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 on the sandskiff. She is quickly treated by a Healer and separated from Mal, who is taken to a First Army medik. Alina is taken to General Kirigan’s tent where, 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 is taken into a carriage to be taken to the Little Palace for protection and training. Alina begs to be able to say goodbye to Mal and tell him she didn’t know she was Grisha, but the carriage does not stop. An injured Mal runs after her as the carriage leaves, but he only sees her mouthing words to him and he is not able to catch up.
On the journey to the Little Palace, Ivan and Fedyor, two Heartrenders, ask Alina how she never knew she was Grisha. The carriage is attacked by a group of Drüskelle soldiers from Fjerda, who hunt and kill Grisha. One Drüskelle pulls Alina out of the carriage and almost kills her, but Kirigan saves her by creating a blade out of shadows and cuts the man in two. He tells Alina she will be traveling with him now and they head toward the Little Palace.
They take a break and Alina asks him about his powers. She learns he has tried to take down the Fold, and that if she can get rid of the Fold once and for all, he is hopeful that Grisha might be able to live in peace. When they arrive at the palace, Alina is set up in a fancy suite, but she is forbidden to leave the palace and feels like a prisoner. She cries until she hears footsteps in the hall. She rummages around the room until she finds a letter opener to use as a weapon, which she stashes under her pillow.
Back at the First Army camp, Mal tries to convince his commanding officer to go after Alina and provide extra protection, but the officer does not car. Mal decides to take matters into his own hands and saddles up a horse to ride to the palace, but his friends Dubrov and Mikhael talk him out of it by reminding him he would be hanged as a deserter.
In Ketterdam, Kaz and his Crows have six hours to figure out how to cross the Fold. Pekka Rollins and his men ambush Kaz in his office and tell him to leave off the job, or Pekka will kill them. Kaz refuses and redoubles his effort to find passage across the Fold; on the floor of the Crow Club, he notices a Ravkan woman counting money differently and has her brought to his office on accusations of card-counting. He interrogates her and learns she crossed the Fold from eastern Ravka with the help of a man who calls himself “the Conductor.” To find the Conductor, she directs Kaz to a street performer named Poppy. Kaz knows who Poppy is, but doesn’t seem keen to see her.
Inej is summoned to the Menagerie, a brothel whose Madam, Tante Heleen, still owns Inej. Kaz has been paying off Inej's indenture, but Heleen will not let Inej leave the city until she is paid for in full. 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.
Due to her religion, Inej refuses to kill, so she asks her friend Jesper to kill the man instead. Jesper agrees, but is interrupted when Kaz brings Jesper along for a different job. Jesper distracts the bouncers at the Emerald Palace while Kaz sneaks in and talk to Poppy. Poppy initially threatens Kaz, but when Kaz realizes Heleen is planning to have the Conductor killed, Poppy tells Kaz the Conductor's address in the hopes that Kaz will save him.
Inej breaks into the home of Arken Visser, believing him to be a human trafficker. She almost kills him when Kaz bursts in and tells her to stop. He explains that Heleen lied—Arken was not selling children into brothels, but rather reuniting families separated by war and the Fold, and he is the Conductor. Kaz 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 will pay off the rest of what he owes for Inej when he returns from the job, but in the meantime, he gives 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 Visser
- 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 Drüskelle
- 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.