Antonio (also called “Tony” and “Anthony”), the main character and protagonist of the novel, is a six-year-old boy who lives with his family just outside Guadalupe, a small village in New Mexico.
Antonio is a seeker, a thinker, and a person of faith...only he doesn't know yet exactly what to believe.
He is persuaded by the image of the Virgin Mary and prefers her over the more confusing male God figures that he has been exposed to. He also likes the idea of the Golden Carp, but is confused by the stories that surround it, which, like the Catholic stories he has heard, present a mixture of compassion, love, and vengeance.
Antonio is smart - he skips a grade - and wants to please his family, but he is not sure that he can fulfill the expectations that his mother and father have for him. They both expect different things from him and he is uncertain about how to find his way into adulthood while pleasing them both.
Antonio is the main character of the story. He is the narrator and talks in a first person voice. He witnesses many things that boys his age should not witness (deaths of Narciso, Ultima, Ultima's owl, etc.). He grows into a man through out the novel. He is a nice, smart, caring boy/man.