The heist--an attempt to acquire something incredibly important or valuable from somewhere equally, incredibly impenetrable. The catch is to survive the heist and reap the benefits of the nefarious and illegal act. This type of action requires a team of people with specific skills and knowledge to provide a way to penetrate a strong defense system. And each of these people has their own motivations for taking on the challenge. Heist stories can be compelling and fascinating as the reader learns what the plan is and how each character will contribute to its undertaking. These stories can be nerve-racking, as the reader is pushed to the edge of their seat waiting to see if the plan will succeed. Six of Crows, the new book from Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy) is compelling, fascinating, nerve-racking and so much more!
Kaz “Dirtyhands” Brekker is as heartless and ruthless as he is young. At seventeen he will, according to the word on the street, do almost anything if the price is right. His reasons and goals are his own, and heaven help the person or gang that gets between Kaz Brekker and what he wants. Kaz has been offered a job with a payout which is irresistible, but he can’t accomplish the required goal alone. He recruits five talented, but underrated, underappreciated and unwanted individuals to assist him. One is a spy known as The Wraith. Another is a sharpshooter with a gambling problem, and the debts to prove it. The third is a Grisha Heartrender who has figured out a way to use her abilities to survive the slums of Ketterdam. The fourth is a rich runaway, and the other group members cannnot understand why he is part of the team.The fifth team member is currently serving time in prison, and The Heartrender sent him there.This person is essential to Kaz’s plan. Before the heist can be pulled off, the team members have to survive a prison break that may see all of them dead before morning. If they succeed, which is highly unlikely, they will all be richer than any of them had ever dreamed. It is more likely they will die making the attempt. But Kaz has decided they will succeed, and he is rarely wrong. The big question: Will Kaz Brekker be right or wrong this time . . .
Exploiting the world she created for The Grisha Trilogy, Leigh Burdugo tells a decidedly different story, in structure and tone in Six of Crows. There is enough exposition for new readers to get a sense of this world, while readers of her previous books will feel right at home exploring these new corners. Like the Grisha trilogy, the territory travelled isn’t new or surprising. However, Bardugo’s strength is to breathe life and energy into an otherwise familiar type of story, making it a compelling and completely enjoyable read.
In fact, It’s hard not to marvel at Six of Crows and Bardugo. Not only has she crafted a marvelous heist story, set in the fascinating world of the Grisha, but she has chosen to tell it from SEVEN different perspectives. Readers are provided with insights and perspectives from most members of the team as they undertake the challenge, as well as ruminating on what has brought them to this point. Bardugo walks a fine line here, creating characters who are hardened enough to take on a deadly mission, damaged enough to convey the difficulties of their lives so far, and the drive they feel to take on a challenge which offers them escape, all while keeping the characters relatable and, surprisingly likable. A bit too much of any of these elements would weaken the plot and the reader’s ability to enjoy the novel, but in Bardugo’s capable hands, these characters come alive.The diversity of the crew is welcome, with male and female members, Grisha and non, and a wide spectrum of belief systems and sexualities. The real surprise and joy, is that readers may find themselves identifying, understanding and sympathizing with characters, actions and decisions they might not otherwise have considered.
Six of Crows is the first book in a new series. There is no release date yet for the next chapter in this story.