Luke & Kira: Hearts Bound and Battered

These two have certainly gone through the ringer and left bruises, which is odd since Kira doesn’t always show up in a book.  She didn’t start making a more common appearance until after Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue.  Prior to that 7th Book, she was absent for three of them and that became part of the problem.  It’s been brought up a lot here, but I guess I’ll get into it again.

Kira Grasdon comes from a culture that was nearly destroyed by rampant divorce.  They came up with a social system where you could date multiple people with one being the alpha and there being rules of introduction.  Most people outside of the culture like at this solely as sex, but it’s not.  Once married, a Bor’darukian couple must either stay together or accept exile.  This is how it’s supposed to work, but it went haywire with Kira and Luke because they aren’t in the same spot.  With Luke being on the road, they can’t abide by the rules of introduction and that’s where things got messy.  Kira wanted to uphold the traditions and Luke wanted to respect her culture.  At least that’s the surface stuff since we established Monday that there’s more.

If Sari is the lust and life of wandering that Luke can choose then Kira is the polar opposite of that.  Being the daughter of a successful merchant and heir to at least part of the family business, Kira will settle down one day.  She isn’t even an adventurer even though she has learned how to fight and her fortune gives her access to a lot of magical tricks.  While Luke is the think on his feet type, Kira has gradually become a planner.  This makes them a great pair that offsets each other’s flaws just like Luke and Sari work together like a single unit.  This isn’t about battle though.  It’s about how they can function when the fighting is done.  When it comes to this relationship, it has always been about the future more than the past and present.  Kira stands as the future for a hero who has found the end of the road and wishes to let someone else save the day.  Quite simply, the path that Luke walks with her is a full retirement.

Now, it’s only fair that I give a brief psychological analysis to Kira since I kind of did one for Sari.  She never considered that Luke would find someone who would be a true rival, so she became rather lazy.  Then again, they were rarely around each other, which means she only had rumors and stories to go by.  Kira holds onto some guilt for taking too long to fight for her love.  She feels sorry that her traditions got Sari hurt and put Luke in a terrible position.  This is part of what makes her grow up and it’s a rather ungainly, clumsy evolution.  Kira has tried to maintain a rivalry with Sari to prove she is willing to fight, but she comes off as mean and that isn’t easy to maintain around a friendly gypsy.  Especially when she has the sense that Luke has chosen her.  Throughout the rest of the series, Kira remains fragile and her personality masks routinely get mixed up.  She’s also itching to get onto a battlefield and take some semblance of revenge on the Baron’s forces.

So, what happens when Luke is captured and being tortured?  First, one has to wonder how Kira finds out.  That’s for one to find out through reading.  It wouldn’t be surprising to think that she does whatever she can to join in the rescue.  Luke is the last bit of family Kira has left.  Without him, she’s alone.  She’s still at a point where she will attack any threat to her loved ones, but enough time has passed that she’s not impetuous.  When given enough time, she puts her resources and planning into action, which could very well put her on par with the champions.  Then again, it doesn’t seem like good things happen to those who follow the champions and aren’t ‘blessed’ by the same prophecy.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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20 Responses to Luke & Kira: Hearts Bound and Battered

  1. A lot of deep thought went into her. Love getting the background here.


  2. adeleulnais says:

    I love these insights into your characters, great idea.


  3. I always like Kira and always thought she and Luke would be happy together. I think she could be a tragic collateral victim though.


  4. L. Marie says:

    Wow. It’s great to know the motivation of the characters and how tragedy affects their lives.


    • Can’t have tragedy without some effects. I like having characters find a way to recover and return to some level of normalcy too. A series certainly helps with that and I’m hoping the Luke/Kira pairing took advantage of it.


  5. Bill says:


    I was silent on this topic but your last response on April 6th really struck a note with me.
    In my opinion-
    – Conflict and trial is good and necessary in any good story, it’s the science of writing.
    – Conflict resolution is the art, where good has the potential to become great.

    As I’ve noted previously the Kira, Disbar situation changed the story in a fundamental way for me.
    It wasn’t the sex, heck it’s only mentioned post act. It was coerced sex, a woman forced into a sex act with a man she had no desire to have sex with, by her father. The tradition didn’t require they have sex, her father did. Perhaps worse was the slut shaming of Kira by Disbar post the encounter. In that society, with their “traditions” I would expect post sex slut shaming to be taboo. How can they continue the tradition if men then used the event as a weapon later? They couldn’t and that’s never addressed, the entire situation is minimized.

    This gets to my points above re: conflict resolution- this conflict was never, truly resolved, especially not in an empowering way for Kira. For me- Kira and the story was never quite the same, both smaller.



    • It’s actually addressed in Book 7 as best that I can. The problem with the Caspar situation from a writing perspective is that there was no way to explain that he was going against the traditions. All other characters involved in that book were from outside of the culture and had no idea that he was wrong. It isn’t until the heroes go to Bor’daruk that they get the idea that such things are frowned upon. Again, it’s not easy to fit in because the characters aren’t openly asking about it. The best I could do is have a side-character mention that bragging about conquests is wrong for both genders. Also, Caspar wasn’t exactly shaming Kira for sleeping with him. He was using it to antagonize Luke and get a fight out of him, which would have been another protocol mistake. Unfortunately, men like Caspar take advantage of people only having a basic knowledge of Bor’darukian culture and acts like an ass. People at home probably don’t even know that he does it, which is the reason he’s not there very often.

      As far as resolution for Kira, it has the same problem as getting an explanation. She wasn’t around when Caspar and Luke met. There’s no way for her to defend herself until she returns to the series in Book 5. At that point, Luke had been with Sari and he was badly injured. There’s also the fact that Luke doesn’t question it like readers want him to. In his mind, it would be like criticizing her traditions. You do get the idea that she did the Caspar thing not because her father forced it. In fact, it’s mentioned that he hated Caspar and only wanted her to see other people that were Bor’darukian. She picked Caspar as a way to end that conversation and make her father realize that things could be worse than her marrying an outsider. You are right that the tradition didn’t say sex, but her father didn’t require it either. That was all Kira being foolish and taking an extreme action in the face of opposition, which she does have a habit of doing from time to time. Again, this is stuff that had to get piece-mealed in over time because Kira isn’t a constant entity. I can only touch on her resolutions and reactions when she’s in a scene. Being that she isn’t an adventurer or champion, I’m limited as to when I can make her appear.


  6. Bill says:


    Thanks for not mentioning my Disbar/Caspar brain freeze in your response, classy as always. Disbar was a similar character from another story. I guess when men like Caspar do those things we (meaning me), like to see the time made to address the issue from the woman, even if the opportunity has to be created. Otherwise it almost feels like the story is validating the behavior and at the same time not empowering the female character.

    By the way- what ever ultimately happened to Caspar? I had think I Linda skipped over the after he was taken to the back room for what I think was painful sex? I honestly don’t know what happened with him.


    • To be fair, I’ve written Casbar and Casper at times since he never returns to the series. I do agree that there should be some closure from the woman, which is why I made sure it came up the next time Kira made an appearance. I did look into her showing up in Book 3, but it would have been far too similar to what happened at the end of Book 2 and I needed her to be away from the story to explain how she came back with more skills than before. So, it became a lose/lose situation and I figured having a long series gave me a little leeway. It’s also hard to explain when there’s a mentality that is very foreign than what we’re used to. Kira doesn’t exactly see her tryst with Caspar as 100% wrong, but more like an act of impulsive rebellion that she forgets about. Since this does work off a fictional cultural system, it doesn’t really match up with our real world values. Open relationships and swingers are very taboo for us, but not so much in Bor’daruk, which is a bridge that’s hard to cross even for me.

      Sari just wore him out and made sure she exaggerated thinks to get a rise out of Alyssa. She perceived Alyssa as an enemy of Luke (her new friend) and Nyx (her childhood friend). Gypsies tend to attack in pranks and theft, but Sari wasn’t all there at this point. Due to her background, she’s very defensive of the few relationships she has left.

      As far as Caspar, he did marry Alyssa and never returned to Bor’daruk again. Unknown to the champions and Kira, the news of him acting like an ass got back to the homeland. Mostly by the champions asking a single merchant if that’s how it always goes. He wasn’t exiled, but one of the main reasons he still marries Alyssa is that he’s become radioactive among the women and men of his culture. The ultimate fate is actually touched on in the book that I hope to release next week.


      • Bill says:


        Thanks much. We’ve discussed this topic at length and I appreciate your willingness to do that. Candidly, the Siri encounter is where it felt to me like he was being rewarded for his behavior, it was being validated.

        So not just Kira but Siri too- it just struck me as strange at the time, still does. Perhaps I interjected more regret by Kira than she actually felt. I obviously saw his behavior, especially in that culture, worse than his outcome deserved.

        But that’s why writers write and readers read.

        The real reason for the comment was to highlight that in my opinion- a stronger statement, some closure with Disbar… oops, Caspar, and I don’t think the feelings from readers linger on the issue so long. It was essentially a major cultural taboo (and really crappy, disrespectful, mean thing to do, regardless of culture), rewarded.


      • I’ve heard others say that Caspar getting to be with Sari was a reward, but it’s a tough one. From one perspective, you get the impulse to think he made a conquest. Yet, Caspar didn’t have any control of the situation. Sari seduced and used him, which was more because she was still traumatized from her captivity. At the time, Sari had a strong desire for any sense of intimacy and connections. There was some mischievousness to what she was doing with Caspar, but it did hint that she has her own issues. Sari really did start off broken because of the massacre and captivity, so many of her earlier actions are fairly self-destructive and impulsive.

        It’s kind of funny how often Caspar comes up too. In the game that the books are based on, he showed up with Luke’s former fiancee and tried to goad him into a fight. It was all about being where he used to be and alpha male posturing that had no effect on Luke. It changed for the book because Kira was around, but I still rarely thought about Caspar as anything other than a tool for the Luke/Sari/Kira stuff. My initial fear was that not having him would make Luke seem like the cheater because he would start a relationship with Sari. So with Kira already setting a precedent, it felt to me like I cleared an obstacle. My mistake was keeping Caspar as a jerk and thinking I could just toss him away after his first few scenes. Definitely taught me that writers can’t always tell who will get some traction.


      • Bill says:

        The tool to free up Luke makes absolute, total, perfect, total sense.

        Perhaps using him then with Siri muddied the waters

        It was almost- deal with it strong or not at all – the middle is where it took on a life of its own.


      • The Sari thing probably did mess things up a bit. It was a last minute scene to make clear the connection between Nyx and Alyssa. Sari was kind of there and I needed to get her and Caspar out of the room. I kind of thought that it would be slightly karmic for Sari to dominate him after all his macho blustering about being with Kira. It could have even hinted at how Kira was the dominant in their tryst as well, so Caspar comes off even more poorly. Doesn’t seem to have worked out that way, but I’ll admit that it was a long-shot. Seems a lot of twists in a relationship come with a high amount of risk.


      • Thanks for the discussion too.


  7. Bill says:

    No risk- no reward

    It’s impossible to know for sure what will resonate-

    All the best sir!


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