Six of Crows

480p. ebook available. Holt. Sept. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781627792127.
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—Bardugo has created a wildly imaginative story of six young people who have been commissioned to pull off the greatest heist of all time. They are to nab the creator of jurda parem, a highly addictive product that enhances the innate paranormal powers of the Grisha peoples, in the hopes of creating weapons of war that will upset the balance of power and destroy the economies of rival governments. Kaz, the hero of the story and mastermind of the plot, recruits five others to aid in his quest for revenge for the loss of his brother and the promise of vast wealth. Taking what could have been stock characters of young adult fiction—the loner, the rebel, the outcast, and the con artist, the author has fashioned fully fleshed out, dynamic protagonists who will engage and enchant readers. What a thrill it is to return to the world she created with her popular "Grisha Trilogy" (Holt). While the unresolved ending may frustrate some teens, the promise of a sequel will give them hope that this unsettling, captivating, magical journey will continue.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
In Ketterdam, a port city in the same fantasy universe as Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy (starting with Shadow and Bone, rev. 7/12), thief lord Kaz Brekker is made a lucrative offer: if he can infiltrate the impregnable Fjerdan citadel and retrieve the scientist Bo Yul-Bayur, who faces a death sentence for inventing a drug that illegally intensifies magical abilities, the merchant council of Ketterdam will pay him thirty million kruge. Kaz assembles his team: Inej, an acrobatic thief; Jesper, a sharpshooter who likes to gamble; Wylan, an explosives expert; Nina, a Grisha who can render others unconscious by magically slowing their hearts; and Matthias, a Fjerdan witch-hunter familiar with the citadel. Each one with his or her own agenda—but once the heist starts, nothing goes according to plan. Beginning with a robust plot structure, Bardugo kicks up the action with dilemmas tailor-made for each of her characters, not least Kaz, who hides the trauma of his brother’s death beneath an eminently self-confident exterior. Romance, tentative and fragile, makes an appearance between several characters and is slapped down by fate; magic saves the day thanks to the strength of the outlaw drug, but at a terrible cost. From her ne plus ultra climax, Bardugo sweeps on to snatch away the happy ending (and set up the plot arc for a possible sequel)—an exciting beginning to a new sequence from a fantasy author swiftly becoming a talent to watch. anita l. burkam
In Ketterdam (in the same fantasy universe as Bardugo's Grisha trilogy), thief lord Kaz assembles a team to retrieve scientist Bo Yul-Bayur, who faces death for inventing a drug that illegally intensifies magical abilities; once the heist starts, nothing goes according to plan. Starting with a robust plot structure, Bardugo kicks up the action with dilemmas tailor-made for each of her characters.

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