Shadow and Bone

by

Leigh Bardugo

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Grisha Term Analysis

Grisha are people who can harness the “small science”; what they can do seems magical, but they actually just learn to use elements (like light or metal) that already exist and simply manipulate them. They make up Ravka’s Second Army.

Grisha Quotes in Shadow and Bone

The Shadow and Bone quotes below are all either spoken by Grisha or refer to Grisha. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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

The kefta was far too large. It felt soft and unfamiliar, the fur lining warm against my skin. I chewed my lip. It didn’t seem fair that oprichniki and Grisha wore corecloth while ordinary soldiers went without. Did our officers wear it, too?

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Ivan
Related Symbols: Alina’s Kefta
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

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 In that moment, all my doubt and fear had been replaced by a kind of absolute certainty.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 13 Quotes

Suddenly, lots of things seemed easy. I wasn’t tired all the time or winded when I climbed the stairs. I slept deeply and dreamlessly every night and woke refreshed. Food was a revelation: bowls of porridge heaped with sugar and cream, plates of skate fried in butter, fat plums and hothouse peaches, the clear and bitter taste of kvas. It was as if that moment in Baghra’s cottage was my first full breath and I had awakened into a new life.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), Baghra, Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“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:
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Shadow and Bone PDF

Grisha Term Timeline in Shadow and Bone

The timeline below shows where the term Grisha appears in Shadow and Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Before
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...boy and the girl are looking for the mail coach on the day that the Grisha Examiners arrive. Immediately upon seeing the troika’s three elegant passengers get out and enter the... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...see whether they can master the Small Science. Anxious, Mal asks what happens if they’re Grisha. The woman in red says that in that case, they’ll go to a special school,... (full context)
Chapter 1
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...Noticing that Mal looks happy, Alina snaps that they could easily die. Mal insists the Grisha will protect them, and they have guns. (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...at Mal. Mal’s friends Mikhael and Dubrov rush up to him, teasing him about the Grisha girl. They point out that she’ll be staying at camp and that the lavish Grisha... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...always so full of himself. When they’re finished eating, Alina and Alexei walk past the Grisha camp, which is lavish and massive. Then, they return to the barracks, where people are... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
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...Alina wishes him luck, but she wishes she hadn’t—he’s just going to go seduce a Grisha and have lovely babies with her. Mal has never looked at Alina like he looked... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...a sandskiff, silent sleds that blow over the sands in the Fold. There are two Grisha Etherealki at the front; they control winds and will fill the sandskiff’s sails. Mal and... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
...in the distance, as well as people on the ship cocking triggers. At the signal, Grisha send flames into the air—and the flames illuminate hundreds of terrifying, shrieking volcra. Alexei and... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...in the bloody deck, a Healer tending to casualties, and then realizes that soldiers and Grisha are guarding her like she’s a prisoner. Nobody will tell her what happened to Mal.... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...him that she’s a mapmaker. With an odd look, the soldiers march Alina to the Grisha tent, where Corporalki Heartrenders and oprichniki, elite soldiers who serve the Darkling, are guarding the... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
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Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
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...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 a bit older than... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...Alina “light up.” Alina figures he hit his head, but others verify the story. Several Grisha argue about whether this could be true, or if Alina is a “Sun Summoner”—and several... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...Alina to the Little Palace in his coach, along with a Healer. Alina protests—she’s not Grisha. But the Darkling says Alina has no clue what she is and turns away. Ivan... (full context)
Chapter 4
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...these kefta when they’re in the field. Alina thinks it doesn’t seem quite fair that Grisha soldiers have so much protection, while regular soldiers are on their own. Blinking back tears... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...Duke Keramsov’s orphans and her dead parents couldn’t help her. Instead, she says she’s not Grisha. She doesn’t know what happened in the Fold or when the Darkling touched her. He... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...amplifier. He shows Alina his amplifier, a necklace of Sherborn bear claws. Amplifiers increase a Grisha’s power, and only the Darkling’s most favored Grisha have them—Fedyor, for instance, doesn’t have one.... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...on horseback. The Darkling claps his hand, sending tendrils of darkness to blind the attackers; Grisha take the opportunity to kill the men. (full context)
Chapter 5
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Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...bruised she is—he still looks perfect after days of riding. Alina blurts that she’s not Grisha; her appearance should be enough evidence. The Darkling says she doesn’t understand and heads back... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...first asks how old the Darkling is. After some evasion attempts, he reveals he’s about 120—Grisha, he explains, get stronger and live longer the more they use their powers. Amplifiers help... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...When Alina expresses shock, the Darkling says he’s seen their enemies’ powerful new weapons; soon, Grisha won’t be the most powerful fighters. And Ravka’s First Army gets their guns by crossing... (full context)
Chapter 6
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...Alina needs 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... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Darkling says, “We are expected.” With this, the Grisha arrange themselves into a line two abreast, with the Materialki first, then the Etherealki, and... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...she cooperates, he won’t even have to cut her again. By now, the line of Grisha has reached the front steps of the Grand Palace. The inside is entirely marble and... (full context)
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...Genya summons a seamstress and asks if Alina wants to eat dinner with the other Grisha. Alina asks if Genya would stay and eat with her here, and Genya hesitates but... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...do. Alina is shocked, though, when Marie says the Darkling never even eats with the Grisha. Breakfast is, disgustingly, pickled herring and rye bread, but there are plums and sugar to... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...she warns Alina to say nothing; the Darkling wants them to eat “hearty peasant fare.” Grisha try so hard to emulate serf ways—but Alina finds it ironic that they eat “hearty... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...Summoners’ pavilions are. When Alina notices small children playing, Genya points out the school, where Grisha children are trained once their talents are discovered. Alina wonders why the Grisha Examiners didn’t... (full context)
Chapter 9
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The combat instructor, Botkin, isn’t Grisha; he’s a former Shu Han mercenary who’s fought everywhere. Alina can’t hide how weak and... (full context)
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Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...to a door that leads to the dormitories; this way, she can avoid the other Grisha. Alina is floored—he just wanted to ask about her day? But the Darkling assures her... (full context)
Chapter 10
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...but Alina never joins them. Because the Darkling fears assassination attempts, Alina can’t join the Grisha on weekend outings. She seldom sees the Darkling either; he apparently spends most of his... (full context)
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Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
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...gift: a small book of saints. The Apparat says that peasants love saints but hate Grisha—and he believes this is because Grisha don’t suffer like saints. But Alina, he says, has... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...doesn’t think things can get worse, but they do, on the day that the black-haired Grisha who seemed interested in Mal arrives. Marie groans and mutters that her name is Zoya;... (full context)
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Zoya joins the Grisha at their combat lesson, and Botkin kisses her on the cheek. Alina isn’t surprised when... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
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...she notices her reflection in the mirror. She looks ill and scrawny, not like a Grisha. Why can’t she access her power? Zoya is awful, but she’s right: Alina doesn’t belong... (full context)
Chapter 12
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...Morozova’s herd and amplifiers. She finds little about the deer, but a lot about amplifiers. Grisha, she reads, can only have one, but the reason is hard to grasp—it seems like... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Alina realizes she just spoke the truth—and she remembers what happened with the Grisha Examiners. She remembers Mal calling for her as the woman in red, an amplifier herself,... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...gloves that let her bounce light into opponents’ eyes. Botkin even presents her with a Grisha steel knife. (full context)
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...place at the Grand Palace. Genya also tells Alina about the winter fete that all Grisha attend, along with the royal family and many nobles and military heroes. They discuss the... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
One afternoon, while the other Grisha are away, Genya convinces Alina to sneak over to the Grand Palace to try on... (full context)
Chapter 14
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...spring approaches, all anyone can talk about is the fete at the Grand Palace. The Grisha Summoners are supposed to put on a demonstration, though Genya warns Alina to not call... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
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Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
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...a minute, Genya says they all feel the Darkling’s pull, but he’s not like other Grisha. Genya mischievously admits she’d totally sleep with the Darkling, but she’d never let herself fall... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
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...the Darkling’s color to keep her friend beside her. The girls walk with the other Grisha to the Grand Palace, and Alina notices that Heartrenders loosely surround the group. They’re protecting... (full context)
Chapter 15
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
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...and naïve girls. She points out that if Ravka is reunited, the Second Army and Grisha won’t be important anymore. The Darkling will just serve the King. But if he controls... (full context)
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...nothing more than to be wanted, and it seems obvious now that he wouldn’t let Grisha fall out of power. Thinking of Alexei and the volcra, Alina asks Baghra what to... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...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)
Chapter 18
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...is easier, and they talk as they travel. Mal isn’t surprised to hear that most Grisha don’t like the King; the trackers and soldiers are also annoyed. Fjerdans have far superior... (full context)
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...volunteered because Alina saved his life on the Fold. He didn’t do anything when the Grisha took Alina away, and that haunted him. He thought if he could get the stag... (full context)
Chapter 19
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...of nowhere, an arrow pierces the stag’s chest. The other deer flee as oprichniki and Grisha appear out of the trees—along with the Darkling. Mal tries to shoot the stag, but... (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 campsite. Mal’s guards... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
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...the Darkling slides into the coach across from Alina. He tells her that the other Grisha think Alina has been in seclusion, preparing to cross the Fold—nobody knows she ran away.... (full context)
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
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...embroidery, a combination Alina has never seen—what did Genya do to get to wear full Grisha colors? (full context)
Chapter 21
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Alina thinks of 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.... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...Fold. There are shipwrecks on the sand and volcra above. Looking around, Alina thinks the Grisha principle “like calls to like” is true: this emptiness, this dead space populated by monsters,... (full context)
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...is outside of it. There will be peace. Alina knows he’s serious. Turning to the Grisha and the soldiers, he asks them to tell everyone about what they’ve seen and to... (full context)