Isabel Evans
Isabella, Bel, Bella Isabella, the Heroine of Classe
Student at Barnsbury Comp.

nearly 17

Current Residence
London, England
Tony Evans, father
Sarah Evans, mother
Charlie Evans, twin brother
Red velvet pouch filled with Tesserae (mosaics)
English/Talian City

Isabel Evans is the main character of City of Ships. She is known as "Bel" to her friends in England, but called "Isabella" in Talia.


Tessarae talisman

Isabel's talisman

At the beginning of City of Ships, Isabel finds her talisman, a bag of silver mosaic tiles (tesserae) at school in the art hallway. Like the Stravaganti before her, she falls asleep with them that night, awoke in Talia, in the city Classe.

In Classe, she is quickly found by the merchant-trader, Flavia, who becomes Isabel's mentor. With impending danger coming to Classe, Flavia reveals that Isabel's purpose in Talia is likely to help Classe during the naval battle against the Gate People.[1]

As the fifth Stravagante to come from Islington to Talia, Isabel has the good fortune of receiving additional advice from the experiences of Georgia O'Grady, Nick Duke, Matt Wood, and Sky Meadows, who also ensure that Isabel's double life as a Stravagante remains hidden.

Isabel is notably the first English Stravagante to use her talisman to travel to cities other than the city which her talisman came from, thanks to a remarkable theory formulated by Dr. Dethridge. Her talisman is also unique in that is composed of many pieces; as Isabel later discovers, even a single tesserae is sufficient to act as a talisman.


As the younger twin, Isabel feels inferior to her brother Charlie, because he is noticeably smarter and stronger. As a result, she tries not to be noticed in order to avoid being compared to her twin brother but fears even more inferior because no one remembers her. To cope, she pretends to have an imaginary sister, Charlotte, that she is older than and better than as Charlie is to her[1]. She only feels confident with herself in Art class, where she excels and Charlie does not, and has a strong interest in mosaics. Isabel is described as having blonde hair and dark brown eyes.

Isabel tattoo

Isabel's tattoo

Because Isabel is shy, she has few friends aside from Ayesha and Laura. She is romantically interested in Sky Meadows, who attends Art class with her, though she is aware that Sky is dating Alice Greaves. Through her adventures in Talia and her new friendships with the other Barnsbury Stravaganti, Isabel becomes happier and much more confident, as Georgia did, and gradually stops comparing herself to Charlie. She cuts her hair, is talked into getting a tattoo by Andrea, and becomes assertive enough to ask Sky out herself after Sky and Alice break up.

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  • Isabel was originally going to be a boy, and "he" was to be named named "Adam"[2]. When the Stravagante to Classe became a girl, she was given the name "Isabel", the name originally given to the Stravagante for Montemurato. The Stravagante to Montemurato was renamed Emily[2]. The Talian equivalent for "Adam" ("Adamo") was later used as Arianna's alias when she masquerades as a boy. Interestingly, Isabel's Stravagante also received a name change, from from "Loredana" to "Flavia"[3].
  1. 1.0 1.1 City of Ships
  2. 2.0 2.1 One of the earlier editions of A Guide to Talia
  3. Questions for Mary Hoffman

English Characters
William Dethridge · Lucien Mullholland · Georgia O'Grady · Nick Duke · Sky Meadows · Matt Wood · Isabel Evans · Laura Reid · Ross · Julia · Sean · Emily · Rory · Caitlin
Vicky Mulholland · David Mulholland · Maura O'Grady · Ralph Lewis · Russell Lewis · Rosalind Meadows · Joyce Meadows · Rainbow Warrior · Loretta · Andy Wood · Jan Wood · Harry Wood · Eva Holbrook · Tony Evans · Sarah Evans · Charlie Evans · Ellen Reid · James Reid · Julia Reid
Ms. Beaumont · Mr. Laski · Dr. Kennedy · Tom · Katie · Alice Greaves · Mortimer Goldsmith · Laura · Paul Greaves · Jane Scott · Gus Robinson · Ayesha · Jago Jones · Celia Jones · Lucy · Brian · Stella Watkins

The Talian Stravaganti
Rodolfo Rossi · Guglielmo Crinamorte · Luciano Crinamorte · Paolo Montalbano · Falco di Chimici · Brother Sulien · Giuditta Miele · Professor Constantin · Flavia · Fabio della Spada · Giovanni · Fulvia · Germano · Corrado · Aurora · Ranieri
The English Stravaganti
William Dethridge · Lucien Mullholland · Georgia O'Grady · Nick Duke · Sky Meadows · Matt Wood · Isabel Evans · Laura Reid · Ross · Julia · Sean · Emily · Rory · Caitlin