Don’t Lose Hope features bad language, erotic scenes, discussion of childhood traumas, and other material which might be considered offensive and/or upsetting.
Please also note that sexual assault (and the survival of) is a heavily touched on subject in the books, with several of the characters being recovering victims of things such as CSA.
I’ve done my best to handle these topics with respect and sensitivity but several scenes may be triggering to certain readers. Please take care of yourself if you intend to read the series!
Character references and other art can be found on toyhou.se!
#1 Ka’harja’s Journey
‘Guess what?’ asked Ka’harja as he poked his mother’s nose again. He continued when she met his eye with a tired grin. ‘You’re great.’
It’s been 9 years since Ka’harja fled the horrible Heck’ne wasteland after his parents tried to murder him. It was by chance alone he escaped them and met Distro Nigelle, a young alchemist who raised him as her apprentice and son.
He should have learnt better than to get involved with the Heck’ne again, but when ex-Har’py Stars shows up on his doorstep with her mother and newborn son, Ka’harja doesn’t think twice about offering them refuge.
He helps them join a nomadic caravan, but is thrown into the deep end when his kindness gets his house burnt down by vicious Har’pies who are tracking his new friends.
With their home gone, Ka’harja and Distro have no choice but to join the caravan and travel to a nearby town.
But nothing ever goes as planned.
#1.5 The Runaways
‘I have a son now,’ she replied. ‘And I’m taking him to Fallen Cloud City so he can grow up happier than I did. And my yalfit died. And my kekik’s gone to live somewhere else. It’d be nice to talk about that.’
Neg’an couldn’t believe she didn’t turn in the strange boy with the lisp that night. She would have been rewarded. She could have become a hunter, even— But if she had told on him in they’d have killed him. And he’d done nothing wrong. … Though, he had just killed his father … but that wasn’t his fault! His parents had tried to kill him first. He’d just been defending himself.
Poor little Ka’harja. He’d always had the worst luck. Neg’an couldn’t help but let him get away.
She hadn’t done it for any other reason than to be good, and she certainly never imagined the lengths he’d go to repay her for it. But here he was, 9 years later, trekking across the continent and giving up everything to keep her safe.
He was giving her a new life. Away from the horrible home she’d grown up in. A life with a new name, new friends, new memories, and most importantly … her freedom.
#2 The Self-Feeders
‘I don’t understand!’ Ka’harja called, tears streaming down his face. ‘What am I supposed to do with a cup of chino flore? It’s poison! All you’ve done is made poison!’
Ka’harja knew his mother was forgetful, but this is just ridiculous. No, Distro, you hadn’t mentioned you were the firstborn child of the king and heir to the throne of Canis La’Can, thank you very much! Ka’harja could barely believe his mother had forgotten to tell him that her wolven half was wolven royalty, even after all this time.
It was quite ridiculous, really. Why had they been living all the way out in Okatako, robbing caravans and selling potions for a living, when they could have just come to the Canis and lived in luxury? Now he has all this catching up to do; family history, etiquette, kingdom laws … all of which are hard enough without having to chase Stars around and stop her from making terrible choices!
And things only start to get worse as the self-feeding sickness spreads across Demrefor at an alarming speed. The damage from the fire that ravaged Fallen Cloud City is much worse than first anticipated— and with more mysterious terror attacks happening across the continent, the supply of the only known cure for the deadly illness has been almost completely wiped out.
The nurlak are dying and with no way to help them there’s no telling how many more will be lost. … Ka’harja knows there has to be another way. He can’t bear to watch this any longer; he has to do something to help.
But what? What can one alchemist possibly do?
#3 Prince Nigelle
‘So you must be dear Prince Nigelle,’ he chided, a wicked grin on his lips. ‘I’ve heard ever-so-much about you. …’
Ka’harja is tired of being called a hero.
At first, it was nice —he’d saved the lives of his loved ones and made a name for himself— but now it’s beginning to feel like too much. He isn’t used to having people rely on him and the expectations are starting to set in, and it all feels like too much for one person.
He’s not sure if he can deal with any more stress; his duties as the inheriting prince are wearing him thin and he’s struggling to keep up. Sometimes he wishes he was back in Okatako, with just him and his mother … but then, he never would have met the love of his life. Or his best friend.
But he still knows next to nothing about La’Can’s laws, and he doubts that he’ll ever be fully accepted by the people as king, even with his life-saving legacy behind him.
The only reason he is even here is luck. … It just seems like a bad idea to make him the next in line for the throne. There doesn’t seem to be any way for him to prepare to rule the kingdom.
But he’ll do his best. He has to. He’ll swallow his pride and follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, and make his mother proud.