Da Quirke came out of left field as a side character whose come to be a fave, both of mine and people who are loving The Hole in the World series. He began as a piece of background in Kahrin’s story, long before she was entangled with Innes as a character. He was meant to be a small detail, but has blossomed into something else entirely.
He’s a very patient man, even in his bullheaded ways. He’s a taciturn man who only believes in speaking when he can improve the silence, and is very stingy with the details of his life before he became a husband, goat farmer, and father, partly out of stubbornness, and partly out of regret for choices made.
Iskandar Quirke left his tribe, his reservation, and his family for the love of a woman, Grainne, who barged into his life like a November gale (sound familiar?). They wanted to make a life of their own on their terms and away from the judgments and pressures of their respective family. They both left very different lives, married, and had three kids in under three years (YEOUCH!).
Da’s history has been somewhat of a mystery to me until I began writing Blood of the True Believer. I’m incredibly nervous as I dive into what he’s revealing to me as a character, hoping to draw from my own experiences, history, some family stories, and a dollop of fantasy world-building. There are a lot of tropes and stereotypes for me to avoid as I set forth to do so. As a result, this book is taking me far longer than I initially anticipated. Unlike the first two books, the story is not clear in my head, and there are little fragments here and there to dig into and hopefully hold on to as I go.
I want to visit Iskandar as a child, as a rebellious youth, as an earnest student of healing medicines, and as a stubborn young man who would cut ties which he would later regret. I liken him in some ways to my uncle, Father John Hascall who has been a medicine man in my own tribe for many, many years, so I am excited to have some chats with him regarding his experiences. I also see flashes of my own grandfather in him.
He plays a much larger role in Kahrin and Innes’ journey in Blood of the True Believer, and going forward into book three. I never expected to want to know him this well, but here we are.