Penelope Bunce is the daughter Mitali and Martin Bunce. She has many siblings, including Premal, one of the Mage's Men. Her family owns a great library, which probably includes books forbidden by The Mage's reforms.

She is the "stupidly brave" best friend of Simon Snow.

Along with her fierce attitude is her curiosity, known for getting herself and sometimes Simon into dangerous situations. She is said to be powerful magically, and extremely smart throughout the book.