Minnette gives us some interesting insight into her characters
DISECTING THE ID – THE GLADIATOR PRINCE
Christine challenged me with some very interesting questions about my protagonists and they really made me think; what DO I really know about my protagonists? So, here goes…
THANE, THE GLADIATOR PRINCE
Thane begins as an angry Celt. He has had his family destroyed by Romans, has lost his children by giving them up to keep them safe, and finds himself tied to the lives of 40 other men by unbreakable codes.
Thane searched the horde of men sitting in a circle around him. He would have given his life for any one of them, but ironically, he would have killed them in an instant in the arena if required. It was a code that had taken him a long time to adjust to, but that had to be in place for the survival of the group. THE GLADIATOR PRINCE, CHAPTER VIII
As he grows through the story he begins to allow himself to think of freedom again, but often stops himself because he knows he is and always will be a slave. He also finds himself in situations where he is not in control. Time and again he has to curb his anger or frustration with Phaedra and her brother Bahar. He also realizes that there are prejudices he would have never thought he had until he finds himself in the heart of Rome. His hate runs very deep. There are many things I love about Thane; he is honest to a fault, believes deeply in honor and his vows, he is compassionate when he needs to be but tough when he has to be. He is also protective, warm and passionate at times as well. On the other hands he is decidedly stubborn, has a bit of the berserker in him, which can be very dangerous at times, and is convinced his slavery is his lot in life and will never change. His fighting skills are second to none, from the immaculate way he handles a sword, to the speed of his mastery of a violent situation. Thane is almost always in command… that is unless Phaedra is around…
PHAEDRA – THE LANISTA’S DAUGHTER
Imagine if you will, the life of a girl living in an environment of some of the most brutal fighting and training the Roman world had to offer. Outside her window, the ludis is filled with men learning to tear each other apart, to win in the arena. For Phaedra, she starts out on some levels spoiled, willful, and demanding. She is used to getting what she wants and can’t understand how a slave can command her so easily, so she works at making it difficult. It rubs up against everything she has been raised to believe. It takes the softer side of Thane and recognizing brilliance and compassion where she thought there was none. She is also very smart, but has a difficult time showing it. Trained from the time she could see above the table in herb lore, chemistry, and alchemy, she is a talented healer, though she keeps it very secret. When it comes to her brother Bahar, she is fierce in her protection and sacrifices more than most to keep a secret. Once you get passed the strong shields she places around her heart, she is a devoted friend, a passionate love, and a stalwart protector. She is also a lot stronger than she looks. Her growth through the story is amazing; from a spoiled immature child she becomes a strong independent woman in many ways… and through many hardships. Yet, she keeps her wits about her and always, at least finally, does what she knows is right.
Her heart pounded madly against her ribs, and a sheen of sweat coated her forehead and back of her neck, leaving her hair damp. All she had to do was go out to the street, turn left, and just walk away. It was that easy.
Is your love worth your life?
Closing her eyes, she bowed her head and did something she had not done since she was a child. She got onto her knees and clasped her hands together. Sorrow constricted her chest until she could barely breathe, and her voice was no more than a whisper.
“Please…” she whimpered, grief shaking the words, sobs scrabbling up her throat. “Please, sweet mother Bona Dea… make me strong… give me courage to do what I have to,” she pleaded. THE GLADIATOR PRINCE, CHAPTER XXXIX