PreedaA girl of fifteen for most of the novel, though the story starts in her early childhood. Driven by memories of poverty and child labour, she is ambitious and wishes to exploit her newfound magical abilities to the maximum. She turns out to have magical powers, due to her miraculous resurrection from daylily into a human. She starts out selfish, but grows kind.
AyosheThe human servant of Gana the volcano spirit.
ThaochiThe human reincarnation of a forest fire. No, really.
ThavarThaochi's father. He was once a prisoner of war and has the scars to prove it, but he's mostly a jovial and kind patriarch who chews too many areca nuts and is a bit of a hippie.
CiuyanA Hanan soldier of the Patriotic Army, a force charged with suppressing cultural insubordination in the indigenous population of Thu Avan. He died in the jungle in a confrontation with guerilla independence forces, and by mistake, Ayoshe trapped his spirit in Gana's realm. He wants to finish his mission and bring back information on the enemy, and doesn't realize he's dead yet.
GanaThe spirit of the volcano, summoned thirty years ago by a community of witches in order to win the war against Hanan. He never fulfilled his promise to the summoners however, and the summoning ritual caused the spirit world to leak out into the human world, creating a pocket dimension over the volcano that can only be entered with the key of Phucao, which is engraved onto Ayoshe's back.
The Standards of Saints
Aden MC 1/Kelyle MariamA schoolboy of seventeen, who works as a secretary and nurse to prepare his degree in medicine. He learns that military conscriptions have been legalized, and plans to escape the upcoming war.
- Actual Pacifist: Part of his justification for deserting. He does not cause physical harm to anyone within the story.
- All-Loving Hero: It doesn't always come naturally, but Keli is determined to show sympathy for everyone he meets, and not judge people without knowing their situation.
- Camp Gay: He is not flamboyant, but effeminate, gentle, and pretty. Beyond a girlfriend in his adolescence, he only has relationships with men.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: He protects and soothes Ashkii when needed, and in turn Ashkii cheers him up and encourages him to be braver.
- Closet Key: Kelyle, in a letter to a deceased Ashkii, wrote:
"It seems you have ruined me for women."
- Defector from Decadence: He refuses to join the army, because he opposes the invasion of Isterios, and because ha attributes his father's abusive behaviour to his military experience.
- Despair Event Horizon: After being forced to flee his hometown in hopes of saving his best friend, realizing his love for that friend, and seeing him die anyway, he becomes both more fragile and more cynical. He doesn't speak for months, and doesn't care when Kanvar leaves him.
- The Dutiful Son: Gladly works at a young age to help support his mother, all the while preparing a degree in medicine.
- Elective Mute: After he is traumatized, he is unable to speak for several months.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: He only realizes his feelings for Ashkii when tending his wound.
- Hospital Hottie: Works as a nurse and secretary for a local doctor.
- I Am Not My Father: Kelyle's gentleness is both natural, and a put-on to distance himself from his father.
- The Lost Lenore: Ashkii becomes one too him. Kelyle is never truly able to get over his grief, and compares every relationship in his life to the one that never had the chance to blossom.
- Love Epiphany: When tending Ashkii's wound.
- Plucky Boy: Hardworking and optimistic.
- Pretty Boy: Kelyle is delicate, and wears his hair long. He is bullied in school due to his demeanor.
- Relationship Upgrade: Kelyle and Ashkii confess feelings to eachother while fleeing Araït. However, Ashkii dies from infection soon after.
- The Mistress: Kanvar wants Kelyle to become this after he marries, but Kelyle refuses out of respect for himself and for Kanvar's new wife.
- Nice Boy: Kelyle is by far the most pleasant and kind person around.
- Safety in Indifference: Becomes very detached during his life as a refugee.
- Sanity Slippage: After riding a freight train for three days with Ashkii's rapidly decomposing body for sole company, he is found traumatized by Isterrian authorities.
- Second Love: Kanvar, a volunteer medic during the invasion of Isterios. The relationship ended after four years, when Kanvar married the daughter of a malt merchant.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: A gentle version of this trope with Ashkii. As much as they tease each other, they are also very tender at times.
- War Refugees: Ends up alone in Isterios, with invasion looming.
Fyrian MC 5/Ashkii DawuhazhéA friend of Kelyle's, who lived off his charity. His bad behaviour gets him kicked out onto the streets, where he falls in with the Haghan Allies.
- Ambiguous Gender: Ashkii identifies as a man for lack of a better option within the setting. He does not feel especially male or female.
- Bratty Half-Pint: He's bratty, but not as young as he looks.
- Crazy Homeless People: He is lucid most of the time, but being on the streets worsens his schizophrenia.
- Deadpan Snarker: He rarely speaks sincerely, and thinks he's very clever.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He becomes highly suggestible due to this search of identity.
- Dying Dream: He dreams that he is welcomed as a hero in Isterios, while Kelyle becomes his lover and partner, all in the form of an opera.
- Handsome Lech: Ashkii is not the most beautiful person, but he can turn the charm on when he wants to, and sleeps with a lot of people as a result.
- Keet: Overly energetic, clingy, and prone to jumping on people.
- The Lancer: Ash is Kelyle's best friend and accomplice for all occasions. His brash irrational behaviour contrasts with him.
- Leeroy Jenkins: He has a very bad habit of picking fights for no reason, and with people much larger than himself.
- Older Than They Look: He is twenty, and looks around thirteen.
- Orphan's Ordeal: For all Ashkii knows, his mother might be alive, but he was abducted from the Araït slums by the Aijiang Zhion Government, and made a ward a state.
- Racial Remnant: There are approximately two thousand Haghan left. Ashkii came from the small tribe/Suré of Dawuhazhé.
- Waif Prophet: His hallucinations occasionally seem premonitory.
- Senseless Sacrifice: He dies after killing Cao, and the rebellion is vilified due to the assassination.
- Stepford Snarker: He uses sarcasm and humour as a means of control.
- Street Urchin: Ashkii was never homeless as a child after his abduction, but he still comes across as one as an adult.
- Taking You with Me: Victim of this. Ultimately, he is the only member of the Allies who gets to the Zhiontae, because he was not publicly affiliated with them, and was not on any leaked lists. He shoots Cao, and is immediately stabbed in the gut. He dies a slow death as a fugitive, due to an infection.
RagaAn Aguarri girl who emerged in recent drafts.
- Broken Bird: When Kelyle meets her later on in life, Raga has become very cynical and bitter.
- Defiled Forever: Because of her frequenting Kelyle, it was assumed they had a relationship, and were to be married. When Kelyle left without her, Raga became a pariah because of the untrue rumours that she'd engaged in extramarital relations.
- Shrinking Violet: She is deathly shy, which is why she's drawn to the equally gentle Kelyle.
- Tragic Unrequited Maiden: Her feelings for Kelyle are ambiguous, but she could only pick one, and she picked wrong.
Solenna MC 2/Usha DhanaideAn Isterrian girl of frivolous behaviour and outrageous lifestyle. Born of a rich collaborationist family, she wishes to rebel against her parents wishes and run away from her angry fiancé Mahith.
- Bi the Way: A good 4 on the Kinsey Scale.
- Les Collaborateurs: Usha is from an Isterrian family, living in Lapsennui. All of her family supports the invasion of Isterios, and believe that it would benefit from joining the Zhion/Empire. The exception is Usha herself.
- Driven to Suicide: She threatens suicide from the top of the Zhion Imperial Offices to force the Zhiontae to negociate with the protesters.
- The Flapper: She dresses in this style. Her parents disapprove, but Mahith doesn't.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl
- Hidden Depths: Usha really does take the invasion seriously, and is willing to die to oppose it.
- Spirited Young Lady: Enthusiastic, optimistic, and full of passion in spite of her sheltered upbringing.
- Pretty Freeloader: She relies on her outgoing nature and looks to get what she wants with little effort on her part.
- Rebellious Princess: Not a princess per say, but the son but a upper class newspaper owner.
- Mafia Princess: Her father is not a gangster himself, but has strong ties to the Mafia due to loans he took. He also profits from Mafiosi bodyguards.
- The Ingenue: She is naïve, and has not seen much of the world.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: After being captured by the Zhiontae's personal guard, and freed by the protesters, her family takes her away, fleeing to their family in Isterios for her safety.
- Soapbox Sadie: Tends to be dismissed as this, even by other revolutionaries.
- Your Cheating Heart: She has a boyfriend, yet still swings at the local lesbian bars.
Valerie MC 6/WareyaA bourgeoise Haghan adoptee and child prodigee, she created a political group for Haghan solidarity, which turned into an anti-imperialist group. They fight for the independence of Lapsennui, and against the invasion of Isterios.
- The Ace: Well read, politically active, and leader of the Haghan Allies.
- Ascended Extra: Based on the extremely minor character Valentine in Romeo and Juliet.
- Butch Lesbian: She's in a relationship with her second in command, Ruo.
- Don't Create a Martyr: Wareya doesn't follow this rule, and has the Zhiontae Cao assassinated. As a result, the army immediately quashes the rebellion, and the Haghan Allies are painted as fascists who attempted a coup, although the Zhiontae was never a democratically elected position.
- The Zhion government does not make the same mistake, and Wareya is sentenced to prison for life when captured.
- Happily Adopted: She was abducted from a slum in her young age, and eventually adopted by a Quan family.
- The Leader: Of the Haghan Allies.
- Long-Lost Relative: Wareya and Ashkii share a last name, which signifies they came from the same Suré, or nomadic village. Kelyle notes a strong resemblance between them, so it is safe to assume they are somehow related.
- Racial Remnant: One of two thousand remaining Haghan.
- La Résistance: Only a section of the resistance: the Haghans who oppose Quan imperialism, and stand with Isterios against Aijiang and the Zhion.
- Rebel Leader: Not only does Wareya lead the Haghan Allies, she created them.
- Separated at Birth: Possibly. The nature of Wareya and Ashkii's blood relation is never revealed in the book.
Aello MC 4/Mahith]]
- The Big Guy
- Token Evil Teammate
- Crippling Overspecialization
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Tyke Bomb
- Abusive Parents
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training
- Defusing the Tyke Bomb
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: He is firmly in denial that Usha is 1. bisexual, and 2. sleeping with girls right under his nose. However, he eventually accuses Kelyle of eyeing his girl.
- Demoted to Extra: He once had a major character arc, which was cut down and reduced to a one scene appearance.