Last time on The Grisha, Genya burned all of Alina’s letters to Mal! Oh, and we also learned about Genya’s abuse in the royal palace. Can Alina stop complaining about her problems already? Find out after the cut.
The Next Day…
Alina is in a surprisingly good mood. Maybe it has something to do with everyone avoiding Zoya. (I don’t think Alina’s learned about Zoya getting kicked out of Grisha HQ at this point.)
Unfortunately, her mood becomes more serious when she enters Baghra’s hut for her Magical Aptitude session … and interrupts a heated conversation between Baghra and the Darkling. It turns out that the Darkling wants to give Alina a magic amplifier — specifically, one made from the antlers of Morozova’s stag, a legendary (and elusive!) white deer. It would be the Most Powerful Amplifier Ever, strong enough to destroy the Shadow Fold for good.
But what good is a magic amplifier if Alina can’t do magic? And if any magic amplifier can help Alina do magic, why does she have to wait for the one made out of this book’s McGuffin? There’s two reasons for this: one concerns some Magic Theory that I’ll discuss later, and the other is Because Destiny.
Anyway, the Darkling tells Alina that they’ll make not!Russia a better place together, and then orders her to not tell anyone about the hunt for Morozova’s stag.
Later, at the Library…
Alina learns all about magic amplifiers and Ilya Morozova, an early Grisha. A quick run-down:
- A Grisha can only possess one amplifier in their lifetime, because the balance of nature must be maintained (and there’s some philosophical stuff about greed, too)
- A Grisha’s amplifier can’t be transferred to another Grisha
Alina’s thoughts then turn to how a Darkling created the Shadow Fold out of greed, and how not!Russia suffered because of it.
And Now Is the Winter of Alina’s Discontent…
No, not really. It’s just winter.
And Alina still can’t do magic.
One day, on the way to Baghra’s hut, a servant passes Alina a note from Genya. It reveals that Mal is stationed in Chernast, an outpost in not!Siberia. Alina immediately assumes that Mal received all her letters, but never bothered to write back. And, boy, does this make her pissed.
And not just pissed at Mal. Oh, no, Alina is fed up with Grisha life in general.
After some prodding from Baghra, Alina finally admits that she’s really pining for Mal (argh!). We finally get a flashback to the prologue, when Grisha examiners administered a Magical Aptitude Test to Alina and Mal. The examiners forcibly separated the two for the test … and when Alina started to show signs that she could do magic, she immediately suppressed them so she could stay with Mal.
So it’s all Mal’s fault that Alina can’t do magic. Mal was the only thing that kept Alina safe and secure at the orphanage, and Alina couldn’t stand being away from that.
Now Alina is all alone, and she realizes that she needs to move on from Mal already.
And guess what? Alina finally casts Daylight on her own.
About freaking time.
Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
Believe it or not, we are halfway through the book! That means that I’ll go through all the Russian Stuff I translated and search for errors. So expect a Translation Update post in the near future. Things I will definitely correct: character classes, phrases, and a Translation Note for the Grishaverse version of Turkish delight. (Yeah, I had a little Epiphany Moment at the Googleland Russian Mart. More on that later.)
Marie has a seal tooth magic amplifier.
During the discussion about magic amplifiers, Alina asks the Darkling if Baghra was his teacher. The Darkling’s reaction — his face “darkens” (OMG that’s a bad pun) before he answers — hints that he’s hiding something. Don’t worry, we’ll learn more about the Darkling and Baghra’s relationship later on.
Ilya Morozova never actually appears in person in this series, but I still pictured him looking like Russian goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. That’s right, I gotta keep fancasting Russian hockey players (especially goalies) in this recap. Maybe I should keep a Russian Hockey Player count…
Spoiler: Alina’s going to break the “one amplifier to a Grisha” rule as the series progresses.
Alina learns toward the end of the chapter that Zoya will be shipped to Kribirsk after the winter fete. Also, Zoya’s been banned from the training rooms.
Alina gets a winter kefta as the season progresses. The winter uniform is made of wool and has a fur-lined hood.
Yay, we finally have a reason for Alina’s obsession with Mal! And she finally got over him! Unfortunately … we’re going to see Mal again later in the book. (Argh!)
Words in Russian:
- Chernast — Чернаст
- Ilya Morozova — Илья Морозов
- Morozova’s herd — стадо Морозова (stado Morozova)
- Morozova’s stag — олень Морозова (olen’ Morozova)
- troika — тройка
тройка (troyka) — a Russian sled pulled by three horses
I’d like to point out some Russian Fail. Ilya is a masculine name, so his surname shouldn’t be feminized! I’ve written it correctly (Morozov) above. What’s interesting is that the genitive form of Morozov is Morozova, the same as the feminized surname! (There’s probably some academic linguistic discourse on feminine and genitive nouns in Russian, but I’ll leave that to Russian scholars / native speakers. Which I’m not.)
I’d like to think that the author forgot to change the noun case in this situation, but then she made the same mistake with Alina’s surname at the beginning of the book. (In case you forgot: Alina’s surname is mysteriously in the masculine form.) So this is definitely a case of Russian Fail.
And Because I Can:
Here’s Ilya Bryzgalov revealing the secrets of the universe.
I’ve noticed a pattern here: every time I type up some serious Translation Notes, I post a video featuring a Russian Goalie after it. Should I keep this up?
Next time: Alina finally succeeds in a Training Montage, and obtains a potential new Love Interest.