I thought it would be fun to make a cast list (with pictures!) of the main characters in River Running, for your enjoyment. If you’ve read the book, here’s your chance to see if how you pictured the characters matches up with how I pictured the characters. If you haven’t read the book, take a gander at these characters, and maybe you’ll be enticed into reading their stories.
Tortured veteran of the War of the Rebellion and master of Coalhaven, the largest indigo plantation in Arcana. Jackson’s childhood and experience in the war have embittered him, and few can reach through the hardened shell he presents to the rest of the world. A man of intense characteristics, one line from his mother long ago describes him well: But you’re a free spirit, aren’t you, Jack? A wildfire on the mountains.
Distinguishing characteristics (that didn’t make the picture): a v-scar under one eye, a missing pinky finger on his left hand, courtesy of the war.
Orphaned and abandoned by a cruel step-father at an institution, Manda Rivers still tries to do her best and help others. When a new position opens at Coalhaven Plantation to care for a mysterious and possibly illegal halfmage child, she applies. As a water halfmage herself, Manda understands the dangers halfmages face in a society that shuns them. Manda isn’t afraid to use her water magic, but she doesn’t yet realize how powerful she really is.
Distinguishing characteristics: Dark curls, olive skin, startling blue eyes.
Jackson’s ward and Manda’s charge, Grey is seven years old and has spent his life untrained as a water halfmage. His power is great but his control is poor. His mother died long ago, and his father, Jackson’s best friend, died in a secret mission during the war. Can Grey find a place in the new family forming at Coalhaven?
Distinguishing characteristics: brown hair, grey-blue eyes, a mischievious personality
Coalhaven’s mysterious butler, Alexander Stone, has secrets from his past that he will not reveal. Kind and fastidious, Stone is an earthmage with considerable power. Raised among his Nanukata tribe, his facility with magic extends beyond the bounds of Arcanan powers. He allies himself with Jackson in the fight against the fullmage bigots who threaten Coalhaven.
Distinguishing characteristics: dark-honey skin, kind brown eyes, and an unreadable face
Manda’s rival and Jackson’s fiancee, Leah Blazen is a firemage from an old fullmage family whose plantation was attacked by its mundane workers during the war for reasons unknown. Leah has an uncanny power leashed inside the artful firehearts she makes, and her ambitions extend to Coalhaven.
Distinguishing characteristics: strawberry blonde hair, cat-like green eyes, petite and precise form, Leah’s mask-like face gives nothing away.
Wilcott is Leah’s father, the head of the Blazen family, a fire fullmage, and a member of the Indigo Wells Purchase Bureau. He knows about the mysterious spellwork known as magemarks that tortures Jackson, but he is reluctant to share his knowledge without something in return.
Distinguishing characteristics: A shorter, rounder man with apple-y cheeks.
Elijah (Lige) Lake
Elijah, a water fullmage, was Grey’s father and Jackson’s best friend. He was killed in a secret mission at the end of the war.
Distinguishing characteristics: Tall, with brown hair and brilliant blue eyes.
Daniel is Elijah’s father, a water fullmage with a long history of advocating for fullmage blood purity. He hates halfmages and their uncontrollable powers, and is one of the leaders in their legal and vigilante persecution. A member of the Indigo Wells Purchase Bureau and one of the most powerful men in Arcana, he would do anything to capture his illegal grandson and strip Jackson Coal, the Leveler rebel, of his property of Coalhaven, which produces so much magical grade indigo.
Distinguishing characteristics: tall and sinewy, with greying brown hair and blue-grey eyes
An airmage from the Akwa Islands, Rose is the cook at Coalhaven, and Manda’s first friend there. Rose is good-natured and friendly, and teaches Grey about the way the Akwa Islanders use magical grade indigo in their magic karpeti.
Distinguishing characteristics: dark curls and skin, with a splash of freckles across her nose