Herod Sayle is a tough dude, but he can't hold a candle to Yassen Gregorovich. It doesn't take much besides oodles of cash and bad intentions to become an evil mastermind, but it takes a frightening amount of skill and ruthlessness to become the most feared assassin in the world.
Despite this, Yassen seems more level-headed and sympathetic than many of his villainous peers. What's the deal with that?
Although Alex and Yassen cross paths numerous times throughout the novel, they don't have their first interaction until the closing scene. Finally, Alex gets to meet the man who killed his uncle, and he makes his desire for vengeance crystal clear. To our surprise, Yassen chooses to simply walk away, waving to Alex in an odd "gesture of friendship" (17.79). Huh.
Although Yassen claims that he spares Alex's life because he has no order to kill him, we think that there is something deeper going on. Despite his hard front, Yassen seems almost soft at times, with his "sleek dancer's body" (9.87) and "smooth face" (6.68). In fact, he's not too much older than Alex. While we can't say for sure why he spares Alex's life, we're pretty sure that these two men—or, should we say, these two boys—will meet again.