Today, I wanted to share a little bit more about my girl-crush, Captain Theo Kallistrate. She’s one of my favorite, most complex characters, and I’m so excited to share how her story ends in The Union. Read about this feisty, patriotic pilot who captures the prince’s heart.
Theo Kallistrate (full name classified, thank-you-very-much) is a nineteen-year-old captain in the Raven air forces. Kallistrate is one of the old Raven words for orphan (I’ll go into Raven words in a subsequent blog post), so She considers herself Rave’s daughter. Conscripted to the military at the age of twelve, Theo has been flying planes ever since. When The Island starts, she’s recently been promoted to Captain, and is hoping that she’ll soon receive an assignment out of harm’s way.
One of the big differences between Theo and my other tough-female-gal Lyssa is that Theo is selfless. Theo worries about her lieutenants, even though she tries hard not to get too attached to them. She has a protectiveness about her, although she often feels powerless. She puts her faith in a higher power that whatever happens was meant to be.
She ends up on the island after following a plane that her gut tells her contains her sworn enemy, the “princeling.” She’s able to get off a kill-shot that sends him down, but he parachutes out. Before she can fire off another one, her engine explodes and down she goes. When she awakens, the princeling is there, snapping at her.
A noise startled me and I turned my head slowly to find the source.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The stupid princeling was alive and standing in front of my ship.
Fear and anger gripped at me. How was it possible that I was badly injured and he appeared to be walking just fine? I hated that the last thing I was going to see in this world was Prince Galian standing in a clearing, his pale skin flushed and his eyes sparkling with…amusement?
I was dying and this son of a bitch was laughing at me.
“What’s so funny?” I snarled through my helmet.
“Serves you right.” He was smirking as if he had something to smirk about.
“Shooting me down. Looks like you’re in worse shape than I am, too.”
“Go to hell.”
He laughed again and hoisted himself up onto the broken nose of my plane. I was in too much pain to fight back, and my gun was nowhere to be found.
“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”
“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”
His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.
“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”
“And I was just following orders when I blew your ass out of the sky.”
“Aren’t we at an impasse then?”
Side note: This is my favorite scene in the book.
Once they both realize they are there for a while, Theo takes charge. If Galian was the reason for her initial survival, she’s the reason why they continued surviving. And that’s one of the big messages of the book. With Theo injured, and Galian useless, they must rely on each other. And to rely on each other, they have to first trust each other.
Looking ahead to the second book, Theo gets put into a situation that is very unlike the one she started in. And for the first time, she’s in over her head. The one thing to remember about both Galian and Theo is that they tell the story through their perspectives. Much like in real life, a perspective is simply part of the story. Even between the two of them, there is always more than meets the eye.
And for those of you who’ve gotten all the way to The Union, we find a Theo who is feeling torn between what she knows is right and what she’s able to do. She struggles to find her voice, both in her relationship with Galian and in the larger political stage. Her character growth reaches its apex at the end of the book, where she returns to the selfless captain we see at the beginning of the book.