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Point of View Characters
- I was too fortunate. All my life, the great Kwiriki was too good to me. Every day, I have waited for his favor to disappear. When the outsider came, I knew it was time.
- Achey Scars: The pain in her side gets progressively worse as the earthquakes increase.
- The Atoner: Doesnt try to defend her actions when they are exposed and willingly suffers the consequences.
- Badass Normal: Has no innate supernatural powers.note
- Badass Pacifist: Trained in various weapons for combat but abhors lethal force. Unless you harm a dragon.
- Broken Ace: Harbors a lot of insecurity despite being incredibly skilled in almost everything she does.
- Despair Event Horizon: After losing her best friend and her dragon.
- Determinator: She'll keep fighting regardless of odds or injury.
- She willingly takes a painful blow to lure her opponent in during a fight.
- Part of training to be a dragon rider is being severely beaten by soldiers to ensure they can endure torture without giving up information.
- She defends herself against a wyvern attack when she is interrupted mid-surgery and still under partial anesthesia, then sews herself back up.
- I Did What I Had to Do: She's willing to break her Thou Shalt Not Kill policy in order to rescue Nayimathun.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Upon realizing her actions led to the capture of Nayimathun and the death of Susa.
Ead / Eadaz
A mage from a secret society posing as one of Queen Sabrans chambermaids in order to protect her.
- The Ace: Smart, athletic, and a powerful mage.
- Amazonian Beauty: She's 5'10" (177.8 cm), strong, and attractive.
- Assassin Outclassin': Her magic makes it easier to thwart assassins sent for Sabran.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: Eadaz du Zãla uq-Nãra.
- Bodyguard Crush: She develops feelings for Sabran, who she was sent by the Priory to protect.
- Exact Words: She promises Sabran she will stay with her "as long as she is able".
- Hates Wearing Dresses: Justified in that they are impractical for fighting.
- Lady and Knight: The knight to Sabran's Lady.
- Love Epiphany: It takes being kissed to realize her feelings for Sabran.
- Magic Knight: Equally skilled in swords and sorcery.
- Missing Mom: Ead's mother was killed when she was a child.
- Oblivious to Love: She doesn't understand why Sabran has taken a sudden interest in her. note
- Only Sane Man: How Ead feels in the Inys court.
- Parental Favoritism: Discouraged at the Priory, but also a clue that Chassar is Ead's father.
- Playing with Fire: She wields a fire-type magic that is gained by eating the fruit of a magical orange tree.
- Super Senses: A passive effect of siden magic granted by the Orange Tree.
- Unwillingly Girly Tomboy: Ead is not a fan of the restrictive Inyish styles."Oh, and Sabran, I will not be wearing court fashions any longer. I've had more than enough of trying to protect you in a petticoat."
Arteloth "Loth" Beck
Son of Lord Clarent and Lady Annes Beck of Leas and older brother of Meg. Loth is Sabran's closet friend.
- Big Brother Instinct: For Sabran and, more literally, for his sister Meg.
- Blue Blood: Heir apparent to the province of the Leas and the estate of Goldenbirch.
- Honor Before Reason: Given several opportunities to choose the safer path, Loth insists on doing the right thing no matter how dangerous.
- Nice to the Waiter: Loth befriends Ead, a chambermaid.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Sabran. Their closeness is what gets him sent to Yscalin despite the fact that there is nothing romantic between them.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Sent to Yscalin by Combe so that hes not in the way of Sabran's marriage prospects.
- The Straight Man: Loth is far more sober about being sent away than Kit, who chooses to see it as an adventure.
- Suicide Mission: Willingly infects himself with the Draconic Plague in order to escape Yscalin, knowing theres a high chance he will die before he can complete his mission.
Alchemist and Anatomist exiled by Sabran to a small trading post across the ocean.
- Asshole Victim: Niclays doesn't always deserve his fates but it can be hard to feel sorry for him considering how his selfish actions have made life harder for everyone else.
- Descent into Addiction: After Jannart's death, Niclays loses himself to gambling and alcohol.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Sees his exile as this. Sabran later admits it was excessive.
- For Science!: Wants to create an elixir of immortality. Not so he can drink it, but to prove that he can make it.
- Grumpy Old Man: Justified in that he has been banished to a tiny island across the world for eight years.
- Karma Houdini: Downplayed. Although he doesnt escape unscathed, his fate is relatively benign compared to how much trouble he causes everyone else.
- The Lost Lenore: Jannart, Niclays dead lover, who was betrothed at birth to a noblewoman. They carried on a secret affair but Jannart died before they could steal away together.
- Trauma Conga Line: Mostly self-inflicted but no less traumatic.
Queendom of InysA small island nation located north of the western continent.
- Ban on Magic: Especially fire magic which is heavily associated with wyrms.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To England.
- Matriarchy: Inys monarchy is ruled by a matrilineal line of queens.
The thirty-sixth queen of Inys.
For the first time, [Ead] saw Sabran Berethnet for who she was beneath the mask: a young and fragile woman who carried a thousand-year legacy on her shoulders. A queen whose power was absolute only so long as she could produce a daughter.
- Altar Diplomacy: Arranges a marriage with Aubrecht II in order to secure a stronger alliance for Inys.
- Anxiety Dreams: Has recurring nightmares about a mysterious bower and the Nameless One eating her child.
- Assassination Attempt: The target of several.
- Badass Boast: An epic one to Fyredel:"Leave this city and harm no soul, or I swear by the Saint whose blood I carry, you will face defeat beyond any the House of Berethnet has ever extracted on your kind. Before I leave this world, I will see your kind thrown down, sealed forever in the chasm of the mountain."
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. After being locked in her room for weeks, she looks just as unkempt and emaciated as one might expect.
- Break the Haughty: Sabran starts out a self-righteous religious zealot and slowly has every piece of her worldview and identity called into question."Everything I am is a lie."
- Despair Event Horizon: After the loss of her daughter, she briefly contemplates suicide. Ead snaps her out of it.
- Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Enjoys traditionally feminine activities as well as hunting.
- Heir Club for Men: A rare female example, as she's expected to birth a daughter for the queendom.
- Heroic Bastard: Unconfirmed. Her mother is rumored to have had an affair with Gian Harlowe but it is unclear if Sabran is his child or not.
- Honor Before Reason: Walks out to meet Fyredel without stopping to consider what her death would mean for her country. Almost a Too Dumb to Live moment had it not been for Ead's warding.
- Identical Granddaughter: Each generation of Berethnets looks nearly identical to the others.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Falls for Ead precisely because Ead doesnt tell her what she wants to hear.
- Immortality Seeker: Fear of marriage and childbirth leads her to hire Niclays Roos to create an Elixir of Immortality.
- King Bob the Nth: Out of the thirty-six queens of Inys, there are only six names among themnote . This leads to high regnal numbers, such as Sabran IX.
- Lipstick Lesbian: It's unclear how much of this is Sabrans personal style or simply conforming to societal standards of what a monarch should look like, but it seems probable that if she wanted to dress differently, she could.
- The Magnificent: Her royal epithet.
- Mandatory Motherhood: Her purpose as Queen of Inys is to secure the royal line by giving birth to a daughter.
- Missing Mom: Her mother was poisoned with basilisk venom when she was 14.
- Post-Victory Collapse: After surviving her encounter with Fyredel, she promptly faints.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Sabran has dark hair, green eyes, and pale skin.
- Royal "We": Uses this when speaking publicly as she speaks both for herself and her ancestor, the Saint.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Actively attends to matters of state and makes important diplomatic decisions.
- Statuesque Stunner: Word of God states Sabran is 6'1"(185.42cm) .
- Trauma Conga Line: Dead mother, disappeared father, pressured into marriage, Tragic Stillbirth, the list goes on.
- Unwanted Spouse: Doesnt want a political marriage despite knowing she will eventually have to in order to fulfill her Mandatory Motherhood.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: The sole ruler of Inys, Sabran is never anything less than composed in public. Only her Ladies-in-Waiting get so see the person beneath the crown.
Daughter of Lord Clarent and Lady Annes Beck of Leas and younger sister of Loth.
- Femme Fatale: Kalyba appears as a beautiful woman and is not above acting seductive to get what she wants.
- Hot Witch: A practitioner of the dark arts and femme fatale to boot.
- Offing the Offspring: She tries to kill her descendant.
- Really 700 Years Old: At least 1,000, having gained immortality from the hawthorn tree.
- Shapeshifter Default Form: Kalyba's true form is identical to Sabran IX.
Free State of Mentendon
Truyde utt Zeedeur
- Burn the Witch!: Threatens to do this to Ead.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Genuinely believes that, in order to defeat the Nameless One, Virtudom must ally itself with the East but is too naive to realize how dangerous her methods are.
Draconic Kingdom of Yscalin
- Mordor: It becomes this after it's taken over by Frydel and the Draconic Army, complete with lava flows.
- Religion of Evil: After Fyredel awakens and possesses King Sigoso, the nation abandons Virtudom to worship the Nameless One.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To Japan.
Empire of the Twelve Lakes
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To China.
The Dragonic ArmyCalled "wyrms" in the West. The Nameless One's army is comprised of Western Dragons and their hybrids such as wyverns and cockatrices.
- Basilisk and Cockatrice: Some of the lesser species of western dragons.
- The Dragon: Literally and figuratively. Fyredel is second only to the Nameless One in power and authority.
The Nameless One