The Grishaverse
The Grishaverse

"Na razrusha'ya. E'ya razrushost. I am not ruined. I am ruination."
— Genya Safin, Ruin and Rising

Genya Safin is a Tailor and a member of the Grisha Triumvirate.


Early life[]

Genya hasn't seen her parents since she was five. Because of her uniqueness of being a gifted Tailor, the Darkling sent her as a gift to the Queen at a young age, making Genya her servant. Since she had slept in the Grand Palace and received privileges, the other Grisha treated her with resentment. She was often sexually abused by the King.

Shadow and Bone[]

At the request of the Darkling, she helps Alina Starkov get ready to meet the King while she is at the Little Palace. Using objects like berries, powders, rose petals, and gold, Genya performs small science tailoring Alina's face and hair: every blemish, every scrape, every flaw even the dark circles that plagued Alina since childhood seemed to disappear beneath Genya's fingers. Although Genya warns her the changes are temporary and will last only a few days.[1]

Genya then brings Alina down to the Court and asks that she not tell anyone how she helped to change her appearance. Genya is apparently not allowed to work on any Grisha due to the Queen's orders. Genya insults the Queen in front of Alina who gapes at Genya since insulting the Queen could be considered treason, but Genya seems unconcerned. When Alina enters the domed hall and sees the Grisha, Alina understands the Fjerdan-born Queen's prejudice against Grisha beauty as Alina notes that Grisha are "strikingly attractive" and "unnervingly good-looking." Alina mistakenly thinks Genya has tailored the Grisha but she tells her she hasn't.

It is obvious that the Queen is jealous of Genya's beauty, but, because the latter is a servant, she cannot do anything about it. Alina asks the Darkling if there are other Tailors. He explains that Genya is unique and when her abilities began showing, she could have had a choice to be a Fabrikator or a Corporalnik, but he decided to develop her gift and make her a "present" to the Queen. Because of that, Genya is considered the Queen's pet and a lower-level Grisha and is constantly disrespected by others.

After the presentation is over, Genya leads Alina out and explains to Alina several Ravkan society intricacies. First, Genya explains the kefta colors' importance after Alina asks for her kefta to be blue and not black. Genya stared at Alina aghast as having a black kefta would have made her stand out as someone who holds the Darkling's esteem. It would place her high above others.[2] As they walk back to Alina's room Alina observes the servants' gold and white uniforms and reflects that no wonder Genya thought she was crazy for refusing the Darkling's offer and maybe Genya was right. Secondly, Genya explains to Alina that the Corporalki don't eat with the Summoners, Summoners don't dine with the Fabrikators, and that it was a great honor to be asked to dine privately with the Sun Summoner. Before Genya departs, she gives Alina a vague warning about Baghra.

The next day, Genya takes Alina for a tour of the Little Palace, Genya points out the halls that lead to the library, the workshops, anatomy rooms, Alina's room, the Grand Palace, and the Darkling's council room and quarters. Genya compliments Alina's blue kefta and says, "But you would have looked better in black."[3] Alina witnesses how the Grisha push Genya away when Marie loops her arm with Alina and deliberately turns her back on Genya and invites only Alina to sit with the Etherealki for breakfast. While the Grisha ate peasant food of herring and rye, Genya admits that she instead eats delicious pastries because she secretly helped the Grand Palace chef's daughter. The other Grisha looked down on Genya, but she had her own power and influence. When they head to the Fabrikators' workshops, the two girls pick up some glass disks for Alina. The man who made the disks is David Kostyk, whom Genya is clearly smitten with.

As Genya leads Alina to the Summoner's Pavilion and Baghra's hut near the lake, Alina notices another building on the way. Genya says that's the school where nearly all the young Grisha learned Small Science. When the children finish, they become members of the Second Army and are sent to serve noble families, serve the First Army, and the best remain in the Little Palace to further their education and join the Darkling's side. When Alina questions Genya about the Grisha's families, Genya explains how a Grisha's family is compensated handsomely. Some write letters to their families, but Genya has not had contact with her parents since she was five.

As Alina and Genya's friendship progresses, Alina admits to herself that she doubted she'd ever really enjoyed being around Marie and Nadia. Alina was much happier sitting in her room with Genya, drinking tea and gossiping by the fire. Alina loved hearing all the court gossip and tales of the opulent parties at the Grand Palace. Genya makes some critical remarks on Ravka's monarchy princes by pointing out that Crown Prince Vasily devotes all his time to hunting, horses, drinking, and spending mounds of gold. She calls Nikolai a Sobachka, meaning puppy, and reveals that there are rumors that he isn't strictly royal.[4]

When Alina runs away, she does not have time to tell Genya that she is leaving, which might have been for the best because it turns out that the Tailor is on the Darkling's side, feeling like she had nowhere else to turn to. After her capture, Alina learned that the King was mysteriously ill and that the Queen was not seeing anyone for fear of getting ill herself. This news, combined with the fact that Genya is no longer wearing a servant kefta, makes it obvious that she has been working with the Darkling this entire time, which is why she had been given to the Queen so long ago as a present.

Although she knows that Genya is on the Darkling's side, Alina cannot bring herself to hurt her and tells Genya that she forgives both her and David.

Siege and Storm[]

When Alina is captured by the Darkling, she is taken care of by Genya who is still wearing the red kefta, a symbol of her betrayal. However, when Sturmhond rescues Alina, Genya has the chance to shoot Alina. She is unable to do it. Alina urges Genya to come with them but Genya cannot and is left behind. Towards the end of the book when the Darkling finds Alina, we find out that the Darkling unleashed nichevo'ya on Genya because she spared Alina. Her skin is scarred all over and she only has one eye left. David runs towards her, and she goes to the other side without a word.

Ruin and Rising[]

Genya is in the White Cathedral with the remaining Grisha. She is frequently meeting with Alina to Tailor her and help her with her power. Because of her scarring, she is given the name Razrusha'ya, which means "The Ruined". When Genya was first attacked, she refused to be near anyone, as they think she is a curse. She and the other Grisha later escape the White Cathedral and get to the surface. When they are saved by Nikolai Lantsov, he does not recognize her.

Later, at the Spinning Wheel, Sergei Beznikov lets her name slip and she is found by the King and Queen. The King intends to punish her for poisoning him, but she reveals to the others that she was abused by the King for years. After the King leaves, she breaks down, saying the others don't understand what she has been through. David then kisses her, and they make up. Genya later sleeps with David. She escapes with the others after The Darkling's attack and stays with them until Alina, Malyen Oretsev, Zoya Nazyalensky, Harshaw, and Tolya Yul-Bataar go to search for the Firebird. She goes with the other group. At the end of the book, Genya, Zoya, and David become the Grisha Triumvirate.

Crooked Kingdom[]

Genya is first seen in Crooked Kingdom in a secret room hidden beneath the Ravkan embassy in Ketterdam. She and Zoya are attempting to rescue a group of Grisha refugees in the city, but are unable to leave Kerch due to blockades enacted by the Kerch Merchant Council. After encountering Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar in the embassy, Genya and Zoya discuss with Nina and decide to accept her help in transporting the Grisha refugees. However, this initial plan to aid the refugees is soon scrapped.

Later in the book, Genya is joined by Zoya and Sturmhond to discuss a new plan, which entails auctioning Kuwei Yul-Bo for indenture in order to send him to Ravka, with Kaz Brekker. When Kaz and Sturmhond opt to discuss alone, Genya tailors Wylan Van Eck's face back to his original appearance, reverting the work that Nina had done previously in order to make Wylan look identical to Kuwei.

Genya's creation of a poison meant to make Kuwei appear dead is essential in Kaz's plan. After the plan is executed and Kuwei's auction ends in chaos, Genya attempts to revitalize Kuwei. However, Genya injects the antidote twice, to no avail; afterward, Zoya uses lightning to restart Kuwei's heart. Genya then leaves with Zoya and Sturmhond in preparation for their departure to Ravka.

King of Scars[]

When Yuri, the leader of the Darkling's cult, is brought into the castle, Genya is incredibly wary of him, especially when he starts rambling about the "blessings" the Darkling inflicted upon her. Genya thoroughly chews him out, and, for the first time in the entire Grishaverse series, David actually threatens him afterward.

After Nikolai is trapped in the Fold, Genya takes Isaak in and tailors him to look like the king to prevent uprisings and riots. Genya, as well as Tolya, Tamar, and David teach Isaak how to walk, talk, and act like Nikolai.

Rule of Wolves[]

Genya, along with Zoya and Nikolai, is working tirelessly to stop the Darkling from coming back. Unfortunately, Ravka is broke and so they need allies and money. They organized a wedding as an excuse to invite politicians to see who would ally with Fjerda and who would ally with Ravka. At this party, Fjerda launches a surprise attack and bombs the wedding. Many Grisha die, including David, Genya's husband. After the Fjerdan airplanes leave, Genya says she can't find David.

While looking through the rubble and destruction, they find David's body had been crushed. As is Grisha tradition, they cremate him. Before that, however, Genya finds a paper in David's pocket filled with notes and tips on how to compliment Genya. She ends up burning the paper with him so that he will remember her in the next life.[5] Genya relies on Zoya and Nikolai for support after David's passing.

Personality and traits[]

Genya is very knowledge-seeking. She's curious and questions the logic, making, and understanding of things.

Physical description[]

Genya is a gorgeous Grisha with long, wavy, and fiery deep auburn hair. Her eyes are large and of a golden-amber color. Her skin is described as alabaster and completely smooth and flawless.[1] When she was a servant at the Little Palace, she wore a white and gold kefta. After joining The Darkling, she exchanged it for a red one with blue cuffs. After being attacked by nichevo'ya, or the nothings, her skin is scarred all over, and she has one remaining eye. She wears a silk eyepatch, but is still very beautiful.

Powers and abilities[]

As a Tailor, Genya can change a person's physical features if she has the right material. She can be described as both Corporalki and Materialki, as she could have chosen to be either order.


David Kostyk[]

Genya has a crush on David. It seems he barely notices her at all, but in actuality David is very worried for her when she is with the Darkling, frequently asking Alina how Genya is doing. He is the one who steps forward to guide her to their side of the royal chapel when she is revealed to be scarred by the nichevo'ya. In Ruin and Rising, they work together on plans, like in the White Cathedral for the balm or in Tomikyana for the lumiya.

After the King's confrontation with Genya over her attempted treason and his assault in the past, Genya is defeated and mentally exhausted. David musters up words about how she doesn't need her beauty, her armor, to protect the steel inside her. Then, he steps up to her and kisses her. She returns, arms around him, and kisses him back passionately. That night when Alina goes to David to ask him about the lumiya, she discovers that David had kicked everyone out of the room, and the two are found together in bed.

When the war ends, they are both asked to join the Triumvirate and are married sometime between the end of the war and the beginning of King of Scars. They helped in Nikolai's plan to ally with the Shu. They had an official marriage ceremony in the Royal Chapel with the Shu Queen in attendance, but David died a few hours later when Fjerda bombed Os Alta.

Alina Starkov[]

Genya had been Alina's first friend and ally in the Little Palace. Alina was one of the few Grisha who didn't consider Genya a lower-level Grisha.



  • Genya is a Latin name meaning "maiden."[6]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Shadow and Bone, chapter 6
  2. Shadow and Bone, chapter 7
  3. Shadow and Bone, chapter 8
  4. Shadow and Bone, chapter 13
  5. Rule of Wolves, chapter 20
  6. Think Baby Names: Genya
  7. Leigh Bardugo on Tumblr


v  d  e
Main Characters Kaz BrekkerInej GhafaJesper FaheyNina ZenikMatthias HelvarWylan Van EckKuwei Yul-BoJan Van EckPekka Rollins
Minor Characters JoostAnyaEmil RetvenkoCouncilman HoedeGeelsBo Yul-BayurPer HaskellTante HeleenJordie RietveldSpechtRottyJarl BrumCornelis SmeetAdem BajanColm FaheyAditi HilliAlys Van EckMarya HendriksZoya NazyalenskySturmhondGenya SafinDunyasha LazarevaAnikaPimKeegRoederKarl DrydenJellen Radmakker
Locations KetterdamThe BarrelHellgateIce CourtDjerholmBlack Veil IslandKerchFjerdaRavkaNovyi ZemShu HanWandering Isle
Groups The DregsDime LionsBlack TipsStadwatchGrishaDrüskelleThe MenagerieHouse of the White RoseMerchant CouncilCouncil of TidesKhergud
Events HringkällaHellshowQueen's Lady PlagueKomedie Brute
Miscellaneous JurdaJurda paremKeftaIndentureDjelGhezen