Character Q and A: Indie and Kai from The Howling Sands

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It’s a thrill to welcome such honourable characters from the Kalika Magic series to our blog tour; the esteemed Indie and the pragmatic Kai, here together to discuss their adventures and responsibilities of being saviours. Thanks for joining us, Indie and Kai!

Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? What makes you good candidates for being a part of the five children of the prophecy?

Indie: Your question is so funny! Obviously I’m going to be one of the chosen five. I’m the Emerald Child, heir to the throne of Ballyndor. The Veladin made their magical sword for me. I’m the oldest and the bravest, and I’m a much better rider than Kai.

Kai: I don’t know why Indie has to be better than me all the time. We’re in this together! I’ve been practising Kalika magic with Grandma Helki for years. I know all about earth magic. I’m just as good a candidate as Indie.

Indie: Kai is really good at earth magic, I have to admit that. He knows how to use a medicine wheel to cross the silver veil into other lands, and Sisika, his power animal, always comes when he calls.

Kai: Indie is braver than me, but she’s so impatient and she always wants to go first. I wish I didn’t have to be the sensible one all the time. I can’t help it. I guess I worry about things more than she does.

How does it feel having such an important role? What gave you the drive to complete your mission, despite the dangers and personal challenges?

Kai: We didn’t really have a choice. Sofia is our aunt. She’s doing everything she can to weaken the nature spirits of Gort so that she can control them. Can you imagine what will happen if she controls the wind, the fire, the water and the earth? She could do anything.

Indie: Sofia burned the forest and locked people away inside the trees. Now she says she wants to transform the land into a place of skyscrapers and factories, like the lands beyond the silver veil. We’re the only ones who can stop her.

Kai: If we don’t defeat Sofia, there’ll be nothing left of Gort. We’re the only ones standing in her way. She hates us. She’ll do anything to get rid of us.

What are your power animals? Why are they so significant in your success?

Kai: Our power animals are nature spirits from Undaba, the lower world. Shaman Yanti helped us journey there to find them. My power animal is Sisika, the red forest owl, and Indie’s is a golden eagle.

Indie: I don’t know the eagle’s name yet. That worries me a bit, because you don’t have a lifelong bond with a spirit animal until it tells you its name. Shaman Yanti says I’ll find out in time, but I’m not so sure. I don’t know as much about earth magic as Kai does.

Kai: Earth magic is really strong. It’s the only way we can protect our land and defeat Sofia. Power animals are our link with the earth. The nature spirits are always looking out for us. They’re always there when we need them. They give us confidence and show us that we’re more powerful than we think.

Indie: When I first found my golden eagle, he told me there were no limits to the things I could do. I could wield the Sword of Veladin. I could be Queen of Ballyndor. I could save the land from Aunt Sofia. I’m not sure I believe him, but I hope he’s right.

What would you each consider being the biggest internal and external struggles of your journey? Rewards? How have you grown because of them?

Kai: Since the beginning of this adventure I’ve struggled with my magic. I always worry that I won’t be the great sorcerer everyone expects me to be. I’m the one who has to use Chief Wicasa’s spell book to save the Kalika forest. I have to travel to Undaba to find the spirit animals. I’m the only one who knows how to use the medicine wheel. What if the magic doesn’t work? What if I can’t do it?

Indie: Kai thinks I’m reckless and impatient. I guess I am. I always feel like I have to prove how brave I am. I hate to admit it, but I’m worried that I’m not strong enough to be the heir of Ballyndor. I’m worried that I’ll let everyone down.

Kai: We’ve both discovered strength and courage we didn’t realise we had. Indie knows how to lead an army into battle. She has stood up to Sofia over and over again. She can ride a horse and wield a sword, and she’s always the first to rush into danger when she thinks someone’s in trouble.

Indie: Kai has incredible powers. He’s a better sorcerer than the famous Chief Wicasa, even if he doesn’t believe it. When I first met him he was a skinny boy in a purple cloak. Now he’s smart and brave and confident, (but don’t tell him I said that).

Did you experience trials with regard to the relationship between yourselves and your travel companions? How did you overcome these?

Indie: Nima is pretty easy to get along with. I was furious with her for a while, but I’m over that now. Jabar is impossible. I don’t understand him at all. One minute he’s my best friend and the next he isn’t talking to me.

Kai: I don’t like Jabar. I don’t trust him at all. But the real problem is Willem. We’ve only just met him and he’s a little maggot. He’s so annoying. He does everything he can to get us into trouble.

What was it like growing up with the wraith, the evil witch, Sofia? What do you think caused the change in her?

Indie: Well, she wasn’t a wraith when I lived with her. We were hiding away on one of the Disappearing Islands, and she looked after me. She sewed and cooked, and she tried to teach me maths and astronomy. She was strict and sometimes she was really mean, but not like she is now.

Kai: Sofia was always jealous of her little sister, Queen Tala. Sofia thought she should have been queen instead. I think the change started when Sofia ran off to live with Shaman Yanti in the mountains. She discovered how powerful earth magic could be, and she made him teach her all those dark and terrible spells.

Indie: The mountains were the start of it, but I think the real change came when she was banished to the Dead Islands. Her power is terrible, now. Even Shaman Yanti is no match for her.

What do you think the future holds for the land of Gort and the people there? How will the return of the shaman help?

Kai: If we can’t stop Sofia, she’ll use her magic to destroy the land and weaken the nature spirits. Ama, the river spirit, won’t be able to do anything if the rivers are dry. South, the wind spirit, can’t help us if the air is filled with smog. Kaosha, the tree spirit, won’t be able to do much if the forests are burning.

Indie: We have to find Shaman Yanti so he can help us restore Willem’s power animal. It’s part of the tree spirit’s prophecy. Willem is one of the five children who will save Gort, but he’s not much help to us without his power animal.

What other secrets can you share about your upcoming Kalika endeavours?

Kai: Well, once we’ve found Willem’s power animal, we can challenge Sofia. It’ll be dangerous. We’ll need the help of all the nature spirits. We haven’t met the fire spirits yet. I don’t even know what they look like. Spirits are never how you think they’ll be.

Indie: I’m not sure about the fire spirits. The water spirits were bad enough, with their buzzing silver cloaks, their grey skin and their lank green hair. What if the fire spirits are worse?

All the best of luck with all those nature spirits! Thanks so much for chatting with us, Indie and Kai! 🙂