- Rosemarie "Rose" Hathaway, the narrator. A dhampir teenager training to be a guardian at St. Vladimir's Academy, Rose has a spirit bond with Lissa as a result of being brought back to life by Lissa's magic. Rose falls in love with her older mentor Dimitri.
- Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir, a Moroi, the last of the royal Dragomirs, and Rose's best friend. A user of a rare form of magic (spirit), she can bring the dead back to life, heal, and use compulsion. She maintains a bond with Rose throughout the majority of the series.
- Dimitri Belikov, a twenty-four-year-old Russian dhampir and guardian. He is Rose's primary love interest.
- Christian Ozera, a Moroi and Lissa's primary love interest. His parents willingly turned Strigoi, causing people to treat him with distrust.
- Adrian Ivashkov, a Moroi spirit user who dates Rose.
- Mia Rinaldi, a Moroi water user. Rose and Lissa's enemy (and later, friend) at St. Vladimir's Academy.
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