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Written by Nancy C
Kaz is a thief in Ketterdam, a city known for its criminals and illicit activities. He is intimidating and can easily convince people to do as he wishes, and even though he’s only seventeen he has established himself as a notorious and violent crime lord. In spite of his reputation, however, he’s far from unshakable- he comes from a tragic past and tries desperately to hide his emotions so that he’s not perceived as weak. His brother’s death several years before the novel’s opening still haunts him, and he suffers from both PTSD and a physical walking disability.
Otherwise known as the Wraith, Inej is a member of Kaz’s heist crew and is known for her ability to climb buildings and move across impossible terrain with extreme agility. She’s quiet but strong, and also comes from a traumatic background- Ravkan by birth, she was kidnapped from her family’s caravan and sold to a brothel in Ketterdam. When she escaped she entered into a contract with Per Haskell, a crime lord in Ketterdam, and joined Kaz’s crew. Her goal is to make enough money off of her work for Haskell to pay off her contract and return home to Ravka.
Jesper is the crew’s sharpshooter, and is a lighthearted and sarcastic character. He enjoys gambling a bit more than he should, and as a result has wasted a lot of his own money and the money of his parents, who believe that he’s in Ketterdam for school. He is an immigrant from Novyi Zem, but doesn’t speak to his parents often, and very infrequently mentions them to the other crew members. Later on in the novel it is revealed that he is a Grisha, but he’s never told anyone about his powers and has received no training.
Nina is the only trained Grisha in the crew, a Ravkan Heartrender who was apprehended in Fjerda while on a royal mission. She is now stuck in Ketterdam and unable to get home, instead selling her Grisha services in a brothel. She is extremely confident and unapologetic of who she is, despite the fact that Grisha face extreme stigma in the country of Kerch. She’s loyal to her friends, but especially to Inej and Matthias.
Matthias is Fjerdan and a former drüskelle, a high-ranking soldier in the Fjerdan army. He is part of the team that apprehended Nina, but while he was taking her to prison the two developed a tentative friendship. He spent a year in a Kerch prison after Nina reported him to the authorities, and as a result is now bitter and angry towards the entire world- but especially to Nina. He’s recruited for the crew because of his experience with Fjerdan prisons and the Fjerdan military, and is given his freedom in exchange for his assistance. Slowly he begins to trust the members of the crew.
Wylan Van Eck
Wylan is the son of Van Eck, the man who hired Kaz’s crew. He serves as the brains of the operation- he is an extremely intelligent engineer and inventor- but also as collateral, with the crew holding him to ensure that his father pays them their earnings. He’s very shy and awkward, having been isolated for most of his life, but he slowly warms to the other members of the crew, especially Jesper.
Van Eck is a nobleman and a member of the Merchants’ Council of Ketterdam, the group that hired Kaz’s crew to rescue Bo Yul-Bayur. He’s conniving and clever, and knows exactly how to manipulate people to give him what he wants, while simultaneously making them believe that they’re acting of their own free will.
Per Haskell is a crime lord in Ketterdam who has established a strong reputation in the city, owning a gambling den and holding contracts with dozens of local thieves. He’s very conniving and very clever.
Pekka Rollins is another crime lord in Ketterdam, although his gang and that of Per Haskell are strong rivals. He and Kaz have a person history of hatred, and Kaz wants nothing more than to see him dead.
Jarl is a Fjerdan military officer who works very closely with the Ice Court, and who served as Matthias’ commanding officer for a number of years. Matthias viewed him as a father figure in the time that he served in the Fjerdan army, but eventually sees him as the monster he is- a man who hates all Grisha and wants to burn them all.
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