Nykar is a rough and tumble guy with a no-nonsense attitude and some pretty useful skills, such as sneaking, eavesdropping, looking intimidating, being intimidating, and generally being the most excellent bodyguard a princely type could ask for. He could also be a poster child for loyalty, as he doesn’t seem to have many goals in life beyond doing anything that Prince Rakyn of Darkynhold asks of him. Of course, he absolutely loves his job, especially the more nefarious and possibly not-so-legally sanctioned portions, and he is very well paid for his services, because he does the job of three or four normal royal “servants”. Rakyn relies upon him for just about everything, including seeking out information, delivering messages, imparting justice, and keeping tabs on the political machinations of his twelve warring brothers. It’s no wonder Nykar has no time for anything else.
You don’t want to meet him in a dark alley. Or even a well-lit alley.
Nykar has a wicked (if sometime inappropriate) sense of humor, which balances nicely with Rakyn’s tendencies toward grim introspection. They have a complicated relationship and Rakyn frequently wonders why Nykar continues to put up with him instead of running off to Bodor and settling down with a sturdy hut and a nice fruit orchard. (When asked, Nykar stated that he wasn’t very fond of fruit, and why live in a hut when he had a comfy set of suites in the palace, and what kind of stupid question was that anyway?) Rakyn did not bring it up again.
Although Morgyn is the chieftain of his Redolian tribe, when his brother goes missing after an impulsive plan goes awry, he drops everything and goes looking for him. When he is unable to locate Toryn (or find his dead body lying in a ravine) he decides to track down the Falaran that Toryn meant to kill, hoping to find some answers, and possibly finish the job that Toryn started if the news is unfavorable. What he least expects to find is his brother following the Redolian heir around like a trained lapdog. Before he can quite wrap his head around the concept, they are embroiled in action and Toryn disappears yet again. What is a good brother to do except head for the nearest watering hole and drown his annoyance in alcohol?
Even though he was far from home, he managed to locate a kindred soul in the form of Knight Commander Montyr, who shares his vision of correcting most of life’s little problems by cracking skulls. It is through his friendship with Montyr that Morgyn begins to realize that even though it is easy to hate someone to which you have affixed a label (Falaran, southerner, foreigner, heathen) it is far more difficult to despise them once you are forced to see the person beneath the label. He grudgingly admits, if only to himself, that there might be more to Brydon Redwing than meets the eye.
And to be honest, the southerners make superior ale.
It was more fun that I’d expected adding a stubborn little hoyden of indeterminate age to the regular cast. Although I find her nearly as annoying as Toryn does, I have to admit it’s pretty fun writing her. She rarely sits still and her calculating brain is constantly concocting plots to get herself what she wants. She sometimes seems like a younger version of Alyn, but I think even as a child Alyn exhibited more maturity than Lyryn seems capable of, although in reality she is quite capable–she just doesn’t want to grow up. It’s boring, and not even her unrelenting crush on Toryn can persuade her to stop behaving like a selfish child.
She is wary of Brydon and treats him with respect, possibly as gratitude for his willingness to allow her to accompany them in exchange for her assistance. She doesn’t quite know what to make of him and seems to know–as children often do–that there is something about him that is different. She prefers to wait and watch before deciding if his other-ness is a good or bad thing, and will ultimately decide when she can weigh it on the scale of what he can do for her.
(Photo of Thylane Blondeau gakked from the internet without permission and holy hell was it hard to find a tween girl that wasn’t gazing seductively at the camera or made up to look fifteen years older. Quite horrifying, not gonna lie.)
I know it’s been like a million years or so since I posted, but I really want to continue this, so here we go!
Jace is one of my favorite characters in the Gauntlet Series and one who undergoes the largest transformation. He is a very solid character in the first book, secure in his belief, knowing his purpose in life, and having an easygoing, friendly, and unstressed world view. When Brydon first meets him, Jace is the full-fledged version of what Brydon hopes to one day be: a knight-priest with no doubts in his faith or his own abilities.
In the second book, Jace has an experience that no only shatters his faith but also completely alters his personality. He learns that even the strongest foundations can be shaken, and he becomes almost unrecognizable to his friends. Although they stand by him, they long for the man they once knew and hope for his eventual return. As the third book progresses, it remains to be seen if that is even an option.