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The Foxes:

     General 

General

The lowest ranking team and the laughingstock of the Class 1 division at least until the end where they defeat the Ravens and win the championships and rivals of the Ravens. The Foxes are informally split into two groups: Andrew's group (Andrew, Aaron, Nicky, Kevin, and Neil) and the upperclassmen (Matt, Dan, Renee, Allison, and Seth), and the two groups rarely interact off the court and have a difficult time working together, until Seth's death finally starts to pull them together.


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     Neil Josten 

Neil Josten

“I have a bit of an attitude problem.”

The Foxes' starting striker and protagonist of the series. Originally a backliner in Little Leagues before his mother took him and ran away from his mob boss father, after he is sold to the Moriyamas to pay off his debt.


  • Abusive Parents: Neil's father would frequently torture his son with knives and, on one occasion, a hot iron. It is also revealed that he attempted to sell him to the Moriyamas to pay off a debt.
    • Though her intentions were to keep him safe, his mother was also extremely physically and emotionally abusive.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: [[Neil can either go to Evermore with Riko, or allow him to hurt Andrew, but for him not protecting Andrew is out of the question]].
  • Blackmail: Riko does this to Neil with his real name and the identity of his father, although it turns out not to matter a whole lot in the long run.
  • Bilingual Bonus: English is his first language, but he is fluent in German and French as a result of spending eight years of his life on the run.
    • He uses this many times to have conversations in foreign languages without being overheard by others, mainly with Kevin and Andrew.
    • Word of God says he later learns Russian with Andrew.
  • Blatant Lies: When Neil says he's fine, he's usually not fine. He gets called out on it more and more often as the series goes on.
  • Bloody Horror: On his real birthday, right before a game, he opens his blocker and blood, rigged to explode, drenches all of his gear. It's one of the few incidents in the series that visibly rattles him in front of his teammates.
  • Character Development: Goes from always waiting to escape at the slightest provocation to willingly walking into dangerous situations in order to protect his friends. This shift in his character is explicitly mentioned and discussed both by Neil and by other characters in the series.
  • Cigarette Burns: Cigarette lighter burns, actually, but close enough.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Happens multiple times, at different points by Riko, Lola, and his father.
  • Consummate Liar: Neil lies about every aspect of his identity when it's safer or more convenient, and rarely gets called on it. He only starts to break out of this habit in The King's Men.
  • Covered with Scars: Neil won't undress in front of his teammates because the entire upper half of his body is a mass of scar tissue. Eventually he gets scars on his face that he can't cover as easily, but by then the team knows the truth.
  • Dark Secret: Hides his real name and identity, mostly as a way to protect himself from his father and from the Moriyamas.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Might be due to having somewhat undeveloped social skills as a result of his childhood, but he is also unable to resist talking back even when it puts him in clear danger.
  • Designated Driver: Along with Renee, as he doesn't usually drink.
  • Dye or Die: Dyes his hair to hide his identity from his father and his men. His hair is dyed by Riko towards the end of The Raven King and he is forced to keep it this way, but stops anyway even after Riko's death.
  • Everyone Can See It: Played with. With Andrew. By the time Neil is reunited with his team after being kidnapped, Allison reveals that the teams had several bets concerning Neil and Andrew’s relationship. Somehow, even after their view public display, Nicky and some of the other Foxes try to wave it off as something casual.
    • Coach Wymack clues in first when Neil pushes for Andrew to get taken off his medication. He even tries to ask Neil when their relationship started. By the beginning of winter semester, he realizes that Andrew is barely hiding his feelings while Neil is Oblivious to Love.
  • Face Your Fears: Through obeying Riko's orders, he stops disguising his appearance in order to keep his friends safe.
  • Facial Horror: First Riko tattoos a number 4 on his face, and then Lola burns it off with a car cigarette lighter. Lola also cuts his face several times, leaving him with visible scars.
  • Fiery Redhead: His hair is naturally red.
  • Freak Out!: When he sees his reflection after Evermore, and after his gear is destroyed by a bag of blood rigged to explode in his locker.
  • Friendless Background: On the run since he was eleven, and the son of two crime families before that.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: A big part of why he can't keep his mouth shut and the reason for Seth's death.
  • Heroic BSoD: When he is kidnapped by Lola, he reverts back to being "Nathaniel", which is his birth name, because he believes it to be the only way to survive.
  • Humble Goal: At the beginning of the series, it was simply to stay alive.
    • As the series progressed, he expanded his goal to maintaining the new relationships he'd attained and, eventually, his new, legally-verified life as Neil Josten.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: His eyes are naturally blue, but at the start of the series, he wears brown contact lenses until Andrew steals them. It's mentioned several times that he hates his eyes because they remind him of his father.
  • I Just Want to Be You: His binder filled with news clippings of Kevin speaks to this trope.
  • I Have Your Wife: Riko doesn't "have" Andrew, exactly, but Riko gets Neil to come to Evermore during winter break by threatening to pay off a psychiatrist to rape Andrew while he's trapped during rehab. Neil complies, but discovers upon his return that Riko did it anyway.
  • Lightning Bruiser: His main strategy on the court.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: A result of his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Offing the Mouth: A subversion: Neil doesn't die for pissing off Riko, Seth does.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Five foot three and able to hold his own on the court against opponents that outsize and outweigh him.
  • Pretty Boy: Slender, short, and Word of God says he's cute enough to attract the attentions of both Nicky and Andrew.
  • The Power of Friendship: With the Foxes.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: He despises his true reflection because of his resemblance to his father. Usually a Downplayed Trope, but he has a Freak Out! when he realizes that Riko dyed his hair back to red and tattooed a number 4 on his face.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Coach Wymack recruits him for the Foxes while he's living in a Dying Town and pretending to be the child of absent parents — his real parents being dead and in prison waiting to kill him, respectively. He doesn't have a house, all his money is stolen and slowly diminishing, and he has no future until Wymack brings him a contract to sign.
  • Red Is Heroic: Neil's hair is dyed back to red around the time he starts truly standing his ground and learning to be a selfless person.
  • Releasing from the Promise: Persuades Andrew to let him stand on his own when he realizes what the countdown means.
  • The Reveal: The Foxes finally learn his real identity in the third book.
  • Scars Are Forever: Has scars all over his body from his life on the run and his abusive father.
  • Secret Identity: He had 22 different aliases over the course of his life on the run in order to hide his true identity as Nathaniel Wesninski.
    • After his father's death, he legally changes his name and is able to leave behind his former identity in a completely official sense, so by the end of the series, his identity is no longer secret.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: States that he "doesn't swing" for anyone at the beginning of the series, but falls for Andrew towards the end.
  • Snark Knight: Can never keep his mouth shut, which backfires when Riko retaliates by killing Seth.
  • Starting a New Life: Is able to put Nathaniel Wesninski to rest and legally become Neil Josten.
  • Torture Cellar: Where Lola takes him in The King's Men for his father to kill him slowly. Luckily, the FBI - and his uncle - save the day.

     Andrew Minyard 

Andrew Minyard

"This is not revenge. I warned him what I would do to him if he touched me. This is me keeping my word."

The team's starting goalkeeper and Aaron's twin brother. He was given up for adoption and grew up in the foster system. Later reunited with his cousin and brother, although it doesn't work out very well.


    Kevin Day 

Kevin Day

"Let Riko be King. Most coveted, most protected. He'll sacrifice every piece he has to protect his throne. Whatever. Me? I'm going to be the deadliest piece on the board."

The Foxes' starting striker and a former member of the Ravens. He left the Ravens after his playing hand was shattered by Riko in a fit of rage when he suspected Kevin might be better than him and was originally the Foxes' assistant coach while his hand healed. Considered one of the "Sons of Exy," Kevin's mother is the co-founder of Exy and he grew up in front of cameras in Castle Evermore alongside Riko.


  • The Ace: One of the best strikers in the sport and is a force to be reckoned with even playing with his non-dominant hand.
  • The Alcoholic: Drinks heavily to cope with his trauma.
  • Big Man on Campus: One of "Exy's Darlings" and has a large fanbase.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Knows Japanese, French, and English
  • Broken Ace: As a result of his hand injury and growing up as one of Riko's things.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Spent his childhood as a "human pet" to Riko, being pushed to be the very, very best at a dangerous and violent sport, and only managed to leave the Ravens when Riko went too far by shattering his playing hand and thus rendering him useless for the sport he'd been raised to believe was his only purpose in life. It's a wonder he isn't more messed up.
  • Determinator: Doesn't let the destruction of his dominant hand stop him from playing Exy.
  • Distinguishing Mark: The number two tattooed on his cheek, to pair him with Riko. Eventually he covers it up with a chess queen.
  • Drama Queen: He has his moments. And by the end of The King's Men, it's even literal.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: His main coping strategy for anything Riko-related.
  • Grew a Spine: He finally left the Ravens when Riko broke his hand and destroyed his career. Or so it seemed.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Learned to play Exy with his non-dominant hand after Riko broke his dominant hand until The King's Men where he started playing with dominant hand again.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: How Kevin handles stressful situations such as facing Riko at the Christmas Banquet.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: One of the best players in the league but is unable to shake the mindset that he is always number two.
  • Facial Markings: Has the number 2 tattooed on his left cheek
    • By the end of the series he covers it up with a chess queen.
  • Jerkass
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Coach Wymack is his father, and it's such a closely guarded secret that Wymack didn't know and Kevin found out by accident.
  • Not a Morning Person
  • The One Who Made It Out: Escaped the Ravens when Riko broke his hand and he realized that he may never recover. His escape was only possible because he had family outside the Ravens: Coach Wymack.
  • Secret Keeper: Is the only Fox that knows Neil's true identity.
  • Serious Business: How he views Exy, and woe betide anyone who doesn't agree.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: 6', black hair, piercing green eyes, and regularly described as handsome. It's stated that he's on Nicky's "list" with his fiance of celebrities that they're allowed to have affairs with.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Was raised as a brother to Riko until the latter's abuse grew too much to bear.
  • Wham Line: "You know, I've never been skiing."

    Nicholas "Nicky" Hemmick 

Nicholas "Nicky" Hemmick

Backliner for the Foxes and the twins cousin on their mothers side. Nicky is estranged from him parents due to their strict views against his relationship with Erik.
  • Abusive Parents: Grew up in a strict religious home that does not approve of his sexuality.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Spends quite a bit of time talking about Neil's attractiveness in German.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Fluent in German and English.
  • Boisterous Weakling: His lack of fighting ability or particular Exy skill doesn't stop him from shooting his mouth off at anyone and everyone.
  • Camp Gay: A minor case, but he has not qualms with flirting with guys he finds attractive.
  • Nice Guy: One of the more cheerful members of the team and the nicest out of Andrew's Group.
  • Official Couple: In a committed long-distance relationship with Erik.
    • Later stated to get married.

    Aaron Minyard 

Aaron Minyard

Backliner for the Foxes and Andrew's identical twin. Their relationship is volatile at best and only starts getting better at the end of the third book.
  • Abusive Parents: His mother physically abused him and got him addicted to drugs.
  • Always Identical Twins: With Andrew.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Knows German and English.
  • G-Rated Drug: "Cracker Dust," what he takes in lieu of the heavier stuff. He was introduced to this by Nicky in an attempt to help him with his forced sobriety.
  • Jerkass:
  • Official Couple: Starts an official relationship with Katelyn, a cheerleader, sometime during the winter break.
  • Recovered Addict
  • Separated at Birth: Originally his mother gave up both Andrew and Aaron but felt guilty afterwards and went back and claimed Aaron, leaving Andrew to grow up in the system. It wasn't until Officer Higgins mistook him for Andrew that he realized he was a twin.
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     Danielle "Dan" Wilds 

Danielle "Dan" Wilds

Captain of the Foxes, she was the first female captain in the NCAA Class 1 Exy team. She worked as a stripper in high school and is not ashamed of her past.

    Matt Boyd 

Matt Boyd

The junior starting backliner for the Foxes and part of the upperclassmen also one of the few members that went pro

    Allison Reynolds 

Allison Reynolds


    Renee Walker 

Renee Walker

One of the three girls, became a part of gang violence until she was adopted into a loving home. She's a born again Christian and the sweetest member of the team. Has an odd friendship with Andrew that no one understands or approves of.

    Seth Gordon 

Seth Gordon

The fifth year starting striker for the foxes. Largely the reason that there is such an obvious split in the team.
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    Abby 

Abby

The Foxes

    David Wymack 

David Wymack

The Foxes long-suffering coach and father figure and Kevin's actual father.

    Betsy "Bee" Dobson 

Betsy "Bee" Dobson


The Ravens

    General 

General


  • Cult: Not literally, but they have many similarities, and Neil constantly compares them to a cult.
  • This Means War!: The Ravens do not take the Foxes' insults and bravado lying down.
  • Training from Hell: They work on sixteen-hour days, are not allowed to leave the underground complex except under rare circumstances for their entire five years of schooling, they train constantly, they're not allowed to go anywhere except with another Raven... training from hell, indeed. Word of God says that suicides are extremely common amongst former Ravens.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: The Ravens are undefeated, and don't hesitate to rub it in the Foxes' faces, especially after their first game against each other.
  • We Have Reserves: Tetsuji often uses the red card to swap out players from their team, which is much larger than the Foxes.

    Riko Moriyama 

Riko Moriyama

“Take that look off your face before I carve it off.”

Starting striker for the Ravens, and Kevin's tormentor. One of the main antagonists of the series.


  • Always Someone Better: Kevin has always been better than him, and it infuriates him to the point of destroying Kevin's playing hand.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Andrew shatters his arm when he tries to kill Neil, to the point where he'd likely never play again. It ends up being a moot point, because his brother kills him in the next scene.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Quite possibly Riko's defining trait. He kills Seth when Neil mouths off to him on television, tries to kill Neil on the court floor when the Foxes win against the Ravens, and more.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Has a number one tattooed on his cheek as a symbol of being the very best at his sport.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Riko flies into a murderous rage with next to no provocation on a regular basis.
  • Kick the Dog: His murder of Seth proves to the audience that he's a serious threat to Neil.
    • His torture of Neil is also entirely unnecessary, and, in fact, rather against the point if they're trying to train Neil. He does it solely for enjoyment and For the Evulz.
  • Killed Off for Real: His older brother killed him and it look like a suicide.
  • Never Suicide: See Killed Off for Real above.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's vicious and cruel and entirely driven by a desperate hope that his father will notice him and care about him.
  • Sadist: Derives great pleasure from torture.
  • The Scream: After Andrew breaks his arm, Neil notes that he continues screaming on and on, but the focus shifts to the victory achieved by the Foxes.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": When his arm is broken by Andrew, Neil uses these exact words to describe the sound his bones make as they shatter.
  • The Sociopath: Has little to no concern for anyone else. Also see Sadist above.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Neil finally goes too far when he tells Riko that he's not a part of his family.
    Neil: You're not a part of that family, remember? You're the cast-off.
    He hoped it would hit, but he didn't realize how deep it would cut. He'd never seen that look on Riko's face, but he knew he'd just signed is death warrant.
  • The Unfavorite: Born the second son and therefore shoved to the side. He never met his his father or older brother, but still hopes to win his father's approval through success in Exy.
  • Villainous Breakdown: It happens offscreen, but after Kengo dies, Riko realizes that he'll never earn his father's attention or praise — and to make matters worse, he's not even invited to the funeral. He reacts by beating Jean so badly that he decides he's finally had enough and asks Renee to get him out.
    • When the Foxes defeat the Ravens at the very end of The King's Men, Riko completely loses it and takes a swing at Neil's head with his racquet. If Andrew hadn't been there, Neil would have died on live television.

    Jean Moreau 

Jean Moreau

Starting backliner for the Ravens, and Riko's second human pet. Eventually leaves the Ravens and joins the USC Trojans when Riko's abuse becomes too much.


  • French Jerk
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was sold to Moriyamas as a way to pay off his father's debt, and given to Riko to do as he pleases for 10 years. Riko, a Sadist that he is, then proceeds to torture him in literally any way he could think of. That included being pushed down the stairs, having his fingers broken (by others and being ordered to do it hinmself), being waterboarded, as well as being raped, and who knows what more, and never given him time to rest, not even with serious injuries.
  • Rape as Backstory: by the Word of God, Jean was raped 5 times by Ravens on Riko's orders, as an attempt to break him. It stopped being fun for Riko when Jean stopped reacting to it.
  • Drivento Suicide: Luckily averted by the Word of God because the final version of the books is the only version in which Jean didn't commit suicide on graduation night.
  • Made a Slave: Literally property of Moriyamas, and Riko's slave.
  • Defiant Tothe End: Despite being Moriyama's property for years, he never lost his French accent, even knowing that just doing that and speaking french in front of Riko made Riko lose it.

    Tetsuji Moriyama 

Tetsuji Moriyama


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