Alina’s actions against the Volcra bring her to the attention of General Kirigan. Kaz runs into trouble while looking for safe passage across the Fold.
Alina wakes up and is instantly treated by a healer and quickly separated from Mal, who is also being seen by another healer. She is taken into Kirigan’s tent. Surrounded by other Second Army soldiers, he performs a test with his ring to see if Alina is actually a Sun Summoner. When he drags the ring across her skin, a beam of light erupts from her. She’s quickly taken away into a carriage to be taken to the Little Palace for protection. She begs to be able to say goodbye to Mal or at least to tell him she didn’t know she was Grisha. Mal tries to catch her as she leaves but only sees her mouthing words to him from the carriage and he isn’t able to catch up.
On the journey over, two Second Army soldiers look at Alina as they ride, asking her how she never knew she was Grisha. They’re blocked by a group of Drüskelle soldiers from Fjerda, who want to kill the “witch” Grisha. One Druskelle pulls Alina out of the carriage and almost kills her but she’s saved by Kirigan, who creates a blade out of shadows and cuts the man in two. He tells Alina she’ll be traveling with him now, and they head for the hills, making their way toward the Little Palace.
They take a break, where she asks him about his powers, learns he’s tried to take down the Fold, and that if she can get rid of the Fold once and for all, they’re hopeful that Grisha might be able to live in peace. They keep riding and make it to the palace, where Alina is set up in a fancy suite. She cries until she hears footsteps in the hall. She rummages around the drawers to find a letter opener to use presumably as a weapon. She stashes it under her pillow.
Back at the camp, Mal tries to convince his commanding officer to go after Alina, but he’s not having luck. Mal then starts to take matters into his own hands and saddles up a horse to ride off to the palace, but his friends stop him and talk him out of it.
In Ketterdam, Kaz and the Crows have six hours to figure out how to cross the Fold, or the job is going to Pekka Rollins. Kaz won’t allow that, and it turns out that part of the answer to his problem is sitting in his club, cheating at cards. He has the card-counting woman brought to his study, where he interrogates her and learns she’s from Ravka and crossed the fold with the help of a man who calls himself “The Conductor.” But to get to The Conductor, he needs to speak with someone named Poppy first. Kaz knows who Poppy is and doesn’t seem keen to see her.
Inej gets a summons to the Menagerie, Ketterdam’s main brothel. The Madam, Tante Heleen, still owns her (even though she is on loan to Kaz). That means, that even if the Crows figure out a way to cross the Fold, Inej won’t be able to go. But that could change, Heleen says, if Inej does one more job for her: she wants Inej to kill a supposed human trafficker.
Inej doesn't want to kill, so she asks her friend Jesper for help. Jesper asks his friend how getting him to kill someone is any different than her doing it herself. He can’t do it though because Kaz needs him to cause a distraction so he can sneak in and talk to Poppy. Kaz talks to Poppy and finds out that Heleen was working against them — she lied about the identity of Inej’s mark. The Conductor, who is really a smuggler named Arken, is the man she has been sent to kill. He’s not providing for the Menagerie - instead he’s moving and reuniting families across the Fold.
Inej, thinking he’s a human trafficker, almost kills him when Kaz bursts in and tells her to stop. He explains the situation and tells The Conductor that they have a job for him. Unbeknownst to Inej, Kaz goes to Heleen and makes a new deal with her; he’ll pay off the rest of what he owes for Inej when he returns from the job, but in the meantime, he’s giving Heleen his Crow Club as collateral.
- Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov
- Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev
- Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker
- Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa
- Kit Young as Jesper Fahey
- Ben Barnes as General Kirigan
- Sujaya Dasgupta as Zoya Nazyalensky
- Howard Charles as Arken
- Kaylan Teague as Young Alina
- Cody Molko as Young Mal
- Elizabeth Rider as Ana Kuya
- Scott Alexander Young as Big Bolliger
- Hugo Speer as Lieutenant Bohdan
- Julian Kostov as Fedyor Kaminsky
- Angus Castle-Doughty as Mikhael
- Micah Holmes as Poppy Cox
- Tom Fyans as Male Squaller
- David Wurawa as Edyck
- Kate Russell-Smith as Ravkan Woman
- Adam Boncz as Oprichnik Guard Semyov
- Kiera Azar as Female Healer
- Klári Tolnai as Tabitha
- Deirdre Mullins as Tante Heleen
- István Juhász as Cobbet
- Géza Kovács as Druskelle
- Tsogbaatar Batzorig as Bouncer 1
- Tamas Nikolits as Bouncer 2
- Harry Baxendale as Forich
- Erik Gyarmati as Boy Orphan
- Emma Bercovici as Girl Orphan
- Shadow & Bone - Writers Guild of America West. Accessed 29 October 2020.