Just so that they're all in a centralized location,
here are the character introductions for Kas.
Kas is a 17-18 year old girl who has always felt like she stuck out like a sore thumb in her family. The third of six children, she has always been the odd one out. In her words, here's a bit about her siblings.
From this passage, it's pretty easy to tell that Kas is like most typical teenagers, feeling out of place and disenchanted with family life. That or she is just jaded about life. But what teenager doesn't struggle with family relationships, jealousy of other siblings, etc? I don't think I've heard of a single one who doesn't struggle with something where they feel out of place.There were six of us kids all told. I was the second girl, the third child in the family. There were two boys and one girl under me. The youngest was Russell. He was a two-year-old nightmare waiting to happen. If there was anything he could get into, he did. Without any hesitations. His favorite past time was taking apart Dad’s gadgets and Mom’s computer.
My older brother, David, [...] had a habit of forgetting that he wasn’t the only person in the place. His own apartment was a single, occupant him.
My older sister, Sara, was the opposite of David. Mostly. She was the favorite child, the privileged child. She was always the one who got the car when she had an important date with Mr. So and So in secondary school. No questions asked. Mom and Dad would just hand her the keys, tell her to have a good time, not worrying about it. She got home when she wanted.
The next child in line, Allisa, was trying to catch [Russell]. She had a comb in her hand, for decided use on her prey. She looked like she needed the comb far more than he did. Her hair was a rat’s nest of yellow. Talk about total bed head.
My other younger brother entered next. His hair wasn't quite as bad as Allisa’s. Not that that was saying much. But then his hair was shorter. He still needed a haircut. He flopped down onto a chair and yawned, showing off teeth that had far more damage than a fourteen-year-old deserved. Cavities galore.
(Author's note here: I must confess that Kas' siblings are modeled a bit after my own brothers and sisters. My youngest brother really is a technological genius, especially for his age. And yes, at the age of two, he was taking about various gadgets, and somehow managed to erase crucial data on my mom's computer. His name isn't Russel. Gotta protect the innocent, after all.
Dan is also modeled after one of my younger siblings, an easy going kind of guy who doesn't say much, but doesn't miss much either.
Sarah, admittedly, is a combination of my two older sisters, but mostly my eldest sister. And from my, way back when, teenage perspective, got away with a lot that I never did, got a lot more privileges than I ever did, and all that other stuff younger siblings are jealous of.
Allisa is a combination of both my younger sisters, both who were blond and... in some cases, silly and flamboyant. (They have since grown up since I'm basing Allisa after their younger incarnations.)
And then there's David, who isn't really based off of any siblings, but if I had to say anything is similar, it would be a combo of both of the two eldest younger brothers, since I don't have any brothers actually older than me. But if I had had an elder brother, I wish he'd be like David.)
As for what Kas looks like, I offer this:
I think that I'm the only member of our family who doesn't have light colored hair; something I think went back to my great-grandma. Every picture I could find of her suggested black hair. But then, they were black and white photos, which wasn't all that helpful. My hair was dark brown with red highlights. Mom called it auburn.Kas is of average height and build, not overly skinny, but not overweight either. She's of fair complexion, a great reader, and a fan of fairy tales and older stories. Tending to be a bit on the romantic side, Kas has often fantasized about living in some of her favorite stories, including damsels in distress, heroic princesses, and the like. She just didn't expect to be tilted into one willy nilly.
~~~~~~~In general, I think Kas is a character that most teenagers can relate to, in one way or another. I know I did when I was her age. But who doesn't feel lost a bit every now and again? Who doesn't wonder if there is more to life than the mundane existence so many of us get stuck in? Don't we all wish for some kind of adventure, at one point or another, something that tells us that we are more than what we think we are?
Kas is a story of redemption, in a sense, but more, I think, a coming of age and realization that we are all more than the sum of our supposed parts. We each are more important than we think we are.
The second character I would like to introduce you to is
the Voice Kas hears throughout the story.
As his name implies, this character is just a voice in Kas' head. In Kas' words, here's a bit about this mysterious Voice.
It sounded like a whisper in my ear, familiar somehow. After a moment, I realized that I recognized it. I had heard it several times before, warning me about things. I’d always listened to it before
There isn't really a whole lot I can say about this character, other then that it's one you need to "keep an eye on", if you know what I mean.
*** small point of clarification: In this story, there are several different "voices" that are used. The Voice, above, is the one that has always warned her about things. The other voices are both masculine and feminine, but I'm not going to give away which is which. Let you guys figure it out!
First introduced as the Master of the castle, Milord is the "invisible" man.
Here is an excerpt from the book when Kas first meets him:
Since you can't actually see Milord, it's rather hard to describe him. But, if this were a true "Beauty and The Beast" tale, he might fit in the shoes of the Beast, minus the fur and animal qualities. He's as human as the next guy.
“Don’t turn around. I don’t want to frighten you.” The voice was definitely masculine.
I turned around anyway, excepting to see someone, anyone. I saw nothing, nothing but bookshelves with more books. “Where are you? Who are you?” I leaned against the nearest shelf, glad that it was sturdy, as unmovable as a mountain. I hoped I wasn’t too obvious about doing it. My heart was pounding so fast now that it made breathing difficult and I felt somewhat dizzy because of it.
“Look down, near the end of this shelf. You will see my shadow. Don’t be afraid.” His voice was gentle, maybe a tenor. His words were careful, caressing. It was hard to not trust that voice. It was like a gently flowing stream filled with sunlight.
I did as he asked and almost stepped back in shock but controlled myself. There it was all right. And if my mind was processing things right, he should have been standing in front of me, no more than a foot away. The space was empty. I took a deliberate step back, feeling claustrophobic, even though I couldn’t see anything.
A bit standoff-ish at first, Milord does truly care about Kas, but has to follow the rules of the Waymeet and can't let her see him. He also has the difficult task of trying to not become too attached to her, while protecting her from all the dangers she can't see coming.
Huntsford is the Master of the Horse. An older gent, Huntsford is an amazing individual.
He was about six feet tall. His face was clean-shaven and tanned.Kas comes to rely on his companionship for at least a part of the story. He teaches her how to ride a horse, giving her valuable knowledge, while helping her adapt to her new life.
I was desperate to remember everything he so patiently taught me. And his patience surprised me. He answered my stupid questions, repeating instructions when I was overwhelmed. Something told me that he must have been a wonderful father. He was old enough to be mine, after all.
Compassionate, caring, and ever patient, Huntsford makes the perfect teacher, and the perfect person to care for animals. But he is not without his own sense of amusement and fun. He is also a demanding teacher, in that he doesn't take things by halves. You give it your all or not at all.
The fifth character I would like to introduce you to is Christoph.
Christoph doesn't show up until about halfway through the novel. He was a fun one to write, though, and is full of surprises. Here's this description from the book.
He was tall, five or so inches taller than me, and slender but well built. He had the kind of shoulders a girl could cry on. His light reddish hair moved in the breeze in an almost mesmerizing way. But it was his eyes that held my attention. They were deep eyes, green and perfect, with little flecks of dark amber. A girl could drown in those eyes.
He wore a tunic-like shirt over dark breeches, also green. He had a cap on his head with an emerald-green feather sticking out from the side, like a hatpin. He reminded me of the picture I’d seen back at the castle, the Robin Hood picture I noticed my first night there. The eyes were similar, but more alive.I don't know if this is every girl's idea of "dreamy" but he sure is close to mine! Confession, I've always had a soft spot for red-headed people.
Christoph is as gentle and awesome a guy as any girl could want, at least any girl into fantasy/adventure stories. Though I'm sure any girl wouldn't mind getting to know him.
He's a protective kind of person, but not prone to overreacting, and is reasonable. He likes to take long walks and ride horses, a definite plus. Strong, without flaunting his strength, Christoph is the kind of guy a girl could rely on. Smart, sexy (without trying), wise, and just full of good advice, he's just one amazing guy.
And the absolute bonus? (though I can't remember if I mention this in the book or not) He's a prince. Yes, an honest to goodness prince. (I might have just given something away there.... hope not!) What's not to like about him?
What story would be complete without a villain of some sort? That is why I thought you might like to get a glimpse of the "bad guy", as it were.
“What do you know of Kishan?” Milord’s voice was intent, almost watchful.
I tried to think. “He’s… He’s a hooded man who steals souls.” Somewhere deep inside, I knew there was more to this but didn’t dare look beyond what I’d said.
“Yes,” Milord confirmed. “But some might say he destroys them. He is a dark wizard with many talents, none of them good. It is unfortunate that you have caught his attention.”As the passage above says, Kishan is a rather bad dude. Not much is actually known about this character, from an inside perspective. (I'll let you make your own decisions about him when you read about him.)
He is most often seen wearing a dark colored cloak, has several followers, deals in dark arts, and is not someone you want to mess with. Kas comes across him on several occasions throughout the story. None of those encounters end well.
If I had to picture him, I would go between a cross of a ring wraith and a dementor, but with a very dark brown cloak, instead of black. Maybe something like a demented, hooded monk?
I suppose the main question is "why is a dark wizard interested in Kas?"
To end off the character introductions for Kas, I would like to offer up
these last introductions.
RonRon is Kas' brother-in-law. Married to Sarah, he is a rather interesting character, one that is easy to love hating. In Kas' words, here is a bit about her brother-in-law, and a bit about her sister, Sara.
A rather straight-laced individual, Ron believes in what he can see, prove, and the theories he's learned from college. If it doesn't fit into his understanding, it doesn't exist. As such, anyone who exhibits behavior he has learned (or considers) normal, is obviously crazy. Guess where Kas falls.
Ron was a psychiatrist. She was in marketing. She advertised his office and he kept her sane, supposedly. I’m not sure how it all worked out but at least they got along. Personally, I didn’t see the thrill of psychology. I flunked every class I took.
Ron definitely didn’t get points for his looks, either. I couldn’t call him handsome; no matter how hard I tried. For Sara’s sake. Oh, he didn’t look ugly, but he wasn’t a drop dead gorgeous guy either. He had sandy colored hair, hazel eyes, and stood about six feet tall. He looked good when he stood by Sara. She looked a lot like him.
He's also not much of a family man, considering that kind of thing beneath him. (I'd have a hard time picturing him as a dad.) His religious is science and theory.
JennyJenny is the first person Kas meets when she wakes up in the Waymeet (a.ka. alternate dimension). Kas describes her as:
a rather young woman, dressed in some old-fashioned maid costume of green and white....Jenny is a bit stiff and formal when we first meet her, but is eager to please. She's also a bit motherly, and nonsensical. She comes to see Kas as not only a charge to take care of, but as a friend. And Kas eventually finds her as a friend too.
Jenny is also a bit of a worry wort. She has the habit of wrinkling her skirts or apron by clinging to them and ruffling the fabric. She also wrings her hands a lot. This seems to lessen the more the two get to know each other. Jenny is a bit of a timid character as well. She doesn't really care for horses, and adheres to some of the more basic old beliefs and traditions of wherever she came from.
Kas' MomLast but not least, I introduce to you Kas' mother. She's a bit integral in getting things going, so I'd be remiss if I didn't give her a share of introductions. A bit on the fussy side, she has a tendency towards the impractical while trying to be practical.
Mom was busy stirring up muffin mix she’d made from scratch. Blueberry muffins. Mom was always like that. She insisted that stuff from a box would eventually kill you.More on the matriarch end of the spectrum, Kas' mother has no problem taking charge. She's also, most likely, the disciplinarian of the family. And as much as Kas has her difficulties with her, she sometimes envies her.
Mom took her customary seat near the head of the table, Dad sitting opposite her. They exchanged a wink and a knowing smile. They were probably playing footsy under the table.
She also has an exceptional memory, calling Kas out in the first chapter about trying to avoid going to the mountains, something her Voice told her to do. But Mom's no stranger to her children trying to get out of things. She's perfected the art of the guilt trip.