Her name is Her Royal Highness Sena Reala Isalur, Princess of Outer Reicot, and she is our protagonist. Sena, called Sister Swan by her brothers, is the fourth child of five, and the youngest sister among her siblings. Most in her father’s court know her for her sharp wit and disdain for them.
At seventeen, she spends most of her time away from home, in the Academy for her education. There, she has friends and, after years of work, has taught most everyone to view her as Sena, not Princess Sena. Her favorite subjects are Magical Studies and Architecture, though her family presses her into many etiquette and behavioral classes.
Sena is brilliantly intelligent and bristles at the “backwards” notions of her role in the kingdom. Her father, King Garifond IV has all but given up on finding a suitor for her, most leaving in a blind rage from their meeting. This strains thing with him a bit, as he wants her to be her own person, but he also doesn’t know how she would be happy without a husband.
Her mother, Queen Reala, is usually frustrated with her, admonishing her for “acting out of her station.” While Reala shares many of Sena’s views on the way things should be done, her mother also sees that the best way to get there it to work the system rather than ignore it. In the Queen’s words, “idealism is fine for discussion, but pragmatism is what changes the world.”
Sena’s older brother is His Royal Highness Garifond Richard Isalur V, Crown Prince of the Great Kingdoms of Autland and Isuldur, or, as she calls him, Dickie. Dickie’s views on his youngest sister is that of a supporting brother. He understands her drive to change the way the world sees things, and often uses her as an unofficial adviser when he needs another perspective.
Their oldest sister, the second child, Jaina, is married and living with her Prince in a distant kingdom. She was always distant from her sister, knowing that she would hardly see her to form bonds. Sena felt this from the day she was eight, and has always carried an unresolved resentment at it.
The true middle child, Mara, born three years before Sena, has always been antagonistic toward the youngest Isalur girl. Knowing that Sena shares their father’s good nature and their mother’s worldview, Mara has always set out to prove that she is the better Princess. Mara, unlike Sena, views her role in society as perfectly acceptable, if not preferable to the alternatives.
Sena’s younger brother, three years her junior, is the gentle Prince Krum Jonas Isalur, or Jock to Sena. Jock’s view on Sena is informed by her constant urging him to do whatever he wants to do, as he isn’t going to be king anyway. This leads him to taking us patronage of the arts, and his nickname among the bohemians of the capital, Papa Jo.
But closer to Sena than any member of her family is her best friend, Lady Nadine Weiss. Having been close to one another since they arrived at the Academy six years prior, Naddie and Sena have a nearly unbreakable bond. So close are the girls that rumors have spread all over noble society, though both are incredibly tight lipped about it.