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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.

I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still.

—Lila, A Darker Shade of Magic, VIII: An Arrangement, I

Captain Lila Bard is a thief from Grey London who found out that she is an Antari after stealing the black stone from Kell Maresh and getting involved in the world of magic.

Following the events of the Black Night, Lila decides to stay in Red London and parts ways with Kell. Shortly afterward, she kills the thief of the Night Spire and promptly declares herself his successor. Later, when Alucard Emery is stripped of his position as a privateer, Lila becomes the new captain of the Night Spire.

Physical description[edit | edit source]

Lila has short brown hair and a boyish physique which allows her to masquerade as a young man. She also has brown eyes—one of them being slightly lighter than the other as it is a glass eye. Said glass eye replaced Lila's Antari mark—her black eye—which manifested and was lost "in an accident" at some unknown point in her childhood. While fighting Ojka, her glass eye was damaged. It was later replaced with a solid black glass eye which Lila received from Maris Patrol.

When Lila was still living on the streets of Grey London, she was always quite skinny. This changed when she arrived in Red London and started looking healthier.

During the Essen Tasch of 1820, Lila, masquerading as Stasion Elsor, had shorter, slightly darker hair and wore a demon mask for the fights.

Personality[edit | edit source]

As a thief, Lila is cunning, daring and quick-witted where she is able to quickly steal a variety of objects such as a top hat from a dozing chauffeur. She is courageous, proud, and this pride drives her to survive by herself without the help of others. However, when provoked Lila can have a violent tendency as shown when she kills Powell.[3] Actually, Lila is very violent even when she isn't provoked. She has a tendency to run away to save her own skin, and constantly get told to start trusting people, but this reflex has grown from her dangerous days in the streets and it is hard for her to erase that reflex.

Lila has a predatory side and enjoys being in power. While she held a weakened Kell Maresh in her room, she created an illusion of him performing a striptease using the black stone "for fun" but to Kell's horror.[4] She dreams of adventures of being a pirate and wanderlusts over journeying around the seas. Her wanderlust is what caused her to travel to the other Londons with Kell. She wants to see as much of the worlds as she can.

Biography[edit | edit source]

A Darker Shade of Magic[edit | edit source]

A Gathering of Shadows[edit | edit source]

A Conjuring of Light[edit | edit source]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Romances[edit | edit source]

Upon their first meetings, the two seemed to be intrigued, as well as slightly annoyed by each other. But along their adventure, they grew closer, and while the exact status of their relationship is complicated; both have shown romantic feelings for one another. During the travel from Grey London to Red London she kissed Kell "for luck". This became a sort of charm between them, Kell kissing her again saying the same thing until they finally shared one or two real kisses. Although she did not plan on acquiring a companion to care for, as this was against all her reflexes, she at one point started saving Kell even though it risked her own life. They are very compatible characters where both of them feels less scared with the other person when Kell was going into White London to face the twin royals of White London he mentioned that he would not have been able to do it if Lila had not been there with him.

Friends[edit | edit source]

The first time Lila saw Rhy Maresh he was on a carriage in his birthday parade waving and smiling at his people, Rhy noticed Lila was wearing Kell's jacket and stared at her. At this time Kell had been missing for a long time so it came as a shock to see his adoptive brother's cloak on a stranger. The second time they met, Rhy was possessed by Astrid Dane. Astrid used Rhy to her advantage as Kell refuses to hurt Rhy, but Astrid had not counted Lila who stabbed Rhy. Much happened and Lila was involved in trying to save Rhy and witnessing the spell when Kell linked his life to Rhy's. Their first official meeting was, however, a few days after he died, he was lying in bed hurt but was of course up to flirting with her. Lila gave some smart comments which Rhy answered with "I like this one" to Kell. In "A gathering of shadows" they meet more and even have some conversations without Kell regarding their shared worry for him. In the end, they both ran together all over the palace looking for Kell when he was kidnapped by Ojlka.

Lila saw Alucard Emery's ship and wanted to steal it and kill its captain but after replacing the thief aboard she became quite smitten by Alucard Emery and rather become somewhat of a friend with him. After Alucard discovered she knew only English, the royal language in Red London but no other language he offered to help her learn Arnesian, the official language in Red London. Alucard also taught her how to find her magic all because he missed speaking High Royal (English) with someone. Alucard did kiss her once on the way to London but that was only to lure the secrets out of her, but he apologizes and though she still bullies him about it they become kind of friends again.

Lila met Calla when she was going to a masquerade ball at the palace, this was where she found the devil mask. Calla was surprised but not judging when Lila rather wanted to use a male suit rather than a dress. Calla had seen her before with Kell and therefore said Lila could come back with the money when she had it, and when Lila did come back after about 4 or 5 months; Calla told her that Kell had come many times to see if Lila had come back and paid Calla (Kell and Lila had separated). The next time Lila came looking for something she asked for a dress and a fix on her mask so she could compete in the Essen Tasch. Calla basically is the biggest shipper of Kell and Lila.

Skills and abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Magic: As an Antari, Lila is one of the most powerful magicians to exist. Albeit, at first, she had troubles with summoning and controlling the elements. She would often push herself too hard, not knowing the exact extent and boundaries of her own power, risking her health and getting heavy nosebleeds. Still, even before Lila learned how to properly control her magic, she was capable of creating incinerating firewalls as well as over-powering Kell during the Essen Tasch.

Possessions[edit | edit source]

  • Caster: A Collier[5] flintlock revolver Lila stole.
  • Devil mask: A black devil mask she fell in love with in Calla's shop.
  • Element set: A "game" for practicing magic, given to her by Kell Maresh.
  • Knuckle knife: Lila's favorite knife which can be used for both stabbing and hitting. She stole it from Aldus Fletcher's pawnshop.
  • Lila's pirate cypher: A map Lila stole from a shop when she was fifteen years old. Even though she obtained it in Grey London, she later finds out that the map is originally from Red London.
  • Shard of Astrid Dane: A piece Lila took from Astrid Dane after she was turned into a statue by Kell and shattered. She keeps it as a reminder of the fight and what she can do.
  • Top hat: A hat she stole from a dozing chauffeur.
  • White rook: A white rook Lila took from Aldus Fletcher to travel to White London.

  • Silver pocket watch: A watch Lila took from a gentleman in a collision. The initials, L.L.E, are engraved on the back. It is later given to Maris Patrol.
  • Twin knives: A knife which separates in two if a hidden notch is pressed.[6] Lila received it from Lenos when he lost a bet to her.[7] During the final fight against Osaron, he dissolved the twin knives.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

There's Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London. See? I'm a fast learner.

—Lila to Kell Maresh, VIII: An Arrangement, I

Lila: I'm not going to die. Not till I've seen it.
Kell: Seen what?
Lila: (smiles) Everything.

—VIII: An Arrangement, II

I apologize for shooting you in the leg. I was myself entirely.

—Lila to Rhy Maresh, XIV: The Final Door, V

Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die — dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.
Alucard: I know where you sleep, Bard.
Lila: Then you know I sleep with knives.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See more here

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Lila leans more towards men than women and is aroused by power.[9]
  • Lila is genderfluid "to the extent that someone in 1819 would intuitively be."[10] She never corrects anyone who genders her as male, further proving this.

Out of Universe[edit | edit source]

  • Lila's past may be revealed in the future.[11]
  • Lila was not based on anyone. Instead, Lila embodies certain aspects of Schwab she wishes she would do differently.[12][13]
  • In an interview, Schwab mentioned that "Lila is not a sidekick, she's the hero of her own story. She's not a love interest, and she's not a plot device. Her purpose isn't just to please the reader or Kell, it's to be true to herself, and that self happens to be a total self-serving badass."[14]
  • If Lila lived in the Harry Potter Universe, V.E. Schwab would sort Lila into Slytherin as her Hogwarts house.[15]
  • Lila's girl crush from another series would be Inej Ghafa from the Grishaverse.[16]
  • In Vengeful, at a costume party, someone is dressed as Lila.[17]

The name "Delilah" (דלילה) is of Hebrew origin and means "delicate, weak, languishing."[18][19] In Arabic, "Delilah" means "to flirt."[20] An Arabian variant of the name, "Dalilah", means "faithless one."[21] In the Old Testament, Delilah is the lover of Samson. After being bribed by the chief of the Philistines, she tries to find out the source of Samson's power. Eventually, she learns that this source is his hair and subsequently cuts it, betraying him.[21] The name "Lila" (लीला) means "play, amusement" in Sanskrit.[22] It can be a variant of "Leila" as well[23] which in turn is a variant of the Arabic "Layla",[24] meaning "night."[25] Her name is not pronounced "Leela" but "LIE-la."[26]

Navigation[edit | edit source]

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Grey London
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Red London

References[edit | edit source]

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