With all the Icarus Child books now out and available, I thought I’d wrap things up with one last secret before I take a bit of a break from the Aekhverse.
Secret #5 – This Isn’t the Last You’ll be Seeing of These Characters
With the trilogy being a prequel to the Tales of the Aekhartain this might seem like an obvious secret. But I’m not talking about Shaiel or Maskai, though of course both of them do come back and make many, many appearances in the other stories. No, this is about the others.
It’s all Maskai’s fault, of course. The short story – Star and Shadowborn – that I’ve included at the end of The Icarus Child hints a little at this, because it’s all to do with Maskai’s power and how in the early Aekh days she was a bit careless with it. In fact, when she wasn’t paying attention, it had a habit of rubbing off on people around her and changing them – which is how the Aekhartain come about. It’s all because Maskai wasn’t paying attention and ordinary folk got caught in a power splash.
Which means that plenty of characters in Icastar’s life have the potential to become Aekhartain further down the line. It isn’t reincarnation, not quite, but some personality quirks and other aspects do keep turning up over and over again.
In fact, if you read Dark Rebel closely, you might think there’s something a little familiar about one of Caligo’s companions – especially if you look up the meaning of his name and find a russet-coloured animal on the other end. There are quite a number of Aekhs to spot in DR, but since I haven’t got around to rewriting most of their stories yet, it’s not entirely fair.
I also have an unfinished Regency tale about Fox and Cana, so those two definitely come back – a little changed, but essentially themselves (because I couldn’t let them go after the original IC and a friend challenged me to write a Regency romance). Look out for Howl and Rudh again too, because I backtracked on them, bringing in characters from later Aekh tales to amuse myself.
I have also since realised that if anyone is likely to come back, Saekara is most qualified and I’ve already laid a few clues about Icaria (or rather, as I was writing it I made a few connections and had a light-bulb moment). The biggest clue is in the prologue for The Crying Child, for those who like playing Spot-the-Aekh in advance. Names are always a massive clue too, even if they are mostly in a different language.
Spot-the-Aekh is mostly just a bit of fun between me and my readers. You won’t be missing anything vital if you don’t make the connections or follow along, but those who do play often feel an extra understanding about how the story is progressing. It’s one big in-joke that helps tie the long, long bunch of interconnected stories together and hopefully make it all more enjoyable.
Some characters are a lot more obvious than others, because I like to make sure everyone can play and also pose a bit of a challenge. So when it comes to the characters in this book, look out for future appearances from interesting names, familiar hair colours and eyes and those intriguing qualities that you can’t quite put your finger on, but feel familiar nonetheless.
Because in the Aekhartain world, death is never the end.