Ryan and Essie’s plot involves a twist where the two children turn out to have parallel siblings living on the planet Caricanus. Ryan’s parallel sibling is a twin sister named Rianna and Essie’s is a brother who’s two years older than she is, named Ethan. The initial way the story was written had Ethan also being Essie’s twin, but by the time the story was finished it had changed to being a brother only. Maybe two sets of twins running around on this planet just felt like overkill or maybe it was some other reason. Anyway, Ethan looks very similar to his sister and fills the exact same role in the story as Ryan’s twin sister does.
Caricanus is like a mirror world to ours where these kids go to learn about some of the relationships in their lives. So two characters to look at are ones who are closely involved with the twins plot—Viltan and Kalvarina. They are the only two characters who really seem to know Ethan and Rianna before the secret of their identities as related to Ryan and Essie is revealed.
Viltan is someone we don’t know a lot about. He seems to be in his late teens, but could easily be older and just look young because he is not fully human. He is part Kinari, a race that appears in Facets of Fantasy’s story “Jurant,” so he has weird purple eyes. This purple color reflects a lot of his inner ambivalence since it is a blend of two opposing colors, red and blue. Because half-Kinari are rare, Viltan never fit in anywhere and ended up on Caricanus. While he’s not loyal or admirable, to the extent we get to know him through Ryan’s POV, Viltan is close friends with Ethan. He knows that Ethan is human (a secret at the time) though he does not know the significance of this, and he always protects Ethan’s identity.
Kalvarina is the princess of the last castle that the kids visit in the story. Because there is a battle happening and Essie ends up destroying the castle through a mistake, we don’t see much of this castle compared to the lengthy time spent in some of the others. It is in a cold climate and the people there have a harsh warrior culture. Rianna lives alone a little to the north of the castle, in an observatory where she watches the stars. This mirrors her brother Ryan, who is in an observatory when Essie first meets him. Rianna mostly tames Vlagtaffs, a mysterious bird race, and keeps to herself, but Kalvarina seems to know where she lives and comes to ask for her help. She’s the only person shown aware of Rianna’s existence before the end of the book, though it’s possible Kalvarina’s parents might have known.
And there will be more updates.
Author of Science Fiction, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Anthology Fiction
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