Kate Starling

13-year-old Kate is confident and headstrong, and something of a loner. She had a wild upbringing in England, on the moors of Devon and the mean streets of London. She learned combat and survival skills from an uncle whom she loved like the father she never knew. She treasures the broken pocket watch her uncle gave to her, before he disappeared from her life too.


Kate’s Watch

Kate’s uncle gave her a golden pocket watch on her seventh birthday. It was old and broken. It didn’t even have hands! But Kate treasures it.










Lewis Cole

11-year-old Lewis is smart but painfully shy. He grew up in the Keep, mostly alone, raised by its staff since his grandmother, Dr Cole, isn’t around much. He’s studied the books and artifacts in the Keep all his life, so he knows a lot about history and archaeology. He carries an old journal filled with faded notes and sketches, increasingly of his own making as he spends his days exploring the Keep and its collections. And noting how many of its objects – strangely – appear to be in his journal already.


Lewis’ Journal

On his seventh birthday, Dr Cole gave Lewis a battered leather journal. Most of the pages were filled with other people’s notes, maps, and drawings, many of them so faded he could barely read them. Some pages were empty, so Lewis took to writing his own entries on the blank pages.











Will and Iris Starling

8-year-old twins Will and Iris were raised in London by nannies and tutors, and spent much of their young lives touring the great sites and cultural institutions of the world, fulfilling their absent parents’ wishes.


Will is boisterous, naughty, and an avid maker and breaker of things. He’s forever fiddling and sneaking into places he shouldn’t, aided by the all-in-one tool that once belonged to his father.  Beneath a playful and sunny exterior, Will struggles with the loss of his parents, and though he hides it mostly, resents his unorthodox upbringing. Sometimes it leaks out in the ham radio show he scripts and records on his Mp3 player.



Will’s tool

Following her instructions, Nanny Matilda carefully wrapped Alastair Starling’s trusty multipurpose tool as a seventh birthday present for his only son. Will prizes the tool above all else.  It is a rare link to his father, and a means to achieve the daily tinkering, mischief-making, and fun that is Will’s world.









Iris is kind, calm, and serious. Unfailingly polite, she is opinionated and wise beyond her years. She’s frail and often ill. She loves music, art, and all living things. She’s obsessed with fading memories of her mother, whom she’s fond of quoting. Iris always sees the best in people even when she shouldn’t. Her best friend is Kismet, a starling that tapped on her bedroom window on the morning she turned seven, and refused to leave.



Iris’ pet

Kismet is Iris’s pet and loyal friend, fond of perching on her shoulder or riding in her dress pocket. Iris sometimes finds Kismet’s behavior odd, but she loves him dearly all the same.