How Old is Sonnet?

Sonnet Skybellow. This question came up in comments today for Lord Mettlebright’s Man, and a blog post seems appropriate. As is usual with my writing, you have all the facts, but they’re somewhat scattered. I’ll go through his appearances in publishing order:

  • We first meet Sonnet in Hemmed in Silver (Songs of the Amaranthine, #5), which is set in post-war England (1950s or 60s, given Alfie’s reference to seeing things on the telly). Midway through that story, Sonnet’s father turns up, inadvertently outing his son to Alfie. Why’s his da there? Sentinel wants to tell Sonnet that he has two new baby sisters (twins Lyric and Lavish) & to invite him home so they can get a whiff of their big brother.

**That sets Hemmed in Silver roughly 80 years before the Emergence.

  • Sticking to publication order, Sonnet next appears in Lord Mettlebright’s Man. Why is our lone wolf in Keishi at the time? To attend the whelping feast of little Clarion Starmark (daughter of his Uncle Prospect, making Clarion his first cousin). This jives with the opening scene in Bk2: Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal, in which Prospect entrusts Eloquence with his baby girl while he goes to play music for Harmonious’ gathering of friends. (And hey! Lyric and Lavish are mentioned in passing in this scene.)

**At this time, we learn that Eloquence Starmark is 383 years old, well past the age when most Amaranthine go through some kind of rite of attainment, which grants them adult status in the eyes of the clans.

  • Now then, next up. I didn’t make a big deal of it, but Sonnet appears in Flattered by Flowers (Songs of the Amaranthine, #8):

Anna was having difficulty reconciling his grandfatherly status with all his hopeful enthusiasm. He was like a boy, showing off his best treasures, eager for her to be amazed.
His daughter Rampant remarked, “You have him charmed.”
Looking down at little Sonnet, who snuggled against her shoulder, happily crooning, Anna said, “Your son is beautiful.”
Copper eyes held the sparkle of amusement. “Oh, him, too.”

**This locks Sonnet’s age pretty neatly, since we know that Anna Green arrived in Keishi three hundred years ago, give or take. (If you’re looking for it, all of Kimiko’s references to Kikusawa Shrine’s past & the history behind Keishi’s Star Festival also reference a time about 300 years ago.)

Putting it all together:

  • Eloquence is at least a century older than his nephew Sonnet. (Let’s just use 100 years for the sake of easy math.)
  • When Quen says he’s 383 in Bk2, that means Sonnet is about 280 at that same time.
  • That means that during Hemmed in Silver (80 years in the past), Sonnet was barely 200.
  • Most Amaranthine go through some rite of attainment at the 2-century mark in order to be recognized as adults by their clan.
  • Instead, Sonnet rebelled against his father & ran away from home to become a lone wolf. Quite the rebellious phase, all things considered. The dear.
  • SO, when Jacques and Sonnet meet in Lord Mettlebright’s Man, Sonnet is a 280-year-old rebel/runaway who never went through any official rite of attainment with the dog clans. And because he’s been a lone wolf with no real connection with the packs, he’s never experienced any of their festivals either. Sonnet has spent all of his adult life as an outlier. Oooh! POP QUIZ! What is the surname of Uncle Wyn, Alfie, and Hazel from Hemmed in Silver?
  • His relative age? Sonnet would be in his early twenties.
  • Jacques Smythe is older, being 26-ish during the events of Bk2 and 27-ish in the current chapters of LMM. Since they both live at Stately House under Argent’s protection, Sonnet would see Jacques as a denmate. So if you want to be entirely practical, Sonnet’s request is perfectly natural. (While still falling well outside the norm.)

There, now. We good? ::twinkle::

Such a Gentleman,” featuring Jacques & Sonnet
Sonnet,” featuring two sides of the same wolf
art by FoxOfTwilight

6 thoughts on “How Old is Sonnet?

    • I might. Though at the current phase of planning, it’ll be more like a series of zines that’ll eventually become one big compilation/anthology. That way, I can take it in small doses. And add story snippets. And new art! ::twinkle::

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ohhhh, this was super helpful. I think at the end of the book series, you should post a guide to all of your twisty facts. Every re-read I seem to catch a new tid but I missed, or I somehow connect pieces together….but I’m sure I’m still missing things! More re-reads are in order I think! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They’re the Outlers! Fitting since they’re fairly on the outside of the in between 👀

    I will say, it always feels like a success when I’ve already got the pieces together! Still so nice to get official confirmation from the author. I’d put Sonnet at about 300, so not TOO far off, all things considered! 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mean … it’s intentionally squishy math. So if 280-ish at the time of the Emergence, then add 12-13 years to get to the current timeframe in the Saga, that’s 300, give or take. But a decade one way or another doesn’t matter much to a race as long-lived as the Amaranthine.


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