The time has come for our final deep dive into Hall of Blood & Mercy characters, so today I thought we’d cover the most important character of all…
Aphrodite, the curiously intelligent tea chooser and magical (?) pet!
According to the Paragon, Aphrodite comes from a highly prized line of sphinx cats, and her littermates were all scattered across various realms and universes due to their special abilities. (Who knows, maybe you’ve read about one of her siblings in another book?!)
Aphrodite is the most wondrous, perfect, beautiful, intelligent, remarkable, astute, astounding character in all of trilogy…and I’m just kidding! 😉 We’re actually going to look at Gavino and Momoko!
Momoko Yamada is one of Hazel’s childhood friends, and together with Felix Clark they form and unstoppable trio.
Although Felix and Hazel have more power, Momoko has excellent control over her magic and is able to perform tiny, precise spells that often serve as a linchpin in Hazel’s plans. Momoko’s control is rare because the favored spells among wizards–like fireball–are more about power than pinpoint precision. However, she proves again and again that often times control is more vital for survival between the experience in the Cloisters and the fight with the Night Court.
Momoko typically wears all black. She primarily does this to mess with others and to project an image that purposely sparks preconceived notions. (One of Momoko’s favorite activities is to act opposite what others would expect.)
It is this inert fire of hers that make her quick to adapt and embrace the changes Hazel suggests, and she fast becomes one of House Medeis’s best fighters as a result. It’s also why she so easily accepts the Drake Vampires.
Early on, Momoko accepts the Drake Vampires. She works with Celestina and Josh so they can apologize to Hazel long before the rest of the wizards were comfortable with the Drakes, is on friendly terms with Gavino, and likes to make Rupert uncomfortable. By the end of the series, she’s carefully considering which vampire she should offer her blood to, because she wants to choose a vampire partner who she’ll fight well with.
This careful consideration is a result of her fierce loyalty. But that doesn’t make her blind to her friends’ and family’s difficulties, and she will not hesitate to call her loved ones out if she feels they’re being stupid.
Momoko is the the only child of her parents, the Yamadas, and is of Japanese-American descent.
Despite being incredibly ripped, competent in most forms of combat, and–Hazel suspects–capable of wrestling a bear, Gavino Drake falls in the lower echelon of the Drake Family. (Which should tell you just how powerful the Drakes are.)
In a normal vampire Family, this would mean he deserved little respect and would be mostly abused or ignored. But the Drakes aren’t like any other Family, so instead Gavino is valued for his strengths and treated as a beloved Family member.
Gavino is among the youngest vampires in the Drake Family, has markedly better people skills, and is also more comfortable with humans–wizards included. He is also extremely trustworthy, and it is that specific character trait that spurs Killian into choosing him as Hazel’s trainer. In turn, she eventually requests that he train the wizards in her House because she also trusts him.
As a result, he is the first vampire who comes to live-even temporarily–in House Medeis. While not discussed in the book, at the time Gavino is the only vampire willing to live in the wizard House–a testament to both his strength of mind and his capacity to care for others. He fits in among the wizards with ease, and is one of the reasons why they come to trust the Drakes so quickly.
Gavino also becomes one of the vampires who moves back and forth between wizard House and vampire Hall with Hazel and Killian, and his sense of humor and caring attitude make him a general favorite with the wizards–although they do enjoy terrorizing Rupert with hugs even more. (Preferably with Gavino on hand to snicker with them.) He genuinely loves to train–both with weapons and in general physical fitness–and he unwaveringly pledges his entire being and loyalty to Killian…and now Hazel as well.
And that covers Momoko and Gavino! 😀 Both of these characters were among my favorites to write because they’re both so different from what you’d expect of their supernatural classification. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic week!