Anza: Raised in a country village, she comes to Karegg, the capital of Vetia, to study at the College. When her father is executed by Karolje some years later, she joins the resistance against the king.
Esvar: Karolje’s second son, he is bitterly opposed to his tyrannical father but is hemmed in by court politics, his loyalty to his older brother, and the king’s absolute power.
Jance: After graduating from the College, he joins the king’s army, only to find his personal and political loyalties tested as opposition to Karojle mounts.
Karolje: Cruel, abusive, and very clever, he rules with an iron hand and uses his power to toy with the lives of everyone around him, including his family.
Mirantha: She faces the daily choice between escaping from her marriage to Karolje or staying to protect her children. Then the king takes matters into his own hands.
Sparrow: Leader of the resistance, she seeks not only to overthrow Karolje but to put an end to the absolute monarchy itself.
Tevin: The older son and heir of Karolje, he wants to be king but not at the cost of bloody civil war or his own honor.