- Action Girl: A highly capable warrior even before her dhampir powers started manifesting.
- Anti Anti Christ: Ubad arranged her creation so she could be il'Samar's champion. To put it mildly, she doesn't want the job.
- Berserk Button: Don't bring up superstition in her presence- she was on the receiving end of too much of it. Also, her dhampir nature makes the presence of a vampire a major Berserk Button.
- Broken Bird: Her childhood as the village freak was hardly fun, and it's left definite psychological scars on her.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She's creepy and broody even if you don't know she's half-vampire, but she's at least trying to be a good person.
- Dhampyr: Her dad was a vampire, her mom was human. The title of the first book says it all.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Magiere can be harsh and abrasive, but she'll usually at least try to do the right thing after finding out vampires actually exist and are a real threat.
- Kuudere / Tsundere: Magiere's attitude is usually cool and businesslike. Anger is the most common emotion she does show. But she also has a softer side, though very few have seen it.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Her skin is unnaturally pale no matter how much time she spends in the sun, and her hair is mostly jet black with red streaks that show up under certain lighting. It's a hold-over from her vampire heritage and is generally very eerie.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Her dhampir nature.
- Vampire Hunter: What she pretends to be, and later becomes for real.
- Deuteragonist: The second core protagonist, after Magiere.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half-elven, to be specific.
- Lovable Rogue: How he portrays himself, though he's rather more complicated beneath the surface.
- Parental Abandonment: His Disappeared Dad was killed by Lord Darmouth. His Missing Mom survived, but was taken captive by her own people.
- Professional Killer: He used to be an assassin, and still has the tools.
- Troubled, but Cute: A good-looking charmer, but certainly carries at least as much baggage as Magiere.
- Angry Guard Dog: Don't threaten Magiere or Leesil in front of him. It won't be pretty.
- Canine Companion: For Leesil and Magiere.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Thoroughly averted. Chap is one of the smartest characters in the series.
- Fay In Canine Form: He's an ancient immortal spirit, but chose to be born as a majay-hi (elf hound) in order to travel with Leesil and Magiere and guide them towards doing the right thing.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He pretends to be an ordinary dog- at first. Later in the series, he stops making much effort to conceal his intelligence around people in the know.
- The Voiceless: Chap understands Elvish and bits of some other languages, but his dog's vocal chords keep him from actually speaking.
- The Chick: The youngest, most idealistic, and least confrontational of the three leads.
- The Heart: She even calls herself Magiere's conscience
- Light 'em Up: In the second arc, Wynn's primary weapon against the undead is a magic staff that generates sunlight.
- Moment Killer: Her interrupting Magiere and Leesil in romantic moments is something of a Running Gag.
- Power Incontinence: Her mantic sight, the ability to see magical energy, is very hard to control.
- The Quiet One: At first. She starts talking more later on.
- The Smart Guy: As a sage, she's easily the most book-learned major character in the series.
- Squishy Wizard: Well, she's self-admittedly not much of a mage, but she can do magic, and she is very fragile in direct combat.
- Affably Evil: So long as you're not in his way, he's not an unpleasant guy.
- Anti-Magic: His "ring of nothing", which shields him from all magical enquiry preventing people from discovering that he's a vampire
- Anti-Villain: Subverted. He looks like this at first, until it becomes apparent the depths he's willing to sink to in order to achieve his goals.
- Evil Mentor: Shows up early on to give Magiere advice and guidance. He's actually manipulating his little sister for his own ends.
- Evil Sorcerer: Specializing in artifice
- I Am Your Father: Almost. He's actually Magiere's half-brother
- Magic Knight: Not as much as Chane, but still there.
- Mysterious Protector: Subverted. He's only helping Magiere to advance his own agenda
- Older Than They Look: Variation. His grey hair makes him look middle-aged. Physically, he's somewhat younger than that but because he's a vampire, he's actually quite a bit older than he looks.
- Treacherous Advisor: It's kind of his schtick, but especially to Magiere.
- Abusive Parents: He was brutally abused by his father, which fueled his bitter misanthropy.
- Blood Knight: Chane loves to fight and kill, and isn't picky about who. In the second arc he's started blunting this trait, for Wynn's sake.
- The Dragon: At first to his sire, Toret, and after his death to Welstiel
- Heel Realization: Admits that he's a monster at the end of the first arc. As noted in Retired Monster above, though, it doesn't make him any less evil in a meaningful sense, just less blatant and feral about it.
- Karma Houdini: So far, he's had remarkably little punishment to fit his crimes- but on the other hand, the series is far from over...
- Living Lie Detector: One of his vampiric powers, which first begins manifesting in Child of a Dead God.
- Magic Knight: A talented conjurer as well as a skilled, superhumanly strong warrior.
- Morality Pet: Wynn is the only thing he cares about enough to try and control his feral vampire nature.
- Psycho for Hire: In the first arc, he works as muscle and savagery for both Toret and Welstiel. In subsequent arcs, he's at least trying to improve his behavior.
- Retired Monster: In the second arc, owing to trying to make a good impression on Wynn. He's not actually any less evil, though, just less blatant about it. At the end of the arc he has an epiphany, and appears to have genuinely graduated to The Atoner.
- Scars Are Forever: Though vampires can normally heal any wound, the scars on Chane's back and neck will last forever.
- The Sociopath: Borderline case. His relationship with Wynn shows he's capable of at least some empathy- he just normally doesn't bother, since he doesn't think most people are worth it.
- Token Evil Teammate: In the second arc.
- Vader Breath: He survived a beheading thanks to Welstiel's magic, but it permanently damaged his voice.
- Black Cloak: His preferred outfit.
- Disability Superpower: Because of his blindness, he uses dominated ghosts to see for him.
- Eyeless Face: He wears a leather mask over his eyes, and is apparently blind. The host of spirits that swarm about him act as his eyes.
- Evil Old Folks: Obviously an ancient man, though it's unclear exactly how old he really is.
- Evil Sorcerer: Probably the most powerful magic-user in the series so far, and totally evil.
- Necromancer: Manipulating death is his specialty. After all, he was the one who made Magiere's birth possible.
- Squishy Wizard: For all his power, he's still a frail old blind man, and when his magical sight is disrupted Magiere ends him quickly.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: How he and his ancestors won their throne.
- The Caligula: He's viciously paranoid and moderately unstable, which makes him a right terror to anyone in his domain.
- The Dreaded: Even in the south, his reputation precedes him. In the north, people are justly terrified of him.
- Evil Overlord: The most powerful and ruthless warlord of the Warlands.
Most Aged Father
- Animals Hate Him: Majay-hi avoid him, unnerved by the way he has unnaturally extended his lifespan
- The Chessmaster: People have been dancing on his strings for centuries.
- Evil Old Folks: A withered old man even beyond an elf's normal lifespan, thanks to the magic keeping him alive, and a paranoid Knight Templar on top of that.
- Freudian Excuse: His being present at the creation of the first undead might explain his paranoid attitude.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: Despite his fearsome reputation, he's a withered old elf who's barely moved in centuries.
- Meaningful Name: It's pretty self-explanatory.
- Meaningful Rename: His original name was Sorkhafare. He abandoned it when he became the leader of the an'Croan elves.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He is genuinely trying to save the world. If he has to sacrifice everyone but his loyal followers to do it? He'll pay that price.
- Villain with Good Publicity: At least among the Elves.
- And I Must Scream: His apparent final fate; il'Samar ends up letting him go when it needs him again.
- Black Cloak: He pretty much is a black cloak inhabited by an ancient spirit.
- Deal with the Devil: He bargained with il'Samar for eternal life and youth. He got one, but not the other.
- Enemy to All Living Things: Even more so than most undead.
- Evil Sorcerer: Another extremely powerful, evil sorcerer in il'Samar's service.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: For most of In Shade and Shadow, nobody knows what he's really after.
- Intangible Man: Thanks to being a wraith, he can pass through solid objects solely by willing himself to do so.
- Religion of Evil: In life, he was the high priest of one.
- Touch of Death: Vampires need to drink blood in order to replenish their energies; Sau'ilahk just needs to touch someone to leech out their lifeforce and add it to his own.
- Big Bad: The ultimate evil that the other villains are either working for or in response to.
- The Chessmaster: It's got big plans, but exactly what it's working towards remains unknown.
- Eldritch Abomination: or possibly God of Evil- it's unclear at this point. It's very powerful and very malicious, whatever it is.
- I Have Many Names: il'Samar, the Night Voice, the Ancient Enemy, the Nightfaller, Beloved, and presumably many more. It's called "The Enemy of Many Names" for a reason.
- The Man Behind the Man: It was manipulating Ubad, Welstiel, and Sau'ilahk.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Implied; it talks about the end of existence in such a way that it's clearly anticipating it, and there are, after all, only so many goals that "create an undead army that will consume everything in its path, then devour itself when it can't get anything else" is an effective goal, after all.
- Scaled Up: Usually appears as an immense serpent. It's unclear if that is its true form or not.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The precise nature of its imprisonment is unclear, but it is imprisoned somehow, and wants out.