I read the first Grisha book and it was pretty good, so I picked this up not realizing it was a new series. I did not read the 2nd two books of the first trilogy, and I was not missing any information. The first series focused on the training and internal wars of the Grisha – Russian magicians. This isn’t a re-run.
Instead we have a heist story! Kaz is a criminal who knows who to plan ahead, as shown by several incidents at the start of the story. Now a merchant of Ketterdam wants him to rescue the man who made a mage-drug and was then kidnapped by the Scandanavians, er, whatever the Icy North is called. He’ll need to assemble his team and make a plan – and rip off the merchant who is
There’s lots of world building in this book. Kaz lives in Ketterdam, which is possibly a rip-off of Amsterdam & Rotterdam, the Netherlands. An artist is named ‘van Whatever’ which is also picked up from the Netherlands. There are lots of ports – because Ketterdam is an island. And ports = lots of gambling halls & brothels. And criminals. There is also ‘the Wandering Isle’ which borrows Emeralds, red hair, and the Dime Lions (?) from Ireland. There are people from several countries on this island, because there is money here.
Everyone involved in the heist slowly reveals their backstory. (It’s possible that someone who read the previous trilogy knows this already.) I know someone will die and someone will betray the heist crew, because that always happens, but I couldn’t guess who.
Romances were very nearly not there, and I wondered if this would be that rare book where people like each other without turning into a romance. Nope. Almost all the people who were maybe-maybe about Someone Special ended up in a full-out Star-crossed Relationship.
I will be looking for the next book in this series.