The characters

City of Stars List of Characters

Georgia O?Grady

The only surviving child of Maura O?Grady and her first husband. Fifteen-years-old and a bit of a tomboy still, she attends Barnsbury Comprehensive. She goes horse-riding once a fortnight, has no close friends, tolerates her stepfather Ralph and actively dislikes her stepbrother Russell. She has short, spiky hair and a silver eyebrow ring. She is physically underdeveloped for her age and, at the beginning of City of Stars, is very unhappy.

Maura O?Grady

Georgia?s mother. She is now happily married to Ralph Lewis, Georgia?s father having left them many years ago. Maura is a social worker, a team leader with Islington Council, specialising in children and families. She is a terrible cook but wants the family to eat together. It troubles her that Georgia and Russell get along so badly but she has no idea of the extent of the problem. Maura would like them to be a real brother and sister to each other.

Ralph Lewis

An electrician, divorced from his first wife, who left him, taking their daughter with her. He brought up their son, Russell, virtually on his own. He is now happily married to Maura and, like her, wishers that their two remaining children could co-exist peacefully. Ralph is a fair man and can be quite good company, when he is not worried about money or his mealtimes disrupted, especially by family rows.

Russell Lewis

Georgia?s stepbrother, aged seventeen. He is in the sixth form at Barnsbury Comprehensive, where his best friends are. He is tall and well-builkt, with short dark hair. He likes metal music, which he plays very loudly, and is good at anything involving computers. He loathes Georgia and takes it out on her that he didn?t want his father to marry her mother.

Mortimer Goldsmith

Keeps an antique shop in Islington. He is a childless widower in his sixties, unused to young people but kind-hearted and shrewd.

Paolo Montalbani

Horsemaster of the Ram in Remora. He is married to Teresa and the father of three little girls and twin boys with her, but also has Cesare, a son from his first marriage. Paolo is a Stravagante, a calling which he pursues alongside that of breeding and racing horses to run for the Ram in the Stellata.

Cesare Montalbani

Oldesrt son of Paolo and his late first wife. He is seventeen and an accomplished horseman. He has been chosen to ride the Ram?s mount, Arcangelo, in this year?s Stellata (1578). He is good-natured and friendly, fond of his stepmother and his little brothers and sisters.

The Stellata

An annual horse-race, held on 15th August, for hundreds of years, around the circular Campo delle Stelle in Remora. All twelve contrade take part in each race and there is fierce rivalry between them. Pacts and contracts spring up among allies and against rivals and much money changes hands, but the outcome cannot be definitely rigged, since so much comes down to chance on the day.
The race itself lasts less than two minutes, once there has been a valid start, but is preceded by a courtly procession, lasting two hours, involving companies of ensigns and drummers from all the contrade. There are many cedremonies, rituals and social events connected with the race and the di Chimici are always determined that the Twins or the Lady should win, since those contrade are linked to Remora and Giglia respectively, the two most significant di Chimici strongholds in Talia.

Gaetano di Chimici

Third son of Duke Niccolò di Chimici, aged seventeen. He is particularly fond of his youngest brother, Falco. When this generation of di Chimici were children, the cousons spent a lot of time playing together in the great summer palace at Santa Fina (known as the Casa di Chimici), outside Remora. In those days, Gaetano was close to his cousin Francesca, the daughter of his uncle Jacopo, the Duke of Volana. Gaetano is a fine horseman and a scholar. He is at university in Giglia.

Falco di Chimici

Youngest son of Duke Niccolò, aged thirteen. He is the apple of his father?s eye. A bright and beautiful boy, clever at his lessons and a good horseman until his riding accident two years ago. Now walks with two sticks and his athletic prowess is in the past. He adores his older brother Gaetano and loves their father, even though he is under no illusions about him. Falco?s mother died a year ago.

Duke Niccolò di Chimici

Head of the powerful and rich di Chimici family. A tall, strong man in his fifties, with black hair. He is fanatically ambitious and completely ruthless when is comes to carrying out his plans, which involve having a member of the di Chimici family ruling every city-state in Talia. He has almost succeeded by the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Duke Niccolò rules in Giglia, where he will be succeeded by his oldest son, Fabrizio. His brother, Ferdinando, is both Prince of Remora and Pope. Other brothers or nephews are dukes or princes of Fortezza, Moresco, Bellona and Volana. He is working on family alliances in Classe, Montemurato and Padavia but has had no success in Bellezza.

Francesca Albani

Born a di Chimici, the daughter of Jacopo, Duke of Volana. She was party to a hastily arranged marriage with Councillor Albani of Bellezza, to make her eligible for election as that city?s new Duchessa after the assassination of the precious one. He is much older than her and, as soon as her election bid proved to be unsuccessful, she insisted that her cousin Rinaldo, who had arranged the marriage, should get it invalidated.

Alice Greaves

New girl in Georgia?s tutor-group at Barnsbury Comprehensive. She is fifteen, quiet, fair, clever and pretty. Her parents are divorced and her father is a wealthy solicitor in Devon, where he lives alone in a big house. Alice has her own horse there.

Ferdinando di Chimici

Second son of the previous Duke of Giglia and Duke Niccolò?s next younger brother, he is Pope Lenient Vl and also Prince of Remora. He is a corpulent and weak-willed prelate, easily influenced by his more ruthless older brother.