Shadow and Bone

by

Leigh Bardugo

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Botkin Yul-Erdene Character Analysis

Botkin is the combat instructor at the Little Palace. He’s not a Grisha, but is a former Shu Han mercenary who’s fought for a variety of countries and is very good at killing people. Initially, Alina detests him, as he works her hard and she can’t keep up. But once Alina learns to use her power and can finally accomplish the movements he drills her on, they develop mutual respect for each other. Botkin even gives Alina a knife of Grisha steel, something he insists Alina earned (rather than it being a gift).
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Botkin Yul-Erdene Character Timeline in Shadow and Bone

The timeline below shows where the character Botkin Yul-Erdene appears in Shadow and Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
The combat instructor, Botkin, isn’t Grisha; he’s a former Shu Han mercenary who’s fought everywhere. Alina can’t hide how... (full context)
Chapter 10
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...has powers at all, let alone the ability to destroy the Fold. Both Baghra and Botkin work Alina hard and reprimand her, but Alina struggles to improve. She sleeps poorly and... (full context)
Chapter 11
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Zoya joins the Grisha at their combat lesson, and Botkin kisses her on the cheek. Alina isn’t surprised when Botkin has her spar with Zoya.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...deer? Alina says she’s sick of the food and her kefta, and she’s sick of Botkin and Baghra. Baghra says this isn’t it. Is Alina homesick? She shouldn’t be, because she... (full context)
Chapter 13
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...words, though she can’t figure out what that might be. She finds she now enjoys Botkin’s lessons and is improving—especially since she’s learning to use mirrors embedded in her gloves that... (full context)
Chapter 14
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...are no classes on the day of the fete, but Alina goes to train with Botkin anyway. She then has a hurried dinner and a bath. To Alina’s surprise, she’s excited—she... (full context)
Chapter 16
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Alina thanks Baghra and, thanks to Botkin’s training, hurries purposefully across the lawn. Baghra sends darkness around Alina to hide her. Near... (full context)
Chapter 17
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
...for information. Then, smiling, Mal asks where Alina learned to fight. She tells him about Botkin and how the Darkling doesn’t think Grisha should only rely on their powers. (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
...Mal leads Alina until dusk and then, as they eat their cheese, asks Alina about Botkin and the other teachers. Mal doesn’t laugh as easily as he once did, but it... (full context)