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Blanche Brier later Denniston

'I think that if a real princess was lost in this modern world and she could be whatever she wanted, she would be a musician,' Blanche said slowly. 'A violinist, or a harpist. That would be the only place where she could find solace for her lost kingdom."


Rose Mary Brier

"Have you ever felt that there was something going on in life that not everyone was aware of? As though there’s a story going on that everyone is a part of, but not everybody knows about?"


  • Cloudcuckoolander: Blanche thinks she's this, but...She views life as a fairytale (though in this series, she's right), doesn't hesitate to become a Kid Detective following Mr. Freet into his house when she overhears he's stolen Mass instruments, which actually turns out better than it might have if she'd just called the police, and it's hinted that she's even right to think she can change the color of her eyes.
  • Fiery Redhead: Rose does have a temper, but she's overall very sweet and agreeable.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Foolish Sibling to Blanche's Responsible Sibling, although she is actually fairly responsible on her own most of the time.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: To cold, detached Fish. She's the popular free spirit who helps him open up more.
  • Redheads Are Uncool: Averted. Rose is very well-liked in both high school and college.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to both Blanche's and Fish's Blue.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Fish's Savvy Guy.

Arthur "Bear" Denniston

"Every once in a while you just have to decide to do something very crazy and very right—just to dare yourself to live. I don't mean doing something stupid and destructive—just something fun and good and beautiful."


  • Big Brother Instinct: Do NOT mess with his little brother (or Blanche and Rose) or you'll find out the hard way why they call him "Bear".
  • Cultured Badass: Is a tough fighter, but loves architecture and poetry- even written his own.
  • Face of a Thug
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Huge Guy to Blanche's Tiny Girl.
  • Manly Tears / Tender Tears: Twice- when Jean and Rose Brier arrive to help him find Blanche, who seems impossible to track down, and when his stepmother dies- as complete a monster as she was, he didn't want her life to end that way.
  • Genius Bruiser: He has the build of a football player but writes excellent poetry and is a talented architect.

Benedict "Fish" Denniston

"She couldn’t picture anyone falling madly in love with such a person as Fish. What a name, Fish... Fish: think cold, slippery, detached. Benedict: think dry scholarly monk from the Dark Ages. Denniston: think English preparatory school, stolid country squire. Nothing about his name sounded the least bit romantic."


Raphaela Zilberger Birth name: Teresa "Teresita" Torrode

The heroine of Rapunzel Let Down. Raphaela is the young adopted daughter of a feminist scientist with a budding new femininity and curiosity about the gender she's been hidden away from growing close to for most of her life- men.

  • Brainy Brunette: She's 16 and so good with the sciences that her tutor suggested she's ready to start working at a lab.
  • Damsel in Distress: She laments on this after Hermes helps her and their twins escape risking his own life, noting that every book she'd read had the heroine save herself. She realizes that it takes courage to save oneself to save another and that it's nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: She looked after the barn cats before they disappeared and was heartbroken when she found out.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Symbolizes her growing femininity and foil to her mother.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Raphaela is considered very beautiful to Hermes, though her mother is much more 'extremist' than mad until things get pretty bad.
  • Pregnant Badass: Raphaela sneaks out of the hospital undetected when her mother is almost forcing her to have an abortion or at least give up her babies. She survives by passing as a student on campus borrowing clothes and a backpack from Lost and Found centers, washing produce in exchange for food, depending on food drives, all the while studying medicine at the library where she hides and sleeps. Later she hikes to another town to stay at a women's home, then to ANOTHER town to work in a woman's basement as a telemarketer, THEN gives birth by herself in a cabin in the woods. And did we mention sneaking her infants down the tower and over a fence to save them?
  • Proper Lady: She dresses very well, has good table manners, does what her mother tells her, and is polite.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Of course. It's almost to her feet.
  • Spicy Latina: Averted. Raphaela is innocent, sweet, and doesn't even know what her Latino nationality at first.
  • Teen Pregnancy: True to the fairy tale, Raph gets knocked up and does not know it until Elma notices.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Interestingly, this book defies the normal "Ladylike mother vs. Spirited Young Lady daughter". Elma, her mother, is the tomboy, a second-wave feminist biologist who disapproves of her daughter's like of long hair, embroidery, and feminine clothes (but still indulges her).
  • Traumatic Haircut: When Elma realizes Raph is pregnant.

Herman "Hermes" McCaffrey

The 'prince' of Rapunzel Let Down. The risky son of a popular Conservative Catholic senator and often feeling second-best to his two older brothers, he meets Raphaela by pure chance.

  • Always Someone Better: How Hermes has always felt towards his big brothers Christopher and Matt, particularly the former for his good looks and irresistible charisma.
  • Hero with an F in Good: His failure to live up to his own moral standards causes half the problems in the book.
  • Meaningful Name: His nickname is Hermes- the god of thieves and gambles. Hermes 'steal's Raphaela's innocence and loves taking risks.

    Minor Characters 

Kateri Kovach

A childhood friend to the Brier sisters, Kateri is a half-Vietnames/half-Polish girl from a large family of political activists. She's very outspoken, honest, and loyal. She can hold a grudge but will own up if she was in the wrong.

Alex O'Donnell

A boy Rose meets during her first year of college. Proud of his nerdiness, Alex is enamored with samurai swords, Japanese action films, and is the leader of the faux-knighthood made up by him and his friends, Sacra Cor. He gets his own book in Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves.

  • Cloudcuckoolander: One of the things he gets his group to do is set a couch on fire outside their dorm while singing "This Little Light of Mine".
  • Cool Sword: Sword? He has a whole collection of these! And knows how to use them!
  • Extraverted Nerd: Probably his most distinctive quality.
  • Lovable Nerd
  • Nerd Action Hero: He turns into this to help Fish save Rose.

Paul Fester

One of Alex's friends, med student Paul is not quite as geeky as Alex but is very into knighthood as well. He gets his own book in The Midnight Dancers.

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    Anagonists 

Mr. Freet

A crankily erudite treasure collector.

Dr. Elma Zilberger

A reclusive feminist scientist who adopted Raphaela from Central America. She emphasizes privacy and doesn't like for Raphaela to meet boys.

  • Evil Matriarch: But it takes a lot for this to really come out to Raphaela.
  • The Kindnapper: She truly sees herself as this. Raph's birth family were poor Mexicans with 14 children. Elma caught her father stealing lettuce from Elma's scientists' greenhouse to feed his starving pregnant wife. She catches him, is disgusted that he's 'forced' his wife to not use birth control, and only lets him go if she can have their baby.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Well, not 'mad' exactly, but an extremist scientist.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: A firm believer of this that she tries to instill in Raphaela, and the main reason she hasn't let her embrace her Hispanic heritage, because they teach girls to be "subservient".
  • Straw Feminist: Does not like men and looks down on traditional femininity.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to her daughter's girly girl, and the contrast is the conflict at times.
  • Wicked Witch: Raphaela's biological family thinks she's an actual witch.


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