Six of Crows – Revisiting the world of the Grisha without being related to the previous trilogy, Leigh Bardugo crafts an adventurously irresistible tale of six misfits who take an outrageous gamble that could save or annihilate the Grisha and their world.
A new drug called jurda parem has prompted control over Grisha yet causes them to quickly become crazed addicts and die. In the slums of Ketterdam, young Kaz Brekker, de facto leader of the Dregs, a local gang of thieves, has just been propositioned to steal away the drug’s maker from the tightly controlled Fjerdan government. Though the odds are astronomically not in his favor, Kaz believes he can pull it off, but not without the help of a gifted crew: Nina, a former Grisha Heartrender looking to pay off a debt; Matthew, a former Fjerdan soldier intent on killing Grisha; Inej, a talented spy with a big heart and fearsome reputation; Wylan, an escaped noble’s son with a gift for chemistry; and Jesper, a cheeky Sharpshooter with a weakness for gambling. Despite the uncertainty in their true loyalties, together this haphazard merry band of thieves just might manage to pull off the greatest heist in history since the time of the legendary Saints, one that will likely turn their adventure into legend.
A beautifully written epic journey complete with a well-rounded and delightful cast of characters, satisfying world-building, and surprising plot (hard to do with such a lofty heist adventure). My absolute favorite YA book of 2015, and one I was so very astonished to realize is supposed to be a series. Won’t reveal any spoilers, but I can’t fathom how Leigh is going to top this one. It was that good–possibly meriting even a strong comparison with that great queen of YA, J.K. Rowling, whom Leigh evokes with her deft use of the subtle subplot and overarching themes that are deeply felt by the reader.
You can see the beauty of this in the title, Six of Crows, first off because there are six of them, all thieves. Crows often have a bad reputation, but love shiny baubles, mate for life, and also are currently considered the world’s most intelligent animal.
One of the things I loved best were some of the quotes…one in particular shows the variety and charm in characterization.
Note: Some heavier topics, such as abuse, prostitution, and violence, but nothing graphic.
Author’s Note: I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Leigh when I was in San Francisco for ALA Annual, June 2015. (Please forgive any sort of terribleness of this photo as that blame lies entirely with me and not with Leigh. She did only have 5 minutes to speak with us and was using all of that time to show her enthusiasm for her newest book!) I was dying to read Six of Crows since I finished the Grisha trilogy, but once I met her, I knew I was a fan of both the books and the author. She was fun, sweet, and made you want to be her friend!