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The series has Loads and Loads of Characters. Here are some of them.
Phedre's trilogy Edit
Includes the novels Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen and Kushiel's Avatar
Phedre no Delaunay Edit
"That which yields is not always weak."
The heroine and narrator of the first three books, her most distinguishing feature is a scarlet mote in her eye. Phedre is sold into indentured servitude as a child and her bond is eventually purchased by Anafiel Delaunay. Delaunay recognizes what the scarlet mote in her eye means: Phedre is an anguisette, one who is cursed to experience pain and pleasure as one. He teaches her how to listen and observe as well as the "arts of the bedchamber." Phedre frequently uses her skills as both courtesan and spy to save Terre d'Ange from various deadly plots.
- Bi the Way
- Bound and Gagged: Happens to her a lot.
- Brains and Bondage
- Brainy Brunette
- The Chosen One: She is Kushiel's Chosen.
- Compelling Voice: A few times Kushiel has made his influence known through her. Generally simple things like getting people to stand down and listen. Also taken to the max when she learned the name of God.
- Cunning Linguist: Both meanings.
- Daughter of a Whore: Her mother was an adept of the Night Court.
- Ethical Slut
- Even the Girls Want Her
- The Fashionista: She does care quite a bit about clothing, and eventually becomes a fashion trendsetter.
- Friends with Benefits: Phedre and Nicola L'Envers y Aragon are essentially this.
- Girls Love: Most notably with Melisande and Nicola.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: She heals quickly, an added bonus of being an anguisette.
- High Class Call Girl: She's one of the top courtesans in all of Terre d'Ange.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Phedre goes through a stage in Avatar when she wishes she were no longer Kushiel's Chosen. There are also other times in the books when she hates the fact that she's an anguisette.
- Made a Slave
- Ms. Fanservice: Many of her sex scenes definitely qualify as fanservice.
- Parental Abandonment: Her parents sell her into indentured servitude because they're broke.
- Parental Substitute: Is one to Imriel.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Wears a lot of these, usually to an assignation or at the Midwinter Masque.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Less so on the covers, but describes herself as this in the books proper.
- Really Gets Around: Causes Imriel no small amount of angst when he realizes she's slept with quite a few really important people, including a decent chunk of the D'Angeline aristocracy. Curiously, Phedre tends towards monogamy when Kushiel grants her peace.
- Sex Is Violence
- Sex Slave: Is sold as a sex slave to the Skaldi. Melisande also wants to keep her as one.
- Sexy Backless Outfit: To show off her marque.
- Slave Collar: Melisande puts a leash and collar on Phedre when they spend the Longest Night together.
- Too Kinky to Torture: She says in Dart that she cannot be forced to reveal secrets through torture. This is proven true when Waldemar Selig tries skinning her alive to make her talk.
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Sleeps with a pair of fraternal twins in Dart, but not at the same time. Sleeps, several times, with a different set of fraternal twins in Chosen. This time, they're together.
- Whip It Good
Anafiel Delaunay Edit
"All knowledge is worth having."
Phedre's mentor. Delaunay is a nobleman with a mysterious past and an important mission. He adopts Phedre into his household, trains her, and uses her to spy on his enemies. Eventually it is revealed that Delaunay was once the consort of long-dead Prince Rolande. He swore a vow to protect Rolande's daughter Ysandre, the Dauphine. His choice to honor this vow leads to his death on Isidore d'Aiglemort's orders.
- Anyone Can Die: Did anyone see his death coming?
- Batman Gambit
- Bury Your Gays
- The Chessmaster
- Death By Origin Story: Prince Rolande is this for Delaunay.
- Enemy Mine: He decides to make peace with Barquiel L'Envers, who's been his enemy for years, since they both have an interest in protecting Ysandre.
- I Will Protect Her: He swore a vow to protect Ysandre.
- Love Triangle: Between Delaunay, Rolande, and Isabel L'Envers. A second one occurs between himself, Alcuin and Phedre, though he's largely unaware of it.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard
- Mysterious Past: Phedre, Alcuin, and Hyacinthe spend a lot of time puzzling over Delaunay's past. Eventually they learn the truth.
- Parental Substitute: Is this for Phedre and Alcuin. Until they both fall in love with him.
- Second Love: Alcuin is his.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: He and Rolande, due to Isabel L'Envers' jealousy.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: See Enemy Mine example above.
- Warrior Poet
- Yaoi Guys: He has long-term relationships with Rolande and Alcuin.
Alcuin no Delaunay Edit
Alcuin is Delaunay's other pupil. As with Phedre, he teaches Alcuin to listen and observe and uses him to spy on his enemies. But unlike Phedre, Alcuin hates working as a courtesan and does it all out of love for Delaunay. He and Delaunay become a couple once Alcuin has made his marque.
- Bury Your Gays
- Even the Guys Want Him
- Love Triangle: Both he and Phedre are in love with Delaunay. He wins.
- May-December Romance: He and Delaunay.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Averted. He's pretty and he has white hair, but he's not evil.
- Yaoi Guys
Joscelin Verreuil Edit
"In Cassiel's name, I protect and serve."
Joscelin is a member of the Cassiline Brotherhood, a celibate order of warrior-priests, who is hired by Delaunay to protect Phedre on her assignations. At first Joscelin is very prudish and uptight, but he gradually relaxes. He and Phedre dislike each other initially, but they eventually fall in love. He is one of the most skilled and dangerous warriors in the series.
- Berserk Button: Do not, DO NOT try to harm Phedre near him. Imriel's also off limits.
- Cannot Stand Them Cannot Live Without Them: His relationship with Phedre.
- Celibate Hero
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: His biggest one comes in Chosen when he fights and kills David de Rocaille, the traitor Cassiline, in a duel.
- Also, when he challenges Waldemar Selig to a duel as a distraction so he can perform a Mercy Kill on himself and Phedre.
- Duel to the Death: See Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Estrogen Brigade Bait
- Even the Guys Want Him: In-universe inversion: the Skaldi men think he's a pretty boy and not a real man because he doesn't have a beard, but the Skaldi women certainly find him attractive.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Phedre does this to him when they're enslaved in Skaldia.
- Honor Before Reason: Especially in Dart. He gradually relaxes, though.
- I Will Protect Her: He vows to protect Phedre.
- Interrupted Suicide: Joscelin is about to kill himself and Phedre to save them from Waldemar Selig when Barquiel L'Envers charges in at the last minute to rescue them.
- Knife Nut: He typically fights with a pair of daggers. Cassiline Brothers are only supposed to draw their swords to kill.
- Let's Get Dangerous: When he gets his sword out, especially if Phedre is in danger. The same is true of all Cassilines.
- Made a Slave: Being sold as a slave to the Skaldi nearly kills him, until Phedre snaps him out of it.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Inversion. He's a virgin before his first time with Phedre, but she isn't.
- Master Swordsman
- Mercy Kill: He comes to do this for Phedre when Selig is skinning her alive. Fortunately, he doesn't need to go through with it.
- My Girl Is a Slut: At first, Joscelin is disgusted by what Phedre's chosen occupation. They nearly break up when she decides to resume working as a courtesan. However, he comes to terms with it eventually.
- No Accounting for Taste: How most D'Angelines see Phedre's relationship with him.
- Conversely, this is how he feels about Phedre's attraction to Melisande.
- Parental Substitute: Is one to Imriel.
- Undying Loyalty: To Phedre, especially after Chosen.. He willingly followed her into Drujan when nobody else would.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: It gets pretty thick between him and Phedre, but then it gets resolved.
- Warrior Monk: All Cassiline Brothers are basically this.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Gets seasick ridiculously easily.
A Tsingano (Roma) who is Phedre's oldest and dearest friend. Hyacinthe and Phedre meet as children and stay friends well into adulthood. Hyacinthe has the ability to see the future (called the dromonde), which his mother taught him despite it being forbidden to men by Tsingano law. Towards the end of Dart, Hyacinthe takes Phedre's place to become the new Master of the Straits so that the Alban army can reach Terre d'Ange. Phedre spends the next two books searching for a way to free him from his curse, which she eventually does in what is both a Crowning Moment of Awesome and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Elemental Powers: His are water/air.
- Ensemble Darkhorse
- Fate Worse Than Death: But he gets better!
- Fortune Teller: His mother was one. She passes her skills on to him.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Taking Phedre's place and becoming the new Master of the Straits, condemning himself to a miserable and lonely existence.
- Loveable Rogue
- Oracular Urchin
- The Power of Friendship
- Roma: The Tsingani are a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Roma.
- Screw Destiny: Phedre saves him from his destiny as the Master of the Straits.
- Second Love with the second of Drustan's sisters
- Take Me Instead!
- True Companions: Him and Phedre.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend He and Phedre end up being this to one another.
Melisande Shahrizai Edit
"Elua cared naught for mortal politics, nor did Kushiel."
The main villainess of the series. Melisande is ambitious, sadistic, and utterly lacking in any sort of conscience. Her great ambition is to be queen, and so she concocts several Machiavellian plots to help her achieve this. She becomes a patron of Phedre's, and Phedre falls in love with her. Phedre, as an anguisette, is the perfect outlet for her sadistic desires.
Imriel is her son.
- Affably Evil
- Beauty Is Bad: Melisande is exceptionally beautiful, even among D'Angelines.
- Brains and Bondage
- The Chessmaster
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Later in the series, Melisande starts claiming that she always keeps her promises. Like many things she says, this statement should be taken with a pinch of salt.
- Depraved Bisexual
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Imriel.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She won't stoop to blasphemy and claims to always keep her promises (though both statements should be taken with a grain of salt and then some. Also, she really loves her son.
- Even the Girls Want Her
- Evil Is Sexy: Most of the fandom finds her incredibly sexy.
- Evil Plan: Most of her plots can be categorized as this.
- For the Evulz: When Phedre asks her why she did it, she replies, "Because I could."
- It's a little bit more complicated than that. Melisande describes herself as being incapable of caring about the pieces in her games, while simultaneously loving the games she plays. Why does she play? She's D'Angeline.
- Freudian Excuse: Its a minor excuse, but in the second trilogy she appears to have some remorse for her actions and its suggested-that the reason she is the way she is-is because of her father Casimar.
- Girls Love: With Phedre.
- Heel Face Turn: Debatable, but she does appear to have some remorse for her actions later on in the series. And she does help save Terre d'Ange in Mercy.
- In the Blood: Its implied that her father's method of raising her deeply affected her character. As seen above its a minor excuse.
- Karma Houdini: Manages to escape all punishment, and gets to live out her days in a villa on a Mediterranean isle. Although it is implied in canon that Imriel's torture at the Mahrkagir's hands is Kushiel's punishment for her.
- Jedi Truth: Melisande claims she'd never commit blasphemy personally, but looks the other way when Marie-Celeste corrupts the Serenissiman priestesses. She's also forbidden by Kushieline doctrine to kill the bearer of Kushiel's Dart, but has no problem sending Phedre into dangerous situations where she'd be indirectly responsible for her death.
- Likable Villain
- Loophole Abuse: See the Jedi Truth section.
- Magnificent Bitch: And how!
- Manipulative Bitch
- Moral Event Horizon: She crosses it when she intercepts Phedre and Joscelin at the palace, drugs them, and sells them into slavery. Then she tries to invade and conquer her own country just so she can be queen.
- Pet the Dog: She loves her son.
- Romanticized Abuser
- Sex Is Violence: That's how she likes it.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Not explicitly described as such, but her beauty is constantly commented on in a nation full of beautiful people.
Ysandre de la Courcel Edit
"Steel beneath a fragile bloom."
Queen of Terre d'Ange, daughter of Prince Rolande de la Courcel and Isabel L'Envers. Both of her parents die when she is very young, and she inherits the throne after her grandfather's death. She has to deal with numerous plots to overthrow her (mostly orchestrated by Melisande) and family members who want to take her place. Ysandre is a lot tougher than she appears, which frequently causes people to underestimate her. She marries Drustan mab Necthana, the Cruarch of Alba, and they have two daughters: Sidonie and Alais.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: One of her Cassiline guards, David de Rocaille, tries to assassinate her to avenge his sister, who was killed by Ysandre's mother.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Riding through the ranks of the Unforgiven to confront Percy de Somerville in Chosen.
- Death By Origin Story: Her parents.
- Dysfunctional Family: Other members of House Courcel attempt to take her throne twice.
- Engagement Challenge: She gives one to Imriel: Bring your mother to justice if you wish to marry Sidonie.
- God Save Us From the Queen: She is generally a wise ruler and beloved by her people, but in Mercy she declares war on them while under Carthage's spell.
- The High Queen
- Hundred-Percent Adoration Rating: She is well-loved by the D'Angeline people.
- Ice Queen: Can be this at times.
- Offing the Offspring: While enchanted during Mercy, she declares war on Alais.
- Parental Marriage Veto: She strongly disapproves of Imriel and Sidonie's relationship.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Her engagement to Drustan started out as a political match, but they happened to fall in love.
- Purple Eyes
- Raised by Grandparents: Her grandfather, King Ganelon, raised her.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask
Drustan mab Necthana Edit
Drustan is the Cruarch of Alba and husband of Ysandre. In Kushiel's Dart, his throne is usurped and he fights to regain it. Afterward, he leads an army to Terre d'Ange to fight the Skaldi. His army, along with Isidore d'Aiglemort's, breaks the siege of Troyes-le-Mont and defeats the Skaldi. He typically spends half the year in Alba and half in Terre d'Ange. He and Ysandre have two daughters: Sidonie and Alais.
- Big Damn Heroes
- Facial Markings
- Famed in Story: He asks Phedre to make sure the deeds of the Albans are remembered.
- The Lady's Favour: Phedre gives him a ring from Ysandre, which he wears into battle.
- Long-Distance Relationship
- Love Ruins the Realm: Subversion, his love for Ysandre actually saves the realm.
- Obfuscating Disability: Has a clubfoot, but it doesn't hinder his fighting ability.
- Noble Savage: D'Angelines see him as this due to their tendency to look down on non-D'Angeline peoples.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Albans are a proud warrior race, but Drustan is quiet and thoughtful rather than bloodthirsty.
- The Quiet One
- Return of the King
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
Barquiel L'Envers Edit
"Didn't you enjoy my largesse in the Khalif's court? I heard I sent you to Khebbel-im-Akkad after paying you to betray your master."
Duc of the province of Namarre and maternal uncle of Ysandre. He is both a shrewd politician and a feared warrior and general. He and Delaunay were old enemies due to a poem Delaunay wrote implicating his sister Isabel in the death of Edmee de Rocaille. He appears as both antagonist and reluctant ally at different times throughout the series, but he is always loyal to Ysandre.
- Badass Decay: Happens to him in Scion and Justice, but he recovers in Mercy.
- Badass Grandpa: He is this in later books, once he has grandchildren.
- Big Damn Heroes: Joscelin is about to mercifully end his and Phedre's lives when Barquiel charges out of besieged Troyes-le-Mont at the last minute to rescue them.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Has a few, most notably the one mentioned under Big Damn Heroes, but also:
- Seizing the throne in Ysandre's name and holding the City of Elua against Percy de Somerville in Chosen.
- Keeping the country together along with Alais when Ysandre was under Carthage's spell in Mercy.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: The moment when he finally accepts Imriel.
- Becoming oathsworn protector of Imriel and Sidonie's firstborn.
- Dead Little Sister: Isabel L'Envers. Delaunay uses the identity of Isabel's poisoner to make peace with him.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Enemy Mine: He agrees to make peace with Delaunay for the sake of protecting Ysandre. Also, he and Imriel work together to defeat the Carthaginians in Mercy.
- Evil Uncle: Appears to be this, but is actually a subversion.
- A Friend in Need: Phedre bids him to hold the City of Elua against the traitors using the password of House L'Envers.
- Going Native: He does this during his time as ambassador to Khebbel-im-Akkad. He is frequently seen in a turban or burnouse and is quite fond of Akkadian furnishings.
- Hero Antagonist: In the 2nd trilogy. His hatred of Imriel comes from a fear that he is involved in his mother's plots & wants to steal the throne.
- Hidden Depths: On the surface he appears to be a coldly ambitious snarky jerkass, but there are moments throughout the series which hint there's more to him than that. This is especially apparent in Mercy, for instance when he squeezes Alais's hand to give her reassurance.
- Horse Archer: Barquiel loves these, and is one himself.
- I Will Protect Her: He became the oathsworn protector of Imriel and Sidonie's firstborn.
- Jerkass: Especially to Imriel.
- Magnificent Bastard: He is one of very few people Melisande is wary of and views as a threat to her plans.
- Master Swordsman: He impressed the Proud Warrior Race Akkadians with his skills.
- Only Sane Man: He is the only great lord who isn't in the City of Elua when the Carthaginians put their spell on the city.
- Parental Substitute: To Ysandre.
- Purple Eyes
- Revenge: Once he finds out who poisoned his sister, he has him assassinated.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Delaunay in Dart and then again with Imriel in Mercy. He comes to respect Imriel during their time working together and realizes he misjudged him.
Nicola L'Envers y Aragon Edit
Cousin of Ysandre and Barquiel. Nicola is married to an Aragonian nobleman, but she frequently visits the court of Terre d'Ange. She becomes a patron of Phedre's, and they have a Friends with Benefits sort of relationship.
- Bound and Gagged: She likes tying people up.
- Brains and Bondage
- Even the Girls Want Her
- A Friend in Need: In Chosen, Nicola gives Phedre the secret password of House L'Envers which compels any member of the house to give aid if it is spoken to them. She does this even though Phedre does not trust her.
- Friends with Benefits: She and Phedre.
- Girls Love
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: It doesn't seem this way at first, but she and her husband do love each other.
- Purple Eyes
- You Are Not Alone: She tries to convince Phedre to trust her during Chosen and accept her aid.
Isidore d'Aiglemort Edit
Duc of the province of Camlach and a skilled warrior. He plots with Melisande to betray Terre d'Ange to the Skaldi by letting them in the mountain passes of Camlach. He learns that Melisande double crossed him, and joins up with the Alban army to defeat the Skaldi and get back at Melisande. He slays Waldemar Selig in battle, but dies shortly afterward, thereby redeeming himself.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: His duel with Selig.
- Death Seeker: He knows he's dead no matter who wins the war, so he chooses a hero's death to avoid being remembered as a traitor.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Selig was believed to be immune to weapons, but Isidore killed him anyway.
- The Dog Bites Back
- Duel to the Death
- Dying Moment of Awesome: See Crowning Moment of Awesome above.
- Heel Face Turn
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Master Swordsman
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Camaelines count as a proud warrior race.
- Redemption Equals Death
- Taking You with Me
- White-Haired Pretty Boy
Waldemar Selig Edit
A Skaldi warlord who is able to unite all of the various Skaldi tribes under him. In addition to being a fearsome warrior, he is also a cunning leader. He tries to invade Terre d'Ange. It doesn't go well.
- Barbarian Hero
- Braids of Barbarism
- Duel to the Death: Has them with both Joscelin & Isidore d'Aiglemort.
- Famed in Story: The Skaldi have many songs about him.
- Genghis Gambit: Uses one to unite the Skaldi.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty
- Master Swordsman: Manages to disarm Joscelin in the heat of battle, but is killed by Isidore d'Aiglemort, another master swordsman.
- Moral Event Horizon: He crosses it when he tries to skin Phedre alive.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
The Mahrkagir Edit
"Ill thoughts, ill words, ill deeds."
The ruler of Drujan, the Mahrkagir is extremely sadistic and completely evil. Imriel is sold to him, and he subjects the boy to horrific abuse. Phedre comes to save him, and the Mahrkagir ends up falling in love with her (although his definition of love is rather different from most people's). She kills him with a hairpin.
- Alas, Poor Villain
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: His backstory reveals that he was the only member of his family to survive a particularly brutal massacre.
- Complete Monster
- Dark Messiah: The followers of Angra Mainyu believe he is this.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty
- Rape Is Love: His idea of love is to rape Phedre with a spiked rod.
- Religion of Evil: The religion of Angra Mainyu, which the Mahrkagir is head of.
Thelesis de Mornay Edit
The former King's Poet to Ysandre's grandfather, King Ganelon, now Queen's Poet to Queen Ysandre. She has a beautiful voice and her poetry is famed throughout Terre d'Ange.
- Always Someone Better: Despite being seen as the most skilled poet across the kingdom (and possibly in-universe too) she is said to have always thought that Anafiel Delaunay was the better poet.
- Ill Girl
- Mrs Exposition
- Odd Friendship: She becomes one of Phedre's closest allies after the events of Dart.
- Plain Jane: One of the very few examples in the whole of Terre d'Ange. Phedre notes that her voice however makes up for her lack of beauty.
Imriel's trilogy Edit
Includes the novels Kushiel's Scion, Kushiel's Mercy and Kushiel's Justice
Imriel de la Courcel Edit
"I will try to be good."
The hero and narrator of the second trilogy. Son of Prince Benedicte de la Courcel and Melisande Shahrizai, the realm's most infamous traitors. Imriel spends his childhood innocent and unaware of his parentage until he is kidnapped by slave traders and sold to the Mahrkagir. Imriel suffers all sorts of horrific abuse until he is rescued by Phedre and Joscelin. They take him back to Terre d'Ange and adopt him into their household. Imriel's trilogy focuses on his struggles to accept his own nature, his attempts to find a place for himself, and his forbidden romance with Sidonie de la Courcel, Ysandre's daughter and heir.
- Angst: Especially in Scion.
- Angst Dissonance
- Arranged Marriage: He agrees to marry Dorelei out of a sense of duty despite being in love with Sidonie.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: He tries hard to avert this, and succeeds.
- Break the Cutie: Undergoes a Break the Cutie process in Drujan, but doesn't actually break.
- Coming of Age Story: His trilogy is very much one of these.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Enemy Mine: In Mercy, Imriel is forced to seek the aid of Barquiel L'Envers who he hates (and who hates him right back) to defeat the Carthaginians.
- Estrogen Brigade Bait
- The Evil Prince: Subversion. Some people think he is this and that his relationship with Sidonie is a plot to get the throne. It's not true.
- Family Relationship Switcheroo: Imriel actually meets his mother once as a child without knowing she's his mother. Phedre tells him the truth later on.
- Grey and Gray Morality: After his experiences during the siege in Lucca and the things Galladus did to protect that city, Imriel eventually decides that nobody is entirely good or entirely evil. This finally convinces him to set aside his anger for his mother and read her letters.
- Happily Adopted
- Hope Bringer: Fills this role in Mercy.
- In the Blood: Many D'Angelines fear that he will take after his mother. However, it is quite clear that Imriel is not his mother's son.
- Kissing Cousins
- Likes Older Women: If his affair with Claudia in Scion is anything to go by, Imriel does occasionally have a thing for older women.
- Manchurian Agent: Becomes one of these in Mercy. The trigger is a kiss from Sidonie.
- Mommy Issues
- Mysterious Protector: Canis is this for Imriel in Scion. He later learns Canis was sent by his mother.
- Only Sane Man: Becomes the only sane man in the City of Elua (by being made temporarily insane) when the Carthaginians put their spell on the city.
- Orphanage of Love: Had a happy childhood in the Sanctuary of Elua.
- Parental Marriage Veto
- Psycho Serum: Gets a dose in Mercy.
- Rags to Royalty: He grows up herding goats, with no idea that he's actually a prince.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Secret Relationship: He and Sidonie, in Justice. Eventually they get found out.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: He and Sidonie.
- Stern Chase: His search for Berlik in Justice counts as one of these.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: See Enemy Mine. Also, the time he teams up with Maslin.
- Tell Me About My Mother Phedre saves letters Melisande sent to Imriel, knowing he'll want them someday.
- Tranquil Fury: His reaction to Berlik murdering Dorelei. While recovering from his wounds, Imriel calmly decides to hunt Berlik down and kill him like an animal.
- Troubled but Cute
- Wedding Day: The trilogy ends with his and Sidonie's wedding.
- The Woobie: Oh, is he ever!
Sidonie de la Courcel Edit
Daughter of Queen Ysandre and Drustan mab Necthana, Dauphine of Terre d'Ange. Sidonie first appears to be very haughty and unlikable. However, she gradually becomes more likable and less haughty as Imriel starts to fall for her. Once they are no longer able to hold back their feelings for each other, she and Imriel begin a relationship. Together they struggle to win her parents' approval.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Despite being enchanted by the Carthaginians' spell, she manages to speak the word that breaks the spell.
- Defrosting Ice Queen
- Fighting From the Inside: She struggles against both spells the Carthaginians put on her, eventually throwing off the love spell (with Imriel's help). She does succumb to the other one after a long struggle, until she manages to break through just enough to say the word that breaks the spell.
- Hair of Gold
- Hope Bringer: Fills this function along with Imriel in Mercy.
- Hypnotize the Princess: What the Carthaginians do to her in Mercy.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Although Sidonie is completely willing to sleep with Astegal while she's under the Carthaginians' love spell.
- Kissing Cousins
- Love Potion: It's not an actual potion, but the Carthaginians put a spell on Sidonie to make her fall in love with General Astegal.
- Missing Time: While under the spell the Carthaginians put on her, she has no memories of anything related to Imriel.
- Naughty by Night
- Parental Marriage Veto
- Pimped-Out Dress: Wears one during the Midwinter Masque in Justice.
- Rebellious Princess: Has elements of this.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Save the Princess: Needs Imriel to rescue her in Mercy.
- Secret Relationship
- Star-Crossed Lovers
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!
Alais de la Courcel Edit
Younger daughter of Queen Ysandre and Drustan mab Necthana. Alais and Imriel become close as children and remain so as they get older. She feels more of a connection to her Alban heritage than her D'Angeline heritage. At the end of series, she announces that she wants to stay in Alba and become an ollamh.
- Arranged Marriage: Is supposed to marry her first cousin Talorcan, but decides against it because she's not in love with him.
- Canine Companion
- Dreaming of Things to Come: She has prophetic dreams, but doesn't always interpret them correctly.
- Easily Forgiven: She does forgive her parents rather easily for declaring her a traitor and nearly attacking her while under Carthage's spell.
- Kneel Before Frodo: Happens to her at the end of Mercy.
- Like Brother and Sister: Her and Imriel.
- The Magnificent: Later becomes known as "Alais the Wise."
- Offered the Crown: Steps up to become the temporary ruler of Terre d'Ange while Ysandre is enchanted. Afterward, she decides that she doesn't want the responsibilities of ruling a country.
- Parental Betrayal: While under the influence of Carthage's spell, Ysandre declares war on her.
- Purple Eyes
- Rebellious Princess: Alais takes after her Cruithne heritage, which tends to run counter to the decorum and customs of court life. And, as noted below, she is rather tomboy-esque.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
Maslin de Lombelon Edit
Bastard son of Isidore d'Aiglemort, who dies before he can acknowledge him. Maslin serves as a sort of foil to Imriel, since they are both sons of traitors but they are treated very differently. Because of this, Maslin holds a lot of resentment toward Imriel. They eventually do become friends when he shows up in Vralia to rescue Imriel during Kushiel's Justice.
- Bastard Bastard: Starts off as this due to his resentment/jealousy of Imriel.
- Better as Friends: He and Sidonie.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!
- Fire-Forged Friends: He & Imriel become friends during their time together in Vralia.
- Heroic Bastard: Eventually becomes this.
- Ho Yay
- In the Blood: Like his father, he's a skilled swordsman.
- I Will Protect Her: He becomes the captain of Sidonie's guard.
- Love Triangle
- Master Swordsman: Inherited his father's skills, though he started learning late.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Imriel gives Maslin his estate of Lombelon and Maslin deeply resents him for it.
- Relationship Upgrade: He and Sidonie begin sleeping together in Justice after Imriel marries Dorelei and goes to Alba.
- Romantic Runner-Up
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Averted in that he has silver hair & can be antagonistic to Imriel, but he's not evil.
Mavros Shahrizai Edit
Imriel's other foil, Mavros is a Shahrizai, and is utterly unapologetic of this fact, and the ramifications and desires that come with it. While Imriel's past experiences initially cause difficulties with their relationship, as he becomes more comfortable with his sexuality, they bond. Mavros eventually fills a roll somewhere between Imriel's at-home Lancer, and a big brother figure, providing advice and support about both politics and relations. He has a rather one-sided infatuation with Sidonie's lady-in-waiting.
- Anything That Moves
- Bi the Way
- Brains and Bondage: Natch.
- The Casanova
- Depraved Bisexual: While not malicious, Mavros is a Shahrizai.
- Good Looking Privates: Enlists at the end of Mercy.
- Lovable Sex Maniac
- Token Depraved Teammate: Is, easily, the kinkiest member of Imriel's immediate circle of friends at court. He rather delights in this.
Moirin's trilogy Edit
Includes the books Naamah's Kiss, Naamah's Curse, Naamah's Blessing
This trilogy takes place 100 years after the events of the first two trilogies.
Moirin mac Fainche Edit
The protagonist of the third trilogy. She begins the story as something of a Wild Child, living with her Alban mother in the wilderness. She discovers that she is half Alban and half d'Angeline and that her heritage has given her access to powers outside of the Maghuin Donn. In the first book she travels to Terre d'Ange to find her father and as a result finds herself torn between her desires and her duty.
- Babies Ever After
- Bi the Way: Most of her relationships in the Naamah novels involve women but her two most recurring paramours are both men.
- Fish Out of Water: Her status during Kiss.
- Green Eyes: Inherited from her father.
- Green Thumb: One of the abilities her bloodline gives her is the ability to talk to plants and make them grow.
- Halfbreed: Half Alban and half D'Angeline.
- Hot Mom: Becomes this at the end of Blessing.
- Les Yay: Most of her relationships in the Naamah novels involve women.
- Lineage Comes From the Father: Inverted. In Alban custom children inherit through the female line. This is why her surname is mac Fainche, meaning "from Fainche".
- Love You and Everybody: What her powers from Naamah give her. Every time she feels the pull of her diadh-anam towards a certain person she will end up having sex with them.
- Magical Girl: Compared to Phedre at least. Moirin has a lot more access to magic than the former.
- Mary Sue: The character often gets accused of being this.
- My Diadh-Anam Made Me Do It: This is often the reason for starting a quest.
- Naive Newcomer: When she leaves Alba for Terre d'Ange to find her father in Kiss, she's bewildered by d'Angeline customs and almost makes a fool of herself at court.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Her looks are commented on as "exotic" by the d'Angelines and supernatural by the Albans, due to her mixed blood status.
- Really Gets Around: And how. Lets put it this way. Phedre and Imriel from the first two trilogies were either a magically induced to enjoy pain courtesan or an issue-ridden, angsty prince. Both encountered problems directly related to their attitudes about sex (more on Imriel's side). Moirin has no such hang ups. She may possibly be the protagonist that has the most sex of the three. Judging by the theme of Moirin's trilogy this is probably because her gifts come from Naamah rather than Kushiel.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Her relationship with Jehane develops into this by the last third of Naamah's Kiss.
- Superpower Lottery: Her mother's line is descended from Princess Alais of the second trilogy, giving her the powers of an ollamh a type of combined seer and priestess. On that note, she also has descent from fallen angels Elua and Naamah through Princess Alais' own combined Courcel/L'Envers heritage. Her father's line is descended from Anael, the fallen angel who gave d'Angelines their farming skills. This gives Moirin the power to turn herself invisible, talk to plants, incite lust in other characters and access the powers of the Maghuin Donn or "bear-witch" in the Alban language.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Readers often accuse Moirin of being this for Phedre.
- Wild Child: At the beginning of the first book.
- Yuri Genre
The apprentice to Master Lo Feng and a former slave. He and Moirin do not get along at first and he spends the first book being a Jerkass. Later on readers learn his tragic backstory and he becomes more sympathetic. Serves as Moirin's protector and later her lover throughout the Naamah trilogy.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin
- Badass: Most fans agree on this.
- Bodyguard Crush
- Can't Stand Them Can't Live Without Them
- Chinese Boy
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Boy does he ever.
- Grumpy Bear
- Hot Dad: Becomes this at the end of Blessing.
- Jerkass later develops into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Mouthy Kid
- The Quiet One: Hardly says a word in Kiss. He begins to talk more from Curse onwards.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Again, with Moirin.
- The Stoic
Master Lo Feng Edit
Queen Jehanne Edit
King Daniel's considerably younger second wife and step mother to Prince Thierry. She was once a famed courtesan in Cereus House before giving up her profession to become queen. At first at odds with Moirin due to a shared rivalry over Raphael de Mereliot, she later becomes a friend and trusted confidante as well as lover to Moirin.
- Death by Childbirth: Dies giving birth to a baby daughter by Daniel de la Courcel,named Desiree.
- Everyone Loves Blondes
- High Class Call Girl: She was an adept of Cereus House before marrying Daniel and becoming queen.
- The High Queen
- Gold Digger: Averted. Some of the citizens in the City of Elua think this of her but she and Daniel truly love each other.
- In Love with Love
- Les Yay
- Love You and Everybody: She even states that she follows the Elua's precept to the letter, in that she loves as she wilt but cannot continue to do so after getting pregnant for Daniel, as per their arrangement.
- Manipulative Bitch: Less of a bitch than the trope suggests, but she is skilled at using manipulation to get what she wants.
- Ms. Fanservice
- Sexy Mentor: Becomes this for Moirin during Kiss.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Said in Kiss to be the most beautiful woman in Terre d'Ange of the generation.
- Your Cheating Heart: On arrangement with her husband no less!
- Yuri Genre: The first book in the third trilogy is all about her relationship with Moirin with several detailed sex scenes between the two.
Raphael de Mereliot Edit
The Big Bad of the third trilogy and a former lover of both Jehanne and Moirin. He is a d'Angeline nobleman and the son of the current Lady of Marsilikos.
- Ambition Is Evil
- Big Bad Wannabe: He's got nothing on Melisande.
- Hive Mind Gains the power to control ants in the final book of the trilogy. Seemed like a lame power at first, but then he gets creative...
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His final fate in the jungles of Terra Nova.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Implied by Moirin to be the reason behind his actions. Always second best to his sister who would become the next Lady of Marsilikos and not being especially important in Marsilikos due to being male, his plan to summon fallen angels was so he could give himself power and be able to take over the kingdom
- Manipulative Bastard: Falls short of being a true Magnificent Bastard so he's here.
- Mind Game Ship: His relationship with Moirin.
- Rich Bitch
- Smug Snake
- Villain Decay
King Daniel de la Courcel Edit
The king of Terre d'Ange at the beginning of the trilogy and a descendant of both Imriel and Sidonie de la Courcel from the previous trilogy.
- Death by Despair
- Driven to Suicide He was devastated by Jehanne's death and hearing a (false) rumour that his son had died drove him to commit suicide.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Supports his wife's extra-marital affairs by way of an agreement made before they married; that she could keep her lovers for the first few years of marriage until they both agree to have a child. He even comments that her relationship with Moirin made her a better ruler.
- Second Love: Its stated that Jehanne is this for him after the death of his first wife and Thierry's mother. However he is still deeply in love with her and Thierry even notes that courting Jehanne helped bring him out of his depression in the years after his first wife died.
Thierry de la Courcel. Edit
Son of Daniel de la Courcel and his first wife; he is the Dauphin to the throne of Terre d'Ange during Moirin's trilogy.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: At the end of Blessing.
- Bratty Teenage Son In the first book he comes off as this. Luckily he mellows out considerably by the end of the trilogy.
- Precocious Crush On Jehanne, which soured his relationships with both his father and his step-mother.
- Royal Brat before becoming The Wise Prince.
Duc Rogier de Barthelme Edit
- Ambition Is Evil / Evil Chancellor: Wants to take power by betrothing his young son to Daniel and Jehanne's daughter Desiree
- Number Two: For King Daniel.
- Regent for Life
- Yaoi Guys: With Moirin's father when they both were younger.
Snow Tiger Edit
The daughter of the Ch'in Emperor who is believed to have been possessed by a supernatural creature. If she sees her reflection in anything she goes on a killing spree. On the day of her wedding to a Ch'in nobleman she went on a rampage and killed her betrothed and most of his party. Since then she has been locked away in a tower by her father in the hope of keeping her violent sprees under control.
- Action Girl
- Badass Princess: Can casually bend steel bars as if they were made of rubber.
- Chinese Girl
- Demonic Possession: What everyone thinks happened to her. This is only half right, she was possessed by a mythical dragon.
- Girls Love / Les Yay With Moirin when the latter travels to Ch'in.
- Locked In A Tower
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
- Shiny Midnight Black
- Yamato Nadeshiko was this before getting possessed by the Celestial Dragon.
The Rani Amrita Edit
The Rani (aka queen) of Bhodistan. Moirin travels to meet her in Naamah's Curse.
A warrior from Terra Nova, (analogous to undiscovered North America)with whom Moirin meets during her travels in Blessing.
Balthasar Shahrizai Edit
Phanuel Demarre Edit
Moirin's father and a priest of Naamah. She gets her power to make plants grow from his side of her heritage.
- Friend to All Living Things
- Green Eyes
- Green Thumb: His bloodline descends from Anael, one of the companions of Elua.
- Really Gets Around: Part of his job as a priest of Naamah.
- Yaoi Guys: Was the Duc de Barthelme's royal companion when they both were younger.
Moirin's mother and a seer of the Maghuin Donn tribe of Alba.
Minor characters and organizations appearing throughout the various trilogies Edit
Persia and Marmion Shahrizai Edit
Brother and sister pair who help to bring Melisande to trial for treason at the end of Dart.
- Shiny Midnight Black: Just like every other Shahrizai.
Rolande de la Courcel Edit
Crown prince or dauphin to the throne of Terre d'Ange in Phedre's trilogy. He was killed during the war between Terre d'Ange and Skaldia. He was married to Isabel L'Envers and was the father of Ysandre. He was in a love triangle between Anafiel Delaunay and Isabel L'Envers.
- The One That Got Away: For Anafiel Delaunay
- The Prince Charming
- One Hundred Per Cent Adoration Rating: He was well-loved by the d'Angeline people.
Quintilius Rousse Edit
Isabel L'Envers Edit
Daughter of the head priestess of Naamah whom Mavros Shahrizai has an unrequited crush on. She is hired in the 2nd trilogy to teach Sidonie the arts of the bed chamber.
Gonzalo d'Escabar Edit
Miriam Bouscevre Edit
The Dowayne of Cereus House early on in Phedre's trilogy. It is she who introduces Phedre to Anafiel Delaunay.
Cecilie Laveau-Perrin Edit
A widow and former adept of Cereus House and friend of Anafiel Delaunay. Anafiel hires her to teach Phedre and Alcuin how to be courtesans in the first trilogy.
Elua and his Companions Edit
Favrielle no Eglantine Edit
Dressmaker and designer. She fashions most of Phedre's clothes during Avatar and Imriel's trilogy. By the time of Moirin's trilogy her business Atelier Favrielle is the most popular dress maker in Terre d'Ange.
Leander Maignard Edit
A kinsman of House Shahrizai, albeit a few generations removed. He is living with the rest of his family in Cythera with Melisande as her retainers. Imriel meets him in Kushiel's Justice.
- Wild Mass Guessing : Fans theorised that Melisandre used a shapeshifting magic to use his form to go to Terre d'Ange and see Imriel (her son) get married, as she is in exile. Jacqueline Carey has flat out denied this on her blog, saying that it was "a good idea", but that " Melisande is the sort to see her games to the end and that she would rather show her face than hide in the shadows".
Liliane de Souverain and Pierre Cantrel Edit
The biological parents of Phedre no Delaunay. Liliane de Souverain was part of a long line of women who served Naamah as adepts of the Night Court, namely Jasmine House. Due to the exotic tenets of Jasmine House, she is honey skinned, dark haired and black eyed. Pierre was the third son of a merchant of blond hair and blue eyed persuasion. Liliane ran away to elope with Pierre Cantrel because the Dowayne of the House forbade her marriage to Pierre on the basis that a child from their union would not fit the standards for Jasmine House and because Pierre could not afford to buy her marque. Phedre was born as a result of their union, but was "too pale for Jasmine House and too dark haired and dark eyed for Cereus House". Before the discovery of Kushiel's Dart, the mote in her eye is seen as a blemish and thus made Phedre unfit for any of the Houses in the Night Court. When the two are too poor to settle their debts, they sell Phedre as an indentured servant to the Dowayne of Cereus House.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted. Phedre finds the fact that they never tried to claim her after the Bitterest Winter unforgivable and prefers to think that they just died during that period.
- Hot Gypsy Woman: Liliane. One of the reasons Phedre as a child noticed Hyacinthe was because he resembled her mother complexion wise. Most adepts of Jasmine House are rumoured to have Bhodistani (analogous to Indian) ancestry in their heritage.
- Parental Abandonment
Eamonn mac Grainne Edit
Son of Grainne and Quintilius Rousse.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- I Will Find You: Falls in love with Brigitta, a Skaldic woman in Imriel's trilogy and after she leaves for Jutland with her father, Eamonn vows to find her.
Conor mac Graine Edit
Son of Grainne with an unamed lover. The third trilogy reveals that he later married Alais de la Courcel and became Cruarch of Alba.
Grainne and Eamonn mac Conor of Eire Edit
The twin rulers of the Dalriada, a tribe in Eire. They are allied with the Alban rebels and later help Phedre, Drustan and the d'Angelines against the Skaldi invasion.
- Fiery Redhead: Grainne
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hot tempered Grainne is the red oni while the calmer more rational Eamonn is the blue oni.
Dorelei mab Bredaia Edit
Drustan's niece and Imriel's later wife.
Sister of the former Cruarch and the mother of Drustan and his sisters.
Court of Night-Blooming Flowers Edit
An elite cadre of prostitutes known as Servants of Naamah that are the highest ranked courtesans in Terre d'Ange. Prostitution is considered a religious act for adepts of the Court, as it is elsewhere in Terre d'Ange, and adepts make offerings to Naamah during their service. All thirteen houses are based in the City of Elua, the d'Angeline capital in the district known as Mont Nuit. Each house has its own motto which both serves to provide their unique theory as to why Naamah offered herself to the King of Persis in d'Angeline folklore and to describe the tenets conveyed by each house.
The Houses Edit
Cereus House Edit
Camellia House Edit
Dahlia House Edit
Heliotrope House Edit
Jasmine House Edit
Eglantine House Edit
Balm House Edit
Gentian House Edit
Bryony House Edit
Mandrake House Edit
Orchis House Edit
The Unseen Guild Edit
The Guild does not directly appear in the novels, but references to them and members of the Guild turn up throughout the first two trilogies. They are based in Caerdicca Unitas and were the ones who taught both Anafiel Delaunay and Melisande Shahrizai their skills. Imriel encounters them in Kushiels Mercy and Kushiels Justice.
- School For Spying
- Shrouded in Myth
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: How some fans felt regarding the existence of the Guild. Some felt that they could have contributed more to the plot.
General Astegal Edit
The Carthaginian general who tried to make Sidonie his wife via means of a magic spell cast over Terre d'Ange.
Ptolemy Solon aka The Wise Ape of Cythera Edit
Melisande's lover and governor of the Hellene island of Cythera. Imriel travels to meet him in Kushiel's Mercy.
- Chekovs Gunman: his study of magic is essential to Imriel being able to change his face to look like Leander Maignard and enter Terre d'Ange unknown.
- Detractor Nickname: The Wise Ape
- The Smart Guy
- Ugly Guy Hot Consort Cytheran opinion of his relationship with Melisande, to the extent that they compare it with that of the [in-universe] Greek god Vulcan and his wife the Greek goddess Venus.
The Tsingani Edit
Hyacinthe's mother, a former Tsingani princess who was cast out of the nation when her cousin Csavin gambled away her virginity to a D'Angeline nobleman when gambling in the Night Court. Hyacinthe was born as a result.
King Manoj Edit
The Yeshuites Edit