see Pekka Rollins because he owes Kaz a favour for allowing him to live. Kaz demands that Rollins passes along a message, and also 200,000 kruges for their next heist. Kaz offers up his shares in returns and Rollins agrees. Pekka Rollins says he doesn’t remember Kaz. The crew leave, and Rollins realises he has been pickpocketed. Pekka Rollins vows to kill Kaz.

That’s what happened in Six of Crows! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

Leave a reply