I have waited so long to be able to share the illustrations of my main three characters with you. This is mainly because I kept getting distracted and commissioning side or minor characters instead. My go-to illustrator is BrettArts because I feel he perfectly captures what I’m aiming for. So, with the greatest pride and pleasure, I would like to share with you… Priya Dhawan, Spindle Larkspur and Anna Squires.
I spoke about Priya in a previous post [here]. She is originally from India, having moved to Ireland when she was seven with her parents and older brother. One day, she thought she heard her brother calling for help and followed the voice into a forest to check he was OK. This was, in fact, a faery trick, and Priya found herself in the Seelie Court.
Due to circumstances I won’t reveal yet, she eventually chose to remain in the Seelie Court, even though – as a Changeling – she doesn’t have any legal rights there. The fact that she is currently considered second (or perhaps even third) class in her own home is a source of much anger and bitterness for her, which often comes out as sarcastic remarks or just plain ridicule when a faery is being particularly irritating. She is not afraid to speak her mind and at first can come across as spiky and unpleasant because she doesn’t trust easily (and who could blame her, considering!) but she has a very giving heart, which Anna soon finds out.
Priya is truly a child of two worlds, much in the same way Anna is. She stays true to her roots as a human, still holding her Hindu beliefs, and following her original dream of becoming a doctor by working in the Circle of Healing. However, her greatest ambition is to become a fully-fledged member of the Seelie Court and be recognised as an equal among the Fae.
Spindle is the only one of my three main characters who is a full-blooded faery. They are the youngest child of the late Commander Cormac Larkspur and (the also late) Lady Juniper Gladiolus, who was the Seelie King’s niece. This means that at the time of The Elder Throne, Spindle is third in line for the crown.
This thought terrifies Spindle like nothing else, having never wanted to be in control of anything beyond which book they should read next. Fortunately, it’s unlikely that they will ever have to wear the crown, but members of the Gladiolus family do have a habit of unexpectedly disappearing or being murdered…
Incredibly intelligent, bookish and more than a little shy, Spindle finds it difficult to make friends because they rarely think in the same way that other faeries their age (or any age) do. For example: it is not uncommon for faeries to be born “Betwixt”, meaning they do not have an assigned birth gender.
Most Betwixt faeries choose their gender early on, but at twelve summers old, Spindle has not, wanting to “know who I am first, not what I am.”
Despite this difficulty in connecting to others, Spindle never has a bad word to say about anyone, always trying to look for the best in people, and likes to believe that everything turns out alright in the end… to the point their positive outlook could endanger people…
And finally… Anna Squires! I’m so pleased to reveal my protagonist to you, you have no idea.
Anna Squires is the only daughter of single mother Holly Squires, and the mysteriously-vanished “Huck Gladden”. Having never met her father and having no siblings, Anna is fiercely protective of her small family unit, which comprises her mum, her mum’s parents and her dad’s father, Grandfather Abe. She longs for a bigger family, and is a little jealous of her best friend Tom, who has a little sister, both parents and a dozen cousins who visit all the time.
Her most prominent personality trait is compassion; she has a great love for animals, nature, and is often willing to understand other people’s points of view, even if she doesn’t agree with them.
However, this doesn’t mean she’s a pushover. Anna has her limits and she hates bullies. She also doesn’t like people assuming things about her, or acting on these assumptions, and this is largely because of people’s attitudes to her having grown up with ABS.
ABS is Amniotic Band Syndrome and, as you can tell from Anna’s illustration, although she has a fully formed right hand, her left arm stops at her wrist. This doesn’t usually pose a problem for Anna day-to-day, except when people like Tom’s mother – Maria Scott – assume she’s fragile or incapable of doing certain things because of it. Anna is many things but incapable is not one of them – and once she sets her mind to something, she’ll find a way to get it done.