Cast of characters
Even though Flame was rescued from the streets by Silvers who raised her as their own, she never lost her edge, and when her adoptive parents were executed by the Royalists, she vowed revenge. Now, she’s a spritely, tart-tongued Fienian who specializes in explosives, the banned art of Reconstruction, and turning harmless accessories into weapons.
Emperor Rand Laevus III
The third Emperor from House Laevus and ruler of the northern Royalist territories, he started out trying to make peace with the Fienians. But after the death of his wife and child at their hands, he switched his mindset. Now, he’s not only cruel, he’s perverse and paranoid, lopping off the head of anyone he even suspects of being a Fienian Sympathizer. He’s also the architect of the Chosen and project Hyperion.
adoptive brother of Flame, Cage works as a biotech specialist in the banned art of Reconstruction and generally keeps Flame from acting out on her violent impulses.
Prince Caspian Laevus
Nicknamed “Cas” Chosen before birth to carry on the human race after the asteroid, the Crown Prince was once Matched to Maia—before she was labeled a traitor’s daughter and fled. Now, he has no idea the fallen Gold girl he’s mentoring for the Shadow Trials is actually his first love, or that after she wins the trials, she’s going to kill his father.
Nicknamed “Puppeteer.” Burned beyond recognition, no one knows much about Nicolai, or why he wants the Emperor dead, only that he’s willing to use all of his resources to achieve his goal, including breaking Maia and Riser out of the pit and reconstructing them into lords and ladies of the Royalist court so they can compete in the Shadow Trials.
Princess Ophelia Laevus
Nicknamed “O.” A Chosen like her twin brother, Caspian, O’s sweet, timid demeanor disappoints her father the Emperor—but time will tell if she’s as timid as everyone believes.
Lady Teagan Aster
heir to the largest mining fortune in the north, Teagan’s family comes from a long line of Royalists. But rumors—that she’s a subversive, that she doesn’t follow Color and the court rules—have stripped her from a GOLD to a BRONZE, meaning she has to compete in the Shadow Trials if she wants to make it to Hyperion. But Teagan’s not one to follow the rules, and she has something else in mind when she enters the Emperor’s Island.
Countess Delphine Bloodwood
One of the Emperor’s Chosen, the Countess embodies everything the Emperor wants in his courtiers: ruthlessness, courage, beauty, and ferocity. It’s no coincidence she is Matched to the Emperor’s firstborn son, Caspian—not that Caspian had any say in the matter.
Nicknamed “Merc” This gruff ex-Centurion turned mercenary works for Nicolai, but he has a secret agenda—and a habit of abusing tar, the drug secretly distributed to the Diamond Cities to keep the populace content.
Count Roman Bloodwood
Delphine’s twin brother and a Chosen, Roman is the male version of Delphine: violent, brutish, he uses strength where Delphine uses power to manipulate the court.
Lord Riser Thornbrook
Nicknamed “Pit Boy” Born in a Bronze prison, Riser learned early on that violence is the only tool that will keep him alive. Now, he’s being offered the chance to escape his prison hell and join the Shadow Trials at court, but first he must be reconstructed into a gentleman, something that proves easier said than done.
Archduchess Victoria Crowley
A malignant and the Emperor’s favorite instrument of fear, she’s been tracking Maia for years, trying to find the key her father hid inside her. Her specialty is torture, her favorite weapon her hat pin, and when she’s not killing everyone in her path to find Maia, she enjoys fawning over the Emperor.
Lady Maia Graystone/Everly March
Nicknamed “Digger Girl” When Maia was thrown into the pits of Rhine Prison, she thought she would die there. Now, Nicolai is offering her a spot in the Shadow Trials, along with the chance of being reconstructed into what her parents should have made her, beautiful, brave Lady Everly March, a fallen GOLD courtier. But the offer comes with a price: she must partner with the psychopathic Riser and become an assassin for Nicolai.
Lady Lucy Redgrave
Ex-Chosen, the story behind her fall from grace is a mystery. But now she and her twin-brother, Hugo, are finalists in the Shadow Trials, and they’ll do whatever necessary to win.
Marquess Amandine Croft
Amandine was a known Fienian Sympathizer, but that didn’t keep the Crown Prince at the time, Prince Rand Laevus, from falling for her. Unfortunately, his father, the Emperor II, found out and sent her to Rhine Prison, where she eventually died.
Lord Hugo Redgrave
Although quiet, Lord Hugo is anything but nice, and he carries around his favorite weapon—a push dagger—for whenever he needs to silently off someone.
Marquis Ezra Croft
A GOLD from the prominent House Croft, Ezra was a Fienian Sympathizer who became enraged at the unjust imprisonment of his sister, Amandine. He eventually became the leader of the Fienians, and his short-lived reign proved the bloodiest, as he gained control of the empire’s precious Diamond Cities. Ezra was responsible for the bombing that killed the Emperor’s wife and newborn daughter, and after this act he was hunted down and killed.
Lady Merida Pope
A fallen Gold from the tainted House Pope, Merida becomes a finalist in the Shadow Trials, even though she knows she stands little chance. To survive, she must ally with Lady Everly March, but would a strong finalist like Lady Everly ever help someone like her?
Lord Rhydian Pope
the son of a traitor, Rhydian carries his shame on his shoulders for all to see. But he’s determined to keep himself and his cousin, Lady Merida, alive, no matter what.