Hey, Grisha fans! Leigh Bardugo has written another book that takes place in the Grishaverse, and you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows next month when the book is published. However, if you want to get something special to go along with your book, you can do so by pre-ordering Six of Crows before September 29, 2015.
That’s right. If you pre-order Six of Crows and send an image of your receipt that shows your purchase, you’ll be able to get a poster that features the characters in Six of Crows, as well as a book plate signed by Leigh herself!
U.K. residents have a separate giveaway in which they don’t get the poster, but they do get a Six of Crows set of badges with their signed book plate, along with a chance to win a mega prize (a signed set of The Grisha Trilogy, a signed exclusive edition of Six of Crows, and a Six of Crows necklace)
If you’re from the U.S., go here to fill out the form and send an image of your receipt, and to get the official rules.
If you’re from the U.K., go here to get instructions on where to send the image of your receipt purchase.
Read an excerpt on one of the characters, Matthias:
Matthias clasped the boy’s hand. If this was real and not illusion, he’d escape whatever trap these creatures had set for him. He heard Nina release a long breath—was she relieved? Exasperated? He shook his head. He would deal with her later. The little bronze girl swept a cloak around Matthias’ shoulders and propped an ugly, beak-nosed mask on his head.
The passageway outside the cell was chaos. Costumed men and women surged past, screaming and pushing each other, trying to get away from the arena. Guards had their guns out, and he could hear shots being fired. He felt dizzy, and his side ached badly. His left arm was still useless.
Kaz signaled toward the far right archway, indicating that they should move against the flow of the crowd and into the arena. Matthias didn’t care. He could plunge through the mob instead, force his way up that staircase and onto a boat. And then what? It didn’t matter. There was no time for planning.
He stepped into the throng and was instantly hauled back.
“Boys like you weren’t meant to get ideas, Helvar,” said Kaz. “That staircase leads to bottleneck. You think the guards won’t check under that mask before they let you through?”
Matthias scowled and followed the others through the crowd, Kaz’s hand at his back.
If the passage had been chaos, then the arena was a special kind of madness. Matthias glimpsed hyenas leaping and bounding over the ledges. One was feeding over a body in a crimson cape. An elephant charged the wall of the stadium, sending up a cloud of dust and bellowing its frustration. He saw a white bear and one of the great jungle cats from the Southern Colonies crouching in the eaves, its teeth bared. He knew there were snakes in the cages as well. He could only hope that this Jesper character hadn’t been foolish enough to set them free, too.
They plunged across the sands where Matthias had fought for privileges for the last six months, but as they headed toward the tunnel, the desert lizard came pounding toward them, its mouth dripping foaming white poison, its fat tail lashing the ground. Before Matthias could think to move, the bronze girl had vaulted over its back and dispatched the creature with two bright daggers wedged beneath the armor of its scales. The lizard groaned and collapsed on its side. Matthias felt a pang of sadness. It was a grotesque creature, and he’d never seen a fighter survive its attack, but it was also a living thing. You’ve never seen a fighter survive until now, he corrected himself. The bronze girl’s daggers merit watching.
He’d assumed they’d cross the arena and head back up into the stands to avoid the crowds clogging the passageway, possibly just storm the stairs and hope to make it through the guards who must be waiting at the top. Instead, Kaz led them down the tunnel past the cages. The cages were old cells that had been turned over to whatever beasts the masters of the Hellshow had gotten their hands on that week—old circus animals, even diseased livestock in a pinch, creatures culled from forest and country- side. As they raced past the open doors, he glimpsed a pair of yellow eyes glaring at him from the shadows, and then he was moving on. He cursed his deadened arm and lack of weapon. He was virtually defenseless. Where is this Kaz leading us? They wended past a wild boar feeding on a guard and a spotted cat that hissed and spit at them but did not draw near.
And then, through the musk of animals and the stink of their waste, he smelled the clean tang of salt water. He heard the rush of waves. He slipped and discovered the stones beneath his feet were damp. He was deeper in the tunnel than he’d ever been permitted to go. It must lead to the sea. Whatever Nina and her people intended, they really were taking him out of the bowels of Hellgate.
In the green light from the orbs carried by Kaz and the bronze girl, he spotted a tiny boat moored up ahead. It looked like a guard was seated in it, but he raised a hand and waved them forward.
“You were early, Jesper,” Kaz said as he nudged Matthias toward the boat.
“I was on time.”
“For you, that’s early. Next time you plan to impress me give me some warning.”
“The animals are out, and I found you a boat. This is when a thank- you would be in order.”
“Thank you, Jesper,” said Nina.
“You’re very welcome, gorgeous. See, Kaz? That’s how the civilized folk do.”
Matthias was only half listening. The fingers of his left hand had started to tingle as sensation returned. He couldn’t fight all of them, not in this state and not when they were armed. But Kaz and the boy in the boat, Jesper, looked to be the only ones with guns. Unhook the rope, disable Jesper. He’d have a gun and possession of the boat. And Nina can stop your heart before you’ve taken hold of the oars, he reminded himself. So shoot her first. Put a bullet in her heart. Stay long enough to watch her fall and then be done with this place. He could do it. He knew he could. All he needed was a distraction.
The bronze girl was standing just to his right. She barely reached his shoulder. Even injured, he could knock her into the water without losing his footing or doing her any real harm.
Drop the girl. Free the boat. Disable the shooter. Kill Nina. Kill Nina. Kill Nina. He took a deep breath and threw his weight at the bronze girl.
She stepped aside as if she’d known he was coming, languidly hooking her heel behind his ankle.
Matthias let out a loud grunt as he landed hard on the stones.
“Matthias—” Nina said, stepping forward. He scrambled backward, nearly landing himself in the water. If she laid hands on him again, he’d lose his mind. Nina halted, the hurt on her face unmistakable. She had no right.
“Clumsy, this one,” the bronze girl said impassively.
“Put him under, Nina,” commanded Kaz.
“Don’t,” Matthias protested, panic surging through him.
“You’re dumb enough to capsize the boat.”
“Stay away from me, witch,” Matthias growled at Nina.
Nina gave him a tight nod. “With pleasure.”
She lifted her hands, and Matthias felt his eyelids grow heavy as she dragged him into unconsciousness. “Kill you,” he mumbled.
“Sleep well.” Her voice was a wolf, dogging his steps. It chased him into the dark.
Find out where Leigh Bardugo is going to be for her #MagicAndMayhem book tour on Grishaverse!