Here’s the main cast of Hands Held in the Snow. Check out their character profiles for an overview of each character, plus super secret facts that don’t appear in the novel itself!
Click on the character names for a list of each character’s appearances throughout the novel. It’s very helpful for minor characters if you’re trying to find a certain chapter you remember. (Warning: Cast tag pages contain full chapters, so there’s spoilers aplenty.)
Emi is the daughter of two of Elince’s most famous diplomats, and the youngest child of the L’Hime Family. Constantly feeling overshadowed by her successful older brothers and being forced into the life of the wealthy, Emi feels very cooped up in her life and eager to rebel at every turn. She’s been looking for a chance at real adventure… if only she had enough social aptitude to make that happen.
Thanks to her parents, she’s been engaged for years to a noblewoman from Zahn named Lady Khara. She’s never met the woman, but… well, she tries not to think about it.
Likes: Reading books, people-watching, cute girls.
Dislikes: Crowds, being told what to do, greyback bears, the future.
Secret: Emi had a tutor before Ms. Khami took over, but he quit after she threw a temper tantrum so fierce he ended up with bruises.
Beatrice is a bright young student at the St. Helens Junior Priest Academy. As soon as she graduates, she wants to join the priesthood and become the best there ever was. She may have to sacrifice her ability to see her family or friends ever again, but being a priest has been her dream since childhood and she knows she wants to make a difference in the world.
She’s the daughter of a librarian, and so spends a great amount of her life sitting around reading the many books she comes across. Learning new things is never a problem!
Likes: Reading books, doing well on tests, adventure & travel.
Dislikes: Her appearance, her weird habits, her few friends, herself…
Secret: Beatrice took a stuffed animal to school with her every day for the first two years at St. Helens. Its name was Kissums.
Bodhi is one of Beatrice’s classmates at the St. Helens Academy, as well as a childhood friend. He’s two years older, but they’re both in the Grade-AA class together, soon to graduate and move on with their adult lives. He’s a dashing beauty with a good wit, but all he wants to be is a shoemaker like his father. He always calls Beatrice by “Bea,” even though it really annoys her, and constantly plays skeptical about her faith in the Gods.
Likes: Hats, smirking, shoemaking.
Dislikes: Condescension, blind faith, being told what to do.
Secret: He lost a hat in St. Helens five years ago and has been looking for it ever since. It still hasn’t come up.
Tia is the premier nobleboy of Balarand, the sole heir to the prestigious Knoll Family that controls a significant portion of all the wealth in the kingdom. His primary hobby is crossdressing and fashion; it’s still seen as a bit odd by many, but he takes it in stride. Emi is his favorite friend thanks to the fact he can tease her about literally anything and she’ll explode into a mess of blushing. Has a boyfriend (who appears sometimes).
Likes: Flirting, clothes, makeup, cute boys, cute girls, cuties in general.
Dislikes: Snobs, droll and dreary settings, self-reflection.
Secret: As a child, he followed Emi around like a scared greyback cub and they did everything together. Now he’s the one forcing her to go places with him.
Mr. Statusian is one of the bright, up-and-coming priests in the entire Church and the youngest teacher at the St. Helens Academy. He teaches the upper-grade religion classes and coordinates the Winter Ceremonies ritual every year. He’s tried to act as Beatrice’s mentor for several years now; he believes she has the capability to be a priest who will genuinely change the world. Maybe playing favorites with students is unfair, but he doesn’t seem to care. Nice, but doesn’t smile too often.
Likes: The Gods, magic studies, debating.
Dislikes: Corruption, injustice, poorly-written newspaper op-eds.
Secret: He used to be a huge reader, but he hasn’t gotten through a fiction book in almost a decade.
Ms. Khami is Emi’s housekeeper and private tutor. She’s worked for the L’Hime Family since she was a young child, effectively raised as an older sister to Emi’s mother. She is strict and stringent with her pupil’s upbringing, insisting that she be educated in every field imaginable from dance to botany to military strategy. Only the most proper of ladies could pass under Ms. Khami’s harsh judgment, and Emi is certainly not a very proper lady. The two often clash. There is a lot of yelling.
Likes: Civility, respect, a nice bath after a hard’s day work.
Dislikes: Slacking off, not finishing one’s food, being open with emotions.
Secret: Khami is her first name.
Runa is a young academic prodigy who, after being expelled from the prestigious Holy Universal School, decided to devote her entire life to the Grand Experiment. She is mum on the details of what her experiment actually is, but it may be best if we never know. Beatrice babysat her for many years, mostly because her mother thought she needed to spend more time with friends.
Likes: Science, soul magic, cookies, cute girls
Dislikes: Authority, repression, the forces of good
Pip is one of the L’Hime Family’s most recent hires for a handmaid. She helps Ms. Khami around the house and cleans up after Emi’s many messes. She’s always chipper, always adorable, and never resists a moment to flirt with any woman who strikes her fancy. While she takes pride in doing a good job, she’s not exactly invested in this job. It’s just something to earn some extra coin.
Likes: Cute girls, kissing cute girls, cute smiles from cute girls, food.
Dislikes: No particular dislikes. She’s a pretty reasonable gal.
Secret: She’s had a huge crush on Tia Knoll since their first conversation. She has been completely unable to come to terms with liking a man, so she mostly tries not to think about it.
There’s a lot of other characters in the Hands Held in the Snow cast, such as:
Lord Lau from Mammoth Pass,
And those cuddly scoundrel greyback bears.