Follow Her Ladyship's Quest and enjoy my 8-part Good Friends and Great Reads blog series. Every Thursday through September 19th, I'll be sharing insights about powerful relationships between characters from my fantasy series. Join the literary discussion by leaving comments about fictional friends that felt like your friends too. And feel free to use the Good Friends and Great Reads blog prompt at your blog. We can never talk about books too much.
See also Part 1 Dreibrand and Tytido
Part 2 Dreibrand and Shan
Part 3 Shan and Taischek
Part 4 Dreibrand and Faychan
Part 5 Cruce and Gehr
Part 6 Amar and Urlen
Sometimes a whole really is more than the sum of its parts. Friendships are a good example of this phenomenon. In this 6th part of my 8-part blog series on fictional friendships, I’ll explain how the characters Amar and Urlen from the Rys Rising saga benefitted from their complementary talents.
After being saved from death by the mysterious rys female Onja, Amar is set adrift to prove himself in a world of outlaws. His hope is that he will become worthy of Onja’s magic and be uplifted by her power. Until then, he must earn the acceptance and trust of a notorious outlaw gang called the Kez.
Condemned to die a slow painful death of exposure, Urlen is rescued when Amar stumbles upon him. Although deeply grateful, Urlen sees little way to survive among outlaws. Until a terrible scandal, Urlen had been a prestigious scholar and scribe to a tribal king. He lacks the raw physical power and violent determination of Amar. Urlen assumes the outlaws will see him as a weakling, but Amar has the intelligence to see the value in Urlen.
The disgraced scholar can read and write in several languages. He also knows how elite society works. Most importantly if he does not know something, he knows how to find out.
In this excerpt from Rys Rising, a demoralized Urlen accepts an offer of friendship from Amar. This relationship will make history in the tribal kingdoms.
While Urlen rested against his horse, Amar filled his canteen from the creek and brought a drink to Urlen.
“Did you learn anything from the scrolls?” Amar inquired.
Urlen took a deep breath and wiped his forehead. He asked Amar if he knew much of warfare. Sorrow answered silently upon Amar’s young face. The light left Amar’s eyes as he looked back upon ugly images.
Quietly, Amar said, “I was taught to fight. I have killed. I am a warrior.”
“Yes, of course, but do you know of armies?” Urlen said. “That is what Kali Bu wrote of. Armies. How to make one and what to do with it. Or at least it was his ideas about the matter.”
Amar glanced discreetly toward the Kez. The three men were spread out along the creek watering the horses. Amar lowered his voice and changed the subject. “Urlen, we will soon reach the camp of Lax Ar Fu, and I have need of a friend. I would have it be you.”
Gripped by failure, shame, and grief, Urlen no longer saw value in himself. “What do you see in a weakling like me? You will be a Kez, and I will be a servant, at best.”
“If I have your friendship, you will be a Kez as well,” Amar said.
The concept stunned Urlen. For him to join the notorious servants of Vu was ridiculous, but it was easy to give his friendship to Amar.
“I am forever in your debt, Amar. Your friend no matter what. Truly I swear it by any God that you believe,” Urlen said.
“I have no God,” Amar said flippantly. “But I have a friend now.” He smiled dreamily and Urlen could not guess what was on the mind of his friend.
Self conscious of his weakness, Urlen said that he was able to continue although Amar had to boost him back into the saddle. Urlen hoped that he could rest soon. To have some peace in which to let his hard unhappiness mellow into scars instead of fresh wounds was all that he craved.
As the Rys Rising series progresses, Urlen’s expertise serves as an administrative foundation to the power that Amar eventually gains over the outlaws and the rest of society. Urlen can make the fruits of war become the rootstock of a new ruling order.
To enjoy an elaborate epic driven by intertwining stories, download Rys Rising: Book I for free.