(SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t Read Threads That Bind, be warned that this post will contain information about events that happened in the book.)
As I fleshed out what it was like to be a Berserker – power, travel, money, extended youth and life, etc. I realized that superficially it sounded like a lot of fun, but that in reality it would be a very difficult life. It might seem fun for a while, but after a hundred years or so, I could just imagine how lonely it would be. All your family and friends would be long dead, and you would be living a life that wasn’t exactly conducive to lasting relationships.
When I wrote Rhys, I wanted to show that struggle – the giving up of your family and friends for the duty of protecting the world. From Rhys’ perspective, he made a huge sacrifice by leaving his family and his fiancé. He wouldn’t give up what was most precious to him unless the sacrifice would have some value greater than that which he was giving up. To justify his sacrifice, Rhys needs what he does as a Berserker to mean something. If he took his duty casually (the way he views Eric’s attitude), it would demean what he gave up for it. His sacrifice shaped his attitude and made him take his duties as a Berserker very seriously – perhaps too seriously at times.
Rhys hasn’t given up all fun. One of the things that he does love about being a Berserker is the new experiences. He loves to learn – period. Traveling around the world and visiting places of historical significance is one of the perks of being a Berserker that he does like. His love of learning has helped him master many skills and talents. We haven’t seen much of that yet, aside from his skill with the varé. But the same relentless pursuit of excellence he used to learn the varé he has applied to other skills as well. Two of which will feature prominently in Unbound.
There is more to Rhys than meets the eye. As Madison has quickly realized, just because he doesn’t want to be the center of attention doesn’t mean he has nothing to say. He is constantly thinking and analyzing. He just doesn’t always share those thought out loud.
We will definitely see more of Rhys in Book 2: Unbound and experience other facets of his character. It will be a fun ride.