TESS CANYON: Sixteen. Big, black hair that forms tight curls around her face if not tamed. Pale skin with an abundance of freckles. Her real first name is Tresseme, which she hates. She is impatient, honest, a little narrow-minded, easily exasperated, and extraordinarily resilient. Deep down, Tess wants to be useful, and she wants to make people happy with her talents. But her fatal flaw is that she cares too much about other people’s opinions of her. She wants to be perceived as talented, dignified, and capable.
“I think Tess wants to be loved and adored. And that’s a complicated thing to want because it can be the most beautiful and natural desire, but also it can be very prideful if there is a root of fear and insecurity. So maybe that’s the link that connects first page Tess with last page Tess. And she has to learn who she is in order to gain the happiness of being loved.” – My friend and editor :)
PIDER: Age, unknown. A smooth-talking crow with an intense interest in Tess and the trinket she carries. Adviser to the barbarian King Nabal of the enemy kingdom of Atheos. The birds of the Hinge Forest encounter Pider and a legion of Atheonian criminals in their woods, and Pider offers to teach red magic to those who join their ranks. As Tess and Chris eventually discover, Pider might not be a crow at all.
TYNAIV: 18 years old. Young, sturdy, and handsome but weathered by the sun. Short-cropped, sandy beard and dark blue eyes. Tynaiv left his parents in his early teens to stowaway on a ship. His trade soon became that of a deckhand, and Tynaiv fell in step with the life of a sailor. Years passed, and he made his way to the Zere port, where he was convinced to join Pider in his plan to make war with Glademont.
Tynaiv dresses plainly and is proud of his poverty and ability to live on little else but good looks and brawn. His suspicion of royalty and all the wealthy classes fuels his self-justification for the wrongs he commits. He, like Tess, enjoys being admired. The reckless sailor becomes infatuated with Tess as soon as he sees her, which complicates his task of uncovering the secrets of her trinket.
OSIRIS: Over 700 years old. Enormous bear (similar in appearance to the Kodiak bear), gray from age. Shaggy, especially in the eyebrows. Speaks with an old brogue used by woodland creatures during the first reign of Queen Miriam. Apt to be scattered and forgetful.
Before the Forest War, when enemy spies slipped into Old Glademont, Osiris was posted at the Creek of the Crown to guard the castle. Osiris's bondfellow, King Wallace, died on the battlefield in the Forest War. Osiris has spent centuries waiting to join his bondfellow in death. However, the gift of long life, given to animals who make the fellowship, has sustained him. Osiris reasons that his duty to King Wallace is not yet accomplished. He continues to patrol the creek, even knowing that the war was lost and all those he knew are dead.
PROFIGLIANO JULIUS TOWHEE XI: An extremely enthusiastic Hinge Forester with a penchant for getting into trouble. Quickly forms an attachment with Tess's little brother, Ryon. Never quite fit in with the snobbish, disciplined birds in the Council of the Nest. Heart of gold, but easily offended.
PRINCE CHRISTOPHER OF GLADEMONT: Prince Christopher is the only son of Aideen and Antony. Dark hair, which he rarely combs or cuts. Tall and lithe. A little on the immature side, Chris prefers the company of his buddies, Connor and Everett, to the company of young ladies. Chris is more of a scholar than a charmer, which led to his discovering the secret military history of Glademont. Eager to revive the glory days of war and honor, Chris forms a secret "militia" with Connor and Everett. They train themselves in the art of war, poring over every scroll that Chris can sneak away from the castle archives. While honing his skills on the outskirts of the Hinge Forest, Chris finds an unlikely friend in Buck, the Prince of the Birch Herd.
Unfortunately, Tess is privy to none of these developments. Chris hates to admit it, but he doesn't trust her as far as he can throw her.