Meet the main characters in the Legends of Liria series:

Petra: a sandy-haired young girl of Celtic origin, and an orphan, she has earned a place in Zoran’s troupe of performers. A 12-year-old apprentice, she is skilled in all manner of fire-juggling, spinning and throwing skills, as well as contortion and tumbling, although she has a fear of heights. A complete contrast to Svila, Petra is often cautious and wary, although fiercely determined once she has decided to do something. Petra is wiser and more disciplined than Svila, and has taught herself to read and write. Slowly, she comes out of her shell, overcoming her greatest fears.

Svila: the star of Zoran’s troupe. Svila, 14, is most at home upside-down performing dangerous feats and amazing the crowds. Hot-headed to the point of wildness, she has embraced the life of a circus performer and initially shows no interest in reading and writing. When Zoran is arrested and reveals that he has been organising a resistance to reunite Liria, she simply wants to save him and go back to the old ways, but the quest takes hold, and she puts her abilities to greater use. Her major skill is climbing silks, and she keeps a length of the finest material bound round her waist for any occasion. She, too, has fears, which she keeps well hidden.

Zoran: seemingly a bluff and cheery theatre manager, Zoran has been secretly setting up a resistance as his troupe travels the palaces of Liria. Inspired by the old legends, he weaves them into dazzling performances, subtly reminding his country people of their former glory. Generous of spirit, he and his long-suffering partner Broda have taken in waifs and strays and trained them to help them survive in a tough world. When captured, his true bravery is revealed and he allows himself to be imprisoned to give Svila and Petra to complete their quest – although he is, of course, a master escape artist!

Broda: his long-suffering companion, patiently waiting for Zoran to take the vow and become her husband.Strong, yet sentimental, she is prepared to defend the young children of the troupe with her life.

Kurova Grax: the scheming wife of the new Governor (who dies in suspicious circumstances before the story starts), Grax has decided to complete the invasion of Liria for herself and her family. Her spies have located a parchment telling of the legend of the ancient queen of Liria, mistress of the old magic, and her lost crown. The rest of the legend is lost, but Grax is determined. Her crack troops from Bura sweep into Liria, in a surprise attack, and each city is under her control, while she seizes the capital for herself. It is then a race against time to see who will find the charms first, but Grax has more ruthless tricks up her sleeve as she sends her tracker, Mirko, to shadow Petra and Svila every step of the way ...

Princess of Liria: a rather spoilt, haughty young woman. Svila and Petra must learn to sympathise, realising Daria has been in isolation all her life.

Cedonia: Danitza’s long-suffering guardian, loyal to Kurova Grax and the household.

Mirko: a stage hand with a dark side. 

Skaliari: Grax’s first-born. A vicious young man with a mean streak. Spoilt and petulant, he is fast developing wily skills of survival as he seeks to improve his power base.

Dmitri and Dvora: archivists in charge of the library at Gorach. At first timid in the face of the enemy, brother and sister rise to the challenge .... and venture out of the book stacks and into the battle field.

Boko: Skaliari’s younger brother, and rival for his mother’s attention. Plump but merciless, he has a taste for violence – and pudding.

Yezda: a huntress, and one of the tribal leaders in the nomad settlement of Bijelo-Vadek. Strong, disciplined and independent, she takes her role as head of safety with deadly seriousness. Physically agile, she defends her people with cunning and courage, and becomes something of a role model to Svila and Petra.

Otrovia: a determined character, the second eldest daughter of Kurova Grax, has nerves of steel and an unhealthy interest in potions.

Vico: son of one of Zoran’s allies in the ‘tree’ city of Suma Luka. Sullen and hot-headed by turns, he fears for his father’s life and has no qualms about putting Svila and Petra to the test. Later, he mellows, becoming a stalwart friend and equal in the fight against Kurova Grax and her cronies.

Danitza: Grax’s youngest child, a scheming young woman who is fast acquiring her mother’s taste for power.