Study Guide

Byron Swain in Witch and Wizard

By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Byron Swain

When the story opens, Byron is a soldier for the New Order. In fact, he leads the team that comes to arrest Whit and Wisty. A former classmate of the Allgood siblings, he's a year older than Wisty and a year younger than Whit. "As far as I knew, we both hated this guts. Everyone did" (5.9), Wisty tells us.

Back in their school-going days, Byron was known as a brown-noser. As Whit explains:

Byron's insurance-salesman haircut, colorful polo shirts, and ironed chinos—but most of all his know-it-all attitude—had marked him as a major kiss-up back at school. (13.1)

And this attitude seems to have served Byron well under the New Order regime, where he's a Junior Informant. He's so dedicated to the cause that he even turned in his own sister. Egads.

His days as a Junior Informant end abruptly when Wisty turns Byron into a weasel. (Well, first she makes him a lion, but that's a mistake she quickly sorts out.) As he gets swept up in Whit and Wisty's escape, though, he ends up sticking with them—not because they want him to, but because no one else wants him.

Whit and Wisty rub off on the guy, and after some quality time with our two heroes, Byron comes to regret his past actions, including snitching on his sister. After he apologizes, he gets to return to his human form, courtesy of Mrs. Allgood, who asks him to watch over her kids. Looks like Byron's going to be around for the next book, this time as one of the good guys.

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