Meet the Wicked Lovely Faeries

Aislinn or Aisling (ASH-ling)—“vision” or “dream.” The nickname for her, “Ash,” also has significance in regard to Celtic mythology: Rowan (mountain ash) is one of the sacred woods. Further, ashes are what’s left behind after something or someone is burnt away. Ash is a teenage girl who—like her mother and grandmother before her—has the ability to see the faeries who walk among us. More than anything, she simply wants a normal life—college, a relationship, a future away from the world of faeries. She likes fairy tales, pool halls, photography, and art. Ash is one of the narrators of Wicked Lovely , Fragile Eternity, and Darkest Mercy (the fifth Wicked Lovely book, coming 2011).

Donia (don ya)—“bitter” or “dark.” Donia was once mortal, until she was chosen as a possibility for being the Summer Queen. Now, she is the Winter Girl, cold, angry, and rule-bound to oppose Keenan each time he chooses another mortal girl. Her sole companion, Sasha, is a wolf. She is torn between helping Beira in order to end the pain of ice in her veins and refusing to help her because the consequences of Beira’s success are environmentally awful. Donia is one of the narrators of Wicked Lovely, Fragile Eternity, and Darkest Mercy (the fifth Wicked Lovely book, coming 2011).

Keenan —“ancient one.” Keenan is the Summer King. Nine centuries ago, his mother (Beira, the Winter Queen) had Irial bind Keenan after the death of the last Summer King (Miach, who is Keenan’s father). Unless Keenan finds the mortal girl who holds that missing sunlight, he’s unable to wake summer. He is in love with Donia and has ordered his court guards to protect her. He’s as volatile as summer storms, prone to mood swings. Keenan is one of the narrators of Wicked Lovely .

Beira —a version of Cailleach Bheur /Bheirre /Beara /Bheara /Birra /Beirre . The myth behind her is too complex for a simple definition. In Wicked Lovely, I’ve made my Beira what winter is to me—beautiful and awful, terrifying and lovely. She is mother to Keenan, the current Summer King, and murderer of Miach (the last Summer King). Her objective is to let winter continue to grow until there is no more summer. The death of mortals is neither a motivation nor a deterrent in this plan. Her court will survive; the rest is immaterial. She’s also a fan of stereotypical 1950s (and beyond) iconography of conservative womanhood—and the femme fatale inversion of this.

Seth —From Biblical origins, Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve; his name means “appointed.” In an alternate etymology (Greek), his name means “dazzle.” Seth is supportive, pierced, smart, individual, and sexy. In Wicked Lovely, we only see Seth from Ash’s, Keenan’s, and Donia’s perspectives, so his moments of insecurity and worry aren’t visible. He’s out of school, but has not got around to going to college yet. He reads voraciously, creates art in various mediums, and enjoys the freedom of living in a restored train—by his own rules and on his own dime. His parents are modern hippies who are currently following a religious inclination that led them to forsake material possessions and travel. They call and send letters. Seth respects their individuality, even though he has occasional moments of frustration at them. Seth is one of the narrators of Fragile Eternity.

Grams (Elena ) —An alt form of Helen, meaning “light” or “torch.” Grams has lived her life by the rules. She’s raised a daughter and a granddaughter who can see the faeries. She wouldn’t use the word, but she is a feminist. She loved her husband enough that remarriage after his death never appealed to her (although she does have a bit of a long-standing crush on meteorologist John Coleman). She likes doing crossword puzzles; watching CNN, the local news, or the Weather Channel; and volunteering at several charities during the day when Ash is at school.