STARRED REVIEW
October 2015

A heist with deadly stakes

By Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo’s new series, set in the same universe as her best-selling Grisha trilogy, kicks off with Six of Crows. In this gritty world, gangs battle for control of the streets in the bustling port city of Ketterdam. One of these gangs is the Dregs, led by Kaz Brekker, whose youth belies his cunning as a thief and viciousness as a leader.

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Leigh Bardugo’s new series, set in the same universe as her best-selling Grisha trilogy, kicks off with Six of Crows. In this gritty world, gangs battle for control of the streets in the bustling port city of Ketterdam. One of these gangs is the Dregs, led by Kaz Brekker, whose youth belies his cunning as a thief and viciousness as a leader. Because of this growing reputation, Kaz is offered a job: liberate a prisoner from the Ice Court, a legendary stronghold in the nation of Fjerda. It’s almost certainly a suicide mission, but the reward money, even split between six accomplices, is worth the risk. 

Six of Crows is narrated by the rotating perspectives of Kaz’s young crew, a relatively diverse group whose personalities are distinct and compelling. Bardugo reveals each character’s backstory in stages, which adds suspense in the early chapters before the action ramps up. The bonds between members of the gang, especially the romantic ones, are sufficiently convincing to carry readers through a few weaker moments. Beyond the romance, Six of Crows is undeniably exciting. Bardugo cultivates a taut sense of urgency that intensifies as the heist unfolds minute by minute, leading to an unexpected twist in the final moments.

While the adventure and romance are perfect for the provided age range, episodes of extreme violence makes this dark heist novel suitable for older teen readers.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Six of Crows

Six of Crows

By Leigh Bardugo
Holt
ISBN 9781627792127

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