The fate of the stag leaves Alina in an impossible position with Kirigan, whose connection to the Gold - and the power behind it - falls into place.
In a flashback, we see how the Fold was created. The king was rounding up Grisha and killing them and Kirigan was on the run. He stops at the home of a woman he is involved with and they’re supposed to flee together, but the king’s soldiers show up. He goes outside to confront them, and he gets shot by several arrows, however the woman is a healer and saves him.
The soldiers react and restrain him and find her, killing her in front of Kirigan. His rage is powerful enough to break the restraints and he beheads the entire company. He then heads to a Grisha hideout, where she dies, and he goes to see his mother. Kirigan used his powers to win a war for the king, but in doing so, he made the king afraid of Grisha and started a war on their people. Baghra tells her son to flee to Kerch and return when the king is dead. Instead, Kirigan gets the bright idea to create his own army using his powers, even though Baghra forbids him to do so. Instead of creating an army, he creates the Shadow Fold instead.
Alina and Mal manage to find the stag, but Alina can’t bring herself to kill it. “Maybe there’s another way to do this,” she says. She touches it, and her powers glow, but suddenly the stag and Mal get shot. Kirigan shows himself and he offers Alina a choice- if she allows him to kill the stag, he’ll get Mal to a healer. She won’t let Mal die, so she accepts the deal, and with one deadly cut, Kirigan kills the stag.
Kirigan uses the stag’s bones to create an Amplifier. Once it’s bonded with him and Alina, it allows him to control her powers. Now he has control over both the light and the darkness,
They all travel back to East Ravka, to the First Army lines. In a Grisha tent, Alina meets Genya who tells her that the Apparat is now ruling in the king’s stead, and the queen is confined to her quarters. Alina finds out that Genya was really a spy, not her friend, and hid Mal’s letters from her. Alina is furious because she trusted Genya.
Mal manages to break free, which upsets Kirigan, who’s still trying to convince Alina that everything he’s done has been to make Grisha safer. He says that if Mal gets anywhere near Alina, the guards should kill him.
The Dregs make plans to head back to Ketterdam. However, Inej now has a shot at freedom and doesn’t want to go back to the Menagerie. That leads her and Kaz to have a heart-to-heart that night by a fire, where he tells her she was right about Alina. That doesn’t mean he has faith in her Saints, though. “I have faith in myself,” he says, “and you, and Jesper.” He promises Inej that if she comes back to Ketterdam, she will not return to Tante Heleen.
Kaz’s new plan is to cross the Fold by sneaking on to Kirigan’s ship, as he’s heard the general plans to cross the next day. Inej sees right through it and asks Kaz if he’s just trying to get Alina again, and that million kruge. “So, all you want is to cross the Fold?” she asks him. Kaz nods, and it seems that’s settled.
They find themselves some new clothes, and papers, and get themselves onto the skiff. Mal also sneaks onto the skiff, and Alina and Kirigan board as well.
- Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov
- Ben Barnes as General Kirigan
- Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev
- Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker
- Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa
- Kit Young as Jesper Fahey
- The Unsea refers to the Shadow Fold.
- Shadow & Bone - Writers Guild of America West. Accessed 29 October 2020.