Josef is a Samsamese highlander noble. He is the Earl of Apsig.
Josef had a fairly normal childhood until the day his younger brother Lars revealed that he had scales. His father then murdered his mother, and Josef pushed his father off a balcony to his death.
Now the new head of the family, Josef banished his brother forever, blaming him for the deaths of his parents.
One time while attending Princess Glisselda's nightly soiree, Josef relates the tale of Prince Rufus's death to some ladies-in-waiting; he is interrupted by Seraphina, who challenges his claim that Rufus was killed by dragons. He treats her scornfully and snidely suggests that Rufus merely saw a pretty shepherdess and lost his head, but Prince Lucian Kiggs interrupts and takes Seraphina's side. Josef says contemptuously that the Regent of Samsam would never allow dragons to visit Samsam, nor would he listen to the mad Porphyrian philosophers the prince values so highly.
Josef has a violent, all-encompassing hatred of dragons and their part-human offspring. He has the true zealotry of a fanatic, and is unable to see any possible motivation for NOT hating them.
Josef seems to have a passionate hatred for his brother, which he claims is based on Lars' homosexuality. In reality, he hates his brother because he blames him for the death of their mother, and because he hates the idea that a dragon impregnated her.
Despite this, Lars does not hate Josef at all.
Josef develops a passionate attraction to Seraphina, despite their vastly differing opinions on dragons. He did not realize that she was part dragon, like his brother, until much later. This did not sway him from his beliefs, although it seems to have caused him great anguish.
- Seraphina: Chapter 7