As stated, Charms of the Feykin focuses on the Delvin Cunningham and Sari adventure from Tribe of the Snow Tiger. The others are about to discover what trouble their friends have found and it will strain a lot of relationships. I’ll get into that on Friday, but this also highlights something about Sari. The character has been difficult to draw out of the crowd for more than a chapter or two, but she still has a central role. Removing her creates a hole for the others because of the close relationship. This has pulled me into making her connections to the other champions the focus of her evolution. There is a secret reason for this that will be revealed later, but it makes things tough.
Don’t get me wrong though. I love writing scenes where Sari is in full thief mode or messing with Nyx. Her variety of abilities gives her such versatility that I’m always finding new tricks for her. It’s just that there is something about her that even I can’t really draw out. Sari is a character who will put her emotions out in the open, but still manage to keep herself distant. Almost like she’s purposely keeping herself wounded while focusing on making others happy. Again, it’s tough to put a finger on and this is the book where a big chunk of her baggage gets handled.
I won’t deny that Sari was going to be rough from the beginning. Remember that these characters were based on a D&D game I played in college. Sari showed up, made an impact, started a deep relationship with Luke, and then the player left in the span of 2-3 months. Normally, one would just remove the character, but the prophecy in the game made that a challenge. Also, it was my first non-hack & slash game and I refused to believe Luke would get over her death. So, Sari was put in a coma for a while, but we still needed her back. I played her for a while, but we kept forgetting her or she’d be sent away for some reason. Something to factor in is that Kira Grasdon never existed in the game, so it was Sari and Luke Callindor together with no rivalry.
All of that probably made her a tougher character to write than I realized, but I tried to flush her out. The death of her clan left her broken and I’ve noticed that she’s never done anything to heal. Sari has proven to be more about living in the now, which results in her past striking whenever she lets her guard down. In some ways, you get the feeling that she wants to suffer because that emotion is what draws out memories of her clan. There’s no way for her to think back without feeling pain, so she accepts this. It really causes trouble with her relationships in that she makes bad decisions, puts others ahead of herself, and has a fear of being abandoned. Yet, she is still the happiest and most positive of the champions.
I know this sounds like I’m painting a dark picture of her, especially when people see the above picture or think of her mischief in the books. Maybe this is all in my head and I did a bad job of drawing it out. The thing is that she isn’t really aware of it, so it’s hard to have this come to the surface. All Sari knows is that she’s damaged and she kind of leaves it at that. I’m really hoping Charms of the Feykin can clear her of a few demons because she really deserves it. She’s been starting to rise out of some pain, but this may end up being a forced cleansing of her soul.
Funny how this was supposed to be a revisit, but I’ve really just gone on about the depth and difficulty of Sari. Probably because that’s a part of her that doesn’t get explored very often. You push and she pulls back or finds a way to slip out of the conversation. Almost like an emotional eel that endlessly wiggles until you give up or it dies. I will say that out of all the champions, Sari is the one that deserves some peace and happiness. After all, she debuted in a massacre and things kind of went downhill from there.