Novel Characters


Rocco lives with his human mother in a village on the banks of the Ebo River, in Lower Terrakesh. He is the only villager with wings.

He loves to fly over the Endless Plains, looking down on the lions, cheetahs, and wildebeests.  

The urvogels living on the cliffs of Upper Terrakesh have white wings. Rocco’s wings are blue, and at night, also bioluminescent.


Basalt is urvogel (urvogel means “ancient bird”).  Basalt lives in the urvogel colony of Krakatoan,  on the cliffs of Upper Terrakesh.  Urvogels are highly social creatures ruled by a female Archurvogel who presides like a queen bee.  She dispenses her royal dust, a white powder that puts urvogels in a trance-like state. Urvogels get deathly sick if they leave their colony.  At great personal cost, Basalt leads his group of friends on a dangerous journey into the Badlands.




Vesta (urvogel) is a master at akiva-du, aerial sword play.  She’s a naturalist and likes to sketch things in her little book. Private possession of books is forbidden in Krakatoan.  Those who get caught are charged with a crime of vanity.  If convicted, their wings are cut off.  Vesta often wears a feather in her hair and bangles on her feet. She becomes Rocco’s strongest ally. 


Magma (urvogel) is plagued by doubts.  He has a red stain on his throat that flares up when he gets excited or upset. Magma plays with bones from small birds and animals. Like most urvogel males, Magma wears his hair in a topknot.  He is skilled at akiva-du, an art form used to combat the Air Marshals who pursue them.


Iggy (“Ignimbrite”, also urvogel) is the youngest of the group, and everyone’s favourite. He’s playful, kind, and talkative.  His favourite colour is red. Urvogels groom each other’s wings.  Iggy is the first to groom Rocco’s wings. Iggy and the others fall deathly sick with separation sickness when they leave their colony.