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Characters / Shades of Magic

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Main Characters

     Kell Maresh 
An Antari who starts off the journey of the first book trilogy.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Kell is quick to go off on both Rhy and Lila when they do something reckless. Rhy even points out to Lila that his anger with her is how he can tell Kell loves her.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Lila. The two later share a kiss in A Gathering of Shadows.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Kell definitely has it towards Rhy. To the point that in order to revive him, he binds their lives together.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Kell has the mark of the Antari with one completely black eye.
  • Court Mage: Kell belongs to the royal family of Red London. He's not quite a son to the king and queen, and his relationship to them is occasionally awkward, but he's very much a brother to the prince.
  • Everyone Can See It: After the first book, he constantly thinks and talks about Lila, much to his brother's annoyance.
  • Famed In-Story: Kell is a pretty big deal in Red London. To the point that people insist he does not have to pay for goods and services.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Rhy is foolish, while Kell is responsible, respectively - he actually lampshaded it several times.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Or in this case, if you ever do anything to hurt Rhy, Kell will not hesitate to hunt you down. He even threatened to throw Alucard in jail if he ever set foot in Red London ever again for breaking his brother's heart.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Kell" is only a nickname - Kell doesn't know his real name, and if the king and queen know, they've never shared.
  • The Un-Reveal: In the last book, Kell obtains a note with his biological parents' identities, but chooses not to read it, as the Mareshs are his real family now, and he has no interest in being roped into a quest for people who abandoned him.

     Delilah "Lila" Bard 
A thief who Kell runs into in "Grey London", and gets swept up into the magical world of Red London.
  • Action Girl: Lila is quick with a knife and a fireball. In the second book, all the female competitors in the Element Games are this.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Kell, soon culminating into The Big Damn Kiss in the second book.
  • Everyone Can See It: She tries to deny wanting to see Kell or feeling some kind of attraction to him, much to some other's amusement.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Lila is only too happy to poison her enemies or stab them in their sleep.
  • Fish out of Water: Lila in Red London.
  • Glass Eye: Lila has a glass eye, due to a childhood injury. This prevents her from having the mismatched eyes that would identify her as an Antari. In A Gathering of Shadows, Ojka stabs her in it, breaking it, and she ends up with a black glass replacement in A Conjuring of Light.
  • Knife Nut: Many ask her if she really needs more knives to add to her arsenal and she answers that there's never such a thing as too many knives.
  • Loveable Rogue: Lila definitely lives up to this.
  • Not Like Other Girls: Lila shows a dislike of femininity throughout the books, and says at one point "I am not most girls". This is an easy-to-ignore trait, though still oddly prevalent. (The author has said that she's genderfluid but doesn't have the vocabulary for it, so it's possible this is because she literally isn't always a girl.)
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She prefers to be called Lila.
  • Petite Pride: Lila is flat and glad for it, as large breasts would make it harder to cross-dress.
  • Tomboy: As the previous tropes show.

     Rhy Maresh 
The prince of Red London, and Kell's younger sibling who's usually getting into messes he has to pull him out of.
  • Anything That Moves: Kell describes Rhy as flirting with anyone, possibly up to an attractive stuffed chair. The second book confirms Rhy's not just talk, and has been with both men and women. He's also an Old Flame of Alucard's.
  • Healing Factor: After Astrid stabs him and Kell binds their lives together, as long as Kell is fine, Rhy heals instantly.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Desperately wanted to have more power and learn magic, believing it would help his people and prove he can rule the kingdom. In his POV chapters, he shows that even though he has a small affinity with fire magic, it doesn't really go anywhere to his frustration.
  • Official Couple: With Alucard.
  • Pretty Boy
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Despite his cheery and airhead attitude, Rhy does genuinely want what he believes is best for his people. Particularly illustrated during the third book, when he repeatedly goes out into danger to make sure the Londoners are alright.


     Athos and Astrid Dane 
The twin rulers of White London who enjoy torturing people for their own amusement.
  • Body Surf: Astrid has an artifact that allows her to do this. She throws a huge wrench in things by possessing Rhy and making him stab himself.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: If you were wondering how to get a Restraining Bolt on a magical powerhouse like an Antari, this is how. (Knowing Athos, at least half the pain involved was for the fun of it rather than to make the magic stick.)
  • Disc-One Final Boss: They are very, very, very bad news, but ultimately taken care of in the first book, with Osaron taking the Big Bad spot for the rest of the trilogy.
  • Light Is Not Good: Despite being draped head to toe in white, they are the furthest thing from nice.
  • Siblings in Crime: A pair of twins who murdered their way to the top together. Each is apparently the only person in the world(s) the other would not cheerily screw over.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: After getting rid of the King of White London, the Dane Twins become the King and Queen. They are...not nice about it. They are actually just the latest in a string of horrible rulers; they only count as this because their immediate predecessor, who they poisoned, was one of the few rulers who actually tried to be good at the job, rather than taking it for the power.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: The Dane Twins, Astrid and Athos, have pale hair and are violent and power-hungry.

     Holland Vosijk 
The White London Antari. Once magically bound to service Athos and Astrid, he presumably gets killed off by Kell but is revived in A Gathering of Shadows and becomes the new king of White London.
  • Anti-Villain: Although he's still plenty ruthless when not under the control of the twins, what he does he does because he wants to protect his home.
  • Broken Ace: He's a brilliant magician and fighter, as well as naturally a powerhouse (doubly impressive, when he comes from a London which is actively dying from lack of magic), but he's been tortured, magically enslaved, and accidentally almost creates another Black London because he made a deal with the wrong immensely powerful magical being in a moment of desperation.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Growing up in his London is enough troubled backstory for anybody, but throw in some Cold-Blooded Torture, everything the Danes made him do, plus his only real friend dying horribly in front of him and leaving their plans to save London in ashes, and the only woman he ever loved betraying him and then dying, and it's twice as bad.
  • Evil Counterpart: Holland is initially this to Kell, although it soon becomes clear most of the "evil" is either not his choice, or that he has good aims but more ruthless methods.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the last book he lets all his magical power get sucked into the Inheritor with Osaron, which both depowers and eventually kills him.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: At the end of A Gathering of Shadows, Kell tries this on an Osaron-possessed Holland. It doesn't work.
  • Locked into Strangeness: After giving up his magic to trap Osaron, Holland's hair turns white.

A girl who serves Holland as his messenger and believes him to be the one true ruler of White London.

Other Characters

     Captain Alucard Emery 
The captain of the Night Spire who appears in "A Gathering of Shadows". Despite his more criminal profession and mysterious past, he shows that he can wield three types of magic.
  • Abusive Parents: It turns out that the reason he left Rhy without a word three years ago is his father beat him unconscious after learning about his relationship with the prince, and then paid some pirates to kidnap him. His brother is no better, and his little sister Anisa is apparently used to protecting him from both of them.
  • Affectionate Nickname: "Luc", but the only people to ever call him this are his sister and Rhy.
  • Bi the Way: Hints at this to Lila, and is later revealed, to have once been Rhy's lover. The two do rekindle their relationship when they meet again in A Gathering of Shadows.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To his little sister, telling her it was okay to leave him alone with their father even though it looked like he was going to hit his son. He also acts this way towards Lila, trying to steer her out of trouble.
  • The Captain: It's in his title.
  • The Charmer: Lila makes note of this multiple times about him.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The cuff burn marks on his wrists when he was once imprisoned, as he says, "being at the wrong place at the wrong time".
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Has a cat named Esa that he deeply cares for, telling Lila that she's incredibly valuable for holding his heart.
  • Lovable Rogue: Alucard Emery, to a T.
  • New Old Flame: He and Rhy broke up years ago, but both obviously still have feelings for each other even if it's complicated by Rhy's hurt over Alucard leaving him. In the third book Alucard finally explains what happened, and They Do.
  • Official Couple: With Rhy.

Alternative Title(s): A Darker Shade Of Magic


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