|Species:||Grisha (The Sun Summoner)|
|Occupation:|| Cartographer's Assistant (formerly)
|Significant Other/s:||Malyen Oretsev (husband)|
|Distinguishing features:||Scar across her right hand|
Alina Starkov the Sun Summoner, one of the most powerful Grishas who has ever lived and the only one capable of destroying the Volcra and the Shadow Fold, and a refugee from Ravka who discovers she has magical abilities after Mal is brutally wounded.
Appearance and PersonalityEditWhen Alina first enters the Duke's care, she is a quiet and odd girl. Duke Keramsov's housekeeper even says she is ugly, and calls Alina "pale and sour, like a glass of milk that's turned." As a child Alina had been extremely frail and sickly, never able to run as fast as Mal could.
At the beginning of Shadow and Bone, Alina is described as a skinny girl with dull, brown hair and dark circles under her eyes. This changes after her arrival to the Little Palace, where Alina's appearance becomes healthier. Her distinct feature is a scar running across her right palm.
Later she wears the antlers of Morozov's stag as a necklace.
Like Mal, Alina's family was most likely killed during the Border Wars. Most of her childhood she has spent in Keramzin before being taken to Duke's Keramsov estate orphanage.
Shadow and BoneEdit
At Duke's Keramsov residence, Alina and Mal are examined by Grisha, but it is assumed that they failed because they end up joining the military when they are old enough to leave the orphanage. Alina then becomes a junior cartographer's assistant.
When crossing the Shadow Fold, Alina's regiment gets attacked and Mal is almost killed. Before they get attacked again, Alina suddenly lets out a burst of light, and it turns out that she is a Sun Summoner, a type of magic caster that had been thought to be extinct. While getting escorted by some of the Darkling's men to Os Alta, Alina's group gets attacked by Fjerdan and she is forced to run away.
The Darkling saves her from the assassins and brings her to the Little Palace himself to meet the King and Queen. Alina's days are then spent learning how to use her power from Baghra, and how to fight thanks to Botkin Yul-Erdene, the Shu Han combat instructor. While learning at the Little Palace, Alina grows closer to the Darkling and eventually forms a romantic relationship with him. Their relationship grows more because Alina never gets a response to any of her letters from Mal, and the loss of Mal also causes Alina to finally realize the extent of her powers.
During a fete in the Little Palace, Alina suddenly sees Mal. He has been tracking a stag for the Darkling who wants to give the antlers to Alina as an amplifier. She learns that he has never received any of her letters, but is hurt when he is cold to her. Later, she finds out that it is because he was jealous to see her perform on stage with the Darkling. That night, Baghra comes to Alina and orders her to leave the palace. The Darkling's plan the entire time was to use Alina's powers to drive off the volcra in the Fold so that he could use his own powers to expand it and take over all the lands.
Realizing that Baghra is telling the truth, Alina quickly runs away and eventually meets up with Mal by accident. The two go to find the stag before the Darkling can and grow close again before confessing their love for each other. Upon finding the stag, the Darkling then finds them and ends up killing the stag himself to bring Alina under his control. He then decides that Mal will be fed to the volcra after Alina helps him cross the Fold.
After demonstrating her powers in the fold to scared ambassadors and villagers, the Darkling has Mal thrown over the boat, but this triggers something in Alina and breaks the hold that the Darkling has over her. She runs away with Mal but not after destroying the boat that they came on. When the story ends, the two are on another boat crossing the sea together, away from Ravka and the Darkling.
Siege and StormEdit
Ruin and RisingEdit
Alina has spent two months in the underground tunnels of Ravka when the book starts. She is controlled by the Apparat, who leads a cult convinced that Alina is a saint. As a result of her battle with the Darkling, Alina's hair has turned white and she is weak from being away from sunlight and her powers for so long.
However, Mal and the other Grisha form a plan that gets Alina back into contact with sunlight and restores her strength. She leaves the Apparat for the surface, in search of the firebird. She, the other Grisha, and Mal make it to the surface but are soon discovered by a militia group. Nikolai rescues them with a new, blimp-like invention. He takes them to a hollowed-out mountain where the remnants of the First Army and some rogue Grisha reside.
There, Alina meets Baghra again, who teaches her to use the Cut to slice off the top of an entire mountain. She tells Alina about her father, Morozova, and how the Darkling is his last descendant. Nikolai also talks about their future as King and Queen of Ravka and gives them his mother's heirloom ring. Alina refuses to wear it, as she still wants Mal, but keeps the ring with her nonetheless.
Later, the Darkling attacks the mountain. He turns Nikolai into a nichevo'ya and forces Alina, Mal, and the Grisha to flee. They fly south to find the firebird. On the way, Alina learns to bend light around an object to make it invisible. Once they arrive at the southern mountains, Mal tracks the firebird. However, once he finds it, it attacks him and Alina. Alina realizes as she holds on to Mal that he is giving her power, and that he is the third amplifier, not the firebird. She does not want to kill Mal for his power, but he makes her promise to do it if there is no other option.
As they go back to the ship, Alina communicates with the Darkling. He tells her that he has invaded Keramzin and has the Grisha children with him as hostages. He tells her to surrender in five days or he will extend the Fold over west Ravka and to the sea. Alina knows she cannot face the Darkling without the third amplifier, but David has an idea that would not need a head-on confrontation.
They travel to the Fold and gather a dozen soldiers dedicated to Alina. There is a brief period of preparation and rest, during which Nikolai appears to Alina. The part of him that is human is battling his hunger, but he cannot resist and leaves before he can do any harm.
They enter the Fold to confront the Darkling. The battles goes well at first; Alina bends the light she creates to make her fighters invisible. However, once they have boarded the Darkling's skiff, she realizes that he never had the Grisha children with him--it was just a ruse to draw her to him. Two other skiffs loaded with soldiers also arrive.
Alina knows she cannot fight the Darkling with just two amplifiers. She runs away into the darkness where Mal finds her. He gives her a knife and convinces her to kill him. She stabs him in the chest, and he collapses. With the death of the third amplifier, Alina's power suddenly leaves her and manifests itself in any normal person within several miles. The Darkling is enraged and mournful that he has lost his Sun Summoner, and while he is distracted, Alina kills him with the same knife that stabbed Mal.
The newly-created Sun Summoners destroy the fold and also return Nikolai to his former self. Tolya and Tamar manage to save Mal. However, Alina is now powerless and prefers to disappear with Mal. She fakes her death and claims a new identity. She and Mal marry and rebuild the orphanage at Keramzin, which was destroyed by the Darkling. Throughout the years, they take in children and keep in touch with the other Grisha and Nikolai.
Mal is Alina's childhood friend. Both of them grew up as orphans at the Duke Keramsov's estate in Keramzin. Alina believes she is in love with him but Mal seems oblivious to her infatuation. She doesn't get to express her feelings to him before she is taken away by the Darkling to train as a Grisha.
After Alina runs away from the little palace, they reunite for a while before they are captured by the Darkling. In this short time they are together Mal tells her of his realization of his feelings for her while they were apart and they share a tender kiss. Later when they are in the Darkling's camp in Kribirsk they share a several more kisses threw Mal's jail bars and they hold hands until the morning when Alina is taken away from him to prepare for their journey into the Fold.
Alina immediately feels drawn to the Darkling's mysterious air and handsome features. For her first kefta the Darkling wants the material to match his own black robes (which no other Grisha has ever been permitted to do) but Alina declines for the blue of the Summoners because she does not want to stand out. Though she does puzzle for a long time afterward of the meaning behind the Darkling's offer. Later when they are discussing her ability by the frozen lakeshore he suddenly leans over and kisses her, leaving Alina stunned. They don't get to discuss it because Ivan appears at that moment. After this incident he seems to ignore here until the night of the Winter Fete (to which she wears black kefta with the Darkling symbol on it), where they perform they're demonstration together for the pleasure of the crowd. Directly after he leads Alina to a small sitting room where he then begins to touch and kiss her. They are interupted before it goes to far by a drunken group stubling against the door to the room, which he has Alina pressed against. Before he leaves to meet Ivan in council he turns and asks if he could come to her that night which she doesn't answer being to embarrassed of what they did.
When Alina learns of the Darkling's true intentions to manipulate her and her power from Baghra, she is left unsure if his feelings for her were genuine.
Later when he captures Alina and Mal in Tisbeya he openly taunts her with what they did to shame her and anger Mal. When they reach the Darkling's camp in Kribirsk he summons Alina to his tent to talk. He then tells her he will throw Mal over the side of the ship to be devoured by the volcra when they travel into the Unsea. She begs him to spar Mal's life saying she will glady comply to his wishes if he does. He tells her he will show mercy on Mal then kisses her. She is disgusted but makes no move to push him away for fear of punishment. When he pulls away he says that she can visit Mal in his prison cell for it will be the last time she'll see him alive, for the next day will be his last. Realizing the Darkling has broken his promise of mercy she launches her self at him screaming but is dragged away by his men before she can hurt him.
The developing relationship between Alina and Nikolai becomes a theme as they arrive at Court. Their allegiance develops quickly, with Nikolai first revealing to his parents that he is Sturmhond, and then supporting Alina and Mal as they face the King. Alina is put in charge of the Grisha (the Second Army), just as she had wanted, and Mal is installed as her head guard. Tolya and Tamar, the twins from Sturmhond’s ship, make up the rest of her guard, and she takes over the Darkling’s old rooms while Nikolai sets himself up at Court.
Alina and Nikolai present themselves as a united front, attending meetings together. Vasily proposes marriage to Alina just as his brother had done. She refuses any kind of familiarity with him, and as time goes on she starts to view Nikolai more kindly. Though she acknowledges that it can be hard to trust him since it’s not clear whether he is ever really being himself or simply wearing whatever mask he thinks she wants to see, she spends more and more time talking with him. For his part, Nikolai appears to become more vulnerable around her than around anyone else. Eventually, he even seems to become willing to talk about personal matters with her.
He talks again about the rumours that he is a bastard, admitting to Alina that he has heard those rumours all his life and he is perhaps not so unaffected by it as he may seem. He makes reference to his childhood nickname, Sobachka, which means ‘puppy’, and says that his mother had refused to call him that because she thought it made him sound like a mongrel. Alina, who had been raised as an orphan, connects with him over this since she remembers being called many names herself. She begins to get angry when she hears people questioning his birth, even when they are strangers, to the extent that Mal furiously asks her why she’s so quick to defend Nikolai.
Nikolai has risen in Alina’s esteem. In this moment she seems to be not only his ally, but his friend. At the same time, Alina’s relationship with Mal – in theory still her romantic partner – has been deteriorating. Mal is shown to dislike the Little Palace and to have reservations over how powerful Alina is becoming and whether it is changing her. Alina, who has some doubts over this herself, feels a distance growing between her and Mal, and she is also suffering due to her continued ‘visions’ of the Darkling. She seems in general to be more at ease in Nikolai’s company. As his birthday approaches, he even comes close to kissing her, telling her that he wants to but will not until he’s sure she’s not just trying to forget Mal.
Alina's first friend at the Little Palace. She becomes very close to Alina in Shadow and Bone, but betrays her in the end. In Siege and Storm, when Alina escaped from the Darkling, she helped her and was later punished because of that by the Darkling.
- "I will fight you any way that I can. I will spend every walking minute looking for a way to end my life, and eventually, I'll succeed. But show him mercy, let him live, and I will serve you gladly. I will spend the rest of my days providing my gratitude." - p. 326