Orphaned and living in an abandoned clockmaker's shop adjoining Charing Cross Station, sixteen year-old Tiki picks the pockets of passing travelers to survive. She is slight and dresses in worn trousers and an oversized jacket - few even know she's a girl. But she has lightning quick hands and so far - has never been caught.
A well known pickpocket among the children living in the slums of London, it's whispered that Rieker can steal anything. Stories about him stretch from Bishopsgate in the East End, to Charing Cross in the heart of the city, all the way to Kings Cross, in the North End. Fiona is always going on about how handsome he is, with his dark hair, rugged build and elusive air, but it's something else that has made Tiki most curious about him. How does Rieker always manage to elude the Bobbies and why is he in Charing Cross so often?
A rare beauty, whether in fey form or in her glamour - the magical skin that makes her appear human - her blonde hair reaches to her hips, like long, arommatic strands of summer grass. Tall and willowy, her blue-green eyes are as ever-changing as the sea itself. But her loveliness disguises a mercurial temperament. There are times when she is gentle and others when she is as vicious and wild as the winter wind.
Six months ago Tiki stumbled over the little girl curled up in a pile of trash on secluded Craven Street outside Charing Cross. She took her home and cared for her but for weeks she wasn’t sure if Clara would live. In the ensuing months Tiki worked hard to nurse Clara back to health. Not more than four years old, the frail child continued to improve until three weeks ago when the cough started again.
Fifteen year old Fiona is Shamus' cousin. With her dark, wavy hair and bright eyes that have seen too much of the world, Fi was the one who found Tiki when she was lost and alone in King's Cross. She took Tiki home to the clockmaker's shop that she and Shamus share. Fi taught Tiki to spot a mark and how to bump their arm so they didn’t realize their pockets were being picked.
As quiet as he is tall and angular, seventeen year-old Shamus has lived on the streets of London for a number of years after his father - a mudlark - died, leaving Shamus and his cousin, Fiona, to fend for themselves.
Ten year old Thomas is known as Toots because of his incessant problem with gastrointestinal upset. He has carrot orange hair and a pale face splattered with freckles. A year ago, Tiki found Toots in Trafalgar Square. Thin as a rail, his mother had kicked him out of the house because she had too many other children to feed and care for. But even though he’d been starving, he offered to share half his apple with Tiki. She brought him home to Charing Cross that day.
At eighteen, Leo is Queen Victoria's youngest son. He is the one who takes the ring of the truce from his mother's strong-box. His brother (older by three years), Prince Arthur, insists that it is Leo's responsibility to find the ring after it is stolen from Buckingham Palace.
A bent old man, who likes to wear an olive sweater with sleeves that hang over his arthritic hands, Mr. Potts owns a bookstore in Charing Cross Station. He allows Tiki to 'borrow' his books to read to the other children as long as she returns the book before borrowing another. Toots says Mr. Potts loans Tiki the books because he thinks she's pretty but Tiki says it's only because she reminds him of his dead daughter.