Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

Kaz Brekker can achieve anything he sets his mind to. Still, when he’s tasked with the ultimate heist by one of the most influential merchants in the port city of Ketterdam, even he doubts his ability to accomplish it.

Kaz is spurred on by his ambition and greed to assemble a crew. Leigh Bardugo builds up the heist trope to full effect. Yes, readers will want to get to the climax of the big steal, but the real story is in the assembled crew. The people picked for the mission have nothing to lose – they are each willing to put their lives on the line for a big payout, and some of them seem not to know how to get along with others.

I enjoyed the world-building and visiting Ketterdam which is set in the Grisha world of Leigh Bardugo’s first series – The Grisha series. There’s certainly a plot and action, but the main focus is the characters, and they all have significant baggage.

Emotions run high and the witty back and forth dialogue, smart one-liners and characterisation put me in mind of a melodrama – in a good way. A Victorian melodrama traditionally had six stock characters. In this story, we have six sassy Crows, and they spread their wings and travel away from the Ketterdam stage and across the wider Grisha-verse.

If you’re looking for a fun read – with bags of flirting, sexual tension, a hint of magic, and a dash of action and a splash of heist – I think you’ll appreciate this book. If you’re not all about the witty one-liners and a cauldron of bubbling emotions and young love, you might not be so interested.

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