Yarikh Khoury - Introduction

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I have always been open about the fact that one thing I wanted to achieve with The Mythic Series was to give the world a more diverse fantasy cast. There aren’t a surfeit of gay Middle Eastern men in any genre and, as a gay man of Middle Eastern ethnicity, I felt obligated to create one! The character of Yarikh Khoury, who first appears in The Mythic and the City of Sweet Sorrow, is partly a gift to my young self who never saw himself reflected in popular media.

Stranger Hims

The dark, handsome stranger is a classic fiction trope and Yarikh is literally a walking “mysterious stranger”. He appears unexpectedly and later on vanishes as quickly as he arrived, leaving unanswered many of the questions that swirled around him. He wouldn’t be living up to his trope if all his mysteries were solved in his first appearance.

However, these facts were confirmed during the course of Book Three:

  • He has met Lucy, Henry, Big Bear, and Amber previously, but this was their first time meeting him—time travel, it’s so confusing.
  • He is the son of Achraf Khoury, a Mythic from 1800s Lebanon.
  • Achraf was murdered by an Aedean and ever since Yarikh has been hunting for his father’s killer.
  • Yarikh was born in 1872 and is twenty six, although he admits “I have been twenty six for a very long time”.
  • He has a tattoo on his arm identical to Henry’s.
  • He can conjure forth three magical objects made of light—a sword, a shield, and a lantern.

It is also strongly suggested that he and Henry are destined to marry. I would love to confirm that, but you’ll all have to wait. That said, I know there are a lot of Henrikh stans out there so I’ll say this—Yarikh’s final words to the big blue lug who pesters him for an answer as to whether they end up together are ‘Just as well sometimes we get exactly what we want’ so the odds here are very much in your favour!

Bonus Round

In fact, in a way Yarikh predates everybody else in these books. A proto-version of him existed in my original super-hero concept for The Mythic and I repurposed “Tony”—who was also to be of Lebanese descent and similar appearance—into Mr Khoury. As a kind, patient person, but one good in a battle and strong on the concept of honour, he made an appropriate husband for a stern warrior character such as Henry. Or at least potential future-husband…