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|“||Everyone makes mistakes. They trust the wrong people. They fall in love.||”|
– Taryn Duarte, The Lost Sisters
Taryn Duarte is a human. She is the daughter of Eva and Justin Duarte, foster daughter of Madoc and Oriana, half-sister to Vivienne, twin sister of Jude Duarte, foster sister to Oak and former wife of Locke.
Taryn and Jude are identical twins and share long, red-brown hair, described to be the color of a willow tree, and softer features in comparison to the fae, such as their heart-shaped face. Taryn also has light walnut eyes and full lips. She is called beautiful by Jude and Locke. Edir, a Faerie Taryn meets earlier in the books writes a song about her in which he sings that her aspect is mortal but her beauty divine. It's alluded that Taryn uses her physical looks to her advantage in Faerie.
Taryn doesn't like the idea of challenging the Folk, as she believes that they are more likely to ignore her if she does the same to them. Taryn also wishes to fall in love with a fae and marry him in order to join the Court and doesn't mind being treated unfairly or tested by her lover. She believes that "they don't love the same way humans do."
She is outwardly more meek and submissive than Jude. Part of her resents her twin for drawing so much negative attention to them, however, Taryn can be just as manipulative and ruthless when her place in Faerie is threatened. She is said to be wicked, and even wickeder because she does not believe so.
Taryn doesn't like conflict. Her manner of dealing with all the terror and confusion of living in Faerie as a mortal has been to become immensely adaptable. She studies people carefully and imitates them. She's good at picking out clothes to send a certain message and takes care to learn the practices of the fae. While Jude studied under Madoc, Taryn studied under Oriana.
When Taryn was seven years old, she witnessed her parent's deaths in the mortal realm and was taken under the ward of Madoc with her sisters, Vivi and Jude. She lived there with her foster family at Madoc's Stronghold.
School and BullyingDuring her childhood, Jude and Taryn are targeted by the other faerie children, in particular Cardan, Nicasia,Locke and Valerian. She witnesses Jude and Cardan's growing feud, which eventually culminates in Jude nearly drowning when she refuses to withdraw from the Summer Tournament. Cardan forces Taryn to kiss him in order to prove that she should not be held accountable for Jude's defiance. Later, Jude shoves Cardan when she finds her crying when he is talking to her. Taryn insists that what she was crying about was not Jude, and begs her to not fight Cardan in the Summer Tournament.
The Coronation CeremonyThe night of Dain's coronation, Taryn reveals that she is engaged, but won't say to whom. At the coronation, she sees Balekin and Madoc betray Dain and kill Eldred, his consort, and his children except for Balekin and Cardan, who didn't attend the ball. When the ball is finished, Taryn presumably goes back to Madoc's Stronghold with her betrothed. When Jude comes home, it is revealed that her betrothed is Locke, and he was playing them against each other the whole time. Jude challenges Taryn to a duel, which is broken up by Vivi, who glamours them to stop fighting. Later, Madoc gives his blessing for their marriage, although he has his misgivings. Taryn refuses to speak to Jude after the duel.
Hollow HallDuring the banquet, in which Jude crowns Cardan, the Ghost mistakes Taryn for Jude and throws her the crown. Jude then pulls the crown from Taryn's grip to give to Oak, leaving Taryn and Jude are on bad terms.
Locke sneaks a note into Taryn's bag, asking if she would meet him outside her window at night. Taryn goes to her sister Vivienne for help, as she does not believe Jude would understand or help her, and Vivi assists her in sending a note back. Locke and Taryn then start meeting. They meet multiple times in secret.
At the revel, Taryn catches Locke looking at Jude, as if he couldn't tell the difference between them. He then abruptly stops visiting her.
When Prince Cardan and his group throw Jude and Taryn into the lake with the nixies, Locke whispers to Taryn to trust him. Cardan then forces Taryn to kiss his cheek and bargain to never stand up for her sister again. When Taryn asks Locke for help, he reveals that he was pretending Jude was his lover so that Cardan and Nicasia would direct their hostility at her and not Taryn. Taryn starts to notice Locke looking approvingly at Jude and complimenting her out loud.
Taryn believes that Locke likes her because she is sensitive and he likes protecting someone. She also feels gratitude towards Locke for trying to protect her, even if it put Jude in danger.
Cardan informs Taryn that he knows that she let Jude take his anger, then he mentions that the reason Locke loves her is because she is awful. And that it is worse because she believes otherwise. Locke visits Taryn after a long time and leads her to a revel by the Lake of Masks. Locke suggests that she goes and dances with a boy who keeps looking at her. Edir is a musician who admires Taryn. They dance together until Locke comes and kisses Taryn, hurting Edir in the process. Locke and Taryn then sleep together.
Taryn doesn't wish to go to Jude's tournament but goes because she doesn't want to anger Jude. Locke looks at Jude with interest and leaves Taryn to go after Jude. Locke then comes to her window that night, but she ignores him. After thinking, Taryn goes to Locke's estate and demands he marry her. She makes him swear to love her till he dies, which means she would be immortal. He agrees on three conditions:
- That she can tell no one until Prince Dain's coronation,
- that she can not take back her proposition of marriage, no matter what he says or does, and
- that she remembers that fae love differently than mortals.
Taryn tried to make amends with Jude before her wedding and Jude reluctantly rekindled her relationship with her sister after reminiscing all the hardships they had been together and that there was no time to ruin their relationship after a few arguments. Taryn proceeded to design clothing for Jude. Taryn's wedding dress had lilac dew and had many layers of cloth. Jude described her as a floating figure and a living bouquet.
Locke then gave Taryn the earrings Jude was going to give her but lost in the woods: a moon and star that made the wearer look more beautiful. Jude then left with the Ghost.
When Jude came back from the Undersea, it is Taryn who was there to help her dress and eat. Just before she left, Taryn gave Jude a knife and made her promise not to do anything rash.
Taryn was revealed to be working with Madoc after she impersonated Jude in front of a sick Cardan. She got Cardan to give up half his army and also got him to sever Madoc's ties to the Blood Crown.
Taryn seeks out Jude after she murdered Locke. Taryn killed Locke after he started to neglect her and told her, all the story had gone out of her. She asks Jude to pretend to be her as Taryn can not resists glamour and she didn't want to be found out. Taryn indicates that she didn't mean to kill Locke, she just grabbed the dagger, and Locke was dead. Taryn then tells Jude that she is pregnant with Locke's child.
Later, when Cardan and The Roach come to aid Jude in escaping Madoc's camp, it is mentioned that Taryn, along with Vivi and another friend, come to help.
Taryn sends Jude a note, telling her to come to Hollow Hall. In the dungeon, Taryn is found with the Ghost. She explains that she had found him and chained him up here upon his request. She uses his secret name to make him forget the commands Madoc ordered him. It is mentioned that it is better to be controlled by Taryn than Madoc. Taryn tells Cardan that she will stay in the castle until Jude is safe. Cardan tells her that Jude and him aren't enemies, Taryn replies saying that he thinks everything is a game. Just like Locke. On the way back, Taryn explains different kinds of mortal food to Cardan. Though later saying to Jude that he was only trying to impress her. She warns Jude that just because Cardan wants Jude to trust him, doesn't mean she should.
After Cardan gets turned into a serpent, Taryn helps Jude be the stand-in ruler. When Cardan is turned back, Taryn is granted all of Locke's grounds and estates.
Taryn is mentioned briefly throughout the novella, referred to by Cardan as the mortal girl or the twin. She is first mentioned when Cardan is comparing her and Jude to the mortal Balekin had beat before him earlier. She is sometimes mentioned when Cardan is thinking about Jude. He notes how they'd whisper to each other during classes at the palace. Later on, Cardan is drunk and finds out that Nicasia left him for Locke, Jude mocks him and Taryn is seen gripping Jude's hand. Nicasia then tells Cardan that Locke has taken one of the mortal girls as a lover. They assume it's Jude when it's actually Taryn.
Locke and Taryn were husband and wife. They had known each other for ten years before becoming romantically involved. Their relationship ended when Locke was murdered by Taryn.
Locke and Taryn's relationship was secret for a while because Locke wanted to test Taryn to see if she really loved him and to see if she could love like the fey and not like a mortal. This test involved forcing Taryn to remain silent while he began a relationship with Taryn's twin sister, Jude.
After the coronation where Prince Balekin staged his unsuccessful coup, Locke went to Madoc's Stronghold to speak with Madoc about marrying Taryn. When Jude confronted Taryn about Locke, Taryn told her that she wanted to tell her but she couldn't because Locke said if she could endure it would prove her love and it was all part of a test. Taryn revealed that the day Jude saw Cardan making her cry he was telling her that it was because of her that he kicked dirt onto Jude's food. Locke has tricked Cardan and his friends into thinking it was Jude who stole Locke away from Nicasia. So it was Jude they were punishing. Cardan said Jude was suffering in Taryn's place and that if she knew why, she would stop fighting Cardan and back down, but Taryn couldn't tell Jude.Jude knew it must have made Taryn furious that Locke was kissing her and that she slept in his bed. While Jude and Taryn dueled, Jude asked Taryn if it was fun to deceive her if she liked the feeling of having something over her and if she liked that he was flirting and kissing Jude all the while promising Taryn she would be his wife. Taryn responded that she hated it but she wasn't like Jude and wanted to belong in Elfhame. She was angry that Jude never asked her before going against Prince Cardan and that while he may have started things because of her, Jude kept it going. She had to show Locke that she was different.
When Madoc talked to Taryn about his conversation with Locke he told her that Locke informed him that as Madoc knew, the Folk are changeable people, but he'd still like to take Taryn as his wife. Madoc warned Taryn that this means that she would not find him particularly constant. He said nothing of his relationship with Jude, but when Madoc asked him about it, Locke replied, "Mortal feelings are so volatile that it's impossible to help toying with them a little." Madoc told Taryn that he found Locke to be unworthy of both girls. When Taryn asked if Madoc forbade her from marrying him, Madoc told her it wouldn't end well, but he wouldn't stand in front of her happiness and not even in front of the misery that she chose for herself. Finally, he reminded her that whatever pleasure she found with Locke, her loyalty is to her family.
Taryn and Locke got married and took vows the Faerie way with no one around.
Taryn asked Jude to speak with Cardan about revoking Locke's new title of Master of Revel and explained how Locke craves dramatic experiences, and as Master of Revels he can create stories. He didn't think of parties as food and drinks and music, but rather as a dynamic that might create conflict. Taryn didn't like conflict. Locke wanted to see how Taryn would react to things he did. Jude agreed, recalling how he wanted to know if Taryn loved him enough to let him court Jude while she stood by, silent and suffering. Taryn said she doesn't care about Locke taking lovers, but hated him being away from her. Taryn told Jude that when she was with Locke she felt like the hero of the story, but when he wasn't there things didn't feel right.
During Jude's exile, Taryn turned up on Vivienneʻs doorstep looking for Jude. She told she killed Locke and explained that Locke had promised to love her until he died. However, he was unkind to Taryn during their marriage and blamed it on the fact that the Folk didn’t love the same way as humans do. He would leave Taryn alone in his great, awful estate for weeks on end. Taryn distracted herself by cultivating hybrid roses in the garden, commissioning new curtains, and hosting month-long revels for his friends. Finally, Locke told Taryn that "the story had gone out of her." She explained to Locke that things had to change but he acted as though Taryn was being ridiculous. He kept talking as if he could talk Taryn out of her own feelings. This is when was she noticed that there was a jeweled letter opener on the desk, which she used to stab Locke in the throat, killing him. Later Taryn reveals to Jude that she is pregnant with Locke’s child.
In The Queen of Nothing, the Ghost asks Taryn to lock him in the dungeons to prevent him from killing Cardan as per his orders from Madoc. Taryn does so, but she also knows the Ghost’s real name and uses it to command him to forget his orders from Madoc, thus saving him. At the celebration after Cardan’s curse breaks, the Ghost watches Taryn all night as she dances. At the new coronation when Cardan gives the Ghost a special mask, he looks toward Taryn, hinting that he might have romantic feelings for her.
Friends and Allies
Heather is Vivi's girlfriend who is fond of Taryn. The two get along well and Heather was even invited to Taryn's wedding to Locke.
Grima Mog accompanied Taryn and Vivi from the mortal world to retrieve Jude from Madoc.
"“No, I won’t help you. No, I won’t hear you explain why I should. It really is a magical word: no. You say whatever bullshit you want and I just say no.”" ― Jude to Taryn in The Queen of Nothing
While they look similar, their personalities are very different. Taryn is sweet and gentle and wants to stay out of any faerie dramas. She dreams of marrying a faerie so she can stay at the High Court. Jude is bold and defiant. She refuses to give in to her fear and wants power.
Regardless of their different personalities, Jude and Taryn tried to look out for one another when they were brought to Elfhame by Madoc as children. They tried to support each other and were very close.
However, as they have gotten older, their relationship is changing and they are finding themselves at odds more and more often. One time Taryn told Jude that she hated her a little for being witness to her humiliation with the Gentry.
In the end, Jude and Taryn reconcile as they will always be sisters. Jude walked the path of poison and daggers while Taryn walked the equally dangerous path of desire.
Eventually, Jude discovered that Taryn wasn't willing to give her the same amount of devotion that Jude was willing to give her. Unknown to Jude, Locke was playing the twins against one another. While Taryn hated Locke being with her sister, she hated how Jude never asked her before going against Cardan. She accused Jude of never caring what Cardan's anger brought down on either of their heads and she had to show Locke that she was different than Jude.
Jude is heartbroken and angry at how Taryn repeatedly refuses to take Jude's side in the events that happen. Throughout The Wicked King, Jude and Taryn had still not spoken since the revelation of Locke's games. Jude missed Taryn but still felt stupid and embarrassed whenever she saw her until Taryn came to her rooms at the palace to speak with her.It is clear that, although Taryn does help Jude in various ways, she is very manipulative, often asking Jude for favors while promising nothing in return. Later, Taryn betrays Jude and impersonates her in front of Cardan, taking half of his army for Madoc and severing Madoc's ties to the crown. However, in The Queen of Nothing Taryn asks Jude for help and she provides it. Taryn also grows to care about Jude again and comes to rescue her with Vivienne at Madoc’s camp. She is also very worried after Jude nearly dies, and helps her regain her strength as she heals. At the end of the book, Taryn supports Jude in court and their relationship is back to normal.
Vivienne and Taryn are half-siblings. Vivienne is the older sister. Vivi is closer to Taryn than she is to Taryn's twin, Jude.
HistoryAfter bring brought to the faerie realm by Madoc as children, Vivienne works to protect Taryn and their sister, Jude. However, Vivi' relationship with her sisters begins to fracture because Vivi continues to hate Madoc and the faerie realm, while Jude and Taryn learn to adapt and want to stay in Elfhame. This causes Vivi to feel resentment towards Jude and Taryn. She still loves them and tries to help them by giving advice.
When they first came to Madoc's Stronghold, they would huddle and talk about what they remembered from the human realm. But that stopped because all their new memories were of the faerie realm and Vivi has only a passing interest in those.
Vivi brought Jude and Taryn to the human realm to meet her girlfriend, Heather. She tells them that she wants the three of them to leave Elfhame and move in with Heather.
Taryn lived with Vivi in her apartment in the mortal realm for a period of time.
Taryn loves Oak and tries to help him best she can.
In The Cruel Prince, Madoc seems to have a closer relationship with Jude, because of their shared ruthlessness and lust for power. However, in The Wicked King, Taryn and Madoc conspire against Jude to accomplish their own ends. In The Queen of Nothing Madoc reveals to Jude, thinking she is Taryn, that he underestimated her and is proud of what she did to Locke. He also says that it is his fault she turned out the way she did. Though complimenting her and saying she is like a sword forged in fire.
Taryn looks up to Oriana and aspires to be like her. She follows Oriana‘s advice and Oriana shows affection toward Taryn much more than her twin. They enjoy many of the same activities and have a bond similar to that of a mother and daughter.
Cardan is Taryn's brother-in-law, as he is married to Jude. Cardan was never particularly close to Taryn. In The Lost Sisters, it says that Cardan knew Taryn was using Jude to protect her. He says that she is wicked and even wickeder since she does not believe she is. Though, in an attempt to get Jude to like him, Cardan would make conversation with Taryn to show he was making an effort to get along with Jude's family.
- "It’s the kind of thing you like. The wicked are slain, with swords no less. Vengeance is had. Boldness is rewarded. But what about all those girls, all those obedient girls who trusted and loved and wed and died? Weren’t they bold, too?" (Taryn to Jude, Lost Sisters, 7)
- "Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart’s blood should run cold."
- “You’re awful. And the worst part is that you believe otherwise.” (Cardan to Taryn, Lost Sisters-25)
- "Everyone makes mistakes. They trust the wrong people. They fall in love." (Lost Sisters, 7)
- Taryn is the older twin.
- According to the author, she has some Latin ancestry in her background through her dad who is of mixed white and Latin American descent.
- Like Jude, her skin color and full race/ethnicity have not been officially confirmed by the author, although they're both described with pale skin.
- Her birthday might be November 13, 2001.