Shadow and Bone, Chapter 16: The Great Escape

Last time on Shadow and Bone, Baghra revealed that the Darkling has sinister plans in store for Alina. How will Alina react? Find out after the cut.

After Baghra’s infodump in the previous chapter…

Alina decides that she has to escape from the Darkling! And she has to escape now, because the Darkling is close to finding Morozova’s herd. Baghra never thought that the Darkling would locate the Most Magical Deer on Earth, but she didn’t anticipate Mal (argh!) using his Special Tracking Skills to find the damn creatures.

The escape plan is simple: Alina leaves with the performers after the fete, travel to Os Kervo, cross the Shadow Fold, then secure passage on the Kerch trading ship Verloren.

But why is Baghra bothering to help Alina? Well, it turns out that Baghra was responsible for making the Darkling the ambitious man he is now, and she wants to give him a chance at redemption.

After all that infodumping, Alina runs off to the departing performers and stows away in a wagon. She eventually falls asleep, and doesn’t wake up until the wagon stops at an inn in Balakirev around noon. Like any good RPG protagonist, Alina buys supplies (just food — she already has her Grisha steel dagger and mirror gloves in her inventory) before venturing forth.

Alina holes up in a barn for the night, and spends the evening debating whether to continue her escape or return to the Little Palace. She’s still attracted to the Darkling, but she realizes that he’s been manipulating her with potential romance so he can use her Special Magical Powers.

On the road again…

It’s time for a Travel Montage!

  • Alina avoids civilization as she journeys west toward the Shadow Fold.
  • Alina wanders into a not!Russian Orthodox mass and discovers that the people pray for her well-being because she’s not!Russia’s Last Best Hope for Peace.
  • Alina stops for more supplies in Ryevost before heading into the Petrazoi Mountains. Surprisingly, none of the soldiers stationed in town try to apprehend her.
  • Alina gets hit on by a drunk on her way out of Ryevost. She manages to get away by casting Daylight, but doing so alerts a nearby oprichnik of her presence.
  • Alina evades the soldiers and oprichniki in a nearby forest. Unfortunately, she loses all of her supplies. But at least she still has her weapons.
  • Mal finds Alina immediately after her run-in with the soldiers and helps her journey into the Petrazoi.
  • Mal reveals that Morozova’s Herd is nearby, and he’s the only one who can track them because of his Special Tracking Powers.
  • At Mal’s urging, Alina explains that she escaped from the Darkling in order to save the world, and not because of some lovers’ spat.
  • Alina goes to sleep.


Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:

Baghra claims that Morozova’s herd is “the oldest science.” Also of note: Grisha magic is called the “small science.” Since magic in the series is basically the manipulation of atoms / particles, describing it as “science” is rather appropriate.

The Kerch language is apparently German, if the name of the trading ship Alina is supposed to board is any indication.

Alina is terrible at hunting, which probably isn’t good when she has to wander through the wilderness. At least she’s good at looting farms for provisions. Having Mal join her party is a definite improvement.

Alina arrives in Ryevost a week after escaping the Little Palace.

Words in Russian!

  • Balakirev — Балакирев
  • Chernitsyn — Черницын
  • Kerskii — Керский (Kerskiy)
  • lapushka — лапушка
  • nichyevo — ничево (nichevo)
  • Os Kervo — Ос Керво
  • Petrazoi — Петразои
  • Polvost — Полвость (Polvost’)
  • Ryevost — Ревость (Revost’)
  • Shura — Шура

Translation Time!

  • лапушка (lapushka) — Russian — caterpillar (kind of an odd name for a drunk to call Alina. Is this a Russian Thing I should be aware of?)
  • ничево (nichevo) — a misspelling (or conjugation? I’m not good with Russian grammar) of Russian ничего (nichego) — nothing
  • verloren — German — lost


Next time: Alina and Mal venture forth to find Morozova’s Herd. A feast-day visit to a mountain village goes sour.



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