Trystan Martinek, the young Duke of Podoska, makes a brief appearance in Valley of the Shadow, but he begins to hit his stride in Hammer of the Gods. The youngest of the eleven children of Princess Edyta of Podoska, Trystan hasn’t had it easy, despite his noble birth. His family is not particularly nice, all of the children are in fierce competition with each other, and the kingdom is small. There isn’t room for more than a few big personalities, and Trystan’s definitely qualifies as that.
Very loosely based on the Protestant general Bernhard of Weimar, Trystan is a precocious military talent. Still in his teens, he joins Podoska’s army when it takes on Daciana Tomescu (oops, I need a character profile for her, I guess!), and grows up fast as a result. That he confronts Tomescu and lives to tell about it is testament to his abilities and toughness.
SPOILERS FOR HAMMER OF THE GODS AHEAD:
In the aftermath of Brynhild Mattila’s devastating victory over King Arryk, the alliance supporting Kendryk has virtually disintegrated. One supporter still holds Kendryk’s castle at Birkenfels, while Trystan has taken the remnants of Podoska’s army deep into the forests of Terragand. From there, he launches guerilla attacks on Teodora’s forces, and eventually retrieves Braeden in the aftermath of his ill-fated kidnapping scheme.
Kendryk soon joins them, and leads them to Birkenfels–now besieged by Teodora’s forces, again–via a tricky path. After liberating the castle and taking on more allies, Trystan leads the joint forces to meet up with King Lennart, finally in the game after a few hiccups. Lennart sends Trystan and Braeden to round up allies in the rest of Kronland, and that’s when we finally meet Trystan’s unpleasant family. Considering his experience and the trust Lennart has placed in him, Trystan thinks he should lead Podoska’s army. But his oldest sister Karolyna disagrees, taking over everything and putting Trystan in a very junior officer position.
Fortunately, Braeden is on his side, and recommends Trystan for the command of another army, one he leads to a surprising victory at the Battle of Kaltental, Lennart’s first big success. From here on, he’s one of Lennart’s most trusted commanders, and heads south with him to take on Teodora directly. In Winter of the Wolf, Trystan’s role will become even more significant, and he’ll get a point of view in book five, as yet untitled. At that point, all I can hint at is that his trajectory will take a completely surprising turn. *cue evil cackles*by