I will tell you the same thing I tell every slave brought into Blackcliff. The Resistance has tried to penetrate this school countless of times. I have discovered it every time. If you are working with the Resistance, if you contact them, if you think of contacting them, I will know and I will destroy you.

–Keris Veturia

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Also known as the Commandant, Keris Veturia is the main antagonist of the story. She is the cruel, merciless and malevolent Commandant in Blackcliff academy. She had an affair with Arius Harper earlier in her life which resulted in Elias Veturius being born, whom she has a complex relationship with throughout the story.

Physical Description

She is described being slim and small in stature, having blonde hair, pale grey eyes and "cut glass" features. She has a resting face lacking any empathy.


She hates mistakes and does not tolerate tardiness. She has the habit of hurting someone who is close to or has a relationship with the wrongdoer. This can be seen by the way she treats the slaves.


Elias Veturius

Elias Veturius is the illegitimate son of Keris Veturia. The father was Arius Harper and according to Keris herself, the man tried to kill her after presumably raping her. Keris felt an instantaneous hatred towards it the moment she knew it (Elias as a fetus) existed. She had tried swallowing a variety of herbs in an attempt to kill it but nothing happened. Having it growing inside of her made her go on a solo mission far from the Blackcliff so that nobody would notice it.

Even after Elias was born, she refused to touch him but found herself cleaning, feeding and taking care of him. This compassion, however only lasted a few hours. She decided to go back and kill him after she had left him in Mamie Rila's tent to be taken care of but by the time she got back, the caravan was gone. She was enraged that he had survived six years later when she assumed she was rid of him. Keris Veturia considers not killing his son the moment he was weak and helpless as the biggest mistake she has ever made.

Quin Veturius

Quin Veturius is Keris Veturia's father. Quin always chooses his grandson, Elias Veturius over his own daughter. After the Augurs brought Elias to Blackcliff, he was not very happy about his daughter having a child born out of wedlock but somehow he made sure that people said nothing about it. As Elias grew up to possess his strength, Quin started to like his grandson very much and be proud of him. Even after his daughter left Blackcliff and killed a handful of rebels, brought down the Lioness herself, none of it mattered to him. And when it was time for him to name an heir, he did not even consider choosing Keris Veturia.


  • According to Sabaa Tahir during BookCon 2016, the Commandant was initially a male character.
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