The fourth and final book in the Svatura series – Black Orchid – has a new heroine – Adelaide Jenner.
I met Adelaide early on in the Svatura process. I’ve described before that the entire series was born of a single scene I had in my head. That scene had Ellie Aubrey – as a falcon shifter high in the trees – watching over some friends of hers who were down in the woods. Adelaide was one of those friends that Ellie was protecting. But when that was the only part of the Svatura story that existed, Adelaide was still a nameless, faceless person.
I wrote that scene first and then had to figure out how to get there. I didn’t have to wait too long to meet Adelaide. She was the first of the family to meet Ellie. In fact, despite being rather shy, she walked right up to her on Ellie’s first day of school.
Adelaide has always been the quiet one, the shy one. In previous books, she seemed content to let her more boisterous te’sorthene, Nate, or her more outspoken sister, Lila, do the talking. She was their rock, their voice of sanity. She’s the outwardly focused one of all the characters in the story – frequently more concerned for others than for herself.
Her only known power is the ability to see relationships between people. However, after their powers all tangled up, the four heroines of the Svatura series have been manifesting each others’s powers. By the end of Crimson Dahlia, Adelaide had developed telepathy and the falcon shift. But she’s still tentative and unsure with her new abilities. She’s never had any active powers before.
Adelaide’s and Nate’s relationship was always a fun one to write because he was the goofball and she was his straight man. But I could always see the absolute love and trust there. I ALWAYS knew they’d break up by book three. But it was just as hard for me to watch it happen as for my readers who didn’t see it coming.
We left Crimson Dahlia with Nate walking away from his relationship with Adelaide to go with Talia and Maddox. He may no longer believe that he and Adelaide are te’sorthene. We’re not entirely sure what happened to him. But, Lila had to act fast to save Adelaide from breaking down completely. We’ve seen the worst example of what could happen when a te’sorthene loses their other half in the form of Maddox.
In Black Orchid… Will Adelaide survive the break with Nate? Or will she go insane, like Maddox? Will she find a new te’sorthene? Is that even possible? And will Lila’s actions have changed her? Is she the Adelaide we know and love? Or someone else entirely?