I’ve explained Delvin a few times on this blog, but there really was never much to him prior to this book. He is a skilled and experienced warrior trained by Selenia Hamilton. He has a habit of losing shields, flirts with Nyx, and has a strange aura without the ability to cast spells. He likes coffee and his eyes are blue. Noticing a theme yet?
I hate to say that Delvin lacks depth, but he pales in comparison to the more colorful champions. He gets overshadowed a lot with a few bursts of awesomeness, which tends to happen with other characters. One reason for this is because he is a tactician and many of their challenges have been spontaneous. Delvin is learning to think more on his feet, but that’s an arena where Luke and Sari seem to excel more. This is causing him to get left behind and that isn’t helped by him debuting near the end of the same book that Timoran Wrath appeared in. (Family of the Tri-Rune.) One would think Delvin is in the story for nothing more than taking space.
That did happen by accident, but it seems to work in his favor. It brings up a question when dealing with a team of heroes. What happens with those that fall behind the others or are overshadowed from the beginning? Do they continue on, have a solo adventure, or carve a support niche for themselves? Avengers 2 tried to answer this for Hawkeye by revealing more of his life and positing him as the ‘heart’ of the team. TV shows with ensemble casts create an episode to heighten the ‘weak’ character, which is what I’m doing for Delvin. I’ve even gone as far as to create a situation where characters within the books are considering him fodder or useless. Needless to say, this has gotten to him and is a big catalyst for his story. Not to mention he wants to prove to himself that he’s supposed to be a champion and become stronger for Nyx.
Something to consider with The Mercenary Prince is that it is a nexus for Delvin. His past, present, and future are going to collide when he returns to the Yagervan Plains. This is increased by him reuniting with ‘The Frozen Blades’, his former mercenary group that people may remember from Prodigy of Rainbow Tower. Looking over it now, I can see how Delvin is touching each stage of his life:
- Early childhood in Yagervan before he was lost.
- Training years with Selenia at the Hamilton Military Academy.
- Life as the Mercenary Prince.
- Role as a champion.
- His future.
I don’t think such a journey could work with most of the other champions given their backgrounds. Delvin’s been almost background due to his laid back persona and handing off tasks to others. One might even think that he hasn’t been able to function very well in a group where he isn’t the official leader. Honestly, there are so many aspects to his situation that it shouldn’t be surprising that an entire book and big adventure is needed to make the poor guy whole. If nothing else, Delvin will finally put the ghosts of his past into the grave.