As we continue on here with Water Road Wednesdays, we’ve moved on to characters who don’t actually appear in the first book, starting with Solamo Renzi. That wasn’t always the plan – I initially conceived of The Water Road as having four main characters, but Antrey and Strefer kind of muscled in and took over the joint. The other got shuttled off, but do make an appearance later.
Renzi is one of those. In fact, his story that would have been in The Water Road forms a novella that will be released next year called The Badlands War. As you’ll know if you’ve read The Water Road, the subject of the Azkiri nomads who roam the red wastes up north was a topic of conversation before the Grand Council. The Badlands War takes up that tale. In the process, it gives some background on Renzi.
He comes from a wealthy Telebrian family, although it’s new money, which means they don’t have the pedigree of the rest of the upper crust. Renzi’s father got rich in business and, naturally, intended that his son would follow in his footsteps. Renzi had other ideas and chose what he thought would be a suitable alternative career – the military. Although he wanted to make his own way and work his way up through the ranks, Renzi’s father used his influence to get his son a prime posting as an aide to the general in command in the Badlands.
Renzi stepped right in as a captain, but found himself hamstrung by his superior’s traditional thinking. While he was part of the Telebrian high society, Renzi wasn’t beyond noticing that the Telebrian strategy against the Azkiri continued to fail, over and over again. When he got the chance to see how a Guilder unit faced the same foe, he jumped at the chance.
The end result, as The Endless Hills begins, is that Renzi is now a colonel and in command of his own unit. Funded by other wealth Telebrians, Renzi’s Rangers (he hates the name) is a unit unknown to the Telebrian army – a unit that moves quickly on horseback, but dismounts to fight on foot. He leaves his new wife behind to fight in a war where he may never get to show off all he’s learned.
Thinking on it, Renzi is unique in The Water Road trilogy, as he plays a large role in The Endless Hills (he’s one of several point of view characters), but he doesn’t appear at all in The Water Road and only very briefly in The Bay of Sins. Most other folks tend to hang around a little longer. Make of that what you will.
Remember, The Water Road is now available at Amazon!