Jem the fisherman
Because of something a friend remarked on finishing the first book, I thought I would start with Jem. He is really a dream of a man, simple yet intellligent, straight forward, good with his hands in more ways than one, propelled forward by an enormous heart, courageous when put to the test and in the novels he becomes a most surprising hero. From the first time you meet him in The Swan and Arrow, there is mystery, you don’t know what to expect. He reluctantly opens the door of the fisherman’s cottage where he lives with his ancient mother and you think, here is a quiet, ordinary man, rudely awoken from sleep. It is dark inside, his hand holds up a candle and his gruff voice demands retreat, yet he finally opens the door and in so doing, is compelled into Aolwynd’s world of adventure, her desperate schemes, her dilemmas, never to go back to his old life again. He takes all this with a kind of animal nature…knowing his path forward is determined by the gods. I hesitate to compare him with a dog, but he does remind me of the faithfulness and single-mindedness of the best of these creatures. He just picks up the task that is asked of him and never falters. As if his philosophy is ‘One day you have sunshine, the next a storm, the weather of life hits you and you cannot change it you deal with it’. There is strength in this, strength that others can rely on.