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Characters / The Sorcerer's Daughter

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Princess Odette Angeline

The headstrong Princess of Roswald. Her mother died when she was just a child, and after her father's death she ascended the throne at sixteen.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the ballet, Odette is usually portrayed as nothing but sweet and kind. Here, she is also kind, but you need to look close to notice it.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She starts as very haughty, proud and cold (much of it comes from loneliness).
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: When a severely wounded Rothbart goes to fight Liemerich, complete with a Security Cling.
    Rothbart! If you get killed, I'll die!
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  • Baleful Polymorph: Gets turned into a swan by Rothbart. Subverted later, when she is kidnapped by Gottwald and escapes by turning into a swan voluntarily.
  • Defiant Captive: She gets kidnapped twice during the book, and she always makes sure the kidnapper knows her spirit isn't broken.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: A great deal of her arc is devoted to that.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When Rothbart confronts her about the shot swans, she realizes quickly he is the sorcerer from the abandoned castle, still refuses to acknowledge she is in the wrong, and taunts him to conjure new swans. Which he promptly does.
  • Foil: To Anne. Both are crowned very young, and both fall in love with someone socially inferior to them and accused of sorcery. However, Anne is delicate, fragile and gullible but ultimately sends her husband to the stake, believing the accusations against him, while Odette is strong and tough, knows firsthand that Rothbart is guilty and pardons him still. Then it turns out Rothbart is Anne’s husband.
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  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She is very feminine, loves dresses and dancing, and used to imagine herself as Princess Classic when she was little. She is also an extremely capable leader and skilled in non-feminine (at the time) activities such as swimming and riding.
  • The High Queen: Becomes this after her Swan Lake ordeal, even though she doesn't have the title of queen until she marries Rothbart.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: How she began to be attracted to Rothbart, the first man who is technically her subject and yet defies her.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She looks like your usual Princess Classic. However, in the very beginning of her reign, she declares war on Grünwald and wins it (at sixteen). It's very hard to frighten her, she is resourceful and tough, and at one point, she does fighting while in her swan form.
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  • Skewed Priorities: In the beginning, when she is turned into a swan and imprisoned at the lake, along with her ladies-in-waiting, with no apparent hope for the curse getting broken, her chief worry is that someone might take over Roswald's throne in her absence. It gets better after her Character Development (see Taking the Veil below).
  • Taking the Veil: After Liemerich and the dragon are defeated, she is ready to resign her throne to Rothbart or Siegfried and become a nun, if Rothbart won't marry her.


Rothbart's teenage daughter, a tender and affectionate girl who becomes Odette's lady-in-waiting and best friend.
  • Daddy's Girl: She is wholeheartedly devoted to Rothbart, so much that she rejects an opportunity to marry her beloved that requires her renouncing her father.
  • Dance of Romance: Shares one with Siegfried at Odette's ball, during which Siegfried begins to fall for her for real.
  • Friend to All Living Things: She gets on extremely well with animals. It proves crucial when she is able to rescue Siegfried thanks to a horse she steals from Liemerich.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Even more so than Odette. As Odette herself admits, Odile bests her in many of both the feminine skills and the non-feminine ones.
  • Harp of Femininity: She can play the harp (she even has one in the abandoned castle).
  • Hot Witch: Subverted. Her first appearance at Gertrude's ball (and especially her disappearance from it – she turns into a black swan and flies away) certainly suggests it, but she is anything but.
  • Inconvenient Attraction: She is horribly ashamed of her attraction to Siegfried – first, he is a prince and she is a nobody, second (and much more important), he is betrothed to her best friend.
  • The Ingenue: Played with – she is very naive in some aspects of life and can be very perceptive at the same time.
  • It's All My Fault: At one point, she breaks down in tears, blaming herself for attracting Siegfried’s attention and falling in love with him, even though it’s him who has been flirting with her in the first place.
    Odette: And why is it so terrible or hurtful to you? Or is he being impudent?
    Odile: No! I mean, maybe, yes, I don’t know. But it’s not the awful part. The awful part is that I like him! You realize, I like your fiancé!
  • Morality Pet: For Rothbart and (to a lesser extent) Odette.
  • Only Friend: For Odette, at her court.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Many people suspect she is a wicked witch behind her nice façade. She is not.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Enters Franz Ludwig's castle, disguised as a page. It wasn't intentional – she is simply wearing her riding attire at the moment.
  • Undying Loyalty: She worships Odette for pardoning her father.


The sorcerer of the abandoned castle and self-proclaimed master of the Swan Lake. Also known as King Roberto, the Great Healer, and Prince Frederico Rodbarto Mario of Naples. He infamously turns Odette into a swan.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The evil wizard in the ballet, he is Driven to Villainy here and gets redemption.
  • Adaptational Nationality: Judging by his name, von Rothbart has German origins in the ballet. Here, he is Italian.
  • Beast and Beauty: One of the many reasons he doesn't want to pursue a relationship with Odette. It seems the "beast" part is a metaphor, until he reveals that he is cursed to become a monster if he heals three people without magic.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Oh, doesn't it. He provokes Siegfried into challenging him just to get rid of his magical powers.
  • Berserk Button:
    • It's better not to mention Queen Anne to his face.
    • Doing any sort of harm to Odette is also a very bad idea.
  • Broken Ace: He is an expert in pretty much everything from fencing to cooking. He is also an extremely broken and disillusioned man who is sure he is damned to eternal suffering both on earth and in the afterlife.
  • Brutal Honesty: A major trait of his (and one of the reasons why Odette admires him so much).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was betrayed by his adored wife and the people who used to praise him, nearly burned alive for something he hasn't done, and rescued by a sorcerer who told him that when he heals someone without magic three times, his horrible burns will return. Hadn't it been for Odile, he might have fully slipped into villainy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His usual manner of speech.
    Siegfried: If Odile gets stricken by plague, let it strike me too! I could be...
    Rothbart: Why do you need the plague as well, when you're stricken by such bottomless stupidity, my friend?
  • Determined Doctor: Nothing, not even the threat of his horrible burns coming back, can stop him from healing the sick.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Even during his life of sorcery, he makes sure to raise Odile right.
  • Facial Horror: After getting burned at the stake, he faints at the mere sight of his face. His Evil Mentor heals him, but warns him that the monstrous looks will return should Rothbart ever heal three people without magic.
  • Foil: To Gottwald. Both are very clever and resourceful, with Deadpan Snarker tendencies. Both have studied sorcery under the same teacher, and can turn into birds of prey. Each of them holds Odette captive at some point of the plot. However, Rothbart is brave and keeps his cool even when he expects Odette to send him to the stake, while Gottwald is a Sore Loser coward. Even in his sorcerer days, Rothbart has Pet the Dog moments towards villagers who live close by, and Gottwald sets a dragon on the villages of the region just to blackmail Odette. Rothbart also rues the day he became a sorcerer and takes the first chance to save his soul by losing a non-magical battle (and later he is eternally grateful to Siegfried); Gottwald, however, uses his spells to the last and rejects the chance of battle offered by Rothbart, getting killed on the run by a random soldier and damning himself forever.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: He certainly used to be one, and can still be counted as a darker version of the trope.
  • Graceful Loser: He acknowledges his defeat and remains calm throughout his imprisonment and trial, even though he is sure he is doomed to the stake.
  • Honor Before Reason: He could have killed Liemerich easily, taking him by surprise, but he prefers to offer him a chance to fight honorably and save his soul.
  • The Kindnapper: He kidnaps his baby daughter from the palace. A rare fully justified example, since otherwise, Odile would have been killed by plotters, and even had they spared her for some reason, they would have turned her into a political pawn, since nobody at court really cared for her.
  • Longing Look: For a very long while, it is the only way he shows his growing feelings for Odette.
  • Manly Tears: He is extremely calm and composed, but twice in the novel, he can't help but break into tears: first, when he talks to Odette while she's held captive at Tudl and is forced to tell her the return spell, second, when he prays to God for forgiveness and aid during the plague epidemic.
  • The Medic: He is an excellent doctor, most notably managing to stop several epidemics and cure Siegfried after the latter swallows a double lethal dose of poison.
  • Magical Seventh Son: To the king of Naples.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Inverted. He makes the abandoned castle a pretty comfortable place to live in.
  • Oblivious to Love: He fails to grasp that his feelings for Odette are mutual. Even after her Anguished Declaration of Love mentioned above he is sure that she can’t love him because it just can’t happen. She has to spell it out as they reunite after Liemerich’s defeat.
  • Supreme Chef: In Odette's opinion, he's better than the cooks in her palace.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: And handsome too, according to Odette.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: After getting framed for sorcery, he decides he might just as well be villainous for real – at least he can have his revenge this way.

Prince Siegfried

The Prince of Grünwald, second cousin to Odette. He defeats Rothbart and frees Odette and her ladies-in-waiting from the curse.
  • Distressed Dude: He gets poisoned and survives only thanks to Odile.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: His hair is of a very light shade (he has a Norwegian great-grandmother), and he is ultimately a very nice guy.
  • In Love with Love: Initially. "In love with life" is how he puts it.
  • Ladykiller in Love: After he falls in love with Odile. Thankfully for him, both Odile and Rothbart see he is sincere; however, his friends find it hard to believe that he is capable of loving one woman for a long time.
  • Prince Charming: Zig-zagged. In the beginning, he is nothing like it, only caring for feasts and hunting, however, he changes and gets very much better.
  • Reluctant Ruler: He isn't too happy to ascend the throne after his mother’s death. Afterwards, he hopes Rothbart will marry Odette and become king, and he will still get to live happily as crown prince for several decades, but since Rothbart gets the crown of Naples, Siegfried has to reign himself after all.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: And how. Even after he realizes neither he nor Odette want Rescue Romance, even after he learns that the sorcerer and his daughter aren't Always Chaotic Evil, he still goes on.
    You could almost believe they have dragons here! Oh, if I could see one and fight it...

Abbot Orsino

The ascetic abbot of Holy Archangel Michael’s Abbey and confessor to Odette.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Apart from being a Good Shepherd, he is politically savvy and well-educated.
  • Good Shepherd: He is very pious (Rothbart’s magic can’t harm him, and his prayers keep the dragon at bay) and genuinely cares for his flock.
  • Must Make Amends: He sided with the Inquisition against Rothbart sixteen years earlier, and now works hard to fix at least some of the consequences.
  • Put on a Bus: He leaves for Rome soon after Liemerich’s defeat and therefore entirely misses the epidemic, returning in the second-to-last chapter.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: It’s mentioned that the abbey, despite being on the border of Roswald and Grünwald, is prosperous and well-organized. He also helps the heroes a lot.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He is usually calm, collected and strict in public, but his softer side is no secret to anyone who knows him personally.

Gottwald Liemerich

Siegfried's ambitious uncle.
  • Dirty Coward: He always prefers to hide behind soldiers, co-conspirators, a dragon, or his magical abilities. The very idea of actual fighting makes him scream with terror.
    Liemerich (as Rothbart challenges him): Take that damned wench for yourself, take everything I have!..
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: His perfect plan of killing Siegfried and framing Rothbart for kidnapping Odette has this as a major flaw – he doesn’t foresee that Rothbart will cure the prince and that Rothbart and Siegfried will rush to save Odette.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: He treats the captive Odette with unfailing politeness and civility. He also gives her splendid food (she only eats little, for fear of getting drugged) and allows her to walk freely within the walls of Castle Tudl. It doesn't make her think better of him and ultimately proves to be his undoing, as she is able to pass a message to Rothbart and Siegfried and plan her escape.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He starts off as a buffoonish Casanova whom nobody takes seriously. Later, he conspires to murder Siegfried, and then plans to blackmail Odette to marry him. Then it is revealed he is a dangerous magician who has framed Rothbart before Anne and almost does the same trick for the second time.

Captain Frederick Rimvolt

The staunch captain of the guard at Odette’s palace. He used to serve her father too.
  • Anti-Hero: If there is an uprising, he is quite ready to make a bloodbath of it.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: He never questions Odette’s decisions, however outrageous.
  • The Reliable One: Whatever happens, Roswald’s royal family can always trust him.

Herman Timm

Odette’s court physician.

Baron Franz Ludwig

Siegfried’s childhood friend.
  • False Friend: Played with. It’s implied he is a genuine friend to the prince, until working for Liemerich begins to pay better. He is reluctant to agree to the assassination plot at first, too.
  • Gold Digger: He is handsome and plans to make an advantageous marriage.

Princess Gertrude

The Princess of Grünwald, Siegfried’s widowed mother.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the last hours of her life, she realizes she is about to effectively murder an innocent girl whom her son loves. Fortunately, she manages to revoke the plan.
  • Sanity Slippage: She is plagued by rapidly increasing paranoia until she dies. Since most of it happens offscreen and Siegfried, naturally, doesn’t want to talk of it, her illness is described very vaguely.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She hardly appears and dies offscreen very soon, but her death and especially the actions of her last days trigger the entire main plot.

Queen Anne

The last queen of Schwanswald, who marries a commoner against the wishes of her court.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Deconstructed. She is an impulsive, easily-influenced teenager, and it shows. With tragic consequences when she gets tricked into sentencing her husband to die.
  • Posthumous Character: She is long dead by the start of the novel.
  • Sanity Slippage: After she sentenced her husband to burn at the stake, she descended into madness and died young.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She looked very similar to Odette (her cousin’s daughter), and her own daughter Odile looks identical to her.

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