On the off-chance that Rise of the Storm’s large cast of characters had you a bit confused, I might as well serve notice that it’s not going to get better. At least not yet. Valley of the Shadow will introduce a lot of new characters, but I should be able to taper off (by which I mean kill them, etc.) by the third book. So this will be the first of at least several character profiles for the new kids.
While Arryk Roussay is loosely based on Christian IV of Denmark, they’re not terribly similar aside from the general involvement in the war. Ultimately, Arryk is a far less serious person.
By the end of Rise of the Storm, it’s clear that Kendryk and Gwynneth desperately need help. Gwynneth and everyone else has expected that her father, the king of Norovaea, would come to her assistance eventually, but help never materialized. We get a clue as to why in Rise of the Storm, but there’s more. Crown Prince Arryk is ready and eager to help his sister, but until he becomes king, his hands are tied.
At the beginning of the story, Arryk is about 25. He looks a lot like Gwynneth, which makes him very attractive, but he can’t match his sister for brains and political ability. Though no one says it to his face, most people with an opinion wish she had been the eldest. He wishes it too. Being a prince is great. He’s got money, status, and time to do whatever he wants. He has some military responsibilities and takes them semi-seriously when he can’t find anything else to do. Being king would really cramp his style. Plus, there are a lot of boring meetings.
Some of his favorite hobbies are hunting and drinking. Until his early twenties, he also spent a lot of time partying with women of ill repute, but now he has a girlfriend. She’s not really appropriate for him in terms of marriage, but he’s crazy about her. It’s not like he needs yet another weakness, but she’s his biggest.
Arryk has redeeming qualities as well. Even though he’s tremendously entitled and arrogant, he’s also aware of his limitations and is willing to rely on those who have greater expertise. Though not as sharp as Gwynneth or his mad-scientist younger brother Aksel, he’s intelligent enough to be competent if he feels like it, and his intentions are generally good. His greatest loyalty is to his family, but if helping his sister means taking out Empress Teodora in the process, so much the better.
You can read a few tidbits from his first chapters in Valley of the Shadow here.