Character Guide | The Grishaverse

Character Guide

Summoners, saints, conmen, convicts — get to know the characters from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology.

the shadow and bone trilogy


Stubborn, courageous, and prone to prognostications of doom, Adrik is Nadia’s younger brother and a student at the Little Palace. He refuses to evacuate Os Alta with his classmates, instead choosing to utilize his talents as a Squaller alongside Alina in the fight against the Darkling. 

How can you be so relentlessly optimistic? It isn’t healthy.


One of many children orphaned by Ravka’s border wars, Alina Starkov has spent her life being underestimated and overlooked. But when her regiment is attacked on the Shadow Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—and that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free.

I’m the Sun Summoner. It gets dark when I say it does.

Ana Kuya

Ana is the housekeeper and matron of the orphanage at Duke Keramsov’s converted country estate, Keramzin. Loyal to Ravka and the Duke, she is often remembered by Mal and Alina as formidable and strict, but upon further reflection it is clear she holds great care for the well being of her charges.

It is the greatest way that you may serve your King.


A ruthless taskmaster, Baghra has been teaching at the Little Palace for as long as anyone can remember and no Grisha passes through their training without a few traumatizing visits to Baghra’s hut. Though her past and her motives remain mysterious, she demands the best of her charges and is determined to make each student a formidable soldier.

Suffering is cheap as clay and twice as common. What matters is what you make of it.


A former Shu Han mercenary who fought in wars on every continent, Botkin now trains Grisha in combat at the Little Palace. He is gruff and difficult to please. 

Steel is earned.


David’s talent as a Fabrikator is unsurpassed. Quiet and obsessively focused on his work, he is the mind behind many of Ravka’s most dangerous weapons, though he dreams of a day when his gifts can be used for something other than killing.

I don’t understand half of what goes on around me. I don’t get jokes or sunsets or poetry, but I know metal.


Loyal and trustworthy, Fedyor was assigned alongside Ivan to escort Alina to Os Alta.

Of all Grisha, Corporalki have the hardest road. We require the most training and the most study. At the end of it all, I felt I could save more lives as a Heartrender.


Genya Safin is a Tailor, a hybrid Grisha who has the power to alter people’s appearances. Because of her unique gifts she has been placed in service to the Queen of Ravka, a situation that has isolated her from other Grisha and made her an outcast among her own people. When Alina arrives at the Little Palace, it is Genya who welcomes her and becomes her close friend and confidante.

I am not ruined. I am ruination.


An unpredictable, powerful Inferni from the Wandering Isles, Harshaw’s love of fire and reckless demeanor hide a troubled past. 

Oncat, you rogue! 

Ilya Morozova

Ilya Morozova, also known as the Bonesmith, is one of the first and most powerful Grisha. He is believed to be the only Grisha to successfully create an amplifier, but his work drove him to tamper with forbidden merzost.

Are we not all things?


A powerful Corporalnik loyal to the Darkling, Ivan lost much of his family to the Lantsovs’ wars. He doubts Alina’s powers and allegiances, and he is determined to do all he can to help the Darkling seize power.

Yes, everyone is sorry. The King is sorry. The Queen is sorry. I’m sorry. But only the Darkling will do something about it.

King Alexander Lantsov III

Ruler of the Double Eagle Throne, King Alexander Lantsov III forged an alliance between Ravka and Fjerda in the early days of his reign through his marriage to Tatiana Grimjer, with whom he has two sons: Vasily and Nikolai. Like his Lantsov predecessors, King Alexander III relies on the Second Army to protect his country and puts his faith in the Darkling to lead them. But his grip on the throne is tenuous at best and many regard him as a weak and easily manipulated sovereign.

What’s one more viper in the nest?


Malyen Oretsev is a gifted tracker and Alina Starkov’s best friend. Both orphans and raised together on a Duke’s estate, Mal and Alina were inseparable during childhood, but drifted apart as Mal became a rising star in the First Army. When Alina’s power puts her on a collision course with the most dangerous forces in Ravka, Mal will have to choose between the life he’s built and the friend who stood by him when he was nothing.

I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, but I see you now.


Fond of gossip and close to Nadia, Marie befriends Alina when Alina first arrives at the Little Palace. She is a talented Inferni but not inclined to be serious about her studies.

Mene yaram. Hem sheva kadala.


A former servant of the Little Palace, Misha is a young otkazat’sya boy who loyally serves Baghra. He has a soft spot for cats and trackers.

I say they should let me kill you myself.


Nadia is a Squaller in the Second Army who, with Marie, befriended Alina when Alina first entered the Little Palace.  Although Nadia and Marie are both carefree and enjoy partaking in gossip, Nadia is more reserved and a bit more serious compared to her best friend. Through time and challenge, Nadia will become a formidable soldier and a vital asset to the Second Army.

We deserve the chance to try and save your life.


Nikolai Lantsov is the younger son of the King and Queen of Ravka. Instead of accepting an officer’s commission as most people of his class do, Nikolai chose to serve in the infantry of the First Army and developed a loyal following among common soldiers. He has a love of gadgets and new inventions, and spent much of his life away from court training with shipwrights and gunsmiths.

Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.

Queen Tatiana Lantsov

The Queen of Ravka is jealous and vain; in spite of receiving Genya as a personal “gift” from the Darkling and taking advantage of Genya’s talents, the Queen is envious of the young Grisha’s beauty. Despite her selfish nature, the Queen of Ravka cares deeply for her sons. 

She is a servant!


Assertive and arrogant, Sergei is a Heartrender in the Second Army who believes that Corporalki are the superior Grisha order.

I just want to feel safe again.


A member of Sturmhond’s crew, Tamar and her twin brother, Tolya, escaped being drafted into the Second Army by moving to Novyi Zem with their father after their mother’s death. Tamar is a fearless fighter who is most at ease with her axes in her hands.

Ni weh sesh.

The Apparat

This priest acts as a spiritual adviser to the  Lantsov family. His loyalties are ever-shifting and he has been both friend and enemy to kings and Darklings. He commands a force known as the Priestguard and holds tremendous sway with the common people. 

Peasants love their Saints. They hunger for the miraculous. And yet they do not love the Grisha. Why do you think that is?

The Darkling

The Darkling is the leader of the Second Army, a magical military elite comprised of Grisha and tasked with defending Ravka. Charismatic and gifted with unparalleled power, he has spent his life trying to find a way to destroy the Shadow Fold and undo the damage done to Ravka by one of his ancestors. He believes Alina could be the answer he’s been seeking.

Fine, make me your villian.


Serious, honorable, and extremely loyal, Tolya is a valued member of Sturmhond’s crew. More cautious than Tamar, his reckless twin, Tolya is a force to be reckoned with due to his immense size and physical prowess, but he has the heart of a scholar and prefers reading poetry to being in the fray.

Yuyeh sesh.


Vasily is the heir to the throne and the older brother of Nikolai. He inherited his father’s aversion to hard work and prefers to devote his time to hunting, riding horses, and imbibing. Vasily is lazy and arrogant and often clashes with his younger brother, who he believes to be a threat to his succession to the throne.

What’s best for Ravka is a Lantsov on the throne.


A talented Squaller in the Second Army, Zoya Nazyalensky holds a position of power and influence and takes status among the Grisha seriously. Ambitious, arrogant, and talented, Zoya revels in games of power, but she is also courageous and forms her alliances based on a strong sense of what she believes is right. She is not a threat to be taken lightly.

Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.

The six of crows duology

Heleen Van Houden

Heleen is the cruel owner of the Menagerie, one of many pleasure houses in the Barrel. 

Lynx is your only name. 


A spy known as the Wraith, Inej Ghafa was raised in a family of acrobats and performers. She was stolen from her parents and taken to Ketterdam against her will at fourteen. Now known as the Wraith for her ability to slip in and out of anywhere unseen and unheard, she works as a spy for the Dregs, gathering secrets and blackmail material from the most powerful players in the city. Her faith is deeply important to her, and her knives are named after her Saints.

The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.


Jesper Fahey is a sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. Originally from Novyi Zem, he came to Ketterdam to study at the university . . . until he discovered the city’s gambling dens and fell into serious debt. Rarely seen without his pearl-handled revolvers, he has nearly perfect aim and thrives in high-risk situations. He is always the first to crack a joke to ease the tension—or hide his true feelings.

Here’s the secret to popularity: risk death to save your compatriots from being blown to bits in an ambush. Great way to make friends.


A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes, Kaz Brekker is a criminal prodigy who made his name on Ketterdam’s streets by turning the Dregs into a gang to be reckoned with. Cunning, quick-witted, and a born leader, he’s a planner who leaves nothing to chance. Known as Dirtyhands, he doesn’t need a reason to break a leg, sever an alliance, or change a man’s fortunes with the turn of a card. 

Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever. 

Kuwei Yul-Bo

Kuwei is the son of a Shu scientist, Bo Yul-Bayar, and plays a significant role in the development of the drug Jurda Parem. A gifted chemist in his own right, Kuwei has a penchant for mischief and a powerful will.

You should have killed me at the Ice Court. 


A convict with a thirst for revenge, Matthias Helvar is a former drüskelle, a Fjerdan soldier trained to capture and execute Grisha—a mandate he considers holy. He’s spent the last year imprisoned in Hellgate, trying to survive and dreaming of revenge against Nina for the betrayal that put him there. Matthias lost his family to a Grisha attack at a young age and his prejudice against Ravka’s magic wielders runs deep.

The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.


A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums, Nina Zenik is a Grisha Heartrender working in Ketterdam’s House of the White Rose. A soldier of Ravka’s Second Army, she dreams of returning home to fight for her country. But she has a score to settle in Ketterdam and will remain in the city until she makes amends for a terrible choice. Loud, flirtatious, and opinionated, Nina never hesitates to speak her mind and has a healthy appetite for the finer things in life. She’s a natural actress and her gift for languages makes her an essential addition to Kaz’s crew.

You wouldn’t know a good time if it sidled up to you and stuck a lollipop in your mouth.

Pekka Rollins

Known as the King of the Barrel, Pekka rose from humble origins to become the most dangerous and revered gang leader in Ketterdam. Boss of the Dime Lions, his many assets include the Emerald Palace, the Sweet Shop, and the Kaelish Prince. 

I will kill you, Brekker. I will kill everything you love.


Wylan Van Eck is a runaway with a privileged past. Though no one knows what drove him to it, he fled his comfortable life among Ketterdam’s wealthiest families to take up residence in the city’s slums where he’s barely eking out an existence. Wylan would rather be playing music than building bombs, but his knowledge of chemistry makes him a valued demolitions expert. Despite his talents, he often doubts himself, and his kindness and morality make him ill-suited to life in the Barrel.

Duping innocent people isn’t something to be proud of.

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