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Written by Nancy C
Kaz works for Per Heskell partially to take down Pekka Rollins and destroy his life the way Rollins destroyed his, in robbing them and causing his brother’s death. At the end of the novel, however, he forms an alliance with Rollins to take down Van Eck, as revenge for tricking the Dregs and taking Inej. Inej and Nina also conspire to take revenge on the Menagerie, the brothel that enslaved them both, and in invading the Ice Court help take down its madam.
The entire basis of the novel surrounds a heist, where the six main characters break into a high-security prison and rescue a valuable prisoner. Kaz himself is also a victim of treachery- when he first moved to Ketterdam, he and his brother were tricked out of all of their money by Pekka Rollins, who posed as a business investor, and as a result Kaz’s brother died. At the end of the novel, the Dregs are tricked by Wylan’s father, who wants to take the jurda parem for himself. He doesn’t pay the Dregs and kidnaps Inej, leaving the the rest of the crew helpless.
All of the Dregs come from troubled backgrounds- Inej was kidnapped from her family’s caravan and sold into slavery in Ketterdam, Nina was taken prisoner in Fjerda and now lives as a refugee in Ketterdam, Kaz’s brother was killed as the result of Pekka Rollins’ trickery following the death of his father, Jesper is buried in gambling debt, Wylan was disowned by his father because he cannot read, and Matthias spent a year in prisoner after escaping decades of harsh military training. They’re thrown together to conduct the heist, and as a result of the amount of time that they spend together planning and conducting the heist, become very close. They learn intimate secrets about each other and learn to trust each other with their lives and hearts, when many of them haven’t trusted anyone in years- or ever. The Dregs learn to belong together, and become a family.
The kingdom of Fjerda is extremely prejudiced towards the Grisha, and any Grisha caught within the country’s borders is prosecuted, put on trial and eventually burned at the stake. As a former Fjerdan soldier, Matthias deals with these feelings of prejudice as he gets to know Nina, both when he arrests her and throughout the heist. As he realizes that she’s a person just as much as he is, he’s forced to deal with the prejudice that he’s had his entire life toward the Grisha population. He ultimately grows to accept and even love her, but in doing so he must put aside years of conditioned prejudice and the words of people that he once greatly respected.
Bo Yul-Bayur was imprisoned by the Fjerdans because they wanted to use the jurda parem for their own gain, in order to increase their power and destroy more of the Grisha population. Pekka Rollins cheated Kaz and his brother because he wanted to steal their savings, and Kaz initially accepts the job of breaking into the Ice Court for the substantial cash prize that awaits him if he's successful.
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