Ruin and Rising (The Grisha 3) - Page 59

Thank you for traveling to Ravka with me and for all the support you’ve shown this trilogy. I was surprised at how emotional I felt saying good-bye to some of these characters, and as you may have guessed, I’m not quite ready to leave the world of the Grisha behind.

Though Ruin and Rising is very much Alina’s journey, the story also belongs to the people who fight by her side. I’ve always loved narratives about crews of misfits facing impossible odds—from Robin Hood’s Merry Men to Oceans 11 to The Dirty Dozen to Inglourious Basterds—and that’s exactly the kind of story I’ll be telling in my next book.

If you look at the map in Ruin and Rising, you’ll see a little country called Kerch, an island nation with tremendous economic power. While other countries have squabbled, Kerch has remained neutral and prospered. Its capital, Ketterdam, is a jewel of art, culture, and wealth, home to the world stock exchange, a famous university, and the hub of all international trade.

But there is another side to Ketterdam: a criminal underworld ruled by constantly warring gangs and fed by the illegal trade in guns, drugs, and slaves that all flow through the city’s ports—not to mention fat profits from the brothels and gambling palaces of Ketterdam’s pleasure district, the Barrel. For a price, you can have anything you want in Ketterdam. Just don’t be surprised if you don’t get quite what you paid for.

And the Barrel is where Kaz Brekker is most at home. No crime is too low, no task too dangerous for Kaz, the thief and gang leader often called Dirtyhands. He clawed his way out of the city’s worst slums; now he’s just a heist away from taking his rightful place among Ketterdam’s most dangerous criminal players and exacting revenge on the man who destroyed his life. But to do it, he’ll have to assemble a team of assassins, thugs, convicts, and outcast Grisha to help him infiltrate Fjerda’s famous Ice Court. It’s a dangerous job, probably a suicide mission, but they are the Dregs: low on cash, flexible on ethics, and the one crew who just might pull off the impossible—if they don’t kill each other first.

I’m looking forward to introducing you to Kaz and all of his outlaw crew. Until then, if you’re walking the streets of the Barrel, keep an eye on your wallet and your wits about you!

—Leigh Bardugo

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