Starling Quinn is not the kind of person you want to meet alone in a dark alley--unless she's on your side. Dark and dangerous, with a sharp temper and a quick wit, she is something of a maverick, even among the mysterious Blades. Alex has crossed paths with her more than most; she was his training officer for a year in the Free City of Swansea.
Among all the Blades, Starling represents an extreme. She is what many imagine when they think of the shadowy spies of the Empire, deadly to her enemies, and willing to go to any lengths to find information. Learn more about her personality in this article, and keep reading below to get a glimpse into her past!
Accounts differ about where Starling grew up, and few who know her would be able to answer the question honestly. What is known is that she was recruited for the Blades off the streets of Swansea by a Warden who had been working to bring down a pirate cartel. He paid Starling a silver coin to be his lookout, and two days later she delivered a pirate lieutenant to his doorstep, bound and gagged.
Impressed, she was sent to the Citadel for training, just outside of Mezrani City. While Starling excelled in her studies--voraciously devouring knowledge and proving herself an energetic and inventive fighter--she remained a loaner among her peers. Her instructors noted she was perfectly capable of playing the game of diplomacy, she just typically chose not to.
After completing her training, both in the halls of the Citadel and in the field, shadowing a Blade in Colmar, she was once more recruited to the murkiest part of the Blades: the Shadows.
Shadows deal in darkness. They are expertly trained in the crafts the Blades--and the Empire--want deniability about, from assassinations to torture to inciting rebellions. When dirty work needs doing, the Shadows are brought in to see it through.
Unsurprisingly, Starling's natural aptitude for espionage served her well in Shadow training, and she was soon released on her first assignments. While little is known about where Shadows actually work or what they do (after all, the best assassinations are those everyone thinks are natural deaths), Alex first encountered Starling on a mission in Swansea.
In the pirate city, Starling had been assigned to topple a powerful pirate captain to end the chokehold his fleet was placing on trade in the southern reaches of the Viridian Sea. Alex joined her for his final field training before being released into the Empire, and witnessed first hand Starling's eerie knack for getting herself into--and then out of--trouble.
Once Alex left training in Swansea for his first assignment in Danen, he lost touch with Starling, which wasn't altogether a bad thing. While he had learned a lot, he also found her terrifying and didn't miss having to watch her back in fights. When she reappears in Rosemoor, it can't possibly mean good news...
Bridget is the author of Summer Twilight, available for purchase now!