King Radolf would in modern society represent an interesting case study for psychologists.
He appears to have a complete lack of empathy or conscience. He is not an extravagant King and does not put pressure on his subjects by imposing heavy taxes. But this is a calculated choice to ensure that his subjects’ livelihood is intact so it will not tempt them to rise against him. However defiance is death with swiftly and the perpetrators’ heads were displayed on spikes outside the castle walls.
Like many modern villains he suffered trauma at a young age. This was the lost of his mother by through a false accusation of witchcraft. For this she was tried and purified by brutal and cruel means. To save his rule, King Radolf’s father denounced his wife, but could never reconcile himself with his act of weakness. As a result, he never spoke to the young Prince again. The removal of his mother’s influence and his father’s distance resulted in chronic childhood trauma. His father attempted to obliterate his guilt through drinking which resulted in his death of sclerosis of the liver.
Although the law required the heir (Prince Radolf) had to witness the last hours of the King’s death to confirm there was no foul play, he did not approach the bed and stripped his father of the opportunity to ask for forgiveness.
Radolf grew to despise authority and any form of control. In medieval times, it was common practice for the church to have representation on a monarch’s war council. It was for this reason that his goal was to remove any of the church’s influence in his kingdom.
However in this period Popes were King Makers. This period in history saw only monarchs ratified by the church as legitimate. Defiance of the church would cause excommunication and make a kingdom vulnerable to attacks from other leaders.
King Radolf has two plans. The first is to murder the current Bishop and plant a false Bishop to allow him to rule unchecked by the church. The second is to build an army so powerful that none would stand against him and to do this he must train an army of dragons.
King Radolf’s character in the book is in stark contrast to other male characters in the book who have also suffered a loss in some ways but have kept moral virtues.
Nadine is the middle child of parents Dorothea and Nicolous. Sandwiched between siblings Maireid and Mikael, she is obsessed with fairness, balance and independence. Although still a teenager by modern standards in medieval times she is of the age of concent for marriage. Canon Law, which was a Catholic Law that governed the way believers lived stated changed legal standards for marital consent by allowing daughters over 12 and sons over 14 to marry without their parents’ approval, even if their marriage was made clandestinely. Nadine is roughly the same age as what Joan of Arc was when she first led an army into battle.
Nadine is the daughter of a former knight. While Nicolous has left behind the prestige and responsibilities of knighthood, he has still taught his daughter some survival skills that men of war have.
As a natural climber, she uses her ability to distance herself from the world when things become overwhelming for her. You will often find her escaping to the trees when she is trying to process things. Nadine is also innovative and a good problem solver. It is this combination that causes her to rise to the challenge of saving her family. Although Nadine does display some uncontrolled anger at times, it is fuelled by some injustice she perceives.
Her initial awakening of her purpose overwhelms her with frightening visions and voices. At the beginning she has no one to guide her or explain what is happening and this is a confusing and bewildering time.
We see some of her tenderness and fierce protectiveness in her relationship with a cat. In medieval times it was unusual for people to form attachments with cats.They were working animals for rodent control. But a fear based on superstition around felines and their perceived association with witchcraft made many people avoid them. However Nadine’s compassion and relationship-building skills have allowed her to keep the cat in her family home. Nadine’s first kill comes in defense of this relationship and forms a type of rite of passage.
Throughout the Chronicles of Nadine, she is challenged to balance her need for independence with her purpose. While she forms powerful bonds, she likes them to be on her terms and giving up her independence to subject herself to a preordained purpose does not sit comfortably with her.
While Nadine is subject to outbursts of emotion, she does not allow herself to linger on them. She reframes trauma and moves on. One can see this trait after her confrontation with the control in book 1. However the trauma of this incident manifests itself in her acute reaction to the child being taken as an indentured servant.
Defining one’s purpose is a key concept that she, like many young people must explore. It requires courage and the ability stretch her capacity beyond what is the norm in times of great peril. But as so many people in society only begin to find their purpose in later years, this is a theme that has universal appeal.
Muquin is a Silver Wing Dragon. She is the last known Silver Wing. Her mate Megadeus, the leader of the Silver Wings died in the Dragon Wars. Silver Wing Dragons were the spiritual custodians of all the Dragon species and formed a diplomatic alliance between humans and dragons. They were a peaceful species, however they made excellent strategists which meant they were often undefeated in war.
It was through treachery that the humans exterminated Muquin’s fellow Silver Wings. This aspect of the book represents an age long human issue of genocide. Muquin has developed a hatred of humans because of their inhumane way of dealing with each other and her kind. It was her mate who continued to believe that there was good in humans and encouraged her to fight alongside them in the Dragon Wars. She suffers from survivor’s remorse because Megadeus sacrificed his life for hers. Survivor’s remorse is a mental condition that develops when someone believes that they have done something wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not.
In isolation Muquin discovered that she was with egg. While humans waited a mere 9 months for the birth of their young, dragons waited 100 years for an egg. Muquin only discovered that she was with egg some years after her mate had perished. After the theft of her hatchling, Muquin reacted with burning anger that endangered the lives of a group of villagers who had nothing to do with her hatchling’s disappearance. This symbolises what many people cannot see, that we link the anger and reactions of people to us, when it may completely unrelated. Muquin must work through her anger and mistrust of humans to help Nádine fulfil her purpose and to allow her hatchling to fulfil his destiny.
This issue is a very human trait. Often as parents we allow our own bitterness over the past contaminate our children’s outlook on life.