Six of Crows

Leigh Bardugo's fantasy Six of Crows is the jaw-dropping companion to the Grisha trilogy that began with Shadow and Bone.

Jesper is just one of 17-year-old Kaz Brekker's crew of six brilliant, profoundly damaged teenaged criminals who are determined to pull off the heist of a lifetime. Each has a desperate reason--from revenge to escape to greed--for embarking on this insane gig: breaking into the most reinforced fortress in their world (a dark, otherworldly, Amsterdam-like place) in order to free an imprisoned chemist who holds the future of the planet in his hands. Bardugo has a knack for swinging from brutality to almost hysterical humor in a single page. Sassy one-offs such as Nina's line, "You wouldn't know a good time if it sidled up to you and stuck a lollipop in your mouth," are followed up with harsh, heartbreaking flashbacks into each of the diverse cast's tragic personal histories: a murdered brother, enslavement in a brothel, a Nazi Youth-like adolescence. 

Whether readers are agonizing over Nina and Matthias's deadly love-hate relationship, rolling their eyes at poor, dopey Wylan, fantasizing about slipping invisibly through dark streets like spiderly Inej or just eaten up with curiosity about Kaz Brekker's monstrous ways--is he truly without a conscience?--they will not breathe easily until the last semi-lovable crook has climbed the prison incinerator shaft, the last double-crosser is outed and the final page is read. Except... it's a bit of a cliffhanger. The sequel awaits. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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