The Grishaverse
The Grishaverse

"I can keep hope in my heart and a blade in my hand."
— Tamar Kir-Bataar, Rule of Wolves

Tamar Kir-Bataar is the twin sister of Tolya Yul-Bataar and a Heartrender. She is a former member of Sturmhond's crew. Later, Tamar becomes a member of the Soldat Sol, a militia dedicated to protecting the Apparat and the Sun Summoner. After the Ravkan civil war, Tamar becomes the captain of Nikolai Lantsov's intelligence network.


Early life[]

Her mother was a Grisha stationed near the Shu Han border and her father was a Shu Han mercenary. The twins wanted to join the Priestguard as children, but since they would not allow a woman in their order, Tolya also did not join.[1] After their mother's death, the twins left for Novyi Zem with their father so they would not get drafted into the Second Army.[2] Both twins were raised in the church and learned to read liturgical Ravkan.[3]

Siege and Storm[]

Tamar and Toyla volunteered to go up against the Darkling and his Grisha, unlike the other people in Sturmhond's crew, who drew straws.[4] The twins were among the few people that knew who Sturmhond really was: Nikolai Lantsov.[5] When Alina Starkov arrives on the Darkling's ship, Tamar stands guard and warns Tolya and Sturmhond when the Darkling's men approach. She later defends Alina after seeing Ivan mistreat her, although Ivan uses his power on her and Tolya before Sturmhond appears.[6]

After Rusalye is spotted, Sturmhond's crew attacks the Darkling's men on his ship. Tamar frees Mal and reveals her Heartrender powers when she kills an Inferni. Tamar jumps to the Volkvolny, Sturmhond's ship, and frees Alina so she can fight the approaching nichevo'ya.[7] Once they escape the Darkling, Tamar orders the sailors to haul in Rusalye, and she and Tolya work its scales free after Alina kills it. Tamar stays in the doctor's quarters with Alina, giving the Sun Summoner a knife to protect herself.[4]

On the ship, Tamar teaches Malyen Oretsev and Alina combat techniques. She wakes Alina before they leave the Volkvony and board the Hummingbird, which they take through the Shadow Fold.[2] Tamar and Tolya open fire on the volcra there, but the flying craft crashes in a lake outside the Fold.[8]

Later, Mal asks Tamar and Tolya to become part of Alina's personal guard.[9] They guard Alina's room in the Little Palace, entering when the Darkling appears to her and she lets out a burst of light.[10] They also block angry members of the Second Army from entering Alina's room after she tells each Grisha Order to select two representatives,[11] and they guard the council meetings.

Tamar reassures Alina after Mal leaves to go on a hunt.[12] She animatedly discusses weaponry with Botkin Yul-Erdene, and she and Tolya easily win against other Grisha at the Little Palace when sparring.[13]

At some point, the twins arrange for the Apparat to meet Alina at a Suli fortune-telling party.[14] Tamar follows Mal and Alina there, pretending to grumble about it, and leads Alina away as commotion breaks out. She lets the Apparat talk with Alina before finding her again.[15] Tamar later shows Alina the stables, where Mal fights.[16]

Tamar and Tolya stand among the pilgrims to watch the sunrise[14] when they see Alina walk out and become swamped by pilgrims. They rescue her and take her back to the palace.[17] Later that day, Tamar escorts Alina to Nikolai's birthday dinner, but disappears as soon as she senses danger. She and Tolya gather the Sun Soldiers and lead a charge to fight the nichevo'ya.[18] Once the Grisha enter the chapel, Tamar locks the door and opens up the passageway the Sun Soldiers had come through.

The twins are ready to get Alina out when the Darkling arrives, but she chooses to hear his terms and accepts. Tamar and Tolya reluctantly agree to take the remaining people to safety. However, Alina then tries to drain the Darkling of his power, and the Heartrenders heal her after she almost destroys herself. They go through the tunnel, Tamar giving orders to collapse the rest of it. When Alina talks to them, the twins kneel before her, believing her to be a Saint. On her orders, they threaten the pilgrims not to call Genya Safin Razrusha'ya.[14]

Ruin and Rising[]

Tamar was the one to increase Genya's confidence in the White Cathedral, demanding that she learn to fight after weeks of hiding in her chambers.

The twins spar on the training floor to pass the time. They later enter the Kettle behind the Apparat, having restrained Alina's friends,[19] who they claim meant to betray her. However, when Mal springs into action, Tamar frees Nadia Zhabin and Zoya Nazyalensky and fights the Apparat and his Priestguards,[20] having planned the whole attack so Alina can summon light through the master flue.[21]

While journeying to the surface, Tamar unsuccessfully tries to teach Nadia Shu ballads.[22] When parts of the cavern explode, Tamar is momentarily trapped under rock along with Tolya and Adrik Zhabin. She helps Sergei Beznikov and Stigg recover after they escape from being trapped as well. At the surface, Tamar walks into Ryevost to investigate a group of smugglers they had seen, but finds no sign of Nikolai Lantsov's men.[23]

Tamar and Tolya charge into the clearing when Mal and Alina are ambushed by First Army soldiers. She pulls Sergei along and helps kill the rest of the militia before she and the others board Nikolai's Pelican, which they take to the Spinning Wheel.[24]

When Alina tries on gowns, Tamar teases Nadia and then pulls her in for a kiss.[25] She later wakes up Mal and Tolya after the Darkling visits Alina in her head, and when David awakens, they discuss how the Darkling could use the Fold against West Ravka.[26]

Later, Alina orders Tamar to get the others away from the attack on the Spinning Wheel. She takes control of the Bittern's wheel, and they leave the hangar.[27] When the group splits up, Tamar travels with Nadia, Adrik, David, Genya, and Misha to secure lodgings.[28] She also learns that the Darkling had marched on the orphanage at Keramzin and tells Alina this when they reunite.[29]

Tamar and Harshaw scout the track to Caryeva before they all meet with the Apparat's forces.[30] She argues hard with Nadia in favor of including Adrik in their battle at the Fold.[31] While in the Fold, Tamar is attacked by a nichevo'ya, only just being saved by Nikolai in his demon form. She and Tolya attempt to revive Mal after Alina drives a dagger into his chest to amplify her power.[32]

After the Darkling is defeated, Tamar and Zoya go to Kribirsk for news, and Tamar later heals Alina's bullet wound. Alina arrives to meet her and Tolya in the royal barracks so they can escort her to Nikolai's room.[33]

Crooked Kingdom[]

Tamar is stationed at a tavern in Kerch's Ravkan embassy. She spots Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar, but does not recognize Nina, who is disguised. Tamar tells them to come and drops their pulses when they stall for time. In an attempt to evade capture, Matthias uses a duskbomb to obscure her sight and Nina sends bone shards crashing into the tavern windows.[34]

On the way out of the embassy, Nina finds Tamar and warns her not to be taken by any khergud. Tamar tells her that nobody will take her alive, showing Nina a pill full of poison that kills instantly. Since she has an extra, she gives the pill to Nina.[35]

King of Scars[]

When Nikolai escaped his chambers at Duke Radimov's estate in Ivets, Tamar and Tolya accompanied Zoya Nazyalensky to find him.

Upon their return to Os Alta, the twins and the Grisha Triumvirate met in the Little Palace war room to discuss the Kerch Merchant Council's knowledge of Ravka's izmars'ya. Tamar suggested that Ravka ally with the Kerch, while Tolya advocated for an alliance with the Zemeni instead. Nikolai proposed a party attended by foreign dignitaries; Tamar agreed to collect intelligence on the visitors to Os Alta during the event. She also informed Nikolai that Dunyasha Lazareva was killed in Ketterdam.

A week later, Tamar and Nadia Zhabin told Zoya about recent khergud attacks on Ravkan Grisha. To Zoya, she defended Nikolai's decision to send Nina to Fjerda. Tamar and Zoya planned to investigate shipments of ruthenium in order to discern where the khergud were being created, which Tamar's intelligence network had not yet found. Later that day, she notified Nikolai of a conflict between the Priestguard and the Cult of the Starless Saint outside the city. Tamar advised him not to leave the city walls, but he rode out to speak to Yuri Vedenen; she and Zoya accompanied him. She lent her horse to the monk when they returned to the city.

At night, Tamar knocked on Zoya's door and told her that Nikolai escaped his chains. With Tolya, they rode toward Balakirev. The twins ran up the stairs of the town hall, but he moved to the bell tower instead. An injured Zoya called for them and they reached the bell tower just in time. Tamar drew the demon's attention with her throwing axes, allowing Tolya to use his Heartrender powers.

Tamar disagreed with Genya Safin and Tolya's suggestion to cancel the party in light of Nikolai's worsening condition. When Yuri brought up the obisbaya, Tamar identified it as the Ritual of the Burning Thorn and the origin of the Priestguard. Tamar stole books about the thorn wood from the catacombs of the Priestguard. She was part of the retinue for the king's tour of miracles sites around the country. Tamar was late to their departure, since Nadia did not want her to leave. At one stop, she found a servant digging through Nikolai's belongings, so she guarded his door after this.

Outside a cathedral in Adena, their company was attacked by khergud. Tamar and Tolya prepared to protect Nikolai, but the khergud threw a heavy metal net over the twins, restraining them until Nikolai killed the soldier. After freeing themselves, they arranged the skirmish site to seem like part of the cathedral's overhang collapsed. That night, Tamar returned to the cathedral, retrieved the bodies of the khergud they had stashed in the rosebushes, and had them transported to Os Alta to be studied. In their quarters, Tamar and her brother played chess while Nikolai explained his demon to Yuri.

In Kribirsk, Tamar stayed in a boarding house with Nikolai and Zoya. She received intelligence that one of the Tavgharad wanted to defect. Tamar investigated the drydocks before their company set out into the Shadow Fold. When they encountered pilgrims and zealots of the Starless Saint, Tamar and Tolya disembarked the sandskiff to investigate the giant black stone disk. Nikolai and Zoya vanished, and although the twins searched, they could not find them and had to return to Os Alta.

Tamar led Isaak Andreyev to the war room, where the Triumvirate explained their plan to have Isaak impersonate Nikolai for the party. Despite the others' discouragement and fear that the plan would not work, Tamar insisted that the event must continue. Tamar and Tolya smuggled the tailored Isaak to Count Kirigin's estate, then rode with him back to the palace and coached him on how to behave kingly. After the first dinner, the twins led Isaak back to the royal quarters, but Tamar determined someone had rigged the door with arsine gas and shepherded Isaak to safety.

On the fourth day of the party, Tamar arranged for Isaak to spend time with Ehri Kir-Taban to learn about the princess's guards. During the picnic, Birgitta Schenck fell into the lake and was rescued by Isaak; Tamar and Tolya revived her with their powers. Again, the twins, David Kostyk, and Genya met with Isaak to debrief and plan their next steps. Tamar searched the rooms of the Shu entourage, but did not find anything useful.

Tamar discerned that Mayu Kir-Kaat planned to defect from the Tavgharad, due to her brother being stationed in Koba. She accompanied Isaak to Kirigin's estate and found the planned disaster with the izmars'ya missiles hilarious. The next day, the council discussed Nikolai's continued absence and Tamar suggested that the Apparat was likely involved.

Isaak leads Ehri and the Shu delegation to the training rooms, where Tamar invited Mayu to spar with her. While Isaak and Ehri sparred as a distraction, Tamar attempted to talk to Mayu about her brother. Overestimating her skill, Tamar accidentally hurt the guard. Mayu suggested reparations in the form of a private dinner; Tamar pretended to disapprove, though she valued the chance to chase further information.

That night, Tamar informed Isaak that Fjerda planned to declare war on Ravka and dismiss Nikolai as the true Lantsov heir. The twins re-hashed their argument about the merits of allying with the Kerch versus the Zemeni, again without reaching a conclusion. During Isaak's picnic with Ehri the next day, Tamar spoke with the Tavgharad guards stationed in the woods.

After Mayu (pretending to be Ehri) stabbed herself at the final ball, Tamar used her Heartrender powers to restore her pulse and stabilize her. She had the Shu girl taken to the Healers to be fully revived. When the festivities ended, Nikolai brought Ehri (pretending to be Mayu) to meet with the twins and the Triumvirate. Tamar and Tolya escorted Ehri to her chambers, then returned to discuss their plans for Ravka's future. Upon seeing the Darkling returned in Yuri's body, Tamar drew her axes and moved to protect Genya from him.

Rule of Wolves[]

Tamar, Tolya, Nikolai, and Zoya travel to Yaryenosh, a town ruined by the blight. After calming the Suli there, Nikolai and Tamar question them. Word about the war arrives shortly afterward, and Tamar contacts David Kostyk and the other Fabrikators.[36] She then follows Nikolai to Nezkii and fights against the Fjerdans there, pulling Nadia back when she rushes to help the enslaved Grisha—who are soon brought to safety with antidote dropped from Zemeni ships.[37]

Back in Os Alta, Tamar and Tolya spar. They discuss strategy with Nikolai and Zoya, then witness as the Tavgharad set themselves on fire before them. Tamar puts Ehri Kir-Taban into a coma to save her.[38] Later, Tamar and Zoya plan which Sun Soldiers will travel with Zoya to the Darkling's meeting.[39]

Along with Grisha guards and First Army soldiers, Tamar takes Ehri and Mayu back to Shu Han, where they intend to tell Makhi Kir-Taban's ministers of the queen's assassination plot while Makhi herself is distracted by Genya and David's wedding back in Ravka.[40] They stop to collect Leyti Kir-Taban's roses on the way. After landing in the temple fields outside Ahmrat Jen, Tamar gives Mayu a blade to defend herself. The women then confront Minister Nagh and Minister Zihun. Tamar gives Ehri a khatuur to play as they return to the palace.[41] Tamar reports back to Os Alta, confirming that the Shu council agreed to back the new alliance between Ravka and Shu Han.[42]

Tamar and Mayu watch over Ehri while in the palace. They travel to the khergud laboratory housing Reyem Yul-Kaat, with Tamar dressed in a Tavgharad uniform, but Makhi intercepts them.[43] After Reyem awakens, he traps Tamar and almost kills her before Bergin stops him. Leyti arrives soon afterward, having been summoned by Tamar, and reasserts her right as Taban queen.[44] After Mayu gives Leyti her testimony and Ehri is revealed to be the true heir, Tamar requests Shu troops to aid Ravka but is denied.[45]

They return to Ravka in time to join the battle and are accompanied by the khergud, whose existence the Shu government refuses to acknowledge. Tamar and Tolya protect Nikolai as he releases his demon, then watch Zoya overtake the Fjerdans while in the form of a dragon.[46]

After the war, Tamar leads the khergud and Bergin to locate the rest of Jarl Brum's secret laboratories.[47]

Personality and traits[]

Tamar is fearless and occasionally reckless. She is described to have a sly "Heartrender's grin." She is fiercely loyal to both Alina and Nikolai. Tamar is not loyal to Ravka, only to Alina and Nikolai, who she serves proudly.[48]

Like her brother, Tolya, Tamar is religious. She believes that Grisha power is a divine gift, partially contributing to her faith in Alina. She does not believe in coincidence, instead believing in faith and fate.[49]

Physical description[]

Tamar has close-cropped dark hair, golden eyes, and bronze skin. Because of her Shu heritage, she has monolids. Both she and her brother have tattoos on their arms dedicated to the Sun Saint. She wears her axes at her hips and a large number of other weapons as well. She has an amplifier for her Grisha powers; a shark's tooth she wears around her neck.

Despite the fact that Tamar and her brother are Grisha, they refuse to wear kefta, instead opting for the olive uniforms worn by the First Army. During their time as members of Alina's personal guard, the twins wear peasant roughspun and golden sunburst pins.

Powers and abilities[]

Though she is a powerful Heartrender, Tamar does not solely rely on her powers in combat, usually fighting with many weapons. She is especially proficient in fighting with axes.


Tamar carries twin axes at her hips.[50] Her amplifier is a shark's tooth, which she wears on a necklace.[4]


Nadia Zhabin[]

Tamar and Nadia are shown to have a growing affection for each other. By the time Alina and the remainder of the Second Army go into hiding in the Spinning Wheel, Tamar and Nadia are in love and officially a couple. They are married sometime between Ruin and Rising and King of Scars'.

Tolya Yul-Bataar[]

Tolya and Tamar are twins and have much in common. They have an unbreakable bond and work well together. They often tease one another and compete with their abilities.

Nikolai Lantsov[]

Tamar knew Nikolai first under the alias Sturmhond, since she was a member of his ship's crew. They worked well together, and they had mutual respect and friendship with one another. Although she does not particularly like the idea of the Ravkan monarchy, at the end of Ruin and Rising she becomes Nikolai's bodyguard and head of his intelligence network, working with the First Army.

Alina Starkov[]

Tamar is a true and loyal friend to Alina. She takes an immediate liking to her aboard Sturmhond’s ship in Siege and Storm, and the two remain close friends, bonding beyond Tamar’s oath of loyalty to Alina. She trains the Soldat Sol, Alina’s personal soldiers, in the White Cathedral. She joins the group in helping Alina find the Firebird, and is one of the only people to know that Alina survived the battle on the Fold.




  • Tamar is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "date" (the fruit), "date palm" or "palm tree."[51]



  1. King of Scars, chapter 9
  2. 2.0 2.1 Siege and Storm, chapter 7
  3. Siege and Storm, chapter 16
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Siege and Storm, chapter 5
  5. Siege and Storm, chapter 9
  6. Siege and Storm, chapter 2
  7. Siege and Storm, chapter 4
  8. Siege and Storm, chapter 8
  9. Siege and Storm, chapter 10
  10. Siege and Storm, chapter 13
  11. Siege and Storm, chapter 14
  12. Siege and Storm, chapter 15
  13. Siege and Storm, chapter 17
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Siege and Storm, chapter 23
  15. Siege and Storm, chapter 18
  16. Siege and Storm, chapter 20
  17. Siege and Storm, chapter 21
  18. Siege and Storm, chapter 22
  19. Ruin and Rising, chapter 1
  20. Ruin and Rising, chapter 2
  21. Ruin and Rising, chapter 3
  22. Ruin and Rising, chapter 4
  23. Ruin and Rising, chapter 5
  24. Ruin and Rising, chapter 6
  25. Ruin and Rising, chapter 8
  26. Ruin and Rising, chapter 9
  27. Ruin and Rising, chapter 11
  28. Ruin and Rising, chapter 13
  29. Ruin and Rising, chapter 14
  30. Ruin and Rising, chapter 15
  31. Ruin and Rising, chapter 16
  32. Ruin and Rising, chapter 17
  33. Ruin and Rising, chapter 18
  34. Crooked Kingdom, chapter 13
  35. Crooked Kingdom, chapter 15
  36. Rule of Wolves, chapter 3
  37. Rule of Wolves, chapter 6
  38. Rule of Wolves, chapter 8
  39. Rule of Wolves, chapter 11
  40. Rule of Wolves, chapter 15
  41. Rule of Wolves, chapter 19
  42. Rule of Wolves, chapter 20
  43. Rule of Wolves, chapter 24
  44. Rule of Wolves, chapter 29
  45. Rule of Wolves, chapter 32
  46. Rule of Wolves, chapter 40
  47. Rule of Wolves, chapter 49
  48. King of Scars, chapter 23
  49. King of Scars, chapter 12
  50. King of Scars, chapter 7
  51. Wikipedia: Tamar (name)
  52. Siege and Storm, chapter 23; eBook version used as reference
  53. Crooked Kingdom, "Cast of Characters"