Lucy Banks is breezy, occasionally snarky, frequently sassy, and always wildly optimistic.
Up until now she has lived a dull, conventional life with too-predicable parents. Her family is not well off and her home is ramshackle. To escape this, she longs for adventures in exotic lands.
Lucy feels overlooked at home and forms her most meaningful relationships outside of her family. She has a close friendship with Dee and a loving relationship with Aunt Delia.
When a flaming bird leads Lucy and her best friend Dee to the mouth of a cave, Lucy is only too willing to explore it despite Dee’s initial hesitancy.
Lucy poked the edges of the opening with her forefinger. “Seems sturdy enough to me. Let’s go . . . just a little way. Come on, what could go wrong?” Lucy ran back, grabbed his hand, and pulled him toward the cave.
Lucy craves recognition and esteem of others and is easily swayed by external appearances. This leads her to make a terrible mistake with the Queen. But it also furthers her determination, kindness, and (sometimes reckless) risk taking. When the young emperor she and Dee are supposed to be protecting turns out to be so annoying she just wants to dump him. Lucy’s dilemma over Yidi and her duty is clear:
“I know the kid is in danger. And I know our mission is to protect him.” Lucy angrily stripped plump blackberries from their branches stopping to suck her thumb when a thorn pierced it. “But right now, his greatest danger is me. I could strangle him.”
Her darkest moment comes when she realizes she is in over her head.
“Lucy took a deep breath and wrapped her cloak around her before she cuddled up to Sparkle. “You know, Sparkle,” she confided to the camel. “Adventures aren’t all fun and games. They can be painful and dangerous and frightening.” A sob caught at the back of her throat.
Her personal growth and acknowledgement of her own failings keep her moving forward towards completing their quest.
“What can go wrong?” (After the third time of hearing this expression and something going horribly wrong, Dee tells her that he doesn’t want to hear it again).
“We can’t go back so we’ll go forward.”