In my continuation of this series highlighting the kick-ass women that populate my Aryneth books, we take a look at the second and third books for the Third Asyentai arc, The Sun-Scorched Land and To Cross A River of Blood, where we meet two young women with unexpected importance to the party of heroes and the most ancient being existent in the world. Two of these characters were originally intended to be a part of Serpent in a Cage, but in the last rewrite, I streamlined the story a lot, which booted their storylines out. It was a little devastating, since, not only did they amp the female population considerably, but they’re a lot of fun to write as well. Turns out, though, that by adjusting their stories a little and moving them to later books, I’m allowed to give them more focus and room to shine. They don’t have to contend as much as background characters in a story mostly about Locke, Gilferen, and Auferrix, and come into their position as main characters more directly.
Now, I am pleased to introduce to you the Analisian Flower, the Songbird, and the ak’jinn.
1. Awngel Demarkus.
Defiantly, Awngel has spurned away her unworthy lover, despite the fact that this has left the young Analisian woman penniless in a land very far from her home, something the boys of the Battaracks can definitely understand. She decided to make an attempt to appeal to the newly crowned Queen Captain of A’aefar to help, and winds up tangling herself in the Battaracks’ quest. She’ll help them gladly if it means getting the resources together to return to her village, though a big part of her never truly wants to go back, knowing there’s nothing left for her there after the death of her sister. The idea of travelling with these strangers to more strange lands is too appealing to refuse, even if they drive her a little crazy. Still, involving herself with Locke and Gilferen is one of the saner relationships she’s been in, though she sometimes wonders what she’s gotten herself into, especially as she starts to slowly understand why Jaxson looks so familiar and realizes that she’s more tightly wound with the group than she could have ever imagined.
2. Rrynn Songbird Locin.
Rrynn is one the first Dri’in we get to know in the Aryneth world (well, everyone assumes Megg is one at first, and I haven’t outlined all of The Sun-Scorched Land yet, so that may change), one dedicated to the old ways of the ancient Dri’in that insist that Dri’in are superior to Humans, despite the Human’s virus-like ability to take over everything they can reach and destroy it. They are people of the world, pure beings created by the god of Pryston, believed to be descended from the first mortals of Aryneth, long before Humans came about to muck things up. (Protip: Dri’in are basically elves, but with fancier names, tufts of hair on their pointed ears that match their region of origin, eyes at 45 degree angles with cool markings underneath, and cat-like noses).
But Rrynn hasn’t been getting along with her tribe lately. She’s convinced there was some foul play afoot in the death of her parents, though she can’t prove anything. When she discovers the Battaracks stomping on her tribe’s ground, she uses the opportunity to side with them and get them through without being killed, only to find out that she might be inclined to kill them herself. Instead, she helps them get through the dangerous territory to reach the Valley of the Sparrow, with the intention of leaving them soon after and promptly forgetting. But we all know it never happens that way…
3. Megg ak’djnn
For her bubbly, often ditzy personality, no one would ever peg Megg as one of the most ancient and powerful beings in the known universe, but she happens to be just that. Appearing mysteriously after Locke takes some of the A’aefarean treasure offered by Auferrix, she seems surprisingly attached to the young Battarack. Only when the more well-versed Taluin puts the pieces together do they realize that Megg is an ak’djnn, a legendary creature with access to the ana’ae’anexis, where the gods were banished centuries ago. She’s bound to Locke now because he holds a necklace with the same gem embedded in her throat, which she’s okay with. It beats being stuck in the ana’ae’anexis for eternity, and he’s a million times better than the first person who she bonded with. There are restrictions to her powers, of course, and Locke never wants to exploit them, but it all comes to a difficult head when the one thing that will make her mortal suddenly appears, and that’s falling in love. Whoopsies!
Our next volume will be mother-based, delving into the women who brought some of our heroes into the world. Until then, happy reading!