Shadow and Bone

by

Leigh Bardugo

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The antagonist of the novel, the Darkling is a Summoner who can manipulate darkness and shadows. He leads the Grisha and the Second Army. Though Alina is frightened of and intimidated by the Darkling from the beginning, he initially seems like a force for good. When he identifies Alina’s power, he tells her that together they can destroy the Shadow Fold and reunite Ravka. Though Alina believes him and what he says, she also feels consistently afraid and uncomfortable around him—even as it seems as though the Darkling becomes sexually attracted to Alina and perhaps is falling in love with her. However, Alina learns that the Darkling is hundreds of years old and even created the Shadow Fold on purpose. He’s skilled at manipulating young, naïve women like her, and he plans to use her power to expand the Shadow Fold and take control of Ravka and neighboring countries. The Darkling knows nothing of mercy and kindness, only greed. So, it’s a shock to him when, in the Fold, Alina manages to take back control of her body and her power by realizing how powerful mercy is. Alina leaves the Darkling to die in the Fold, though it’s left ambiguous whether he dies or not.

The Darkling Quotes in Shadow and Bone

The Shadow and Bone quotes below are all either spoken by The Darkling or refer to The Darkling. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
).
Chapter 1 Quotes

“He’s not natural,” said Eva, another assistant; […] “None of them are.”

Alexei sniffed. “Please spare us your superstition, Eva.”

“It was the Darkling who made the Shadow Fold to begin with.”

“That was hundreds of years ago!” protested Alexei. “And that Darkling was completely mad.”

“This one is just as bad.”

“Peasant,” Alexei said, and dismissed her with a wave. […]

I stayed silent. I was more a peasant than Eva, despite her superstitions.

Related Characters: Eva (speaker), Alexei (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

The side of the Darkling’s mouth twitched, as if he were repressing a smile. His eyes slid over me from head to toe and back again. I felt like something strange and shiny, a curiosity that had washed up on a lake shore, that he might kick aside with his boot.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

I pulled the kefta tighter around me, feeling suddenly cold. I remembered the surety that had flooded through me with the Darkling’s touch, and that strangely familiar sensation of a call echoing through me, a call that demanded an answer. It had been frightening, but exhilarating, too. In that moment, all my doubt and fear had been replaced by a kind of absolute certainty. I was no one, a refugee from an unnamed village, a scrawny clumsy girl hurtling alone through the gathering dark. But when the Darkling had closed his fingers around my wrist, I’d felt different, like something more.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Related Symbols: Alina’s Kefta
Page Number: 63-64
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

“My great-great-great-grandfather was the Black Heretic, the Darkling who created the Shadow Fold. It was a mistake, an experiment born of his greed, maybe his evil. I don’t know. But every Darkling since has tried to undo the damage he did to our country, and I’m no different.” He turned to me then, his expression serious, the firelight playing over the perfect planes of his features. “I’ve spent my life searching for a way to make things right. You’re the first glimmer of hope I’ve had in a long time.”

“Me?”

Related Characters: The Darkling (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), Baghra
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“I…If it would be alright, I’d prefer to have blue robes, Summoners’ blue.”

“Alina!” exclaimed Genya, clearly horrified.

But the Darkling held up a hand to silence her. “Why?” he asked, his expression unreadable.

“I already feel like I don’t belong here. I think it might be easier if I weren’t…singled out.”

“Are you so anxious to be like everyone else?”

My chin lifted. “I just don’t want to be more conspicuous than I already am.”

The Darkling looked at me for a long moment. I wasn’t sure if he was thinking over what I’d said or trying to intimidate me, but I gritted my teeth and returned his gaze.

Abruptly, he nodded. “As you wish,” he said. “Your kefta will be blue.”

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Genya (speaker), The Darkling (speaker)
Related Symbols: Alina’s Kefta
Page Number: 110-11
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

“The Darkling is very keen on the idea that we all eat hearty peasant fare. Saints forbid we forget we’re real Ravkans.”

I restrained a snort. The Little Palace was a storybook version of serf life, no more like the real Ravka than the glitter and gilt of the royal court. The Grisha seemed obsessed with emulating serf ways, right down to the clothes we wore beneath our kefta. But there was something a little silly about eating “hearty peasant fare” off porcelain plates, beneath a dome inlaid with real gold. And what peasant wouldn’t pick pastry over pickled fish?

Related Characters: Genya (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

The horse has speed. The bear has strength. The bird has wings. No creature has all of these gifts, and so the world is held in balance. Amplifiers are part of this balance, not a means of subverting it, and each Grisha would do well to remember this or risk the consequences.”

Another philosopher wrote, “Why can a Grisha possess but one amplifier? I will answer this question instead: What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov, The Darkling
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:

I closed my eyes, feeling tears slide down my cheeks, and I reached out to the thing within me that I’d kept hidden for so long. I’m sorry, I whispered to it.

I’m sorry I left you so long in the dark.

I’m sorry, but I’m ready now.

I called and the light answered. […] It surrounded me, blazing with heat, more powerful and more pure than ever before because it was all mine. I wanted to laugh, to sing, to shout. At last, there was something that belonged wholly and completely to me.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Baghra, The Darkling, Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

“Black,” Genya whispered.

His color. What did it mean?

“Look!” she gasped.

The neckline of the gown was laced with a black velvet ribbon, and from it hung a small golden charm: the sun in eclipse, the Darkling’s symbol.

I bit my lip. This time, the Darkling had chosen to set me apart, and there was nothing I could do about it. I felt a little jab of resentment, but it was drowned by excitement. Had he chosen these colors for me before or after the night by the lake? Would he regret seeing me in them tonight?

I couldn’t think about that now. Unless I wanted to go to the ball naked, I didn’t have a lot of options.

Related Characters: Genya (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Related Symbols: Alina’s Kefta
Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:

“Alina, the Darkling doesn’t notice most of us. We’re moments he’ll forget in his long life. And I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. Just…be careful.”

I stared at her, baffled. “Of what?”

“Of powerful men.”

“Genya,” I asked before I could lose my nerve, “what happened between you and the King?”

She examined the toes of her satin slippers. “The King has his way with lots of servants,” she said.

Related Characters: Genya (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, The King
Related Symbols: Alina’s Kefta
Page Number: 209
Explanation and Analysis:

If the Darkling came to my room tonight, what would it mean? The idea of being his sent a little jolt through me. I didn’t think he was in love with me and I had no idea what I felt for him, but he wanted me, and maybe that was enough.

I shook my head, trying to make sense of everything. The Darkling’s men had found the stag. I should be thinking about that, […] but all I could think about was his hands on my hips, his lips on my neck, the lean, hard feel of him in the dark.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:

“Just admit it,” he sneered. “He owns you.”

“He owns you, too, Mal,” I lashed back. “He owns us all.”

Related Characters: Malyen “Mal” Oretsov (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, The King
Related Symbols: Alina’s Kefta
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“The Fold was no mistake.” Baghra dropped her hands and the swirling darkness around her melted away. “The only mistake was the volcra. He did not anticipate them, did not think to wonder what power of that magnitude might do to mere men.”

My stomach turned. “The volcra were men?”

“Oh yes. Generations ago. Farmers and their wives, their children. I warned him that there would be a price, but he didn’t listen. He was blinded by his hunger for power. Just as he is blinded now.”

Related Characters: Baghra (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:

“But he can’t use an amplifier,” I protested weakly.

“He can use you,” Baghra said softly. “Morozova’s stag is no ordinary amplifier. He will hunt it. He will kill it. He will take its antlers, and once he places them around your neck, you will belong to him completely. You will be the most powerful Grisha who has ever lived, and all that newfound power will be his to command. You will be bound to him forever, and you will be powerless to resist.”

Related Characters: Baghra (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

I’d wanted so badly to belong somewhere, anywhere. I’d been so eager to please him, so proud to keep his secrets. But I’d never bothered to question what he might really want, what his true motives might be. I’d been too busy imagining myself by his side, the savior of Ravka, most treasured, most desired, like some kind of queen. I’d made it so easy for him.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Baghra, The Darkling
Page Number: 240
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

He wasn’t at all shocked to hear of the contempt with which most Grisha regarded the King. Apparently, the trackers had been grumbling more and more loudly amongst themselves about the King’s incompetence.

“The Fjerdans have a breech-loading rifle that can fire twenty-eight rounds per minute. Our soldiers should have them, too. If the King could be bothered to take an interest in the First Army, we wouldn’t be so dependent on the Grisha. But it’ll never happen,” he told me. Then he muttered, “We all know who’s running the country.”

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Malyen “Mal” Oretsov (speaker), The Darkling, The King
Page Number: 283
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

“He plans to bring us peace.”

“At what price?” I asked desperately. “You know this is madness.”

“Did you know I had two brothers?” Ivan asked abruptly. The familiar smirk was gone from his handsome face. “Of course not. They weren’t born Grisha. They were soldiers, and they both died fighting the King’s wars. So did my father. So did my uncle.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Yes, everyone is sorry. The King is sorry. The Queen is sorry. I’m sorry. But only the Darkling will do something about it.”

Related Characters: Ivan (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, The King, The Queen
Page Number: 310
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

Dimly, I’d been aware that I still had a shard of the blue cup in my hand, that it was digging into my palm, but I didn’t want to let go.

When he finally set me down and ambled off to the kitchen to find his lunch, I had stood there, my palm dripping blood, my head still spinning, knowing that everything had changed.

Ana Kuya had scolded me for getting blood on the clean kitchen floor. She’d bandaged my hand and told me it would heal. But I knew it would just go on hurting.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Malyen “Mal” Oretsov, Ana Kuya, The Darkling
Page Number: 332
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

This is the truth of him, I thought as I squinted in the dazzling light. Like calls to like. This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:

They’re hungry for this, I realized. Even after they’ve seen what he can do, even after watching their own people die. The Darkling wasn’t just offering them an end to war, but an end to weakness. After all these long years of terror and suffering, he would give them something that had seemed permanently beyond their grasp: victory. And despite their fear, they loved him for it.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, The King
Page Number: 342
Explanation and Analysis:

I’d thought the stag was haunting me, a reminder of my failure and the price my weakness would exact. But I was wrong.

The stag had been showing me my strength—not just the price of mercy but the power it bestowed. And mercy was something the Darkling would never understand.

I had spared the stag’s life. The power of that life belonged to me as surely as it belonged to the man who had taken it.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:

I fumbled with the tiny black buttons of the kefta. There seemed to be a thousand of them. When the silk finally slid over my shoulders and pooled at my feet, I felt a great burden lift from me.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Malyen “Mal” Oretsov, The Darkling
Related Symbols: Alina’s Kefta
Page Number: 351
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Darkling Character Timeline in Shadow and Bone

The timeline below shows where the character The Darkling appears in Shadow and Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...her out of the road—a big black coach rushes past. The coach belongs to the Darkling. As Mal hastily lets Alina go, a red coach and then a blue coach roll... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...noticing. She sits next to her friend Alexei and tells him she’s late because the Darkling almost ran her over. Pulling out her notebook (as a junior cartographer, she’s supposed to... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...Alina to the Grisha tent, where Corporalki Heartrenders and oprichniki, elite soldiers who serve the Darkling, are guarding the entrance. Alina waits outside as the colonel and a Corporalnik confer and... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...are several Corporalki and King’s ministers—as well as a man in a black kefta. The Darkling is the only Grisha allowed to wear black. To Alina’s surprise, the Darkling looks only... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
...Cartographer, Mikhael, and Mal. Alina wants to run to him, suddenly elated. But then, the Darkling looks at Alina and asks the captain what happened. The captain says, without expression, that... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...be true, or if Alina is a “Sun Summoner”—and several laugh at the idea. The Darkling silences everyone and asks Mal what he saw. Mal describes the diving volcra and how... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
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Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
Noting that everyone keeps secrets, the Darkling approaches Alina and asks what she thinks happened. As he looks her over like she’s... (full context)
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The Darkling catches Alina as she stumbles and then hands her to an oprichnik. He calls for... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Ivan drags Alina to the Darkling’s black coach, which is surrounded by Etherealki guards. He tells her to get in, but... (full context)
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...much protection, while regular soldiers are on their own. Blinking back tears and studying the Darkling’s mark etched in the window—two overlapping circles to represent the sun in eclipse—Alina thinks this... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
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...says she’s not Grisha. She doesn’t know what happened in the Fold or when the Darkling touched her. He did something when he touched her. (full context)
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Ivan explains that the Darkling is a living amplifier. He shows Alina his amplifier, a necklace of Sherborn bear claws.... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...battle, but the man tackles her halfway up. Just as the man pins Alina, the Darkling and some of his soldiers ride up on horseback. The Darkling claps his hand, sending... (full context)
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Alina shouts and the Darkling turns toward her. Her Fjerdan attacker, though blinded, says he can still kill Alina. The... (full context)
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As the coach rolls away—a decoy—Alina observes that the Darkling does make mistakes. Smiling, he admits he infrequently makes mistakes. As he helps Alina onto... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Over the next few days, the Darkling sets a fast pace over side roads and hunting paths. Alina gets her own horse... (full context)
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Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Alina says she’s laughing at herself and jokes that she’s very funny. As the Darkling studies her, she becomes hyper-aware of how dirty and bruised she is—he still looks perfect... (full context)
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Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Seeming to notice Alina’s stare, the Darkling comes to sit next to her and offers her a flask of kvas, a burning... (full context)
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Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
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Sighing, the Darkling says his great-great-great grandfather was the Black Heretic and accidentally created the Shadow Fold because... (full context)
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Then, Alina asks the Darkling to explain what he did to her attacker. He explains that it’s called the Cut... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
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...a wide gravel path that leads, finally, to the Grand Palace—the King’s winter home. The Darkling rides up next to Alina and asks what she thinks of the elaborate, shining building.... (full context)
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The Darkling leads the riders down the path and through a wood. It feels like crossing into... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...looking for Mal. When she opens a bedroom, there’s blood everywhere—and a volcra with the Darkling’s gray eyes. Alina wakes up and has almost fallen back to sleep again when someone... (full context)
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When Alina continues to argue, Genya says the Darkling sent her because the King loves beauty. Looks are everything here, and Alina should look... (full context)
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...to look like a soldier plucked from the army, not like a kefta-wearing Grisha the Darkling has been hiding. As Genya ushers Alina down the stairs, she tells Alina to only... (full context)
Chapter 7
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The Darkling says, “We are expected.” With this, the Grisha arrange themselves into a line two abreast,... (full context)
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Then, the Darkling says the King will want a demonstration, but Alina doesn’t have to know how to... (full context)
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Finally, the Darkling leads Alina into the throne room, through the ladies and gentlemen assembled and to the... (full context)
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Clearly annoyed, the Queen dismisses Alina and Genya. In the hall, the Darkling intercepts them. Alina admits that she’s not sure if the Queen liked her, since the... (full context)
Chapter 8
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...can protest, but she insists on giving Alina a tour of the grounds herself after—the Darkling’s orders. Alina follows Marie to the appropriate table, which Marie says is on the Darkling’s... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...daughter’s acne, the cook sends her pastries. But she warns Alina to say nothing; the Darkling wants them to eat “hearty peasant fare.” Grisha try so hard to emulate serf ways—but... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
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Leading Alina through the Little Palace, Genya points out the doors leading to the Darkling’s chambers and the massive library. Its grandness makes Keramzin feel shabby, which makes Alina feel... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...join the Second Army or, if they’re very talented, they stay here and serve the Darkling. Their families are “compensated handsomely,” but Genya reveals she hasn’t seen her parents since she... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Baghra is an amplifier like the Darkling, so when she grips Alina’s wrist, sunlight floods the hut. But as soon as Baghra... (full context)
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Alina nurses tea through the rest of dinner until Ivan bursts out the Darkling’s doors and the room falls silent. He calls Alina to him and leads her into... (full context)
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Unable to stop herself, Alina says that she always expects the worst—and the Darkling could ship her off or cut her in half, so it seems fair to feel... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Alina’s days are awful and frustrating. It starts to seem absurd that the Darkling thinks she has powers at all, let alone the ability to destroy the Fold. Both... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...tell Alina she broke a rib and that Zoya is in huge trouble with the Darkling. But when Alina asks why Zoya is so mean, they explain that she’s wildly jealous.... (full context)
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...a saint. She’s becoming a threat to something powerful enough to topple kings and the Darkling: faith. As the Apparat reaches for Alina, Alina knocks her water glass to the floor,... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...voices inside. Alina knocks and lets herself in but tries to leave again as the Darkling is there and is clearly furious. Baghra snaps for Alina to come in and Alina... (full context)
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The Darkling asks Alina if she’s heard of Morozova’s herd. When Baghra mocks that the deer are... (full context)
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When Alina asks if she could practice with a different amplifier in the meantime, the Darkling says she should know enough theory by now to know it doesn’t work that way.... (full context)
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Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...anything and has a poor appetite, but she’s slightly less miserable because she trusts the Darkling. She even begins joining Marie and Nadia in leisure activities. Baghra is furious and accuses... (full context)
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...it. Is Alina homesick? She shouldn’t be, because she has the opportunity to be the Darkling’s “pet.” Alina flushes, but she won’t bring up Mal. Instead, she stands up and spits... (full context)
Chapter 13
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...an appetite. Genya shares the hilarious rumors circulating about why Alina changed—such as that the Darkling cured her with his blood and an “extract of diamonds.” Alina’s lessons with Baghra aren’t... (full context)
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From behind Alina, the Darkling says it isn’t enough. Baghra argues Alina could do just fine with any amplifier, but... (full context)
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Wearily, the Darkling says Baghra might be right. Alina asks why he lets Baghra bother him and suggests... (full context)
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...Her mind isn’t quiet, though. She summons a glow on the ceiling—but thinking of the Darkling’s kiss causes her to lose her concentration. (full context)
Chapter 14
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...put on a demonstration, though Genya warns Alina to not call it “performing,” as the Darkling thinks the whole thing is a waste of time. Alina agrees; Ravka has been at... (full context)
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Alina casually asks if the Darkling has arrived, and Genya says he arrived yesterday and is probably very busy. After a... (full context)
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...Genya drags Alina down the hallway and into Zoya’s room. She announces that on the Darkling’s orders, Alina needs to use this room. Zoya pales when she sees Alina’s black kefta,... (full context)
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Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...the deal. The worst part is that everyone knows. Alina hugs Genya and says the Darkling should’ve protected her, but Genya says he did. And anyway, he’s beholden to the King... (full context)
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Downstairs, Alina clings to Genya—she’s going to take advantage of the Darkling’s color to keep her friend beside her. The girls walk with the other Grisha to... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
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...where they watch Inferni summon flame and Squallers and Tidemakers create glitter and waves. The Darkling comes up behind Alina, startling her, and the orchestra starts to play ominous music. Ivan... (full context)
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...with light so bright that it blinds the nobles. The crowd cheers wildly as the Darkling pulls Alina off the stage. The Darkling says the people know now that things will... (full context)
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Alina has never been kissed like this before. She can tell the Darkling wants her, but she also senses anger. Pulling away, Alina asks if he wants this.... (full context)
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As the Darkling grabs Alina’s thigh, drunk people slam into the door and continue down the hall. The... (full context)
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After an hour, Alina leaves the party. She wonders what it will mean if the Darkling comes tonight. He’s probably not in love with her, but it’s nice to be wanted.... (full context)
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Mal asks if Alina is happy here, with the Darkling—it’s clear to him that the Darkling “owns” Alina. He stares at the Darkling’s symbol at... (full context)
Chapter 15
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...while, Alina realizes someone is at the door. She opens it to find not the Darkling, but Baghra. Baghra looks frightened, and she snaps for Alina to come with her. Silently,... (full context)
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Almost howling now, Baghra says the Darkling has no intention of destroying the Fold. In fact, he created it—the Darkling is the... (full context)
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Alina continues to argue, repeating what the Darkling told her about wanting to reunite Ravka. But Baghra snarls that the Darkling has had... (full context)
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It’s Baghra’s pity that convinces Alina. The Darkling clearly lied to her and deliberately kept her waiting for kisses and attention to distract... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...Sea—Alina is powerful enough to cross the Fold, thanks to Baghra’s training. Alina remembers the Darkling telling Baghra to leave Alina alone, but Alina never questioned why—maybe he wanted to keep... (full context)
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...a hayloft. As she lies there, she wonders what if Baghra is wrong; would the Darkling forgive her if she just went back? But the Darkling is the one who wants... (full context)
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...find her. But when she comes upon a group of soldiers, they ignore her. The Darkling certainly knows Alina has gone and has sent soldiers after her, but it sure doesn’t... (full context)
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In a hard tone, Mal asks why Alina ran from the Little Palace and the Darkling. Alina doesn’t know where to start, but she says she’s trying to save the world.... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...her dried meat and tells her to talk while they walk. Alina explains how the Darkling plans to weaponize the Fold, how amplifiers work, and the significance of Morozova’s stag. When... (full context)
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...Mal says they’re going north to Tsibeya: they’re going to catch the stag before the Darkling does. If Alina has the amplifier, she might be strong enough to fight him. Aghast,... (full context)
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...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)
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Suddenly grim, Mal says the Darkling is smart—and now he’ll know Alina didn’t head straight for the Fold. Alina pulls the... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...change if she gets the antlers for herself? Will it be enough to defeat the Darkling? Finally, after several days, Alina asks Mal to promise to kill her if the Darkling... (full context)
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...after dusk, and nothing changes. Mal sighs, but Alina assures him it’s okay—she’s certain the Darkling hasn’t caught the stag yet. (full context)
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...away, and that haunted him. He thought if he could get the stag for the Darkling, he could help Alina. Mikhael and Dubrov didn’t know this, but they insisted on going.... (full context)
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...she surprises herself by wondering how many people the stag’s power might save. Could the Darkling use the Fold to end the border wars that orphaned Alina and Mal in the... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...The other deer flee as oprichniki and Grisha appear out of the trees—along with the Darkling. Mal tries to shoot the stag, but a Squaller sends wind to knock the arrow... (full context)
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...loses control of her light, and people grab her and Mal in the darkness. The Darkling promptly slits the stag’s throat and tells an oprichnik to cut off the stag’s antlers.... (full context)
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Alina watches the pieces of bone in the Darkling’s hands. He places them around her neck and seems angry when Alina flinches away. David... (full context)
Chapter 20
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The Darkling and his Grisha force Alina and Mal to march an hour, until they reach a... (full context)
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...choice, and many will die because of that choice. Alina dreams all night of the Darkling slitting the stag’s throat—but the blood is hers. When Alina wakes, a Heartrender marches her... (full context)
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When they reach the Vy, Alina is dumped unceremoniously in the Darkling’s coach to ride with Ivan. Though Ivan threatens to make her pass out if she... (full context)
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Alina trembles—is Mal actually still alive, or is the Darkling just manipulating her? She looks out the window as she enters Kribirsk, remembering how this... (full context)
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...chance, Alina asks if she could somehow get word to the King about what the Darkling is planning. Genya reveals that the King is ill, so the Apparat is ruling. Alina... (full context)
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...Genya says she tried to warn Alina. She says there are rumors about what the Darkling is planning, and Alina says they’re true. Genya says that in that case, “it has... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...Genya. Genya has spent years living uncomfortably in between the Grisha and the court. The Darkling put her there and then raised her out of it. Genya doesn’t seem to have... (full context)
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Amused, the Darkling observes that he’s given Alina so much power, but she thinks she can run off... (full context)
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Desperately, Alina says that she’ll try to kill herself if the Darkling doesn’t show Mal mercy. The Darkling kisses Alina and she lets him—she hates the kiss... (full context)
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...says, “all right.” She teases him for this and then tries to explain what the Darkling inferred in the glade. But Mal cuts her off, insisting he loves all of her—even... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...with gold pins—the better to show off Morozova’s collar. Then, Ivan escorts Alina to the Darkling and they all walk to the drydocks. On the sandskiff, Alina meets Fjerdan ambassadors, a... (full context)
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When the skiff is well into the Fold, the Darkling tells the Inferni to release fire; this will draw the volcra to the sandskiff. Alina... (full context)
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Alina follows the Darkling’s command to create a path. The sandskiff flies ahead and soon, Alina can see the... (full context)
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Finally, the Darkling stops and turns to the passengers on the skiff. The message is clear: he could... (full context)
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Then, at the Darkling’s signal, Ivan throws Mal over the skiff’s railing. Alina screams and punches Ivan, stunning him.... (full context)
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The Darkling, confused, tries to take Alina’s power back, but she shrugs him off. She knows he... (full context)
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Alina can’t let the Darkling come after her. He has to die, though she’s not sure everyone else on the... (full context)
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...skiff in half. Alina doesn’t want to think of the people who died. Is the Darkling even dead? Alina spends the entire afternoon getting increasingly anxious and almost cries when Mal... (full context)
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...she doesn’t really want to lose it. As Mal studies Alina’s face, Alina remembers the Darkling’s warning. But she promises Mal they’ll get rid of the collar. They burn the black... (full context)
After
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...They heard rumors about what happened in Novokribirsk and heard that some people blame the Darkling. They’ve heard that the Apparat disappeared, that foreign troops are missing, and that the Sun... (full context)