Emily Charlotte Hughes: Only child of Professor Julia Hughes and Dr Rhys Hughes, she attends the Exeter Academy, a Jesuit school in Exeter, Devon. She started learning ballet at age three, around the time she rode her first pony. She hides her considerable intellect behind a smile and a wonderful laugh, but she cannot hide her grace, beauty and easygoing nature. Besides dancing, riding, swimming and surfing, she loves studying the stars. Emily has the tawny look of a Celt.

 

Tobias Lawless (Toby): With his spiky blond hair and diamond-stud earring, he is Emily’s school friend and dancing partner and her mother’s godson. He is active in the Young Archaeologists’ Club. He is the only child of Karen Kirk and Richard Lawless, an archaeologist who died as a result of a cave-in at a dig when Toby was three. He inherited his father’s love of horses and is a champion show jumper. He plays the guitar and sings in a band called Brick Road, with Jack and Casey.

 

Casey Mahon: She is a school friend of Emily and is tall, blond and athletic and a talented singer. She sings in Brick Road with Toby and Jack.

 

Rhys Aneurin Hughes MA, DPhil: born in Barry, Wales and educated at the University of Oxford. He is a Senior Lecturer in Classical Languages at the University of Exeter. Fluent in Latin and Greek, he also reads Sanskrit. He is passionately Welsh and moonlights in Glastonbury singing folk and songs of the seventies and eighties.

 

Julia Vera Jones Hughes BA, MSc, D Phil: born in Kinmel, Wales. Julia is tall, bronze-haired and brilliant, now a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Exeter. She is an authority on the re-use of Iron Age forts, and on Roman villas. She met Rhys at Oxford when she was 17. They lived together and eventually married when their only child, Emily, was born.

 

John Henry Arthur Devonport: born in Okehampton, Marquis of Exeter, known as ‘Jack’; eldest son and heir of the Duke and Duchess of Dartmoor. Very tall at 6 feet 4 inches, golden-haired with fair skin and ruddy cheeks, he is an accomplished horseman, trainee pilot, budding artist and a gifted musician who plays the cello and the drums. He adores Michael Jackson and heavy-metal bands. He has his own butler, Alfred, who dresses him and drives him around. His mother is the heir to a fortune made in chocolate and he shares with his parents a passion for nineteenth century and pre-Raphaelite paintings of the Arthurian legend. He will attend Sandhurst Military Academy, despite his mother’s Quaker beliefs. He told his mother when he was eight he would marry Emily, and that she and the Duke had fifteen years to get used to the idea.