Six of Crows Duology

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Name: Six of Crows Duology
Abbreviation(s): SoC, 6oC
Creator: Leigh Bardugo
Date(s): Six of Crows; September 29, 2015
Crooked Kingdom; September 27, 2016
Medium: Novel
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Leigh Bardugo's Site
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The Six of Crows Duology consists of two books, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which center around a six-person gang hired to infiltrate a prison and retrieve a valuable political prisoner from a rival country. It is a Speculative Fiction/Fantasy novel, as well as a young adult novel, and is set in the Grishaverse. It is chronologically descendent from the Grisha Trilogy, and takes place in the same universe. The characters make an appearance in the King of Scars Duology. They were also given a sub-plot in the first season of the Netflix show Shadow & Bone, which is set pre-Six of Crows book.

"Six of Crows Duology" contains classic elements of the Steampunk genre, and is a straightforward Heist plot. The series is notable for its intense worldbuilding, magic system and magic users, explicit queer representation, descriptions of characters dealing with trauma, and plot twists.

The author, Leigh Bardugo, has called her blend of Eastern influence and Steampunk inspiration "Tsarpunk." [1]

Grishaverse Glossary needed.

Canon Overview


The canon spans many fantasy countries. Most notable are Ketterdam, a fantastic Netherlands and the original setting of Six of Crows; Ravka, a fantasized Russia; Fjerda, derivative of northern countries of Sweden, Norway, and Finland; and Shu Han, an amalgam of a couple continental Asian cultures, but heavily inspired by China.


The original six members of the heist:
(All links redirect to the Six of Crows Wiki) [2]

Other notable characters:


There are three ships that have been canonized in the text. Much of the obvious tension centers around Matthias Helvar and Nina Zenik. While Inej Ghafa and Kaz Brekker have their romantic subplot, Jesper Fahey and Wylan van Eck have a more overt romantic plot, both of which are further explored in Crooked Kingdom.

These canon ships focus most of the fandom's attention.


Possibly because of Leigh Bardugo's own activity on her Tumblr, the Six of Crows fandom thrives on the site.[3] There are many communities that post daily, host fanevents, and are extremely active. Fanart and fanedits are incredibly popular, and there seems to be a more active artist community than author community.

Six of Crows has been featured on Fandometrics multiple times, and was on the 2018 [4], 2017[5], and 2016 Top Books lists. In 2018 both books in the duology made it to the top of the list - the only series to be listed by individual book rather than as a series, making Leigh Bardugo the only author listed twice.

Fanart and fanedits are incredibly popular, and there seems to be a more active artist community than author community.

This is notable because besides the interior maps and art that Kevin Wada has produced, [6][7] (both released in 2015, at San Diego Comic Con), there is no canon art or visuals associated with SoC.

The canon pairings are popular, and there is a strong support of non-canon queer pairings throughout the fandom. There have been no noted ship wars, despite the main character being paired with a few different characters throughout fics and fandom. However, many people read Kaz Brekker as Asexual and have written meta about the nature of his sexuality through that lens.

The release of the Shadow & Bone Netflix show led to a revival in the fandom, introducing most of the characters to new fans who might not have read the books.

Popular Canon Pairings

Stats as of 08/2021:

Popular Non-Canon Pairings

Stats as of 08/2021:

Common Tropes

Short Fic

A notable piece of fandom for SoC, pre-2021 revival, is that the fics tended to be short - in the Archive of Our Own tag[8], for example, in 2018, there were only three fics longer than 100k. Many fics on tumblr were also short. The then-most popular fic in the tag, [9] An Ace up the Sleeve, was only one chapter, and only about 3,000 words.

Archives and Communities

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.




While not a fanwork, per se, noted queer comics artist Kevin Wada was commissioned by Leigh Bardugo to draw the main six characters of Six of Crows. [10] Posters of the illustrations were later sold at the San Diego Comic Con. These portraits are considered by a majority of the fandom to be the 'canon' interpretations of the characters.


  1. ^ "Tsarpunk" on Bardugo's site
  2. ^ Six of Crows Wiki
  3. ^ lbardugo Leigh Bardugo's Tumblr
  4. ^ [1][2018 Top Books]
  5. ^ [2][2017 Top Books]
  6. ^ [3]Playing Card Designs by Kevin Wada
  7. ^ [4]Character Designs by Kevin Wada
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6] An Ace up the Sleeve
  10. ^ Kevin Wada's Tumblr SoC Character Designs