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* MeaningfulName: Swahili for 'giraffe'.

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Our protagonist. Karou is a human [[AmbiguouslyHuman (maybe)]] girl of 17 years, whose life is a little... odd. Besides her life as an art student in Prague, she runs errands for the mysterious Brimstone, who runs a little shop of wishes...

* ActionGirl: She has a lot of martial arts and general self-defense training, and often isn't afraid to use it.
* AmbiguouslyHuman: A recurring question in the first book is whether she's really human or not, given her connection to the chimaera and their magic. The answer is [[spoiler: both yes and no - her ''body'' is completely, perfectly human, but her ''soul'' is chimaera.]]
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted near the end of the second book, when after [[spoiler:Thiago's AttemptedRape]] Karou's face in particularly is badly marred, including a torn earlobe and the damage stays for quite some time until they find a magical spring with healing powers. It's even implied that [[spoiler:Thiago]] targeted her face deliberately so everyone would know what he'd done.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: What most human characters think of her. See also RefugeInAudacity.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Well, bluette. Though she did have dark hair originally.
* InterspeciesRomance: With Akiva.
* MeaningfulName: Her name means [[spoiler:Hope]] in chimaera.
* RefugeInAudacity: When people ask her about anything, Karou tends to state the truth. yes, her hair really is blue.
* [[spoiler:ReincarnationRomance]]: Also with Akiva.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: It grows out blue. It wasn't originally; She made it so with a wish.

!Zuzana Nováková

Karou's best friend in Prague, Zuzana is a regular art student with the likely future of taking over her family's puppet-making business - but when strange things start happening, she inevitably becomes entangled in Karou's adventures.

* FluffyTamer: Zuzana manages to tame [[spoiler:a stormhunter, which is more or less a mega sized hawk]] to the awe of the Chimaera.
* GenkiGirl: Oh so much. Karou refers to her as the "rabid fairy".
* KillerRabbit: The Chimaera quickly nickname Zuzana "neek-neek" after a small but fierce creature native to Eretz.
* MuggleBestFriend: To Karou, although [[spoiler: she eventually drops the muggle part when Karou teaches her to become invisible.]]

!Mikolas Vavra

A violinist and Zuzana's boyfriend, Mik tags along wherever Zuzana goes.

* MuggleBestFriend: Same deal as Zuzana, though to a lesser extent since he hasn't known Karou for long.


Karou's ex-boyfriend, an actor who makes a living out of organizing ghost tours on the streets of Prague.

The chimaera are an alliance of [[BeastMan beast]] [[LittleBitBeastly races]] from all over the land of Eretz. They are at constant war with the Seraphim, with their efforts centered in the chimaera capital of Loramendi.

!In general

* BeastMan: They're all over the scale, with pretty much any animal you can think of: Snakes, goats, parrots, giraffes, wolves, gazelles... and those are just the ''main'' characters.
* CessationOfExistence: Used as a punishment for treason. This is considered one of the worst fates one can end up with, [[spoiler: since their ResurrectiveImmortality means that few chimaera soldiers actually ever ''permanently'' die.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: Sure, some of them look pretty monstrous, but they're no more evil than humans or angels.
* TheDreaded: Even hearing the name of The Shadows That Live, sphinx-like Chimaera known for assassinating Seraphim in their sleep in absolute silence, is enough to give even the most jaded Seraphim soldier pause. When Eliza is examining [[spoiler:their bodies]] she finds that their wings have owl feathers on them, explaining why they can move so silently.
* FantasticRacism: Saying they don't like angels would be a grave understatement. Among the chimaera tribes, it's also more desirable to have a human head rather than beast, and high-human chimaera are generally considered more beautiful.
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Apparently most Chimaera are, if not mutually fertile, at least able to have sex with each other, which given the size differences between some of them creates interesting implications...
* LittleBitBeastly: Some lean more towards this, and it's considered desirable to look more human rather than beast.
* MixAndMatchCritters: In two varieties, even. Natural chimaera are not in fact one race but a common name for a multitude of tribes across Eretz, each one with its own blend of animal and human parts, leading to a very diverse crowd. [[spoiler: The second kind of chimaera are the revenants - soldiers who have been resurrected into a new, constructed body at least once - who, in the process of resurrection, may be given new body parts depending on what is available, mixing them up even more.]]
* OurCentaursAreDifferent: They come in several varieties, from the standard horses to deer to bulls.
* ResurrectiveImmortality: In theory, a chimaera soul can survive indefinitely after death as long as there's either a [[SoulJar thurible]] to keep it in or if the soul is given another body, making the soul effectively immortal even if the body isn't. [[spoiler: This is in fact not exclusive to chimaera; Any soul can be stored or put in a new body, it's just that the chimaera are the only race that knows this. Them keeping the art of resurrection a secret is the reason they've held out against the angels for so long.]]
* SoulJar: Thuribles, literally. They resemble silvery lanterns and are used to store chimaera souls. [[spoiler: In fact, any sealed space can be used to contain souls; The cathedral beneath Loramendi becomes a single massive one when it is collapsed, with hundreds of civilian souls trapped within.]]


Brimstone is the owner of the strange little shop where Karou was raised. He serves as a father figure to her while going about his work of sorting through teeth - both human and animal - and stringing them up, to be used for some mysterious purpose. He is a chimaera of an unknown tribe, having the head and horns of a ram, the scales and feet of a reptile, and the legs of a lion.

* DeadpanSnarker: He has his moments, and they are glorious.
* ParentalSubstitute: To Karou.


A [[SnakePeople Naja]] woman who guards the entrance to Brimstone's shop. She's very gentle and acts as a mother figure to Karou.

* GorgeousGorgon: It's mentioned by a few different characters that her human parts are surprisingly beautiful, considering the rest of her is a snake.
* LittleBitBeastly: She's fairly humanlike for a chimaera; She has a human face and torso, only being snake from the waist down and with her cobra hood. Oh, and the fangs.
* [[spoiler: NotQuiteDead]]: [[spoiler: When the shop is attacked by seraphim, she and Yasri have their souls placed in thuribles and carried off so that Karou can find them and revive them in safety.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: To Karou, along with the other chimaera in Brimstone's shop.
* SnakePeople: Being a Naja.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Averted. She is very sweet and gentle, at least towards people she cares about, and her snakes that help guard the shop very rarely kill anyone.
* LetsGetDangerous: She's nice most of the time, but underestimating her tends to go ''very'' badly. [[spoiler: Ten found out the hard way.]]


A parrot-woman who helps out in the shop. She acts as Karou's mother along with Issa.

* [[spoiler: NotQuiteDead]]: [[spoiler: When the shop is attacked, her soul is saved along with Issa's for Karou to find later.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: To Karou, along with the other chimaera in Brimstone's shop.


Brimstone's part-giraffe assisstant.

!Madrigal Kirin

A Kirin girl who died about seventeen years before the book begins. She was Akiva's first love, but was betrayed and executed by her own kind for loving an angel.

* ActionGirl: She was a soldier, and trained as such.
* BoyishshortHair: She cut it deliberately to make her look less feminine.
* HornedHumanoid: She has antelope horns, like all Kirin.
* LittleBitBeastly: She looks relatively human compared to many other chimaera, only having her horns, wings, and gazelle lower legs.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Her beauty attracts the attention of Thiago, which aside from being [[AbhorrentAdmirer not so pleasant]] on its own, creates a host of trouble when he finds out about her and Akiva, and she muses occasionally that she wouldn't mind being less eye-catching if it meant avoiding him.
* WingedHumanoid: Bat wings.


The son of the Warlord and a general of the chimaera army. While he's charming to his people, Madrigal dislikes him because of his unwanted advances on her.

* BeautyIsBad: He's a complete jerk despite his beauty. Played with as he wasn't that pretty originally; [[spoiler: His natural body had a stag head like his father's, but he requested Brimstone to make his body more humanlike after he died in combat and needed a new one.]]
* GreenEyedMonster: One of the reasons Thiago was so angry at Madrigal and had her publicly executed was because she not only rejected him (and he's used to getting his way) she rejected him for an ''angel'', an even worse slight.
* IcyBlueEyes: Thiago has blue eyes, and Karou at one points notes that actual wolves don't tend to have this eye color, so it makes him more like a Siberian Husky than anything.

!The Warlord

!Ziri Kirin

The last of the Kirin tribe. He was a child when Madrigal was alive, and used to follow her around.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Ziri has loved Karou since [[spoiler:she was Madrigal]] but realizes almost immediately he has no chance since she's already in love with Akiva.
* BreakTheCutie: Ziri definitely counts. Even though before his appearance he's already experienced the genocide of his clan and watched his childhood crush get executed, he just gets worse and worse throughout ''Days of Blood and Starlight'', leading up to his ultimate [[spoiler: HeroicSacrifice. ''Twice'', no less.]]
* [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice]]: Repeatedly, and usually for the sake of Madrigal or the other chimaera. [[spoiler: His biggest one might be slashing his own throat so that Karou could place his spirit in Thiago's body after she kills the latter, so that she wouldn't have to resurrect Thiago himself.]]
* HornedHumanoid: Antelope horns, that get slightly chipped along the way.
* LastOfTheirKind: Ziri is said to be the last Kirin in his natural flesh. [[spoiler: Of course, he loses it.]]
* WingedHumanoid: He has bat wings, like Madrigal.



!In general

* BigScrewedUpFamily: The entire royal family. The fact that Joram technically has thousands of children doesn't help. One of the crown princes murdered his brother, and there's also the fact that [[spoiler: Akiva kills his father, and then Jael kills the last prince still alive.]]
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: The Misbegotten are said to number over 3,000 in total, but only around 300 are alive by the time the story takes place. There have been enough of them that Akiva is the 7th to bear that name, since names are recycled with a new child getting the name of the last one who died.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: They have a case of HotWings, aren't [[BeautyEqualsGoodness necessarily good]], come from another world, and are at war with the chimaera.


A seraph from the Misbegotten, an army of the emperor's many (''many'') bastards. He once fell in love with the chimaera Madrigal and dreamed of a better future - one where seraphim and chimaera could live in peace - but this dream was shattered when Madrigal was executed. Years later, he crosses paths with Karou during a mission to the human world, and becomes fascinated with her.

* AmbiguouslyBrown: Akiva is mentioned as having dark skin, and is half Stelian- a race of people who live on the opposite side of the world from the normally white seraphim, and have distinctively Egyptian imagery. However, it's never outright stated exactly what his race would be considered.


Akiva and Hazael's half-sister and a determined warrior.

* ActionGirl: Between her and her brothers, Liraz has probably killed the most chimaera.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: She and Hazael are mistaken for this at one point, but they actually only share their father and take strongly after him.


Akiva's and Liraz' half-brother. He's more laid-back than his siblings, and is usually the one to talk them out of sticky situations.

* HalfIdenticalTwins: He and Liraz are mistaken for this at one point, but they actually only share their father and take strongly after him.


The angel emperor, leading from the city of Astrae. He is determined to wipe out the chimaera once and for all.

* TheCaligula: While perhaps sane of mind, he tends to lead insane conquests, has a violent temper, incredible amount of pride, and has "visited" enough concubines to have fathered an army of over ''3,000''. It's also telling that at one point he royally flips his shit over [[ItMakesSenseInContext a basket of fruits]] and not only kills the concubine with him at the time but has a group of his royal guards all executed and [[DeadGuyOnDisplay displayed on the bridge outside]].


The emperor's brother, and leader of a part of the seraph army called the Dominion. He is distinguished by a massive scar running down his face, which is said to be so disturbing that few can stand to look at him for long.


A fallen angel who was banished to Earth long ago. He is first encountered as the (unwanted) companion of a human man who [[BeCarefulWhatyouWishFor wished too much]].

* FallenAngel: And badly so.


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