Zélie, the protagonist of the novel, is Tzain’s younger sister and Mama and Baba’s daughter. Ever since the Raid, when her mother was violently killed before her eyes, Zélie has lived in a… read analysis of Zélie
Raised in the luxury of the palace in Lagos, Amari is the Princess of Orïsha and Inan’s sister. She lives in the lap of luxury but is subject to the strict rules of… read analysis of Amari
Inan is the loyal, level-headed heir to the throne of Orïsha and is Amari’s brother. Trained by his harsh, merciless father, King Saran, to put his duty to the monarchy above his own… read analysis of Inan
Tzain is Zélie’s older brother and Mama and Baba’s son. He is a level-headed, cautious boy who is also strong and fiercely loyal. Tzain’s first priority at all times is protecting his family… read analysis of Tzain
Kaea is the fierce, no-nonsense second-in-command to King Saran. She is also the only person the King truly loves and trusts. Kaea is willing to commit any violence necessary to get the job done… read analysis of Admiral Kaea
Olamilekan, who goes by Lekan, is a sêntaro—a sacred high priest of the maji religion. In keeping with tradition, he has swirling white Yoruba markings all over his body (Yoruba is the language of… read analysis of Oliamilekan
Mama Agba, Zélie’s teacher, trains young women in Illorin to wield the staff—a self-defensive weapon she hopes they will never have to use. She helps sustain memories of the gods and other traditions that… read analysis of Mama Agba
The iron-fisted ruler of Orïsha, King Saran carried out the deadly Raid against the divîner people and continues to do everything in his power to destroy all traces of magic in the kingdom. He even… read analysis of King Saran
Tzain and Zélie’s mother and Baba’s wife was an extremely powerful Reaper, a maji with power of the dead. Although she possessed fearsome magic, she was also extremely kind, nurturing Zélie and Tzain… read analysis of Mama
After King Saran’s Raid, Tzain and Zélie’s father became a shell of the strong man he once was. In the wake of his wife’s murder and the everyday struggle of life under… read analysis of Baba
Kwame lives among the secret divîner encampment in the jungle. He is a Burner, meaning he is a maji with power over fire. He can be headstrong and hot-tempered, turning towards violence when he… read analysis of Kwame
Nailah is Zélie’s faithful ryder, a huge lion-like creature (or lionare) who Zélie raised. She is fiercely protective.
A girl no older than thirteen, Zu is wise beyond her years. She is a Healer and the leader of the outlaws at the divîner camp. She is murdered by Saran’s guards while trying to make peace with them.
Yemi is a privileged girl from Zélie’s home village. She is rumored to be half-noble, which is a status that she flaunts. She is rude to Zélie and other divîners.
A dashing foreigner, Roën is primarily known for flirting and pickpocketing, which Zélie experiences firsthand at the divîner camp. Despite this, he also has a good heart and is willing to take risks to help his friends.