Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
She hadn’t been completely honest with Jesper. The Grisha Triumvirate hadn’t just wanted to save Grisha from Fjerdan witchhunters. They’d sent missions to the Wandering Isle and Novyi Zem because Ravka needed soldiers. They’d sought out Grisha who might be living in secret and tried to convince them to take up residence in Ravka and enter service to the crown.
Nina had been too young to fight in the Ravkan civil war, and she’d been desperate to be part of the rebuilding of the Second Army. It was her gift for languages—Shu, Kaelish, Suli, Fjerdan, even some Zemeni—that finally overcame Zoya’s reservations. She agreed to let Nina accompany her and a team of Grisha Examiners to the Wandering Isle, and despite all of Zoya’s misgivings, Nina had been a success. Disguised as a traveler, she would slip into taverns and coach houses to eavesdrop on conversations and chat with the locals, then bring the peasant talk back to camp.
If you’re going to Maroch Glen, make sure to travel by day. Troubled spirits walk those lands—storms erupt out of nowhere.
The Witch of Fells is real, all right. My second cousin went to her with an outbreak of tsifil and swears he’s never been healthier. What do you mean he’s not right in the head? More right than you’ll ever be.
They’d found two Grisha families hiding out in the supposed fairy caves of Istamere, and they’d saved a mother, father, and two boys—Inferni, who could control fire—from a mob in Fenford. They even raided a slaving ship near the port in Leflin. Once the refugees had been sorted, those without powers had been offered safe passage back home. Those whose powers had been confirmed by a Grisha Examiner were offered asylum in Ravka. Only the old Heartrender known as the Witch of Fells chose to remain. “If they want my blood, let them come for it,” she’d laughed. “I’ll take some of theirs in return.”
Nina spoke Kaelish like a native and loved the challenge of taking on a new identity in every town. But for all their triumphs, Zoya hadn’t been pleased. “Being good with languages isn’t enough,” she’d scolded. “You need to learn to be less … big. You’re too loud, too effusive, too memorable. You take too many risks.”
“Zoya,” said the Examiner they were traveling with. “Go easy.” He was a living amplifier. Dead, his bones would have served to heighten Grisha power, no different from the shark teeth or bear claws that other Grisha wore. But alive, he was invaluable to their mission, trained to use his amplifier gifts to sense Grisha power through touch.
Most of the time, Zoya was protective of him, but now her deep blue eyes flattened to slits. “My teachers didn’t go easy on me. If she ends up chased through the woods by a mob of peasants, will you tell them to go easy?”
Nina had stomped off, pride smarting, embarrassed by the tears filling her eyes. Zoya had shouted at her not to go past the ridge, but she’d ignored her, eager to be as far away from the Squaller as she could get—and walked right into a drüskelle camp. Six blond boys all speaking Fjerdan, clustered on a cliff above the shore. They’d made no campfire and were dressed as Kaelish peasants, but she’d known what they were right away.