Rahul Goel

Six of Crows Duology

Posted on: June 22, 2021

I actually wanted to read Six of Crows. People all over the internet said that Six of Crows Duology is much better than the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and that one could directly read Six of Crows Duology without even bothering with Shadow and Bones Trilogy. After reading all this on the internet, I knew that if I read the Six of Crows Duology first, I wouldn't have enjoyed the Shadow and Bones Trilogy so I read that first. And then I read Six of Crows. As of now (while writing this particular paragraph in this blog), I have only read the first book of the duology that is Six of Crows and I'll write my thoughts about that. I'll finish this blog after reading the second book and append my thoughts.

Six of Crows

The first time I read the title of this book somewhere on the internet, I thought it would be some horror story with scarecrows.

The story is perfect. The characters are perfect. The book is perfect. It is better than any movie that involves some kind of heist. The writing style is so good. I like books written in the third person more. But this book took it to the next level by writing from the perspective of the characters in every new chapter. At first, I thought that the chapters are named after the characters but when the names were repeated in new chapters, I realised that the writing has been done from the mentioned character's perspective. The flashbacks into the history of the characters and the continuation of the history from another character's perspective are so smooth (Nina and Matthias, Kaz and Inej).

Kaz Brekker

He came to the city with his big brother when his father had died. He saw his big brother die in front of him due to Pekka Rollins. And now he lives to give Pekka the death he deserves. Brick by brick.

He lives by his principles. He is a friend to all his gang but if you betray him, he is not going to show you mercy. He is not going to "show" it. But he is going to be merciful. He appears to be the badass and he is too but I'm sure he is kind at heart (will probably see this in the second book). He let Big Bolliger think that he is letting him bleed to death but later he asked his people to make sure he survives and leaves the city. That was the first hint towards the person he is inside. He wears an armour to shield his inner self from the people around him and to protect them and him. He is similar to Will from The Infernal Devices. He has his own history and secrets which make him behave the way he does. And even though we've found out a lot of his history, I'm sure a lot of it remains to found out in the second book and it will be more than enough to justify his behaviour with others.

And he's a mastermind. Always ten steps ahead of his enemy. Double-crossing the double-crossers. He did not share the entire plan he had for the heist because he never does. Telling the plan to others means a chance of leaks and he doesn't risk it. And he proves his skills by breaching the most protected area in the world.

He cares for Inej. Just doesn't want to show it. I know there are reasons behind it - one could be for her own protection. And we read how that turned out. The moment Van Ek saw Kaz chancing a glance at Inej, he took her. And then he said one of the most badass lines of the entire book. I don't remember it but it was something like "I won't let him take my money. I won't let him take my girl."

And lastly, he carries a cane due to his limp. A cane made by Fabricators with a crow for the handle. How cool is that? And the cane is all he needs. He knows the right spots to hit with the cane - the spots for making one numb, for making one faint, or for making one die.

Inej Ghafa

The Spider for The Dregs. What an amazing character. She was kidnapped from her parents by pirates and sold to one of the brothels of the city where she was treated poorly. Then Kaz came to the rescue. Kaz had not heard her approach him even when she had all those "rining jewels" on. And that had been the only time he hadn't heard her approach. He had asked Per Haskell to buy her contract from the brothel and trained her to be the spy for The Dregs. Her movements are so smooth and silent when she's running across rooftops. She's basically the Assasin from Assasin's Creed.

And she likes Kaz. She doesn't like liking Kaz but she can't help it. I really love how she deals with Kaz asking her not to leave. "I will have you without your armour Kaz, or I won't have you at all."

Nina Zenik

She might be my favourite character in the book (I am still confused between Kaz and her). She is the only trained Grisha in the group and though her training is in Heartrendering, she helps out the entire group with whatever healing she knows of. She saved Inej when Inej was fatally hurt. And not to say she saved every one of them by consuming jurda parem and giving up her own life (I hope she doesn't die in the second book because of the addiction). And one can't speak of her without speaking of Matthias. The whole history between her and Matthias was mind-blowing. It was she who changed the beast that Matthias had become into the boy that he internally was. And her journey with Matthias after the shipwreck is my favourite part of the book - the little taunts and teases melting Matthias's heart. And I knew that there had to be a reason why she gave Matthias to the Kerch authorities and I believe that it was justified. She had seen the Fjerdan drüskelle and she had seen how Ravkans treated the Fjerdans. And there was no way she was going to hand either one of them to the other. And what she did was the best possible move. And I think Matthias too came to accept the fact that there was no other way out though he hasn't admitted it.

I hope the jurda parem doesn't do anything to her in the next book.

Matthias Helvar

Whatever he does is again justified if we look at the things from his perspective. His parents were drüskelle. He did not know whether it was a bad thing or a good thing to be a drüskelle. He had only seen his parents getting killed by Grisha. Later it was Jarl Brum who had fueled the fire within him and had made him think that Grisha weren't humans, that they had powers that did not belong to this earth. He and his friends were powerless common humans and seeing some alien-ish power destroy their family would of course have gotten to him.

In the ship that they had captured the Grisha, he had unknowingly helped Nina survive by giving her a bucket of water. And giving her the water itself had been an act of kindness for which he would have served a punishment had he gotten caught.

And everything from the shipwreck to him ending up in Hellgate had been him softening slowly just because of Nina. He liked her and admitted that he hated himself for liking her.

And when he was sent to Hellgate and had come to know of what Nina had done without knowing why she had done it, his will to kill her was absolutely justified. He thought that she had double-crossed him and all those weeks of travel had been just an act and that she was always the witch that he had thought her to be.

But Nina has stayed for him. She could have left for Ravka but she stayed for him and her presence and justifications for her acts throughout the heist had brought him back to his real self once again. The presence of Nina had brought him to his real self once again.

Jesper Fahey

Jesper is the funny guy of the gang. When the situation is tensed, he is the one who relieves everyone by cracking a joke. Not to say about his incredible skills with a gun in his hand. Kaz might not trust Jesper but he always trusts his sharpshooting skills.

The bad thing about him is his habit of gambling. He is in debt from every casino in the Barrel. And it is these debts that drive him most towards the heist. I don't like that he has lied to his hard-working father (who is a farmer) about him being in some university studying while all he does is shoot for The Dregs and gamble whatever money he has.

Even though he always taunts Wylan, he defends him in the final encounter with Van Eck and throughout the book, there are moments where he appreciates Wylan's skills for the crew. Wylan was always mistreated by his father and Jesper is a great brotherly figure for him.

Wylan Eck

The final reveal about him was confusing for me. He can draw and sketch well but cannot read and write. His disability to read and write is the reason that his father has abandoned him. Then how can he solve mathematical equations? It would have been good if things were written from his perspective too (since he was the only character among the six of them to not have anything written from his perspective).

Also, there was some conversation with Jesper in which he asked something like "Why only girls?" or something like that. I think it is a hint that he might be gay. And if he is gay then he might not look at Jesper like a brotherly figure. So a lot of things have been left out in this part of the story and hopefully, the second book will throw more light in this direction.

Anyway, Wylan was an important character. He helped in the heist by being the insurance for the money (though it did not work out) and his sketches and the bombs he made helped them escape a couple of times.

Later on, Nina under the influence of jurda parem tailored his appearance to match the Kuwei and the change might be permanent. I hope it isn't permanent though since Jesper doesn't like it.

And that is a wrap for the first book. I might not be able to write what I felt about the characters like this again for the second book. So maybe I'll record my thoughts after each chapter like I attempted to do with The Mortal Instruments. I cannot wait to read The Crooked Kingdom.

Crooked Kingdom

Yeah so I decided writing out my thoughts just after each chapter would be a good idea to manitain the flow and re-read it anytime later to look back at how I felt about the story.

Chapter 1

So Retvenko is a Squaller going for a voyage from Ketterdam to gain some money which he can use to return to Ravka. But a couple of Shu people (most probably Grisha under the influence of jurda parem) abduct him. Most likely, it is under Van Eck's orders. Maybe he is trying to build an army of Grisha soldiers with extraordinary powers with the help of jurda parem.

Chapter 2

We're back in business with the heist. This chapter is written from Wylan's perspective. They are stalling Cornelis Smeet to stay at the gambling den so that Kaz and Wylan can search his house for documents. Smeet is Van Eck's lawyer and has all the information on his public and private properties - that is the possible locations of Inej. Nina is using her charms while Jesper is gambling his guns to stall him (I hope he doesn't lose them). Anyway, it is mentioned twice that Nina has recovered from her addiction (not clearly mentioned but I hope so that's the case). Kaz says he has figured out the location from their search. The encounter between Kaz and Smet's daughter was amazing.

Chapter 3

So the collision between Kaz and Smeet was to plant the whistle back in Smeet's possession. Typical Kaz. All of them are now there in the cemetery planning their next move. Kuwei wants to go to Ravka but Kaz insists upon the Southern Colonies. No one can stop Kaz from getting what he wants. Kaz is so bitter to Kuwei (I mean he is the same way to everyone else too). I know that all he wants is to protect the boy but still. My respect goes out to Muzzen. No mourners. No funerals. I was wondering at the end of the first book that what had happened to him. The Shus, the Fjerdan's, the people from Novyi Zem and whatnot are all after Kaz and Kuwei. And Jesper's father turns up? I hope he is not harmed.

Chapter 4

Woah. A lot of things happened with Inej. She was brought to someplace by Van Eck where she is being held captive. There's a guy called Bajan who looks after her meals and well-being. He is Suli like her and is nothing but kind to her. But Inej doesn't admire his kindness since he is working for Van Eck and all of it could easily be an act - working with Kaz she has learned the ways of the Barrel and of Ketterdam. And most of her doesn't believe that Kaz will come to rescue her but there's one small part that is still hopeful.

Chapter 5

Jesper goes to the university with Wylan by his side to meet his father. There is a huge contrast between the Barrell and the area around the university. We get to know some of Jesper's history. He had come to one of the gambling dens with his new friends from the university for a night of fun but had failed to turn back towards the gambling dens since then. As soon as he exchanges greetings with his father, they get ambushed by some gang (multiple gangs?) and have to run for their lives through a secret passage that Wylan accidentally knows of.

Chapter 6

So Jesper's Da is brought to their hideout where they all back Jesper against his father by saying that Jesper and they were misled into this situation by someone and they are trying their best to make it right. Kaz assures Jesper's father that he will set everything alright within three days. Since this chapter is from Nina's perspective, we gain details of what happened to her after her first dose of parem. She hasn't completely recovered. There are phases when she craves it and wants to kill anyone denying her parem and she hates herself for her behaviour and her inability to control. There's a moment when she realises that Jesper is the only one with a family and wishes if Jesper's Da could become a fatherly figure for all of them and take them all away somewhere far from Ketterdam. This is much relatable to real life. Anyway, they are approaching the location where Inej is kept and Nina uses some unknown power to kill the guards (while she was trying her best to just silence them).

Chapter 7

Comparatively a small chapter. Inej is brought back to the theater room where Jan Van Eck is going to question her and she is going to stall him. Van Eck tells her that he has gained information that Kaz and his gang would be striking their hideout that day to rescue Inej. But Kaz had something else in mind altogether. While bashing his own son, Jan Van Eck had given away the knowledge about his young wife and his heir gestating inside her. Kaz had struck there and kidnapped his pregnant wife. An informant informed them about this in the theater and the look on Inej's face, her inability to stop laughing alone was worth all the trouble Kaz went through. A note had been left for Van Eck stating just the time and place to perform the exchange.

Chapter 8

Matthias is the main character in this chapter. And he unfolds Kaz's plan to the reader. When Van Eck had let the intel about his wife slip, Kaz had clung on to it. The plan was obvious to him. All the protection would be near Inej to guard her. He would strike where the guard is less. He had searched Smeet's house for Van Eck's wife's location, not Inej's. And they had done the job. It had gone smoothly save for one casualty of a guard due to Nina. They were now preparing for the exchange of Inej with Alys (the wife). Also, everyone finds Alys irritating but I quite like her. And there had been a moment where Kaz had warned Wylan by pushing him to the wall and sticking his cane to Wylan's throat. I hated Kaz for that moment.

Chapter 9

This one is from Kaz's perspective and is all about the exchange of assets between the two parties. They exchange on a bridge full of tourists dressed as characters from Komedie Brute. However, Jan Van Eck tries another trick. He brings stadwatch with him and upon receiving his wife, asks Kaz loudly for his son Wylan. He acts as if Kaz had kidnapped his family for ransom. But Kaz was prepared. With the help of Wylan's flash bombs and the characters of Komedie Brute he arranged, he creates commotion and manages to camouflage with Inej in it. But all of them hear a loud explosion in the House of White Rose. Kaz thinks some external forces are getting involved. However, I think Nina could have been the cause of it although I hope she wasn't.

Chapter 10

The explosion in the House of White Rose had been by those winged Shu people we read about in the first chapter. They were hunting Grisha there. Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan were escaping the commotion when they got spotted by the flying Shu people. They wanted Nina. Wylan created a distraction and they escaped but one of the Shu people got hold of Nina. Nina managed a close shot to the skull of the hunter since shots on the rest of the body were futile and then they ran for their lives.

Chapter 11

Kaz and Inej stay at their hideout till night and then return to the cemetery. The time they spend at the hideout is typical Kaz-Inej small talk. It's Inej asking reasonably hopeful questions and Kaz reluctantly reminding her that she was a great investment. They go back to the cemetery and everyone is just so happy to see Inej back. Now, Kaz unveils his far-fetched master plan involving climbing twenty-story-high silos and creating a sugar shortage so that his recently bought shares of sugar go up to thirty million kruge. Why is Inej fussing about nets? It's precautionary and not that Kaz doesn't trust her skills. Now, due to Nina and Inej's condition to save the Grisha of the city, Kaz has to worry about several more points of possible failure. One important point to be noted is that Kaz specifically chose their hideout location near the silos just so that Inej can get a look at the terrain. Does this man even breathe without thinking twice?

Chapter 12

Kaz and Inej head out to intercept Per Haskell on his way home to assure him that they are on his side. I don't like how Kaz has to lick up to Per Haskell all the time. The scene where Per Haskell demands Inej and she disappears was hilarious. Inej goes alone to spy on Van Eck by tricking Kaz since Kaz wanted to accompany her. Kaz's reply to Inej when she asked him whether he would have come for her if her legs were broken was not the complete truth. He would have come for her but the reason was not limited to her being a part of his crew.

Chapter 13

Nina and Matthias leave for Little Ravka in Ketterdam to inform the remaining Grisha about their secret departure. Most of the chapter is them flirting with each other which is kind of getting repetitive. Nina tells him a story about a Fjerdan and a Ravkan Princess and that they fall in love in the third book. This might be a hint by the author indicating the possibility of a third book in this series since the story is analogous to the story of Matthias and Nina. They are in a restaurant in Little Ravka when they are attacked (by Zoya?) and saved by Zoya. Yes, Zoya from Shadow and Bone trilogy. Finally a crossover. Now I have one more character to root for. Also, there was something about Nina controlling bones. I did not exactly understand it.

Chapter 14

Jan Van Eck is a terrible creature. If Kaz doesn't manage to get him tortured to death, I will dive into the book and ensure that myself. I am ready to take any punishment by the Merchant Council. Wylan and Jesper head towards the region where Kaz believes Wylan's mother was buried (deducted from the documents at Smeet's house). Wylan lies to Kaz and says that only that region offers the supply of material for his inventions. However, they are available anywhere and he just wanted to see his mother's grave. He and Jesper head towards Van Eck's property to see that his mother is alive and is being held in an asylum. It is unknown whether she was mentally ill or became ill after coming there. She doesn't recognize Wylan because of his appearance. She has loads and loads of paintings of Wylan and the surrounding scenery. From the little talk Wylan had with his mother, he thinks Van Eck seized his mother's property and put her in the asylum.

Chapter 15

Zoya's there and Genya's there too. Two of my favourite people from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. They reluctantly make a deal with Matthias and Nina regarding the rescue of the remaining Grisha. Most of the chapter is about Matthias and Nina kissing. I mean it could have been a little less ... descriptive. Then there is history about Matthias and his wolf and more of how Nina had behaved on the ship struggling from her addiction of jurda parem kicking in. Finally it is now that Nina is feeling better and hungry. Was it her using the new form of power? Was it Matthias' kiss? Or was it just time? We don't know what healed her. There is a WANTED poster about Matthias with a reward of fifty thousand kruge. Lmao. As if that is something to worry about that the moment.

Chapter 16

Kaz is amazing. He knew about Wylan's mother and he knew Wylan lied about the supplies and he wanted Wylan to meet his mother and know the truth.

So there are WANTED posters for everyone except Nina (since Van Eck hasn't spotted her yet with the group). But this isn't even the least of their concerns. They all chitchat about their future plans and one by one leave for the action of the night. Only Jesper, Kuwei, and Matthias remain since they have some time left. They discuss about jurda parem. Then there is a long description of Jesper's life back at Novyi Zem. His mother was a Grisha and she had helped her village in every possible way. Blessed. They had called her. Jesper and his parents were living happily. It was his mother who had taught him to shoot. Anyone can shoot. But not everyone can aim. And she had died trying to save the life of a little girl in her village, extracting poison from her body but not knowing what it was doing to her own. Jesper remembered her mother using the stalks of jurda to counteract the effect of jurda pollen. Kuwei finds this interesting and this might be the possible lead on making the antidote for jurda parem. A windowpane is shattered and they have unexpected company.

Chapter 17

This chapter is so beautifully written. It covers a lot of Inej's history - how she gained her skills. But there's a lot more to it. The situation of crossing the silos is being compared to her training and her past. The sugar reminds her of a man back in the Menagerie - it's terrible but it's beautiful.

So Nina and Inej make past the guards and Inej climbs up to the top of the silo and uses the weevin. She crosses over to the second silo and puts weevin there too. But throughout, there are flashbacks of her past. Her father training her. Her performances as a part of the circus. The one time she fell because of the nets. Her life at the Menagerie (It is disgusting how the men treated her). And Kaz. Kaz at the Ferolind. I will have you without armour. She knows how Kaz feels about her. But she also knows Kaz not expressing it is the best for both of them. Or is it? Someone grabs her from behind and shoves her down!? No one could have dared to climb to the top. Unless you did not need to climb. It could be the flying Shu people but we don't know yet.

Chapter 18

Kaz is breaking into the Van Eck house once again but this time with Wylan. Their job is to retrieve the Van Eck seal that can be used to attest the orders for the Grisha to escape. Kaz has a big brother talk with Wylan about his inability to read. They break the safe using Wylan's auric acid and get the seal but are interrupted in their job by Pekka Rollins.

Chapter 19

Matthias, Jesper, and Kuwei were interrupted by the Dime Lions. They somehow have managed to back down their location. They escape out only because of Matthias. Jesper and Kuwei are in shock to even think straight but Matthias takes command of the situation and helps them escape out.

Chapter 20

Up there on the silos, Inej faces her interruptor. It is Dunyasha, a girl with skills just like Inej's but better at every one of them. She has also been sent by Pekka Rollins. Inej is easily overpowered by her and is sent down from the tightrope across the silos but there are no nets.

Chapter 21

It is revealed that Pekka Rollins has been working with Van Eck. Kaz has to escape the house with Wylan when the house is surrounded by the stadwatch and the Dime Lions. Kaz spills the highly corrosive auric acid on the flor to escape and is now worried about her Wraith.

Chapter 22

Nina's job was to signal to Inej from below the silos. However, the Dime Lions show up in the uniforms of the stadwatch. They are looking for Nina. They attack her but she doesn't have the power of a Heartrenderer anymore. She has a new power that even doesn't know of. She can control the dead. She raises the dead bodies from the boats that she had spotted with Inej and it is this army that saves her and Inej too by opening a net just in time to capture her fall. All of this is super weird (controlling the dead). Even Nina mentions it. It is unlike regular Grisha power.

Chapter 23

Wylan's history is presented in most of this chapter. He had been looking for employment in the Barrell and was hired by a dye manufacturer who took advantage of his chemistry skills but didn't pay him. Kaz had heard about him and had sent Jesper to hire him to become a demo for the Dregs. They all go to Jesper's Da's hotel for shelter and don't know what to do next. Kuwei requests them to hand him over since he thinks he isn't worth all the trouble. But Kaz says that if there should be someone who is surrendered it should be him. Kaz and Jesper have a fistfight that starts due to this. However, they don't fight to kill since none of them use their weapons.

Chapter 24

Inej and Jesper have a moment. Jesper talks with his Da. All that is fine. But Jesper starts kissing Kuwei thinking that Kuwei is Wylan. And he gets spotted by Wylan. No wonder Kaz thinks Jesper is always the one who screws up things.

Chapter 25

Either I am too dumb or Kaz is some genius who is talking of things out of this world. Kaz explains his final master plan involving jurda and Ravkans and Kuwei being auctioned and whatnot. But I cannot make anything of it. I don't understand it at all. I read it twice and how it is going to work, I do not know. But I trust Kaz and his brain.

Chapter 26

Okay. Okay. Okay. This one is about Kaz and Inej and what happened in the bathroom. I know how it sounds this way but it isn't actually like that. Kaz, after tremendous effort changed Inej's bandages while all the time struggling to wipe the memory of his dead brother away from his mind. And then with all the effort he could muster, he brushed his lips once against Inej. That's it. I said it. Done. I'm here for the story mainly and not for the romance.

Chapter 27

She follows Kaz to the Slat. Most of the Dregs there have forgotten their roots and are against Kaz. Kaz appears in front of Per Haskell, beats a few lads, gets beaten by the rest, makes his speech, convinces the Dregs to stick with him, and throws Per Haskell off his throne.

Chapter 28

Nikolai has come as Sturmhond. It's Zoya, Genya, and Nikolai that are there in Ketterdam. David would have stayed back. I don't know who has a sharper bin - Nikolai or Kaz. Genya tailors back Wylan's face and he and Jesper kiss.

Chapter 29

Jesper's Da acts like some businessman named Johannus Rietveld (Kaz had done transactions with his old last name Rietveld and Jordie's middle name Johannus). He had some meetings arranged at the hotel. Jan Van Eck showed up and made a deal with him. I don't understand it. It is all a part of Kaz's great plan. That last line by Nina to Van Eck is sick. "Only a fool would cross Kaz."

Chapter 30

Sturmhond is forced to reveal his identity to Kaz because of Kaz's suspicion. Kaz denies Jesper's request of jurda parem as a security measure. There is history about Kaz and his gloves - how he had tried to get rid of them and failed, how we acquired the title Dirtyhands. Kaz and Nina go to a mortuary for something that isn't revealed yet.

Chapter 31

Wylan and Jesper's Da are at their new hideout upon Kaz's instructions where they are caught by the Dime Lions who take Wylan to Jan Van Eck. There, he gets beaten by the capturers and is forced to spill the plan out.

Chapter 32

Inej climbs up the place of auction and sits at the top where she belongs. She witnesses the start of the auction and the price of Kuwei rises up to more than a hundred million kruge. The auction is interrupted by the Council of Tides (they are showing themselves after 25 years). At the same time, Inej is disturbed by Dunyasha.

Chapter 33

This is the chapter of the biggest plot twist in the book. The Council of Tides accuses Jan Van Eck of signing a deal with Johannus Rietvald for funds which was against the law of the auction. The Dime Lions who had taken Wylan were Kaz's men and Wylan had fed wrong information to Jan Van Eck to give him a false sense of security. The Council of Merchants unfurl Jan Van Eck's history by putting two and two together and accuse him of that. Meanwhile, the long-unused sirens start wailing in the city - the sirens that were last used more than seven years ago for the deadly Queen's Lady Plague.

Chapter 34

It was Nina who had unleashed the so-called plague. From the mortuary, she had taken dead, black cells and planted and spread them from several locations in the city. She was able to do all of this because of her new power - the power to control anything dead.

Chapter 35

Inej and Dunyasha, meanwhile, finish their fight at the roof of the church. Inej won only because she had spent years on these rooftops and was careful enough to avoid a loose piece of woodwork. She needed to find Jesper so that he could kill Kuwei!? Was this Kaz's final plan? To make use of Kuwei to get the money and finish him off for the greater good?

Chapter 36

Jesper and Inej find each other but the situation inside the church is completely chaotic. But Jesper still takes his shot. He might have realised (as Wylan had told him) that his shots are so accurate because unintentionally curves the bullets using his Fabrikator powers. This might have been the first time he used it knowingly. However, it is still unclear.

Chapter 37

Kaz is trying to leave but is blocked by Rollins. Being the quick-wit he is, he plays a nice little trick on Rollins by telling him that his son is buried alive somewhere and he has only one chance to save him. There is some drama between the two and then Rollins leaves to save his son (which Kaz never even seen). Also, Kaz had let out the false plague on three of Rollin's places and the Menagerie - the places he wanted out of business.

Chapter 38

Kuwei isn't dead. It's a fake bullet. Kaz had injected a sedative to lower his pulse. They escape out with the "corpse" of Kuwei and everyone is fine and all but at some point, Matthias is alone and is encountered by a young druskelle from the Fjerdan Council who accuses him of treason and then shoots him!?

Chapter 39

Kuwei is revived by Zoya and her abilities and the Ravkans depart with him. But Matthias is dead. He makes it to Nina and has his last words with her (well, more than just a few words) and then dies. He could have been easily saved by Genya or Zoya who were present there minutes ago. But I guess he had to be killed off since he wasn't suited at any place. He couldn't go back to Fjerda, couldn't live in Ketterdam and he didn't want to go to Ravka.

Chapter 40

Wow, a four-line chapter.

Chapter 41

This one is about what happened after the chaos at the church. It's just Wylan and his father arguing and Wylan reciting a memorised text to prove that he can read.

Chapter 42

They all say their goodbyes to Matthias and each other. Nina decides to go with the Grisha and then later bury Matthias' body up North in the Fjerdan ice. Jesper's Da leaves for his farms. Jesper stays back to help Wylan with his house. The Council of Tides that interrupted the auction wasn't real, it was the bunch of Grishas that were under hiding in Ketterdam. Kaz and his plans are amazing.

Chapter 43

This one portrays Kaz as the boss of the Crow Club going around doing his business. The plague he created was harmless but it would take a few months to settle down. He is also encountered by a member of the real Council of Tides but the exchange between them is insignificant.

Chapter 44

I forgot to mention it before. Somewhere above, Kaz had paid for Inej's contract to free her. Inej meets Kaz upon his request one morning and finds a ship called The Wraith at the harbour. Kaz had bought it from Wylan. And he had also asked Sturmhond (Nikolai) to look for Inej's real family in Ravka and send them to Ketterdam on a visit and it was that morning that they were arriving.

Chapter 45

Pekka is somewhere away from Ketterdam in a safe place with his family. He is visited by Inej one night who warns him about nothing in general. It just makes Pekka realise that Kaz Brekker is not the person to mess with and decides not to return to Ketterdam.

This was tough. It took a long time to write it all out for each chapter. It was tough to pick up my pen and write when I waned to continue reading the book to find out what happened next. It is evident too I believe since the descriptions become small towards the end of the book. The time I spend writing it all out, could have been used for reading some other book. I'll most probably never attempt doing this again but who know what will happen in the future.