Kaz Brekker 

The 17-year-old indomitable leader of the Dregs and the mastermind of the heist. As a young child, Kaz lost his family when his father and his older brother died. He quickly made a name for himself as a skillful thief in the criminal underworld of Ketterdam. Daring, ruthless, cunning, and secretive, Kaz engineers the heist to get revenge on Pekka Rollins and make as much money as possible in the meantime. Only his feelings for Inej hinder him in his relentless pursuit of riches and revenge.  

Read an in-depth analysis of Kaz

Inej Ghafa 

A 17-year-old former Suli acrobat and Kaz’s most trusted confidant. Known as “the Wraith” for her uncanny stealth and agility, Inej uses her skills to spy on Kaz’s enemies and outmaneuver opponents when the Dregs get into trouble. Though morally opposed to killing, she wears a small arsenal of concealed knives, which she does not hesitate to use when she must. As a young girl, Inej was stolen from her family by slavers and forced to work in a pleasure house before Kaz bought her indenture. Although she has feelings for Kaz, she dreams of leaving the Dregs, buying her own ship, and exacting revenge on the world’s slavers.  

Read an in-depth analysis of Inej

Nina Zenik 

A Grisha Heartrender who joins the heist to save her romantic interest, Matthias, from Hellgate. Expressive, pleasure-seeking, and warm, Nina feels her emotions intensely and serves as a counterpoint for the cold Matthias. A fierce defender of Grisha, Nina struggles with her devotion to Matthias, who hates all Grisha. She sacrifices herself for the Dregs, taking a dose of jurda parem so they can escape Fjerda. Her life hangs in the balance at the end of the novel. 

Read an in-depth analysis of Nina

Matthias Helvar 

A disgraced Fjerdan drüskelle, or witch hunter, and a reluctant participant in the heist. Fiercely patriotic, Matthias feels torn between his love of country and his feelings for Nina, whom he once captured for being a Grisha witch. He also resents Kaz for coercing him into the heist and despises himself for being a traitor to Fjerda. He considers sabotaging the heist, but eventually he recognizes the hatefulness of Fjerdan ideology. When faced with a choice, he sides with Nina and the Dregs. 

Jesper Fahey 

An expert marksman, adventurous thrill seeker, and loyal member of the Dregs. Flamboyant and dashing, Jesper loves taking risks, never passing up a card game or a gunfight. He joins the heist to pay off his substantial gambling debts, which threaten to sink his family. During the heist, it is revealed that Jesper is also a secret Grisha Fabrikator whose skills prove invaluable to the gang.  

Read an in-depth analysis of Jesper

Wylan Van Eck 

Jan Van Eck’s 16-year-old son and the most inexperienced participant in the heist. Although Kaz recruits Wylan as an explosives expert, he mainly wants Wylan on the team to ensure that his father pays up when the heist is successful. The others initially resent Wylan’s marginal skills, privileged upbringing, and lack of criminal experience, but he eventually proves himself an invaluable member of the team. During the heist, Wylan and Jesper develop romantic feelings for each other. 

(Jan) Van Eck 

Merchant Councilman and financer of the heist. Early on, Van Eck hires Kaz to break Bo Yul-Bayur out of the Ice Court, presumably to prevent his formula for jurda parem from falling into the wrong hands. But Van Eck actually wants to use jurda parem to create and control a Grisha army.  

Pekka Rollins/Jakob Hertzoon 

Kaz’s arch-nemesis. As head of a rival gang and owner of a rival gambling house, Rollins is a natural enemy for Kaz, but Kaz mainly hates Rollins for a crime that occurred deep in his past. Disguised as the businessman Jakob Hertzoon, Rollins conned Kaz’s older brother Jordie out of his inheritance when Kaz was just a child. Kaz blames Pekka Rollins for Jordie’s subsequent death and makes it his life’s mission to slowly destroy him.  

Read an in-depth analysis of Pekka

Jordie Rietveld 

Kaz’s beloved, long-dead older brother. Optimistic and naïve, Jordie brought young Kaz to Ketterdam after their father’s death to seek their fortune, only to be conned out of their inheritance by Pekka Rollins. Left penniless and homeless, Jordie dies of firepox during an epidemic, leaving Kaz to fend for himself.  

Bo Yul-Bayur 

A Shu scientist who accidentally discovers jurda parem when trying to hide that his son is a Grisha. Presumably held captive by the Fjerdans in the Ice Tower, the goal of the heist is to abduct Bo Yul-Bayur and bring him to the Merchant Council.   

Kuwei Yul-Bayur  

A Grisha Inferni and Bo Yul-Bayur’s son. He is captured by the Fjerdans and forced to try to recreate his late father’s formula for jurda parem. 

Tante Heleen Van Houden 

The owner and proprietor of the Menagerie, the pleasure house where Inej was once indentured. Vicious and cruel, Tante Heleen haunts Inej, who is traumatized by her abuse at the Menagerie.  

Per Haskell 

The nominal leader of the Dregs to whom Kaz reports. 

Jarl Brum 

A drüskelle commander and father figure to Matthias. 


A Grisha Healer who conquers a roomful of guards after receiving an experimental dose of jurda parem

Joost Van Poel 

A stadwatch guard at Councilmen Hoede’s compound who has a crush on Anya. 


A leader of the Black Tips who fails to take Fifth Harbor from Kaz. 

Big Bolliger 

A member of the Dregs who double-crosses Kaz and is shot for it. 


A Grisha Fabricator who attacks the Dregs under the influence of jurda parem


A member of the Black Tips. Kaz cuts out his eyeball and throws him overboard for harming Inej.