I remember writing Tyne in The Smuggler’s Radiant and feeling awful because of the things I knew he’d been through. When I write a character, they tell me their story, but there is the knowledge that all of that comes from some place inside me. Tyne has been abused because I said he was abused. I promised him, at the time, that he would get his happy ending. I also knew that because of the time lapse in the Renegades series, that it would take years before he got that happy ending.
By the time we revisit Tyne, he’s had a tough few years since he and Rhona escaped Drexan. Tyne told his world what happened to him, but while the Ilan believed Tyne, not everyone did. What proof did he have, except the word of a woman from a race many don’t consider fully sapient?
Tyne is the titular runaway. He’s spent six years running from his memories, running from Drexan and running from a public that would rather believe his abuser, than him. The only thing he refuses to forget is Aran which is how we find him at the beginning of the book.
Amara has a dark history with adalan. It’s comparable to human history with women.
Last week, when Aran was showing Ariana his scarification, he mentioned the story about Tarokan, Denisteer and Athia. If you haven't read that, you can find it here.
According to Amaran myth, they were the first triad. Tarokan loved Denisteer as much as he loved Athia and when they had children, it opened the way for the Adalan as a race and the Amarans to merge. But not all adalan wanted to become part of a triad and not all Amarans wanted adala, their females, to join their families. So many Adalan were kidnapped and forced to become members of triads or passed around against their will to help create more children. They were resented and abused. This dark history slowly gave way to adalan being forced into arranged marriages by their Amaran parents, then fighting for the same rights their brothers and sisters had in more recent centuries.
Still, in Amaran society, adalan testimony is often looked at the same way as women’s testimony in our society, as somehow less honest than the testimony of females or males. Excuses are made to infantilise them, much as human women are infantilised by our society. People talk about protecting them from themselves and protecting them from society rather than how Amaran society should be treating them as equals and holding abusers responsible for their actions. In fact, I wrote the book with much the same attitude before I realised and rewrote sections of it. That’s how ingrained this stuff is.
Adalan present as male, with dark grey skin. They are smaller than Amaran males, because their people were a smaller race than Amarans. While they are now a fully functioning gender within Amaran biology, they still have many of their genes from their original race still present which have become a part of those genes passed on when the gender is set to adalan. Their facial features are more androgynous than males, but more masculine than females and they’re larger and stronger than females.
I didn’t intend to write the struggles of adalan as a mirror to human women, but that’s just how it ended up. I adore Tyne and Aran and I can’t wait for you all to read this book, but it does come with some darkness, there’s just no way to avoid it when you have two people who’ve been as abused as they have.
However, as you know. I don’t write explicit abuse and Tyne and Aran are finally getting their happy ever after.
Over the course of Tyne’s ‘relationship’ with Drexan Thalos, he’d come to hate the colour gold. Drexan had gold through every room of every building he owned in such a quantity that it was obscene. He thought it made him better. Made him better than his employees, his friends, his lovers; even better than Ilan Dahnus Ascendi.
Every bad memory Tyne had of that male was seared into his mind with liquid gold.
He hated it.
But Amarans, on the whole, loved the colour.
For the past five solars, Tyne had lived in Ilan Dahnus Ascendi’s palace of Light in the Gathaarin mountains. Despite it being a palace, there wasn’t nearly as much gold as Tyne believed there would be and he’d gotten used to the more subdued nature of the building. Now, sitting in the reception area of Artigen, Drexan Thalos’s company he was confronted by, no inflicted with, gold everywhere.
Of course, it wasn’t Drexan’s company anymore. It was Vedian Thalos’s company. Drexan’s first cousin.
The idea of meeting with someone who shared the same blood as Drexan, who might even look like him… Tyne felt a shiver of fear and revulsion cascade down his spine until he was almost physically shaking from it.
The only reason Tyne was here at all was because the Ilan promised him it would be worth his time, and that Vedian was trustworthy.
Still, being here was almost more than Tyne could bear.
Another fifteen metri went by, Tyne shifting uncomfortably in his seat, before the door to Drexan’s office opened.
The male looking at him wasn’t what Tyne expected.