The Paper Crowns novels are populated by faeries and wyslings both male and female, but the male characters have received a lot of loving attention from readers (and myself, naturally). They nearly surpass the male cast of This Mortal Coil for my favorites. So, in keeping with the character graphic thingamabobs, I made one for each of my male characters from Paper Crowns and Paper Hearts. I didn’t have to sit and think about stories and lives for these guys – they showed up and told me who they were, and said they were now part of my cast. I didn’t complain.
Halcyon and Azrael generally tie for favorite character. Halcyon is a fey warrior, and like all fey warriors, he can choose one form to change in and out of. He chose a cat for several advantages, but as his hair is a furry blue, he is a furry blue cat as well.
His personality is very like a Siamese cat – aloof, lofty, and ever-ready to use his claws. He is mind-bound to Ginny and has guarded her since she was a baby, and he cares more for her than (quite literally) anyone else.
“I hope you get a thorn in your paw one of these days. You won’t be so flippant about it then.”
Azrael is a wysling under a curse. His heart has been turned to glass, and he keeps it tucked carefully away in a box. Sarcastic, snarky, difficult to get along with and frequently oblivious to the feelings of others, he takes an apprentice on as a challenge to a dead queen’s curse on himself, and he begins to both regret it and adore it as Rooney works her way into his grudging affections. Little does she know that, in a box hidden upstairs, his heart is slowly cracking, and should it break, he will die. For being under so much pressure, Azrael manages to be the most hilarious character in the entire cast.
“Now that you know who I’m not, I’d dearly love to know who you are.”
Asterope is another wysling who has several appearances scattered throughout the books. He’s soft-spoken, kind-hearted, and lazy to a fault, although his laziness is more productive than most busy people’s productivity.
He’s very relaxed and laid-back and he lets his apprentice take charge of most things, as it saves him the trouble and keeps him out of arguments he’d rather not enter in the first place. Though he may not seem like the heroic type, he frequently surprises things by stepping out of character.
“Lazy?” Asterope called, his voice laced with indignance. “How dare you. Let me assure you, Theodora, that it may look as if I do nothing, but on a cellular level I’m really quite busy.”
Rusty is not his actual name. When Azrael un-wysers him from his cello form and brings his real body back out, he has no memory of who he was and so he pulls a name out of thin air. Arrogant, haughty, and less than helpful, neither Azrael nor Rooney warm up to him very quickly. Once he settles in, however, Rusty becomes far more likable in his own oddly endearing sort of way, and even becomes a sort of surrogate uncle to Lucy and Alastair, Azrael’s younger siblings.
“I am fine,” said the stranger. Every line of his pale, steely face was set in grim displeasure. “No thanks to your slapdash wysary.”
Castor is a netherfaerie, an exile from the greylands. Nobody is quite sure what he did to deserve it. Now he rules as king of the netherfaerie in the greenlands, traveling with the goblin market, enticing humans and netherfey alike. While he is not a wysling, Castor is powerful in his own right; clever, capricious, and unpredictable. No one is quite sure how old he is, how powerful he is, or how dangerous; but they know he is all three, and the smart ones behave accordingly.
He tilted his head and smiled his animal smile. “What harm could I possibly want to come to an innocent little girl?” He emphasized the first half of each word – INNocent LITtle GIRl’ – and made it as musical as a violin and as serrated as a piece of broken glass. Something about the way he spoke told me how dangerous he was, even more than his sharpened teeth or his eyes or the chemical aura that surrounded him.
Astryn is a hyinen, an ice-elf from Queen Maven’s winter kingdom, although like Rusty, he is not what he appears to be. He and Halcyon rub each other the wrong way, and as a result, neither of them can speak to the other without inciting an argument or verbal assault. Astryn is a puzzle, working for the queen, with moments where Ginger wonders where his allegiance truly lies.
“Princess,” he said politely. “It’s nice to see you looking so well.” “That’s an odd thing to say, for someone who killed my aunt and has been trying to hunt me down for the past week,” I said, sniffing as the cold began to seep into my nose. “Yes, I can see that,” said the hyinen.
He’s very heroic in his own bashful, ‘please don’t compliment me because I won’t acknowledge it’ way, and he is written all in CAPSLOCK which should give you a hint concerning his personality. I do love Salazar.
I knew who I was looking at; no one had to tell me. Salazar crackled, “DOWN WITH THE WINTER QUEEN” and shrank back down to the size of a match in the same breath.