Leigh Bardugo achieved fame with her "Shadow and Bone" trilogy, which introduced a world loosely based on nineteenth-century Eastern Europe and Russia.

Bardugo followed up with "Six of Crows," – a story set in another part of the same world. The world consists of unstable governments on the verge of war and a world in which the Grishas are born with preternatural abilities. Many people fear the Grisha and some governments seek to control or exterminate them.

The anti-hero of the story is Kaz Bekker. He was an orphan who grew up in the tough ghetto of The Barrel. He survived by showing his toughness and convincing others to work for him. Ultra-rich merchant Jan Van Eck hires Kaz to break out a scientist from the world's most secure prison. This scientist invented jurda parem - a drug that enhances the mystical abilities of Grishas but leaves them weakened and addicted after just one or two doses. Nothing goes as planned, and Bekker's crew must improvise to save themselves and complete their mission.

Bekker and his five companions form the Six of Crows. The narrative's point of view shifts between them, giving the reader a look into their thoughts, reactions, and backstories.

Bardugo slowly reveals the past and motivation of each character, peeling away the layers of the story and introducing new twists.

If you enjoyed Bardugo's "Shadow and Bone" trilogy, you will enjoy this. The characters are new, but the universe is the same. It is an action story, a heist story, a love story, and a revenge story. The author achieves a balance as none of those concepts overshadow the others. I can see the author's writing and plotting getting stronger with each new book.

The characters are the strength of this story. They were each strong, intelligent, talented, and resourceful, yet each had their flaws. I like Bardugo's ability to create strong female characters.

This book is part one of a duology, so we are left with unresolved storylines, presumably concluded in "Crooked
Kingdom." I did not mind the cliffhanger, as I plan to pick up the sequel in the coming weeks.