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Chrysanthe & Skye

A lot of work goes into my side characters between shaping their personalities and carefully creating their backgrounds, so I thought it would be fun to repeat a Hall of Blood and Mercy blog series, and have a few posts about some of the secondary and main characters from Court of Midnight and Deception. Today, we’re looking at Lady Chrysanthe and Skye! Important: All of these posts will be filled with SPOILERS! So if you haven’t read the Court of Midnight and Deception trilogy yet, you’ll want to steer clear!

Lady Chrysanthe is the fae noble who–before Leila showed up–others believed would be selected as the next monarch of the Night Court. Of course, this made her more than a little frosty at the start of Leila’s reign, but when she’s betrayed by a fae she thought was a friend and Leila is the one who uncovers it, she starts to have a change of heart. Eventually, she becomes a close friend to Leila, Skye, and Indigo.

Chrys is a unique character, because she best can understand the expectations and pressure Leila is under due to all the training she received from her family back when they thought she’d be queen. As a result, she’s the only other character besides Leila who shares in her deep hatred of the original king or–as Leila likes to call him–the Original Creep. And while Skye acts with tact with the nobles while Indigo mostly scoffs at them (or knocks them out, as is the case with King Fell) Chrys will act like a herding dog and will scare them away, get them to line up, and will generally yell/do whatever necessary to get them to do what she believes Leila wants/needs.

Her loyalty to Leila goes deep–not because Leila will one day likely be the fae empress, or even because Leila has essentially saved the Night Court, but because Leila offered Chrysanthe the gift of friendship–true friendship, with a foundation of support and loyalty. For Chrys, a fae, that kind of friendship was impossible, which is why she views her friendship with Leila and the others as something precious, and she’ll put her life on the line to protect them.

But the way their friendship affects Chrys goes behind just companionship. Chrys is the noble ally Leila needs, and because Leila offers her friendship, Chrys no longer cares what other nobles think/feel about her, which is incredibly freeing to her. It changes the way she dresses, acts–she would have never been bold enough to act like a herding dog and herd up the other fae previously–and even the way she fights. By the last book, Chrys doesn’t settle for sly tricks or traps. She goes all out, helping Leila, watching Chase’s back, and even hauls the despised Original Creep’s artifact around.

love a good redemption arc–particularly friendship redemption arcs. Chrysanthe is a mean girl redemption arc wrapped up in a heart of determined loyalty and awkward love.

I have a lot of friends who work office/desk jobs, and while I personally admire them (They can schedule days/events like nobody’s business, sail through chaos/crises with a calmness I wish I had, and solve crazy problems that make huge differences in lives/society) I’ve noticed that office workers don’t typically get moments to shine in books. Thus, Skye was born.

Skye is a champion of office workers with a work ethic that makes Santa look lazy, tech skills that could put anyone to shame, and the ability to run Leila, the mansion, and the employees smoothly–and all of this only on the power of antacids!

The antacid quirk is something I figured would be a natural starting point for someone as diligent, structured, and hard working as Skye when dealing with Leila–who mostly runs the Court from gut instinct, will gleefully go against the flow, and is constantly getting sucked into unexpected battles/fights. But I also wanted to see growth in this area, so by the final book you’ll notice Skye rarely pops antacids and instead is using other methods of handling stress. (It has not escaped me that I, being somewhat infamous among my team members, for putting myself through huge amounts of stress could learn something from Skye, buuuuuut let’s move on!)

Leila and Skye are a surprise match made in heaven as Leila appreciates Skye’s work, and relies on her without expecting Skye to handle everything. Skye–given her temperament–was always determined to treat Leila with respect–which says a lot about her character. But Leila’s desire to improve (all her reading and lessons) and perseverance in addressing the Court’s debt problem made Skye respect her on a more personal level, which eventually led to their friendship.

That friendship is why Leila is comfortable asking he questions about fae wings, and is also why Skye explained to her what tea means to fae.

Which brings up another important point in her character. Besides giving office workers the respect they deserve and acting as the help Leila badly needed, Skye also serves another important and perhaps more often overlooked role. As a half-fae, she understands a lot of Leila’s struggles.

I did this on purpose because I wanted someone in Leila’s corner in terms of struggling with her humanity vs fae-ness–something no one besides Skye and Leila experiences. It made for some hilarious moments–neither Skye or Leila still 100% get the whole wings thing, though Leila better understands it now–but Skye is also able to offer perspective on other issues, like Leila’s relationship with Linus.

In the end, I want all my characters serving specific purposes in the story, and while I mentioned with Chrysanthe that I’m a real sucker for redemption arcs, Skye–at the heart of it all–offers a peaceful, soft kind of friendship built on trust and acceptance. Their relationship is a safe haven Leila badly needs in the chaos of fae, and is the basis for a lot of change in the Night Court.

I hope you enjoyed learning about these characters! It’s hard for me to pick one specific favorite character since a piece of my heart goes into each one of them, but I am especially proud of Leila’s crew and the friendship between them.

Until next time, Champions, thanks for reading!

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