After bringing to life the elite magical soldiers known as Grisha in her best-selling Shadow and Bone trilogy, Leigh Bardugo upped the ante in her much-beloved Grishaverse novels by introducing a whole new cast of characters. The result was Six of Crows, the 2015 debut installment of a duology that’s part heist thriller, part fantasy epic, part revenge saga and part bittersweet teen romance. The story opens in the notorious slums of Ketterdam, where 17-year-old Kaz “Dirtyhands” Brekker has risen through the ranks of the city’s corrupt underworld to gain a reputation as a criminal prodigy willing to do any job. Naturally, a near-impossible mission arises, leading Kaz to team up with acrobat-spy Inej, sharpshooter Jesper, engineer Wylan, Grisha healer Nina and former Grisha-hunter Matthias in the hopes of earning a life-changing fortune. With a diverse collection of complex and nuanced narrators, Bardugo delves into the gray area between heroes and villains that’s often left unexplored in young-adult fantasy stories. The ragtag Crows crew became so popular among Grishaverse fans they were even incorporated into the first season of Netflix’s critically acclaimed Shadow and Bone TV series, which takes place before the events of the Six of Crows books begin.

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