But that means that you really don't get a solid handle on Jin during this book (there's the seed of a sequel germinating in the back of my mind that might drag him further into the spotlight). In particular, though it's not information you need to understand this story, the Chained Mages (of which Jin is one) are left in the dark. So I thought you might like a peek into their workings.
Gaena is a world of magic. Some thousands of years ago, there was a great war -- the Magewar -- that resulted in the corruption of the world's magic. The end result of the corruption is a magnification of the wielder's id and subconscious, a quiet "whisper" in the back of the wielder's mind urging them to simply take whatever they want, to indulge in shows of anger or give rein to fantasies of revenge.
The time following the Magewar was dark, indeed.
Eventually, a fraternity formed of mages who were strong-willed enough to resist those dark whispers. They developed artifacts -- Chains -- that magnify the ego and superego, bolstering willpower against the corruption. So armed, they made it their purpose to rescue and reclaim their fellow mages. Over the centuries, they have learned other techniques and tricks, and they became the Chained Brotherhood, a separate nation whose citizenship depends not on birth or residence, but inborn ability and willingness to submit to an apprenticeship that culminates with the donning of Chains.
Each set of Chains is sealed to its owner with devotion to a particular force or concept: knowledge, or justice, or love, to name only a few. This concept is one that the mage finds particularly useful in suppressing or resisting magic's corrupted call, and the mage's mastery of that concept is enhanced by the innate magic of his or her Chains.
Jin -- the mage in Foxfur -- is bound to the concept of balance.
The lissa lunged forward again, and the world tipped and swayed. Startled, Cheng barely had time to tighten his grip on the cage bars. The lissa growled and cursed as she slipped in the puddle of vomit. She fell sideways and clanged into the cell doors. Jin hadn't moved; he still stood where he had before, not even leaning against the sudden and unnatural angle of the world.
This was Jin's magic, he realized, not petty tricks of fire and illusion, but the manipulation -- the violation -- of the universe's most basic principles. Jin had changed of the direction of down. The world heaved again, and the demon slid closer to Cheng, venomous claws scrabbling for purchase on the rocky floor and iron bars of the cells.
Find out more about Foxfur at Torquere Press: