I am an enormous fan of dystopian fiction. It’s probably my favorite genre to read, and although it’s a tough market, it’s my favorite genre to write. However, throughout my steady reading of different series, I noticed a steady pattern that I wanted to break.
The protagonist is usually always a young girl that is willing to throw away her entire life for a boy/revolution/cause that she only heard of a few pages ago. I realize that there are certain situations that cause these girls to fight for the rebel boy/ cause, but I just thought something was missing.
What about the girl that actually likes the country she lives in? That is loyal to her government and doesn’t throw everything to the wind to rescue/be with a boy?
And thus, I came up with Reyhan.
She has a good life in Turham. She’s high up on the totem pole, doesn’t have to worry about hunger, she’s privileged, and she’s had an amazing education. When she finds out that Elyse ran away, she cannot understand why. I really wanted to emphasize what a patriotic person would feel like when they find out that others do not like their country.
Additionally, I wanted to show a patriot’s confusion when they find out their country has some flaws.
Reyhan’s sister, Elyse, is the more traditional dystopian heroine. She has a set belief system, and when her country forces her to compromise her values, she runs away to join a castaway society. I intentionally made her traditional so that Reyhan could be viewed as an anti-hero. Reyhan lacks the conventional heroic values in dystopian books. She stands behind her government, she believes in their system, she follows their orders, and she is unable to throw away the values she was raised with. Essentially, she is the foil of her sister.
Find out more about Reyhan in Ethereal! Available here.