Alys de Sant
Alys doesn’t realise how little she knows about herself, but her past is full of secrets she is yet to uncover. Running away from home at seventeen, she married a violent man who has made her utterly miserable. After years of abuse, Alys is more timid than she was as a child, though the more she is away from her husband, the more her confidence starts to return, and the more she starts to discover about who she really is.
Lord Reinar Vilander
Reinar’s life has fallen apart, and he’s only just holding himself together. After his father took ill, he became a lord, and then his twin sons were stillborn, and now his wife has left him. He is struggling to hold himself together, the weight of responsibility almost crushing him. He is a loyal man, in love with his wife, ready to carry out his oath to his king, but meeting Alys forces him to question everything vhe believes in.
Sigurd was rescued from the forest as a baby, brought to Ottby by Stellan Vilander, raised as his own son. Gerda never wanted him and has never been kind to him, and Sigurd has grown up feeling slightly confused about who he truly is. He’s cynical, choosing not to put much value in gods or dreamers. He feels a great responsibility to help Reinar who has always looked after him, even though part of him longs to be free and escape the confines of Ottby and Gerda’s judgement.
Madly in love with Sigurd, against her better judgement. She left her home in Kalmera to go to Alekka with Sigurd, though she hates the cold weather and the threat of winter. Kalmera is a hot and dry land with sun that warms her, and she longs to return. But she won’t leave Sigurd, who won’t leave Reinar. She resents him, but she also wants to marry him. And caught in the middle of that mess, she is often bad-tempered.
Raised to seek the Alekkan throne, Hakon is single-minded when it comes to his ambition. For him, everyone and everything is transactional, a mere stepping stone to getting what he wants most. His father was the dominant force in his life, showing him little affection, and even after his death, Hakon is motivated by the need to make him proud. He is cruel and violent, and dangerous to be around.
Eddeth is Ottby’s healer, a woman with great knowledge of herbs and symbols, but little understanding of herself. Married three times, unsuccessfully, she now lives alone with her angry cat, Rigfuss. She enjoys making herbal teas and is particularly enamoured with dreamers, always wishing she had been born one. She appears muddled and confused, though she has more answers than anyone realises.