Last Updated on August 26, 2023 by Louisa
There is something already appealing about a good heist story. Add in a bit of magic and a gang of morally grey teens navigating a gritty world and that is my definition of a fantastic book.
The Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo duology not only captured the hearts of readers but became a huge hit when the characters made it to the screen in Netflix’s Shadow and Bone.
Whether you found the series through the show or vice versa, there is no denying that this book and the world contained inside is one of a kind.
Six of Crows is by far one of my favorite reads in the young adult genre. If you’re like me and you need something to fill the void after turning the last page, try out one of these books similar to Six of Crows.
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Quick Answer: Top 3 Picks!
Need a book like Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo but don’t have much time? Here are my top three favorites!
#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- An LGBT romance novel about a British Prince
- 2020 winner of the Alex Award
- Winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Romance and Best Debut in 2019
#2 Best Romance Book
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
- A story about an assassin who seduces a king in order to murder him and overthrow him, but falls in love instead
- Semi-Finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi
- International bestselling author
#3 Best Young Adult Book
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
- A Beauty and the Beast retelling following a huntress who falls into a love triangle and war against realms
- Winner of the Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction Novel in the Goodreads Choice Awards for 3 consecutive years
- International Bestseller
Summary of Six of Crows
Before I get into the best books like Six of Crows, let’s quickly remind you of the story. I won’t reveal any spoilers if you’re still reading.
Six of Crows is an epic fantasy heist story by Leigh Bardugo, focusing on the adventures of five teenagers determined to free someone from prison.
Told through alternating points of view, this narrative explores the criminal district of Barrel situated within Ketterdam; a bustling city inspired by 17th-century Amsterdam.
At the helm is leader Kaz Brekker, who finds himself kidnapped and transported to prison; here he meets Yul-Bayer and discovers jurda parem.
This powerful formula amplifies those with powers, prompting Kaz and Yul-Bayer to escape in a bid to keep it out of the wrong hands.
With help from his wise allies, they will have to break out of an impenetrable fortress before they reach their goal – but will they be too late?
Six of Crows is a thrilling, found family book with a fast-paced storyline and plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Related Reading: The Best Six of Crows Quotes
Six of Crows offers up a romance in various ways. If you are a fan of these romance tropes, then you’re probably on the hunt for others like them.
Here of some of the best romance books similar to Six of Crows.
1. Dance of Thieves – Mary E. Pearson
With the passing of the head of the Ballenger empire, Jase soon finds himself taking over as ruler; a family whose harsh laws and notorious criminal status has made them feared throughout neighboring kingdoms.
Tasked with investigating wrongdoings against new settlements is Kazi, an ex-street thief sent by the Queen.
Upon arrival in Jase’s kingdom, Kazi finds him to be far more than she had expected – drawing them both into a game of cat-and-mouse involving deception in order to reach their desired goals.
Along their journey, they will face plenty of trials and tribulations as they strive to achieve what they set out to do.
Dance of Thieves is an exhilarating read that takes readers on an action-packed journey into the world of assassins, royalty and betrays.
2. The Shadows Between Us – Tricia Levenseller
For Alessandra Stathos, murder is a means to an end; the wily second daughter of a bankrupt noble who must keep her identity hidden until her older sister can be sold for a bride price.
Tired of being ignored, Alessandra plots to assassinate the Shadow King, determined to take over his realm and make herself his Queen.
But as assassination attempts on the king’s life become more frequent, she realizes that she must keep him safe in order for her plan to work – something she hadn’t banked on and a feeling that could put her plan at risk.
This story is dark and unapologetic, filled with characters who are strong and ruthless. Perfect for those who want more assassin books like The Six of Crows.
3. To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo
A renowned prince killer, Princess Lira is the most dangerous siren of them all; the daughter of the Sea Queen and feared across the sea.
When her mother turns her into a human, she must take on this new form in order to kill Prince Elian within the winter solstice or else be condemned to forever stay as human.
For Prince Elian, hunting sirens isn’t just a hobby; it’s his purpose. However little did he know that when he saves Lira from drowning at sea, she would be exactly who he’s searching for.
In a bid to rid humanity of its greatest foe, Elian makes a deal with Lira to discover the final secret in defeating sirens once and for all – but how far will Elian have to go?
Follows a suspenseful plot filled with twists and turns, as well as moral dilemmas.
4. Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
Red, White and Royal Blue is a funny enemies-to-lovers LGBTQ romance book.
Alex Claremont-Diaz is on the fast-track to success, and as the son of America’s first female President, he dreams of bringing glory to his mother’s legacy.
However, when a photo surfaces of him confronting his longtime enemy Prince Henry at a royal wedding, relations between their two countries reach an all time low.
With President Claremont starting her re-election campaign, Alex finds himself seemingly unable to help but enter into a forbidden romance with Henry that could compromise it – and tear apart both Britain and America.
Red, White and Royal Blue is the winner of The Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance in 2019.
Related Reading: Books Like Red, White and Royal Blue
5. Bone Crier’s Moon – Kathryn Purdie
From birth, Ailesse has been groomed to become the next matriarch of the Bone Criers – a hidden family who use animal bones for transporting departed souls.
But before she can assume her power and become a Ferrier, she must call her Amoure and kill him as required by the Gods’ sacrifice.
Bastien, however, has been on a mission to take revenge since his father’s death at the hands of a Bone Crier – only to discover that his fate is intertwined with Aillesse’s.
Because her Amoure is their soulmate, if Ailesse does not complete her ritual they will both perish – forcing Bastien to put vengeance aside and fight for their lives.
Bone Criers Moon effortlessly balances a dark subject matter with powerful themes of justice and revenge.
If you love the fantasy and mythology elements of Six of Crows, whether it be the unique magic system or vast world building, then these fantasy novels like Six of Crows might be in line with your tastes.
6. Descendant Of The Crane – Joan He
Princess Hesina’s father has just been assassinated, thrusting her into a position of power she isn’t sure she is prepared for.
Her kingdom is volatile and filled with hatred. Despite her mixed emotions, she puts on a brave face and becomes the queen she has been trained to be.
Hesina decides to investigate her father’s death, and she will go to any length to expose the truth, even if it means breaking her own country’s laws.
Hesina seeks assistance from a skilled detective named Akira, who was once a convicted criminal and has his own share of secrets.
But will Hesina find justice for her father while her kingdom’s fate is at stake?
Follows a suspenseful plot filled with twists and turns, as well as moral dilemmas.
7. Serpent And Dove – Shelby Mahurin
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc left her coven in search of safety in Cesarine and gave up all magic, with nothing to sustain her but what she could steal.
Throughout history, Witches have been the Church’s prime adversaries, and Lou must avoid a punishment far worse than fire.
Reid Diggory is an instrument of the Church who lives by a single rule: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His life was never supposed to cross paths with Lou’s, until a cruel twist throws them into an unintended marriage.
With no option but to survive together, Lou must keep Reid from finding out that she is a Witch – for it could mean her execution if he does.
If you liked Six of Crows for the gritty urban settings and sassy dialogue, this is one that you may enjoy!
8. Kingdom Of The Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco
Emilia and Vittoria are Witches living undercover amongst mortals in order to avoid detection and reprisal.
When Vittoria fails to come home one evening, her twin discovers her mutilated body. Consumed by grief, Emilia takes up the quest of finding her sister’s murderer, willing to commit any act – even resorting to black magic – for revenge.
By an unforeseen stroke of luck, she summons Wrath, a Prince from Hell who has been assigned by his master to investigate the deaths of several women on the island.
With Wrath at her side, Emilia struggles to trust him since it is difficult to tell friend from foe among the Wicked. Nevertheless, she must rely on his assistance if she is ever going to bring justice for her sister.
Focuses on a central assassin character, exploring themes of loyalty and redemption.
9. Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
At 18 years of age, Zetian offers herself as an unwilling concubine pilot with the sole purpose of assassinating the ace male aviator who she believes murdered her sister instead of draining her life in battle against aliens.
Her plan is successful, and despite being linked psychically to her enemies, she escapes without injury.
For this feat, she gains notoriety as an Iron Widow – a female pilot capable of sacrificing boys to enhance Chrysalises.
In an attempt to tame her formidable yet necessary mental strength, Zetian is teamed up with Li Shimin, the most powerful and controversial male pilot in Huaxia.
Despite warnings and struggles ahead, Zetian is determined not to back down now that she has tasted power.
With morally grey characters and a society that raises questions, this is a great read for those who want more books like Six of Crows.
10. Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
If you are looking for books similar to Six of Crows, then the entire Shadow and Bone trilogy needs to be on your list.
The dark mafia romance book series follows a soldier and mapmaker, Alina, who is about to make her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a wall of darkness crawling with monsters.
But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic that not even she knew she possessed.
Alina is a Grisha—one with a rare power that can be matched only by the Darkling, the leader of the Grisha.
He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
The only problem is that she doesn’t know how to wield it.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Shadow and Bone is an engaging story rife with power dynamics, morality questions, and heroism.
Six of Crows is considered one of the must-read books in the Young Adult genre. If you’re looking for some similar YA books to Six of Crows, here are some of my favorites!
11. The Last Magician – Lisa Maxwell
In contemporary Manhattan, magic drastically shapes the world and those possessing it are known as Mageus. Sadly, these Mageus suffer from extreme discrimination and have to live in secrecy due to the Order’s iron fist rule.
Esta is a talented thief, capable of manipulating time and hence able to pilfer items even before the Order realizes her presence.
With all her experience under her belt, Esta embarks on a daring mission: traveling back to 1902 to recover an ancient book containing the Order’s secrets before it gets destroyed by a Magician.
Old New York is fraught with danger; its streets are rife with gangs and mysterious societies while its atmosphere seethes with magic. To make matters worse, Esta can’t seem to trust anyone – especially her so-called Magician.
A thrilling page-turner with a central character who must face difficult choices, The Last Magician is a great read for those looking for similar novels like Six of Crows!
12. The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Inheritance Games follows Avery, a typical high schooler just trying to get by in life. That is, until she finds out that the late millionaire Tobias Hawthorne has left her his entire fortune as an inheritance.
However, there’s a catch; in order to claim this wealth, Avery needs to move into the massive and maze-like Hawthorne House where every room contains enigmatic puzzles and codes.
Unfortunately for Avery, her new home is also inhabited by those who were disinherited from the will of Tobias Hawthorne – including his four attractive grandchildren who were expecting to receive billions from the deceased.
With no idea why she was chosen or even who Tobias Hawthorne was, Avery takes on a challenge that could cost her dearly if she fails; surviving in a world filled with money and power while dodging danger at every turn.
The Inheritance Games is an engrossing story that moves quickly, but still has time for contemplation and thought.
Related Reading: Books Like The Inheritance Games
13. We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal
Zafira is a hunter disguising her identity to assist her community and Nasir is an assassin doubling as a prince who yearns for freedom.
If Zafira were to reveal she was female, her accomplishments would be rendered void, while if Nasir were to exhibit mercy, those close to him would suffer the repercussions from his father’s wrath.
Though these two are legends in Arawiya, neither of them desires their renown.
With war looming ever more closely and the Arz rapidly spreading darkness across the lands, an unlikely duo must work together on a mission that may sound impossible: restoring magic to Arawiya.
As they journey towards saving their kingdom, they might just find redemption in themselves. Yet exposing all their secrets could put this entire endeavor in jeopardy.
We Hunt the Flame tests the limits of heroism through its tense action sequences, just like Six of Crows.
14. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas
In a world where humans and faeries coexist solely by respecting a treaty and borders, things can get complicated.
A Court of Thorns and Roses predecessors, A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin, were the winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2016 and 2017.
When 19-year-old Feyre’s hunting expedition in the woods turns out to be deadly, she finds herself being dragged into a magical realm by an angered creature seeking retribution.
Yet, much to her surprise, she discovers that the captor is no beast, but rather one of the powerful and immortal faeries that had formerly reigned over her home.
Raised with nothing but disdain for these fae creatures, Feyre begins to challenge all of her preconceptions as secrets gradually become encrypted and emotions blur between whom she can trust and what she should feel.
Desperate to return back home, there is much more at stake than just her freedom; if an ancient evil is not stopped in time, it may result in catastrophic outcomes for Tamlin and all that she knows.
15. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin – Roseanne A. Brown
When Malik and his sister, Nadia, attempt to enter the luxurious city of Ziran for the Solstasia Festival, a spiteful spirit snatches her away in an instant.
To reclaim her freedom, Malik strikes an extreme deal: he must assassinate Karina, Crown Princess of the prosperous desert kingdom.
As if Karina’s life isn’t complicated enough with a murdered mother and citizens on the brink of revolt, she yearns to bring her mother back from death through ancient magic.
With only the beating heart of a king needed for this resurrection ritual to succeed, Karina does not hesitate when it comes to entering into matrimony with the victor of the Solstasia contest… that is until Malik barges into the competition and puts them both on a course for disaster.
Will this unlikely pair manage to complete their respective objectives while navigating through intense emotions and confronting ancient evils?
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin offers readers a chance to immerse themselves in a world full of secrets and lies, and brings up powerful questions on morality and justice.
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Final Word on Books Like Six of Crows
So, there you have it, those were my top books like Six of Crows.
Whether you like the story for its magical heist plot, romance, gritty urban setting, or found-family trope, you’ll definitely be able to find your next read on this list.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!