As not to become an unintended spoiler for the novel, I've confined my characters to those who begin the story with Mikial.
Mikial is the novel's main character - a rare female warrior
biologically transformed by her alien people into a needed guide
through troubled times. Only twice before in recorded history have
the Qurls raised up a "Great" among them.
She carries with her the legacy of whom she was before her Change - a Dathia belonging to a warrior class physically suited for fighting. At six-foot, three, her muscular frame is anything but petite. Change has given her the abilities of the other three sects, most noticeable being the addition of fine sprays of hair along her ears, running from cinnamon to a translucent white. Her deep mocha skin has paled slightly with the transformation, though she retains the feral countenance of her original Datha sect in her angular face, amber eyes, and claw-tipped fingers.
Years of struggle to come into her own as a Great Suria are coming to fruition. The greatest army the Qurls have ever mustered prepares to follow her in a battle to free the world of Me'Auk - denying the humans a foothold too near her own planet. She wields power beyond her predecessor's imagination, but not without cost. Her personal life dwindles as the conqueror inside her grows. Mikial's one emotional anchor is Pell Chora, to whom she has promised herself in marriage.
A combination of Cothra and Ipper, this comely Sur has managed to capture Mikial's heart, but not necessarily her respect as an equal. Mikial's betrothed is bent on constructing a proper tomb for the first Great Suria, Corias Charrid. This legendary Suria lies with her husband in the basement of Kior Palace, home of Kioranna's steward and Mikial's natural mother. This places Pell in the line of fire between Mikial and Maltenna's schemes for a renewed Kior dynasty. Being ordered home by Mikial doesn't sit well with him, and there is trouble brewing as Pell is determined to stake out his own place in history. Pell's reasonableness serves as a needed coolant for Mikial's fiery disposition and growing ambitions.
Her one human friend now commands the training base where Datha forces learn to operate with United Nations marines. Increasingly marginalized by his superiors, Ryan must balance his loyalties against a dark secret while trying to maintain a relationship with an increasingly powerful and tempermental Great Suria.
A career diplomat, Earth's Ambassador to Dessa is primarily concerned with making sure the unlikely alliance between Earth, the Qurls, and the Me'Aukins, remains intact enough to leverage the potent Datha Qurl in a bid to keep the former colony world of Corven from driving the beleaguered Earth forces from Me'Auk. He puts more stock in the High Tamerid - the council of Qurl rulers, then he does in Mikial whom he dismisses as little more than a privileged figurehead.
Rick and Jamie Pinn are a Me'Aukin mated pair who were raised by humans and now lead a united people. Their race is about to win back a world, and everything centers on these two maintaining a good relationship with the Great Suria. Rick doesn't trust Mikial's bloodthirsty tendencies, and Jamie is unnerved as well by Mikial's rise in power and what it is doing to her. Jamie tends to speak bluntly, her directness and temper winning Mikial's respect. Neither of the pair expects Earth to simply walk away once Me'Auk is taken back from Corven. The Forgotten Pair are a needed buffer between Mikial and the complexities of Me'Aukin honor.