Our twelve-year-old heroine Isabelle thinks she is pretty much a normal kid until a freaky, silver strand of hair sprouts on her head. Even though her strand resembles polished silver, it attracts magnets, and sparks when she tries to cut it off. And any science geek like Isabelle knows that silver isn’t magnetic.
But it’s not all bad. The silver strand is Isabelle’s source of magic, and she will learn how to manipulate energy by studying at Mastermind Academy. Cool huh? Every Mastermind has a distinct color of magic, and Isabelle’s is fuchsia (bright pink). Pretty girly, but oh well.
Besides all that, Isabelle’s a regular seventh grader. She’s so terrible at sports, she hurts herself or others, and goes home covered in bruises, freaking her mom out. Her best friend Bianca calls her a science geek because she loves science class, her science teacher (eewww she doesn’t have a crush on him though), and her favorite books are scientific. If you give her a pencil, she can draw anything so life like it would make master painters like Leonardo Da Vinci jealous. Just ask her other friend Ramala the dragon. Warning – if you don’t agree with him, he might burn you to a crisp.
Boldrick is a graduate of Mastermind Academy with a silver whisker and emerald green magic matching his eyes. The ever-courteous 18th century gentlemen will always address you as a lady or sir, except if you’re his annoying partner in crime, Esme or his nemesis Haris Milton. Except, Boldrick’s not really a gentleman – he’s a cursed man trapped in a cat’s body, doomed to be feline for 200 years unless he can be a man of his word. Although, he still thinks he’s human, styling his fringe with vanilla scented hair gel and bowing to most ladies except Esme.
But being feline has its benefits, like keen animal hearing, sight and smell. Why Boldrick’s animal instincts are so sharp, he can sense a storm approaching by the whistle of wind on his whiskers. And these skills come in handy for teaching Isabelle and detecting danger. Though, he has fishy cat breath from eating one too many sardines, and has an irresistible, animal urge to rub in stinky fertilizer for a glossy coat.
Normally cats are very agile and have quick reflexes. Not Boldrick. He crashes Mesuras into walls or birds, and Esme refuses to let him drive them. Please don’t rely on him to save you if you’re on the run from enemies – he cannot shoot a laser beam from a Mesura to save himself. That being said, he is an expert air surfer, surfing on currents of air behind the Mesura.
Watch out if you the kind of person who causes pollution like oil spills, because the passionate environmentalist will turn you into a dung beetle with her lightning blue-white magic. And if you’re the kind of person who neglects your garden, expect a boring lesson on how to prune fruit trees or feed sick plants. Seriously, don’t mess with Esme: she’s one tough and fearless lady. Raised by thieving gypsy parents, the Master of Disguise can blend into crowds, dodge bloodhounds and shape-shift into any person or animal if she needs to escape.
Esme can be a tad grating and a real know it all at times, mostly to Boldrick who accuses her of giving him stress hairballs. If you make deals with her, please read the fine print as she will trick you with that silver eyelash of hers, even though she will claim its for your own good. Again, Boldrick will blame her thieving gypsy parents for teaching her trickery and poor manners.
Besides all that, if you had Esme for a partner, you’d be pretty lucky in a bind: she’s Agartha’s fastest and agile Mesura flyer (handy for escapes), she’ll risk herself to rescue you and she’s smart enough to know how to cheat the Agarthan Law of Magic (shame she doesn’t always abide by them). Just don’t ask her to go to school pretending to be you, unless you want trouble.
Mozzy is a cheerful cane toad with sunflower yellow eyes and a gummy smile. Toads don’t have teeth you know! Unlike the other 49 members of his family, he has a knack for dodging death from Jim’s shiny, whacky thing and attacks by sly, sneaky snakes. He thinks he’s got great artistic flair, making bug wings jewelry, grasshopper leg wind chimes, and dream catchers with spider’s webs, but his art is the kind of thing only his grandma will be proud of and display in her toady hollow – and she’s dead!
For a toad, Mozzy’s very intuitive, and can read toad warts – the toady equivalent to reading palms. As he puts it, ‘every single wart tells him something different about someone’s character.’ He can also tune into the song of plants if he lets his mind go blank, and they sing to him when he feeds on the bugs boring into them. Don’t mock it till you try it. Plants sing all the time you know: after a sprinkle of rain, while the sun rises in the morning, and when they get fed plant food.
Isabelle’s mother is a cleaning freak who loves to sing opera while she cleans, setting the family dog Max off howling. Kasha interferes and sticks her nose in at the wrong times, jeopardizing Isabelle’s first test and safety. You would too if you were a mom trying to protect your daughter from your toad-loathing husband!
Fourteen years ago, Kasha was a yellow cape student at Mastermind Academy, and friends with Boldrick and Esme. For helping her friends investigate a secret, yet illegal deal between the Agarthan Councilors and the Terrans, she was banished from Mastermind Academy and Agartha, and cursed her to never speak of these things. Being staunch and trustworthy, she refused to rat on her friends, allowing Esme and Boldrick to continue their operation. After all these years, Kasha still holds a grudge against them because she never finished her studies, and she yearns to return to her magical training. Her color of magic is red, like the shade she dies her hair to conceal her silver strand.
Ever since a poor toad killed the family dog, Isabelle’s father has had it out for them. It wasn’t the toad’s fault though; it was using its toad toxin to protect itself from the doggy attack. Not that stubborn Jim will see reason. Nooooo. Now he hunts down toads to clobber them with his garden spade, or run over them with the mower. The only toad that outsmarts Jim is Mozzy, much to Jim’s annoyance.
But he’s not a bad guy at heart. His favorite food is garlic bread (although he’ll steal your last piece if you’re not watching), he will bring you a hot chocolate when you’re feeling down, and he supplies the Tresdon dinner table with treats from his magnificent vegetable and fruit garden (food for many bugs, and very handy for hungry toads). And thanks to Mozzy’s visits, he no longer applies stinky, poisonous pesticides to the plants to kill the bugs. Guess which plants are extremely happy now.
Raised on a farm training horses, Isabelle’s tomboy best friend is incredibly strong for her age. In fact, no guy at Hilton High will ever challenge her to an arm wrestling match, unless they want to lose and suffer eternal ridicule. Bianca’s the kind of friend you want on your side. She’s fiercely loyal and protective. If you ever grow a silver strand of hair, she will tell you that it’s special, and show you that you’re being silly for being ashamed of it growing.
The only bad things about Bianca are that her glasses are eternally smudged with gross stuff like dust, horse feed and fingerprints. She doodles in science and math classes, and Isabelle has to give her all the answers. Oh and Bianca nicknamed Isabelle ‘Boof’ because she couldn’t pronounce the word woof in preschool. Don’t get any ideas to call Isabelle that really embarrassing nickname. Bianca is the only person in the world whom Isabelle will let call her that, and that’s only because she’s so big and strong.
No one besides Isabelle has visited the shy, grumpy dragon for several millennia. As a younger and impulsive dragon, he nearly tore off the wings of another dragon that teased him for having six horns on his head. In his kind, having four horns is considered beautiful. If you’re unfortunate enough to visit Ramala, you will be challenged to complete a test. Fail it and the dragon will sprinkle you with herbs (rosemary and thyme are his favorites), and cook you on a spit-roast. Those who beat Ramala’s challenge (and there’s been few), will be gifted with a scale, and promised his friendship and loyalty. And as Isabelle discovers, having a dragon pal is a great adversary to have.
There’s not much nice to say about Lemuria and Gyan – the corrupt leaders of Agartha. They’re pretty much bad to the crystal bone, having made a deal with the Terrans, granting them permission to mine Agartha’s mineral resources in exchange for the star gate the humans are in possession of. All this behind the Agarthan official’s and people’s backs. Scoundrels!