“A good magician wasn’t much different from a proper thief.”
Nothing is sacred except trade to the island nation of Kerch where the city of Ketterdam is a hub of international trade. In a city where anything can be bought or sold, Kaz Brekker has most of the city eating out of the palm of his hand.
When Kaz is offered the chance to take on an impossible heist, he knows the rewards are worth the risk–especially when they will bring him one crucial step closer to revenge.
But even Kaz will need help on this job.
He draws together an unlikely crew: a convict eager for revenge of his own, a sharpshooter who loves the cards more than they love him, a runaway with a secret, a spy known as the Wraith, a Heartrender using her magic to stay alive in Ketterdam’s slums and, of course, a thief with a talent for impossible escapes.
Six people, but a thousand ways that Kaz’s insane plan could go wrong in Six of Crows (2015) by Leigh Bardugo.
Six of Crows is the first book in a two book series which will continue in Empire of Crows. It is also a companion to Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. This book is shortly after the events of the Grisha trilogy and in the same world although there are new characters. You can absolutely read this novel without reading the Grisha books first. (I did!)
Six of Crows is an impressive undertaking filled with complex heists, jail breaks, bait and switch twists, and high-octane action from page one. The novel is written in third person with alternating close points of view. Most of the chapters follow Kaz or members of his diverse crew.
By alternating viewpoints so often Bardugo is able to deliver a well-rounded and nuanced story with multiple plot threads. The book’s structure also allows for slow reveals of character motivations and backgrounds.
While there are moments of violence in Six of Crows, they are quick and easy to gloss over for squeamish readers. Fans of the Grisha trilogy will, of course, already be familiar with the well-realized and detailed world of the Grisha. That said, Bardugo does a good job of explaining details for readers coming to Six of Crows without the background of her earlier trilogy.
Unsurprisingly, Six of Crows does end with quite a few twists and much left unresolved which is guaranteed to leave readers eager for book two.
Twists, turns, and surprises guarantee that this novel is sure to have high appeal. A solid heist story with minimal fantasy elements make Six of Crows an ideal introduction to fantasy for readers hoping to try the genre.
Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce, Heist Society by Ally Carter, The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen, Angel Mage by Garth Nix, There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan, Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt, Never Never by Brianna Shrum, The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
*An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review consideration at BEA 2015*