- Jerkass Woobie: Castor, averted in the end, as all the bad things that have happened to him are his own fault.
- Shivers plays it straight though.
- Magnificent Bastard: The assassin and Eater Shenkt is a former disciple of the monstrously evil Bayaz and dedicates his life to destroying what his mentor has built. In the guise of the Bone Thief, Shenkt rescues the crippled Monza Murcatto after Bayaz's pawn Duke Orso leaves her for death and nurses her back to heath, setting her to take revenge on Orso to serve his purposes while Shenkt allows Orso to hire him so he can play every side and clandestinely assist in keeping Monza alive. When revealing himself, Shenkt turns out to have been opposing Bayaz so subtly for so long that his nemesis is not even aware he still lives. A deadly assassin with a conscience, Shenkt also genuinely loves his wife and their children, constantly arranging the chessboard Bayaz has set up to stymie his hated foe.
- Spoiled by the Format: Two twists are spoiled in the audiobook by the fact that the narrator reads dialogue of unnamed characters in their recognizable accent, making their identity obvious before the text reveals it.
- Nicomo Cosca's appearance before Friendly, after his apparent death, spoils the reveal that he is still alive when he appears later.
- The "bed trick" sequence, in which Monza and Shivers are teased as having sex with each other but ultimately revealed to be screwing two other people in separate rooms, is spoiled by the accents of their partners.
YMMV / Best Served Cold