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Darin of Serra is a side character (and Laia and Lis's brother) appearing briefly in both An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night. He is two years older than Laia and younger than Lis.


Darin had been spying on Spiro Teluman of whom his forefathers were the first-class smith in Serra. He was drawing the inside of Teluman's forge and had been designing his own weapons which he kept in his sketchbook. One day, Teluman caught him red-handed while spying and saw his drawings. He was impressed therefore he took him in and Darin was apprenticed to make fine Teluman weapons for the Scholars.

At the beginning of the novel, Darin comes home late, presumably from Teluman's forge at the Weapons Quarter because he smells of steel and coal - he had used the tunnels to get to the forge. Darin had been going back and forth between and their home and and the quarter for about months, leaving Laia to fill in his duty of helping Pop healing patients. He did not want Nan and Pop to know about his drawings of swords in the sketchbook, because it could risk his and Teluman's lives. However, some rebels give out his name to the Martials, which then causes them to set the Night raid in motion.

On sensing the night raid coming to them, he asks Laia to hide his sketchbook then hastens to the back door where he obtains a large kitchen knife from Pop. He attempted to escape with Laia while Nan and Pop held the Martials off. They were to hide in East end of the Quarter. From the backyard, they could hear a fist pounding on the front door. At the gate, he pushes his sister behind him. Then a Mask emerges from the darkness.

Darin does not run when the Mask asks him to. He readies himself to fight instead. The Mask strikes, he is down to the ground and being set upon by the Mask. Darin and his sister are brought back to their house. He is tied up and shoved to the ground next to Nan and Pop. After acquiring the sketchbook by threatening him, the Mask then interrogates him. He denies any alliance with the Resistance, telling the Mask that some rebels were following him and he lies about not showing his sketchbook to them. Actually, the rebels spotted him leaving the Weapons Quarter and thought he was a Martial collaborator - they would not leave him alone so he showed the sketchbook to them for the sake of safety. They asked him to join them but he got away.

The Empire expects a real rebel to deny membership for days. Darin has been taught by Spiro Teluman to survive interrogation and prison. He answers every question calmly with confidence. Thus, this makes the Mask suspicious that someone must have trained him. He does not reveal anything of it so the Mask orders his men to bring him out and burn the house. When the Mask turns to Laia, he loosens his binding and charges the Mask off guard. He shouts at her to run. When Laia does not help him, he fights them alone. Subdued, he is tied up securely to be sent to an interrogation cell.

Darin's fate is unknown throughout the story. However, we are told that Darin is shipped to Kauf prison the day after the Moon Festival.


Darin observant and alert, much like his mother. He is courageous and knowledgeable - always listening and learning. Unlike Laia, he is not interested in healing. He is excellent in drawing and he loves to draw things of his interest in his sketchbook.


He is described as being skinny, having their mother's sweet crooked smiles and honey-coloured hair. He is the spitting image of their mother. Elias described him to have blond hair and blue eyes when describing him to a prison guard in A Torch Against the Night.


  • Darin is Gaelic for "great."
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