When I came up with the idea for this post a month ago I was feeling really annoyed. I like to read those daily updates from your Goodreads friends emails because I never check my feed on there. One day, one of my Goodreads friends had a review for a book completely unrelated to Six of Crows, upset that it wasn’t like Six of Crows. And this isn’t new and doesn’t pertain to only this Goodreads friend. There are so many books where the top reviews on Goodreads are along the lines of “Because of Six of Crows, I’ll read anything with ‘crow’ in the title”.
This frustrates me because a lot of these books are nothing like Six of Crows. In our search to find a book that is exactly like Six of Crows (but not exactly like Six of Crows because then it’s a “cheep knockoff of Six of Crows”, even if it was published/ written before Six of Crows was published), we are harming completely unrelated books by setting people up to expect Six of Crows when the books are about different things.
So I’ve compiled a short list of books I’ve read that aren’t Six of Crows, but have been compared to Six of Crows. These can pretty much fit into two categories: multiple POV and have ‘crow’ in the title. Despite this list being only 6 books long, I’ve split them up into these categories.
Multiple POV (+ some other similarities)
I have to start with the book that caused massive controversy for not being Six of Crows, but also being too similar to Six of Crows. I’m a part of the problem on this one. I’ve recommended The Gilded Wolves as a book you might like if you liked Six of Crows. I read Six of Crows without reading The Grisha Trilogy, so I had trouble with the magic system initially and compared that to my initial struggle with forging (the magic sytsem in the Gilded Wolves). The Gilded Wolves also has a “let’s use our skills to steal a thing” plot line, though it’s more of a treasure hunt where they use knowledge of history, myth, math, and science to solve puzzles and steal the thing. I’ll even give you that Séverin and Kaz are similar (though I’m happy to argue all the ways they aren’t)
The problem is that they aren’t the same book. Not in the slightest. The Gilded Wolves is written by an author of colour and delves into some stuff like colonialism, being biracial (and “white passing” vs not). Meanwhile, Six of Crows has disabled rep and discussions of trauma. One isn’t better than the other, but they delve into fundamentally different things.
One of the most frustrating things about this is the comparison of Laila and Inej, who are very different characters who happen to both be brown. Laila is the mom friend working hard to take care of her friends. She bakes, she likes fancy dresses, and she’s dealing very closely with her own mortality. Inej on the other hand is dealing very closely with the trauma that comes from what happened to her, and while her friendships with the other dregs (particularly Jesper and Nina) brings a smile to my face, she tends to mostly keep to herself. Laila and Inej are both fierce and amazing, but in different ways.
Michelle from Magical Reads has and excellent discussion post on this comparison that I highly recommend checking out.
I think Six of Crows was a comp title for Ace of Shades, which is fine because publishers use Six of Crows as a comp title all the time and it’s mostly inaccurate. The problem was that being on the street team I saw so many people continue to push the Six of Crows angle, and they’re really not alike. Like they both have crime and chapters from multiple morally grey characters, but that’s pretty much it.
I can’t remember if it was just that I compared this to Six of Crows, Six of Crows was a comp title, or if I saw someone else compare the two, but Beneath the Citadel has definitely been compared to Six of Crows. There is sort of a heist, but it goes really poorly. This is actually more of a “let’s take down the corrupt government kind of book”. I’d more recommend it to fans of There Will Come A Darkness than Six of Crows.
Speaking of There Will Come A Darkness, I saw so many people compare it to Six of Crows (mostly on Twitter) that I went in assuming the five characters joined together to stop the age of darkness, and one of them betrayed the others. That’s not what book is about at all. The story lines are more separate with some connections and interactions among the 5 POV characters. It’s a really good book, but as with the others on this list, it is not like Six of Crows.
Books With ‘Crow’ in the Title
I don’t know about you, but a book about a girl with depression who wants to ride magical crows and is trying to take down the country trying to take over her own doesn’t sound like Six of Crows at all. And yet I’ve seen so many people only express interest in this book because the ‘crow” in the title reminds them of Six of Crows. Then they get disappointed that a book that never pretended to be like Six of Crows isn’t like Six of Crows. The Storm Crow is my all-time favourite book, so I get extra angry every time I see a review like this because this book deserves so much better.
The title The Merciful Crow has to do with how the cast Fie is a part of mercifully kills plague victims because her cast is immune to the plague, but that hasn’t stopped people from associating this book with Six of Crows for no reason. This book is basically a journey book, which is very different from a book about a heist.
Is there a book comparison that really bothers you?