Princess Cyrena is the wife of the Shadow Earl and the caretaker of Rayne. In fact, it’s stated that she was transformed from a regular harpy to one that is more humanoid and civil. Even stranger, she has a facial resemblance to Luke Callindor, which stems from an early idea. Honestly, I can’t remember when she turned up in Quest of the Brokenhearted, so there isn’t too much of an origin. This is similar to Hyde in that it was a simple concept that came out of necessity.
Cyrena began as a demon, but I wanted to make her something different from the Shadow Earl. The idea of him being married to a more mundane being is what had me gravitate to harpies. It was locked in and then I remembered I’d already had them show up in Curse of the Dark Wind. It was only a cameo, but I couldn’t make Cyrena more human than the bestial version. This is where I got the idea about making her altered by the Shadow Earl and the reason came later. It was fun designing a variation of an established monster and I might have it be a permanent species down the road. I mean, it happened once, so it could happen again.
The change also made her more of an outcast even among the monsters. Cyrena was originally going to be a lustful romantic temptation, but it didn’t really work out the way I’d hoped. She came out different as if she really just wanted to find a place to belong and hid this with an air of nobility. This also brought out a bit of opportunistic behavior that she seemed to restrain it as much as she could. Unfortunately, this can make her come off as random and flighty. I did enjoy having her jump at so many opportunities that you could never be certain whose side she was going to be on. This was rather human for a monster too. It also made it that Cyrena couldn’t be considered a hero or villain. I can’t say she was neutral, but she was definitely all about her.
I really wish I had more to say about her that isn’t a spoiler. Didn’t realize how often she showed up in crucial scenes. In fact, I would put Cyrena a step below Rayne in terms of supporting cast importance. She sets a lot of events in order once she begins trying to play all sides. This is another reason I’ve been considering having her be the basis for a new type of harpy that will spread out from Lacarsis. The possibility of having one type be wild and bestial while the other is civilized is intriguing. It won’t create a whole new story, but it can open the door for unique characters. So far, I’ve only had winged elves for flying heroes, but maybe harpies can work as well. Guess this also makes Cyrena the surprise character of the book too.