Shadow and Bone, Chapter 13: Slight Improvements

Last time on Shadow and Bone, Alina discovered that she is going to receive a rare Magic Amplifier, learned a little more about Magic Theory, and finally figured out how to Do Magic. Will things improve for her? Find out after the cut.

We’re Gonna Need Another Montage!

(Yeah, I chose the Rocky IV montage because there’s snow and it takes place in Russia.)

Now that Alina finally knows how to do magic, we need to have a proper Training Montage!

  • Alina casts Daylight for the other Etherealki.
  • Alina sleeps soundly, is never fatigued, and is actually able to taste food.
  • Everyone thinks that the change in Alina’s behavior is because the Darkling cured her of some not!Scandinavian sickness.
  • Baghra teaches Alina how to control her powers and how to cast Daylight in near darkness.
  • Alina starts to excel in combat training. She basically goes through Rocky’s training regimen from the above video.
  • Alina finally gets new weapons: the Fabrikators make her a pair of mirrored gloves that she uses to reflect light, and Botkin gives her a Grisha steel knife when she finally lands a proper blow on him during combat training.
  • The Grisha celebrate Christmas the feast of Sankt Nikolai.
  • Genya shares some palace gossip with Alina: namely, that there’s a big winter fete coming up, and the playboy Crown Prince will be present. They also talk about the younger prince (who may be a bastard) and Genya’s relationship with David (basically: why are you so damn interested in him?).

One Day…

Genya thinks it’s an excellent idea for Alina to hang out with her in the royal palace and try on one of the Queen’s dresses. Alina puts on a dress … and finally discovers that she was Attractive All Along.

All this ogling over her body makes Alina miss dinner and run late for her Magic Training Session with Baghra. Alina’s attempts at casting Daylight at night are successful, but not up to Baghra’s high standards.

Suddenly, the Darkling shows up and has a heated conversation over the type of Magic Amplifier that Alina will receive. The Darkling still insists that, despite her improving abilities, Alina should get an amplifier made from Morozova’s Stag.

After the training session, the Darkling takes Alina aside for a little conversation. A quick run-down:

  • Alina isn’t useless
  • Morozova’s herd is in not!Scandinavia
  • The Darkling can’t destroy the Shadow Fold on his own
  • The Darkling promises that he’ll find Morozova’s Stag

And then the Darkling kisses Alina … which elicits a wait, what? reaction from both of them. Luckily, Ivan shows up to escort the Darkling to a meeting with the Apparat immediately afterwards.

Still in shock, Alina returns to her rooms for dinner … but she still can’t get her mind off that kiss! So she decides to hang out with Marie, Nadia, and Sergei. But drinking tea and quality Banya Time isn’t enough to ease Alina’s thoughts.


Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:

Grisha can’t get sick.

David the Fabrikator was making Alina’s signature weapon (the mirrored gloves) when we first met him a couple of chapters back.

How exactly does a Christmas-equivalent holiday, complete with a Saint Nicholas analogue, exist in the Grishaverse?

Genya sure reveals a lot of stuff about Sobachka (the younger prince), like how he was in the infantry, apprenticed under a gunsmith, and studied shipbuilding. This seems Very Important.

Baghra was supposedly a Tidemaker. She’s so old, nobody really remembers what her character class is.

Marie and Sergei are a couple now.

Food Porn:

Featured foodstuffs include:

  • porridge with sugar and cream
  • skate fried in butter
  • dumpling soup
  • kutya

Words in Russian:

  • kutya: кутья
  • Sankt Nikolai: Санкт Николай
  • Sobachka: Собачка
  • tsarevitch: царевич

Translation Time:

Собачка (Sobachka) — dog, puppy


Next time: Alina gets a Pimped-Out Outfit. Mal (argh!) crashes a party.


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