Braedan Mac Corin: Royal Redemption

In the lead-up to the publication of Unquickened, I’m going to start sharing profiles of some of the characters from The Taurin Chronicles. I thought you all might want to get to know them a little better. If there’s a character you’d like to see profiled, let me know in the comments!

Character profile: Braedan Mac Corin

The Basics

Braedan comes on scene a few chapters into Ravenmarked, but one could reasonably argue that it’s his actions off-screen that kick off the events of the entire series. With his uncle’s help, Braedan returns to Taura from his exile to claim the throne and set up a kingdom, ending the regency that has stood for 1000 years.

Braedan is about the same age as Connor; in fact, as noble sons, they met each other many times in their youth and even fought over a girl once. But Braedan’s upbringing was fractured and unstable; his mother took her own life when he was young, and his father, the Taurin regent, had no real interest in raising him. Braedan was sent to live with Ronan Kerry, his uncle, for several years, and Ronan groomed him to seek the throne as king.

Braedan was exiled by his father when he questioned the events at Kiern–the events that killed Connor’s family. In exile, Braedan grew up. Initially, he had no money–only the companionship of his steward, Cormac–and he learned to live rough. The time away from the trappings of wealth served him well, and when his uncle sent word that it was time to return and claim the throne, Braedan was ready.

Or so he thought.

Defining Quotes

Securing thrones is a messy business. I’ll do it with a clear head.Ravenmarked, Chapter 3

“I want men to speak of how I restored things, not how I destroyed them.” – Bloodbonded, Chapter 34

“You should know—there was a time when I was angry. I was angry with my father, with the gods—even with my mother. I hated her for dying—for taking her own life. But something happened to me at Starling’s Cross. All that anger—it’s just gone. It’s all just forgiveness now.” – Unquickened, Chapter 29

How It Started

My first versions of Ravenmarked featured a very different Braedan than the one that ended up in the final version. He was much darker, much more brutal, and very one-dimensional. He didn’t have a lot to recommend him aside from being handsome. I pictured him as someone who would eventually be redeemed, but as a reader, I wasn’t sure I’d want that early version to be redeemed. My theology suggested that I could make him a dark, unsympathetic character and still redeem him, but would readers tolerate that? My gut told me no.

It didn’t help that my initial draft of Igraine featured a much tamer, quieter princess. Early versions of Igraine were more like Mairead, and I realized that I couldn’t really have two Maireads. I knew that Igraine and Braedan would fall for each other, but I also knew that if I read a weak, subservient princess falling for a brutal tyrant, I would hate both characters.

So… I went back to the drawing board, softened Braedan, and installed Igraine’s spine, and then the fireworks began.


When You Don’t Have A Clue…

Let’s get one thing straight right from the get go: Braedan has no idea what he’s doing.


That’s exactly what Ronan Kerry wanted, quite frankly. He wanted a pawn–someone with a thread of a claim to the throne, someone who could be the figurehead that would allow him to control Taura from behind the scenes. I think that Kerry knew his own past was too checkered, his reputation too muddy, to ensure that he could get the dukes of Taura to support him. Although Braedan had been a rogue in his youth, he had been gone for six years when Kerry called him back. The dukes looked at a prince with a checkered past versus the hand-chosen successor of the current regent–a man hated by most of the country–and they wanted to roll the dice on the less known entity. I think they probably all thought that Braedan would be somewhat malleable.

Here’s where I started to draw inspiration from another young prince–one who had also had a reputation as a reprobate: Henry V.

Reprobate to King

When I read Shakespeare’s first Henry Tetralogy back in college, I remember our instructor pointing out the character journey of Henry V from a drunken rogue to king. The image of a young man with too much time and money on his hands who wasted too much of his life in taverns with Falstaff and the gang eventually emerging as a king ready to lead his country through war always stuck with me. When I reworked his character, I realized that’s what Braedan needed–a drunken past and a purposeful present.

When Braedan returns to Torlach at the beginning of Ravenmarked, he knows he’s being manipulated by the “dark man,” but he’s naive enough to believe that the dukes want him as king. After all, his coup was easy and relatively bloodless, and his uncle assures him that he’s set up to rule unchallenged.

Of course, then he meets Igraine, and the dukes start to demand things of him, and he runs into legal issues, and…

Being a king is hard.


What Ronan Kerry didn’t realize was that six years was plenty of time for Braedan to grow up, rein in his bad habits, and determine to be a better man and king. He was not the malleable man they expected; rather, he was the king they needed.

The problem is… In becoming the king they need, he’s ready to sacrifice the throne.

How It’s Going

Braedan came into Ravenmarked an arrogant, clueless, and only semi-competent king, but one who wanted to be a better man. As his relationship with Igraine grew, as he took on responsibilities and even injuries required of him, and as he learned more truths about the hidden forces behind events in Taura, he learned that his own willpower was not enough. He had to learn humility, sacrifice, and even forgiveness.

And in the process of learning all of those things, he realized–the throne is not his. It can’t even really be his. It belongs to another–someone with the right pedigree.

But he also realized that giving up the throne to the rightful heir doesn’t matter, because he’s found more important things–love, joy, and redemption.


Braedan’s redemption arc puts him at odds with Igraine (more about that later), but it puts him right with Connor, the history and government of Taura, and God Himself.

For Braedan, that’s enough.

Next week, a journey through some of the stories that have inspired The Taurin Chronicles. Have a good week!


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