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"They didn't really want to know. They thought they did, but knowing only made them miserable."
This article contains plot details and potential spoilers for the Shades of Magic series. If you have not begun reading the books or are not too far into the story, please do refrain from reading.

Calla is a vendor and tailor from Red London. She owns the Night Market shop Is Postran.

Physical description[]

Calla is a short woman with a round figure and brown[1] hair which she either keeps in six braids wound around her head[2] or simply in a braided bun. She also has short fingers.[1]


Calla is a warm, caring, and kind person who finds Kell and Lila's relationship amusing to no end. She also takes great pride in her English proficiency,[2] and "always sound[s] on the verge of laughing."[3]

According to Kell, Calla possesses the "shrewd eye of a businesswoman."[4]


A Darker Shade of Magic[]

In October 1819, Calla spots Lila Bard and Kell Maresh together at the Night Market, hours before Lila enters her shop to find a mask and clothes for Rhy Maresh's masquerade ball. Calla greets Lila and, believing her to be "involved with" Kell, tells her that she does not have to pay for whatever she chooses. However, upon seeing the discomfort and hesitation in Lila's eyes, Calla says that she can repay her later in another way. Then, Calla helps Lila pick out new clothes and wishes her well before Lila leaves for the ball.[2]

A Gathering of Shadows[]

Cosmic dance[]

For the next four months, Calla is visited every week by Kell who always inquires whether Lila has returned to repay her debt.[1]

In February 1820, Calla meets Lila again who has finally returned to Red London after months on sea. Lila gives her a wooden box with various precious trinkets which she confiscated in her captain's name. Calla is amazed by the box's contents and tells Lila that they are too much and she has, thus, now credit in her shop—credit Lila wants to use immediately. She asks Calla if she can mend the devil's mask Lila purchased months ago. Calla is slightly upset at what she has done to the mask, and although she initially says that it would be better to make a new one, she eventually gives into Lila's plea to mend it. Then, Calla, understanding what Lila plans to do, tells her, in vain, not to compete in this year's Essen Tasch as it is dangerous. Right before Lila leaves her shop again, Calla informs her about Kell's visits and that he does not actually come to pay her debt, but simply to see whether Lila has returned.[1]

A few minutes later, Kell comes into Calla's shop, and she tells him that her debt was repaid and Lila has returned.[4]

Two days later,[1] Lila visits Calla again. This time, she has come for her mask which Calla refurbished with metal and turned into a slightly different looking demon mask with a second piece that covers the throat and can be attached to the mask to create a jaw for the demon.[5]

Guard up, guard down[]

Calla is visited yet again by Lila a few days later, and, to Calla's delight, she is requesting a dress to attend a tournament ball with Kell. Excited, Calla looks through the dresses in her shop and pulls out a few to show Lila until she finds one Lila likes: a blue-grey dress with a tint of silver.

Calla helps Lila into the dress, but is unable to convince her to take off her pants and boots. She also brushes Lila's hair and accessorizes her with silver hairpins and bracelets before seeing her off.[6]

A Conjuring of Light[]

Mere days later, sometime during Osaron's siege of Red London, Calla is befallen by his "poison" and tries to block his voice out of her head.

When Lila heads out to find survivors with Rhy, she goes to find Calla first. Lila discovers her body in the back of her shop. Calla lies on her side on the ground with a hand pressed against her ear and eyes open, having lost the fight and been turned into grey ashes after burning out. Then, a gust of wind blows through the tent and collapses what remains of Calla.[3]


Lila Bard[]

Calla finds Lila to be a strange girl from the first time they meet.[2] Still, while she notes her idiosyncracies, she never judges her for them. From their first encounter, they form a strong bond. Calla is always ready to help Lila and never grows tired to address—oftentimes teasingly—her relationship with Kell when Lila will not; and Lila, despite herself, grew very fond of Calla and finds herself to care for her.[1][2]

Kell Maresh[]

Calla holds Kell in high esteem as he is aven,[2] though she wishes him to be happy regardless of it.[3] In turn, Kell likes Calla's kindness and warmth and does not mind when she calls him "mas vares."[4]

Skills and abilities[]

  • Handicraft skills: Calla is a very skilled tailor.


  • Box of trinkets: As a payment for the mask and clothes she gave her for Rhy's masquerade ball, Lila gives Calla a small wooden box containing various trinkets. It is inlaid with glass and segmented into compartments, each holding different trinkets: fire pearls, a spool of silver wire, violet stone clasps, tiny gold feathers,[1] silver hairpins,[6] gold thread, ruby clasps, etc.[3]
  • Night Market shop: Calla is the owner of the shop Is Postran (The Wardrobe), a green tent at the end of the market[3] and close to Soner Rast.



Out of Universe[]

  • The name "Calla" comes from the Greek kallos (καλλος), meaning "beauty." A calla is also a type of lily.[8][9]

  • References[]

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 A Gathering of Shadows, V: Royal Welcome, VI
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 A Darker Shade of Magic, XI: Masquerade, I
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 A Conjuring of Light, V: Ash and Atonement, II
    4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 A Gathering of Shadows, V: Royal Welcome, VII
    5. A Gathering of Shadows, VII: Intersections, I
    6. 6.0 6.1 A Gathering of Shadows, IX: Collision Course, V
    7. "Confession: the outfit Lila gets from Calla is pretty much my dream ensemble."
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    8. Behind the Name — Calla
    9. Calla lily


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