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15 Books Like Six of Crows

Books Like Six of Crows

If you’re a fan of intricate plots, morally gray characters, and pulse-pounding heists like those found in Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows,” then you’re in for a treat. 

This curated list compiles some amazing books that will whisk you away on thrilling adventures, introducing you to diverse worlds filled with cunning con artists, daring thieves, and complex schemes. 

Whether you’re craving more stories set in gritty fantasy realms or eager to explore sci-fi landscapes teeming with intrigue, this collection has something for every fan of high-stakes escapades and unforgettable characters. 

Let’s begin. 

Books Like Six of Crows

1. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: The Final Empire” is the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, set in a dark and oppressive world where ash falls from the sky and mist dominates the night. The story centers around Vin, a streetwise urchin who discovers she has magical abilities and joins a group of rebels planning to overthrow the immortal ruler, the Lord Ruler. 

The novel combines intricate world-building, a unique magic system known as Allomancy, and a cast of complex characters working together for a common cause.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Six of Crows,” “Mistborn: The Final Empire” features a heist-centric plot with a group of unlikely allies, each with their own unique skills and troubled pasts. Both novels are celebrated for their well-developed characters, moral complexities, and a plot that’s as much about personal growth and camaraderie as it is about the heist itself. 

The intricate magic system in “Mistborn” mirrors the detailed world-building found in “Six of Crows,” making it a compelling read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s work.

2. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

“The Lies of Locke Lamora” is the first book in the Gentleman Bastard series, focusing on Locke Lamora, a con artist and the leader of a band of thieves in the city of Camorr, which is reminiscent of a fantastical Venice. The story weaves together Locke’s present-day heists and scams with flashbacks to his upbringing among the city’s crime lords. Lynch’s narrative is known for its wit, elaborate cons, and richly detailed world, filled with danger, intrigue, and betrayal.

Major Similarities: 

Fans of “Six of Crows” will find familiar ground in “The Lies of Locke Lamora” with its focus on a tight-knit group of thieves and their complex schemes. Both books feature a charismatic and clever leader, a detailed setting that feels like a character in its own right, and a plot that balances high-stakes action with deep emotional moments. 

The emphasis on friendship, loyalty, and the gray morality of the characters’ actions adds another layer of similarity between the two.

3. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Set in a magical version of 1889 Paris, “The Gilded Wolves” follows Séverin Montagnet-Alarie, a wealthy hotelier and treasure hunter who assembles a team of gifted individuals to find a lost artifact for the powerful Order of Babel. 

The team comprises a diverse group of characters, each with their own special abilities and backgrounds, navigating a world of colonialism, forbidden magic, and historical mysteries.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Six of Crows,” “The Gilded Wolves” is centered around a diverse group of young adults pulling off a complex heist, with each character bringing their own expertise and emotional baggage to the table. The novel’s mix of fantasy, history, and puzzle-solving mirrors the layered storytelling and world-building of Bardugo’s work. 

Both books also tackle themes of identity, belonging, and the impact of the past on the present, making them resonate with readers on multiple levels.

4. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

“Foundryside” is the first book in The Founders Trilogy, set in the city of Tevanne, a place where technology and magic merge through a process called scriving. The story follows Sancia Grado, a thief who steals a magical artifact that grants her incredible powers, thrusting her into a grand conspiracy involving the city’s ruling merchant houses. 

The novel explores themes of power, innovation, and exploitation within a richly built fantasy world.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Six of Crows” and “Foundryside” feature a heist plot with a strong, resourceful protagonist leading a group of talented misfits. The inventive magic system and the focus on socio-economic disparities echo the deep world-building and character-driven narratives of “Six of Crows.” 

Additionally, the dynamic between the characters as they navigate their personal demons and relationships while working together adds a compelling layer of similarity.

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

“A Darker Shade of Magic” is the first book in a trilogy that introduces Kell, one of the last Antari—magicians with the ability to travel between parallel Londons: Red, Grey, White, and (once) Black. Kell serves as an ambassador and smuggler between the Londons, until he encounters Delilah Bard, a thief who forces him into a dangerous adventure. 

The novel is known for its imaginative world-building, fast-paced plot, and the dynamic duo at its heart.

Major Similarities: 

The theme of magical intrigue and the presence of a charismatic and mysterious lead character in “A Darker Shade of Magic” will appeal to fans of “Six of Crows.” Both novels feature a complex, well-realized world where magic plays a crucial role, and the protagonists are morally ambiguous characters who are highly skilled in their respective crafts. 

The element of cross-world exploration in Schwab’s novel parallels the journey through different territories and cultures found in “Six of Crows,” providing a similarly immersive reading experience.

6. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

“The Bone Season” is the first installment in a dystopian fantasy series set in a future where clairvoyants are hunted by a totalitarian government. 

The story follows Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, who is captured and taken to a secret city controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige must navigate this new world, uncover its secrets, and lead a rebellion against her captors.

Major Similarities: 

“The Bone Season” shares with “Six of Crows” a dark, richly imagined world where a group of characters with unique abilities must come together to fight against an oppressive regime. 

The emphasis on a young, strong protagonist who rises in the ranks of a criminal underworld parallels Kaz Brekker’s journey. Both books explore themes of freedom, survival, and the complexities of power dynamics within beautifully constructed fantasy settings.

7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

“An Ember in the Ashes” is set in a brutal, ancient-like world inspired by the Roman Empire, where the Martial Empire rules with an iron fist. The story alternates between two perspectives: Laia, a slave spying for the rebels in exchange for their help in rescuing her brother, and Elias, one of the Empire’s elite soldiers who wishes to be free from its tyranny. 

Their paths intersect in unexpected ways, leading to a journey filled with danger, betrayal, and the quest for freedom.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Six of Crows,” “An Ember in the Ashes” features characters from different walks of life coming together to challenge a corrupt power. The novel’s intense, action-packed narrative, combined with a focus on deep personal struggles and the development of alliances, mirrors the dynamics seen in Bardugo’s work. 

Both stories are set in a richly detailed world that is both cruel and captivating, with a strong emphasis on character development and moral ambiguity.

8. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

“Truthwitch” is the first book in the Witchlands series, focusing on Safiya and Iseult, two best friends who are witches with the rare abilities to discern truth from lies and to see the emotional threads binding people, respectively. 

Their powers make them targets in a world on the brink of war. As they try to stay ahead of their pursuers, they embark on an adventure that tests their friendship and their understanding of their place in the world.

Major Similarities: 

“Truthwitch” shares with “Six of Crows” a focus on a tight-knit group of characters with unique magical abilities. 

The friendship and loyalty themes, combined with a plot that includes political intrigue, high-stakes adventure, and the quest for independence, align closely with the elements that fans of “Six of Crows” enjoy. Both novels create a world where magic is both a gift and a curse, leading to complex character dynamics and thrilling narratives.

9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone” is the first book in the Grisha Trilogy, set in the same world as “Six of Crows” but in a different timeline. It introduces Alina Starkov, a soldier who discovers she has a unique power that could be the key to setting her war-torn country free from the darkness of the Shadow Fold. 

As she trains with the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling, Alina uncovers the secrets of the Grisha power and the darker truths about the world she thought she knew.

Major Similarities: 

While “Shadow and Bone” has a different tone and focuses more on a singular protagonist’s journey, it shares the richly imagined world of the Grishaverse with “Six of Crows.” Fans will appreciate the detailed magic system, the political and social dynamics of the world, and the exploration of themes such as power, identity, and belonging. 

The intricate backstory and world-building in “Shadow and Bone” provide a deeper understanding of the setting and context for “Six of Crows.”

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince” is the first book in The Folk of the Air series, set in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. It follows Jude, a mortal girl who, along with her two sisters, was kidnapped and raised in the Faerie world. 

Despite her human vulnerability, Jude wishes to belong and gain power within the court, drawing her into the deadly politics and intrigues of the faeries. Her ambition puts her at odds with Prince Cardan, the youngest and most wicked son of the High King.

Major Similarities: 

“The Cruel Prince” and “Six of Crows” both delve into themes of ambition, power struggles, and the quest for belonging in a world where the protagonists are outsiders. The complex character dynamics, political intrigue, and a dark, enchanting setting are central to both stories. 

Holly Black, like Leigh Bardugo, creates a vivid, immersive world filled with morally ambiguous characters, making it a compelling read for fans of heist plots and fantasy realms woven with danger and betrayal.

11. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

“Red Seas Under Red Skies” is the second book in the Gentleman Bastard series, following “The Lies of Locke Lamora.” In this installment, Locke Lamora and his friend Jean Tannen take to the high seas, engaging in piracy while simultaneously getting entangled in the politics of the pirate-infested waters. 

The novel combines elements of adventure, heist, and intrigue, maintaining the clever dialogue and rich character development that fans of the series have come to love.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Six of Crows,” “Red Seas Under Red Skies” focuses on elaborate schemes and the deep bond between its main characters. The novel’s blend of high-stakes heist and the dynamics of a crew facing incredible odds will appeal to fans of Bardugo’s work. 

Both books excel in their detailed world-building, complex characters, and the exploration of themes such as loyalty, betrayal, and survival in morally gray situations.

12. Heist Society by Ally Carter

“Heist Society” introduces readers to Katarina Bishop, a teenage girl from a family of career criminals who has tried to leave the life of crime behind, only to be pulled back in when her father is suspected of stealing a priceless collection of art. 

Kat must assemble a crew of young thieves to track down the art and steal it back to prove her father’s innocence. The novel is a lighter, more contemporary take on the heist genre, filled with clever cons and international adventure.

Major Similarities: 

Though aimed at a slightly younger audience, “Heist Society” shares with “Six of Crows” the theme of a complicated heist led by a group of talented and resourceful young people. The emphasis on teamwork, strategy, and the characters’ backstories of living on the fringes of society parallels the dynamics in Bardugo’s novel. 

Both stories showcase the thrill of the heist, the planning and execution of a seemingly impossible task, and the personal growth of the characters through their adventures.

13. Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

“Theft of Swords” is the first volume in the Riyria Revelations series, combining the first two books, “The Crown Conspiracy” and “Avempartha.” 

It follows Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, a skilled swordsman, who are framed for the murder of the king. 

The duo must navigate a complex plot of magic, betrayal, and ancient secrets to clear their names and uncover a greater conspiracy at play.

Major Similarities: 

“Theft of Swords” and “Six of Crows” both feature a pair of protagonists with complementary skills who are deeply involved in the criminal underworld. The novels share themes of friendship, conspiracy, and the challenge of outwitting powerful enemies. 

Sullivan’s series, like Bardugo’s, is set in a well-constructed fantasy world where political intrigue and ancient magic play crucial roles. Fans of the teamwork and camaraderie in “Six of Crows” will appreciate the dynamic between Royce and Hadrian.

14. The Falconer by Elizabeth May

“The Falconer” is set in an alternate Victorian Scotland and follows Aileana Kameron, a young noblewoman by day and a fierce hunter of faeries by night. 

After her mother’s murder by a powerful fae, Aileana is drawn into the hidden world of fae politics and ancient feuds. 

She must navigate her dual life while preparing to confront the fae responsible for her mother’s death, relying on her fighting skills, inventions, and the alliances she forms along the way.

Major Similarities: 

While “The Falconer” leans more towards a blend of historical fantasy and steampunk, it shares with “Six of Crows” a strong, resourceful protagonist who operates in a world filled with danger and magical intrigue. 

Both novels feature a dark, atmospheric setting and a plot that revolves around revenge, survival, and the uncovering of deeper truths. 

The themes of vengeance and the quest for justice are prevalent in both stories, appealing to readers who enjoy character-driven narratives within a richly built fantasy world.

15. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

“Seraphina” introduces a fantasy world where dragons can take human form but are distinguishable by their lack of human emotion. 

The story follows Seraphina Dombegh, a talented musician who harbors a dangerous secret: she’s half-dragon, half-human. 

As tensions between humans and dragons rise, Seraphina becomes involved in a murder investigation that leads her to uncover a conspiracy that could reignite an age-old war.

Major Similarities: 

“Seraphina” and “Six of Crows” share a complex, beautifully detailed fantasy world where different races and societies coexist in a delicate balance. 

The focus on a protagonist with a secret identity and unique abilities, along with the themes of acceptance, identity, and the fight against prejudice, resonates with Bardugo’s narrative. 

Hartman, like Bardugo, excels in creating a multi-layered story where the personal journeys of the characters intersect with larger political and social conflicts, making “Seraphina” a compelling read for those who appreciate depth and nuance in their fantasy novels.

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