Chapter 7: Matthias 

Matthias thinks about how many times he has dreamed of either killing or kissing Nina during his incarceration. Kaz explains his plan to break Matthias out of Hellgate, but Matthias is resistant. He hates Nina and doesn’t trust Kaz and his gang.  

Jesper frees the animals, they begin attacking prisoners and guards. Amid the chaos, the gang escorts Matthias out of the prison and into an escape boat. Matthias continues to resist, attacking Inej and trying to escape from the boat, but she thwarts him easily. Nina uses her powers to put Matthias to sleep until the boat is further out at sea.  

When Matthias awakes, he is tied up in a dark room. Kaz tells him about the plan to break into the Ice Court. As a loyal Fjerdan, Matthias refuses to help, viewing the mission as a betrayal of his people. However, Kaz shows him a written pardon for his crimes, which would allow him to return to Fjerda and become a drüskelle again. Nina has agreed to recant her testimony against Matthias and go to jail herself for perjury—but only if Matthias joins the heist and completes the mission. Matthias reluctantly agrees, while privately scheming how he can get revenge on Nina. 

Kaz introduces Wylan, the sixth member of the crew, as a demolitions expert. The crew is skeptical of Wylan because he looks very young and inexperienced. Kaz explains that Wylan is the son of Van Eck, the councilman who arranged the mission. As such, Wylan will serve as “insurance” in case Van Eck decides not to pay.   

Chapter 8: Jesper 

The crew objects to Wylan’s inexperience, arguing that they should get a better demolitions expert. But Kaz explains that Wylan is more than just a hostage. In addition to his knowledge of explosives, he has been to the Ice Court and is skilled at drawing. Matthias and Wylan work together to draw a map of the Ice Court, and Matthias reluctantly shares what he knows about Fjerdan security protocols. The plan, Kaz tells them, is to intentionally get arrested and imprisoned in the Ice Court. They will then escape and kidnap Bo Yul-Bayur.  

Chapter 9: Kaz 

Kaz gives each member of the group a task and dismisses them. He and Matthias stay behind at The Crow Club. The first moment Matthias and Kaz are alone, Matthias attacks Kaz and tries to steal the pardon. Though Kaz is much smaller than the muscular Matthias, he anticipates the attack, easily slipping out of Matthias’s grip before ruthlessly beating him with his cane. The subdued Matthias calls Kaz a demon. Kaz tells Matthias that he’s no match for him and puts him back in shackles for the night. 

Chapter 10: Inej 

Inej walks around Ketterdam reminiscing about her father, who used to advise her to follow her heart and be decisive. She feels lost and not sure what she wants. She passes by the Menagerie, the pleasure house where she was once enslaved after being kidnapped from her family. Just being near the Menagerie triggers a sense of panic in her. Inej tries to calm herself, but she is filled with terror when she runs into Tante Heleen, the owner of the Menagerie. Tante Heleen threatens to snatch Inej and put her back to work in the Menagerie, but then lets her go.  

Inej arrives at the dock and sees the boat Kaz has procured for the journey to the Ice Court. She senses that something is wrong. Suddenly an explosion obliterates the boat. 

Chapter 11: Jesper 

Kaz tells Jesper and Wylan that the boat that blew up was a decoy. He directs them to the real boat. People begin shooting at them. Jesper returns fire as he, Wylan, Nina, and Matthias move toward the real boat. Wylan sets off a flash bomb. 

Chapter 12: Inej 

Still on the dock, Inej is wounded in the attack. One of the opposing men, Oomen, seizes Inej and attempts to capture her, pinning her arms. She escapes by using knives concealed in her knee pads. Badly wounded, Inej attempts to climb a pyramid of shipping crates when someone seizes her ankle. Just as she is about to kill herself to avoid capture, she realizes it’s Kaz. Kaz carries her to safety. 

Chapter 13: Kaz 

Kaz brings Inej onto the boat. He orders Nina to use her Grisha powers to heal Inej, even though Nina isn’t a healer. Jesper and Matthias capture Oomen and bring him to Kaz. Kaz rips out one of Oomen’s eyes to get him to reveal who ordered the attack. Oomen reveals that Pekka Rollins hired the Black Tips to attack the Dregs. After Kaz gets all the information he needs from Oomen, he throws him overboard as retribution for injuring Inej. Kaz wonders if Rollins has also been hired to go after Bo Yul-Bayur. 


This section introduces one of the main sub-plots of the novel, Matthias’s inner conflict between his sense of duty to his country and his intense feelings for Nina. Unlike the rest of the crew, Matthias feels no loyalty toward the Dregs and does not believe in the mission. Rather, he is motivated by an intense sense of duty to Fjerda, his native country. He longs to return to his homeland and rejoin the drüskelle, a devout order of Grisha-hunting soldiers. But as an accused slaver, he could never be free in his country without the conditional pardon offered to him by Kaz and Nina. By offering to recant her testimony against Matthias, Nina offers him what he wants most: redemption and a path back to his old life in Fjerda. But this redemption paradoxically depends on his willingness to betray his country, align with the Grisha (who are considered witches in Fjerdan culture), sabotage the work of the drüskelle, and break into the Ice Court, the most sacred of all Fjerdan spaces. As a result, Matthias feels coerced into aiding the heist, which fuels his hatred for Nina and Kaz and makes him look for opportunities to sabotage the heist. His unsuccessful attack on Kaz certainly suggests that at this point in the story, Matthias cannot be trusted.  

Matthias’s longing for his homeland parallels Inej’s homesickness, as revealed by her private thoughts as she wanders alone through Ketterdam. Like Matthias, Inej is not a native of Ketterdam, and her loyalty to the Dregs is at least partly obligatory since her indenture belongs to Per Haskell. Also like Matthias, Inej has fond memories of home yet feels she could never return to her old life. Her memories of adolescence and the wise counsel of her father suggest a time filled with possibility and security. However, these memories seem very distant in light of the traumatic experiences she has endured since being kidnapped and forced to work in the Menagerie. Whereas boys once brought her flowers to try to impress her, at the Menagerie she was forced to entertain johns and criminals only interested in exploiting her. The contrast between the life her parents imagined for her and the one she has lived make Inej feel lost and lonely. Her fraught encounter with Tante Heleen demonstrates that despite her seemingly superhuman ability to wriggle out of any jam, Inej carries with her the indelible emotional scars of her captivity. Much like Matthias, she senses that the experience of captivity has transformed her in ways that make it impossible for her to return to her old life.  

These chapters further develop the mystique of Kaz and his uncanny ability to outmaneuver his adversaries. He continues to use violence to establish his dominance over others, as demonstrated by his physical besting of Matthias and his ruthless torture and killing of Oomen. However, Kaz’s dominance derives not from his physical superiority but from his adeptness at anticipating his opponents’ attacks. Knowing that Matthias is likely to challenge him at some point, Kaz contrives an opportunity for Matthias to attack him. When Matthias takes the bait, Kaz is ready for the attack and firmly establishes his dominance by easily beating the hulking Matthias. Likewise, Kaz foresees the ambush by the Black Tips and prepares for it by arranging for the decoy boat. When the Black Tips blow up the decoy, the rest of the Dregs seem shocked, but Kaz quickly directs them to their real boat. Jesper, in particular, seems exasperated by Kaz’s tendency to withhold his contingency plans from the crew, but Kaz largely keeps such details to himself to limit the risk of betrayals and leaks. As with his beating of Matthias, Kaz uses the attack by the Black Tips as a way to send a clear and calculated message calculated to all potential challengers. In an act that even his own crew finds excessive, Kaz rips out Oomen’s eye and then throws him overboard after he gives up information on his co-conspirators. Although this ruthless act stems partly from Kaz’s feelings for Inej and his anger at Oomen for injuring her, it also shows his crew, most of whom have reservations about the heist, that any challenges to Kaz will be anticipated and severely punished.