All of Carriger’s characters are unique while also being firmly ensconced in their particular station in society. While they fit the technical qualifications of their social class, they each have eccentricities and talents that make them utterly unforgettable. My comments appear in normal type while @Book_Tasty’s comments appear underlined and @katsprad’s appear in italics.
Sophronia Temminnick (FS) – Sophronia is a very self-assured 14 year old. She knows what she likes and what she wants. Sophronia is fond of a good mystery and has excellent instincts for one not brought up in an Evil Genius family. While her proclivities for eavesdropping and espionage make her a wonderful candidate for Miss Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, it does tend to get her into a bind more often than not. Sophronia also tends to be a little bit more open minded to new things than her friends, although she still has a strong sense of propriety.
Alexia Tarabotti Maccon (PP) – Alexia, being a spinster, should be content to wait out her days alone in her mother’s parlor grateful for whatever excitement blows her way, but she is having none of it. With a sharp, intelligent mind and an irascible wit, Alexia refuses to hide in the shadows and crafts a reputation as an opinionated, inquisitive Progressive.
Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott (FS) – Dimity is that best friend who is slightly socially awkward and tries a little too hard….in an endearing and charming way. One frequently has to shake one’s head and sigh with Dimity, because at times she is rather helpless, but you can’t help but be fond of her anyway! The added lisp on the audiobook is just adorable.
Miss Ivy Hisselpenny (PP) – Ivy is Alexia’s dose of Pollyanna. Optimistic and overly dramatic to a fault, Ivy provides unintended comic relief in some of the most fraught parts of each book. While seeming of little substance, she does possess one rather important quality – complete devotion to those she loves. Her loyalty to Alexia is commendable and her willingness to follow her own heart in love and in fashion makes her another welcome addition to this world.
Lord Conall Maccon (PP) – With a personality to rival Alexia’s, Lord Maccon is the perfect counter-balance to Alexia’s methodical practicality. He is loud, brash, and impulsive. He makes decisions based on emotion and impulse and is fiercely possessive and protective. His passion for Alexia and his pack make him both strong and vulnerable in his devotion.
Lord Akeldama (PP) – Ironically focused on propriety and social decorum, the rove vampire brings a touch of dashing bravado and sentimentality to Alexia’s world. He reminds me of an aunt one assumes to be flaky and of little substance because of his concern for appearance and gossip but upon closer inspection, one realizes might be the most observant and insightful of them all. His penchant for overly fripperous pet names merely serves to endear him to the hearts of readers even more.
Professor Lyall (PP) – Ever the academic, Lyall is the perfect Beta to keep Lord Maccon in check. He maintains pack order and reminds Conall of important things like clothing and time of day when he is too caught up in the moment to bother with such mundanities. Lyall also emits an air of mystery throughout the first four books that ensures readers will both trust him implicitly and completely believe any unearthed villainy. He is too smart to be one dimensional.
Monique de Pelouse (FS) – Monique is the perfect nemesis for Sophronia in that she represents most of what Sophronia hates about society. One does begin feel sorry for her the farther into the books one reads as the reader realizes how desperate Monique is to be accepted and do well. She is also quite friendless (her own fault) and rather whiny.
Bumbersnoot (FS)- What could be better than a mechanical sausage dog who is so charmingly whimsical, he actually seems like a real person? He’s got attitude. He has a coal burning belly and emits cute little puffs of smoke. He wags a tiny little spring of a tail and is so good natured about being disguised as a reticule. You can’t help but smile whenever Bumbersnoot shows up in a scene!
Sandalio de Rabiffano, AKA Biffy (PP)- Every lady–and gentleman–needs a dandy who can create a ravishing coiffure, put together a divine ensemble, gather delicious gossip, and manage delicate intrigues, all without mussing his hair or smudging his fabulous waistcoat. Our dear Biffy is just that lively and lovely soul, and he brings the perfect touch to Alexia’s world.
Sidheag Maccon (FS & PP)- Raised by men–soldiers, Scots, and wolves, all–Sidheag is often both the roughest and the highest ranking lady in the room. Her rangy figure and gleaming golden eyes can be intimidating, and Lord Maccon’s several-times-great granddaughter uses them to her advantage. A loyal friend and staunch ally to Sophronia, and an occasional trial to Alexia, Sidheag is one of the few characters who appears in both series.
Phineas B. Crow, AKA Soap (FS)- Soap, a sooty in the boilers of the giant dirigible of Madame Geraldine’s, is Sophronia’s friend, confidant, supporter, and possible love interest. Soap shows Sophronia the world beyond her middle-class upbringing, and he provides her with an unwavering moral compass as she tries her considerable skills as a covert operator. And that smile!