Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising
At the end of the book, the Darkling reveals his vast amount of power by turning Nikolai Lantsov into a nichevo'ya. Nikolai is only able to return to his normal self after Alina kills the Darkling, and later describes his experiences as a nichevo'ya, revealing that while he was the creature, he could not read.
Shadow and Bone (TV)
Nichevo'ya means "nothings" in Russian. The Darkling chose the name in hopes of mitigating the fear the creatures inspired in his closest allies.
- Nichevo'ya are part of the Darkling and do not have free will.
- "A name like "nothings" might work to mitigate the fear they inspire even in his closest allies." Leigh Bardugo on a Q&A on Goodreads.
- "In a way, they're a part of him, but they're also something utterly expendable and without any kind of free will." Leigh Bardugo on a Q&A on Goodreads.