|Distinguishing features:||Scar across her right hand|
Alina Starkov is the main character of Shadow and Bone. She is a refugee from Ravka who discovers she has magical abilities after her friend is brutally wounded. She is sent to the royal court to become part of the Grisha, where she learns its secrets.
Shadow and BoneEdit
When 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." She and Mal are later 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.
The Darkling- Alina's love interest until she learns what he has planned for her.
Genya- Alina's first friend at the Little Palace.
- "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