New Cover of Untrustworthy Tathrelle Ixalla Adger Velexio

Character Review — Tathrelle

Consider Tathrelle, One of My Original Characters

Who is Tathrelle?

When I first started to come up with the story which turned into Untrustworthy, I needed a heroine character. My original plan was for her to be the biggest driver of the action. But as the background of the book kept changing, so did my attitude toward her. She took on a more dual heroine role with Ixalla.
Tathrelle, on the cover of my novel Untrustworthy

Where Did Tathrelle Come From?

In essence, this character first came about because I came up with her name. I loved the idea of a very feminine name like this, which doesn’t feel like it has any sort of history or etymology. I am particularly thrilled because even now, years after I started writing Untrustworthy, you can only find her name as a part of the blurb for this book.

The Past is Prologue — Backstory for Tathrelle

Her backstory enters the book in little bits and pieces. But you only get back to what is likely the day right before the book starts. Without plunging into spoiler territory, she is just plain not what she seems.

But when we first meet her, she’s just won an election. Tathrelle is to be the representative of the common people, their sole voice in the government.


When the book starts, she has brown hair and kind of reddish brown eyes. She also has fewer fingers than we do. And her genitals aren’t in the same place as ours are.

Er, why?

Because she’s not a human at all. In fact, no one in this novel is. She’s a Cabossian, a bipedal species with two genders and two separate types of existence. All that matters on Caboss is if you’re sterile or fertile.

Untrustworthy solely takes place off Earth, and the characters have no inkling that humans so much as exist.


Probably her strongest motivation is to tell the people the truth. As the story unfolds, the government gives her more and more required phrasing in her speeches. While they don’t actually dictate everything she has to say, they do horn in on it.


The general who was seated to the left of Tathrelle said, “It might mean rioting. We cannot have that. Order must be maintained, at all costs, for the security of Caboss.”

“All too true,” agreed the general on the other side of Tathrelle, “We cannot tell the people the details.”

“But that’s my job,” Tathrelle protested. “They elected me for the singular purpose of telling them the truth about the government – about how it’s run, about how things are going and all of that. If we outright lose the war, it’s going to affect everyone. You cannot tell me not to tell them.”

The general across from her, looking very smug, said, “You heard it; there’ll be rioting if we tell the people. We’ve got to be subtle about this sort of thing. You cannot just blurt it out, as if you were a child telling a secret in a schoolyard.”

“Do not, no, do not tell them all of it,” Velexio cautioned. “In fact, let’s do this, Tathrelle. I’d like for you to tell them that the war is going well and that the Cavirii are in communications with us and that the government needs to concentrate on those communications, so details will not be forthcoming.”

Tathrelle looked aghast at Velexio. “Are you suggesting that I lie to the people?”


She has a relationship of sorts with the other three characters with the most “screen time”, as it were. That is, Ixalla, Adger, and Velexio.

Tathrelle and Ixalla

We first meet Ixalla early in the piece. She’s married to Tathrelle, and theirs is a loving, sensual kind of marriage. They’re considerate to each other, even though their statuses are very different. Ixalla is a schoolteacher, about to go on maternity leave. But her wife has just won an election to be the people’s representative voice is a militaristic government.

But once their circumstances start to change (again, I am doing my best to avoid spoiling the book!), Tathrelle learns that her position with the government is more as a checked-off box. She’s a token ordinaryish citizen, a canary in a coalmine composed of an alien cabal/junta. But when this happens, Ixalla’s stature rises. A gifted, dedicated teacher, Ixalla complements Tathrelle and together the two are stronger than apart.


A coworker of Tathrelle’s, he quickly cultivates an obsession with her. And once he starts to get the means at his disposal to change his circumstances with reference to her, he starts to do so immediately. Ethics? Who needs ’em? Amirite? Adger would absolutely say something like that.

As the story continues on, Tathrelle’s status lowers, but Adger’s rises. Much like Tathrelle becomes closer in status to Ixalla, she also becomes closer in status to Adger. But no matter what he tries, he’ll never have the kind of easy, loving relationship with Tathrelle that she has with Ixalla.


General Velexio is the leader of the military junta controlling the Cabossian government. Unlike the other three major characters, his status never changes and he remains Tathrelle’s boss. And all he wants to do is manipulate her.

Conflict and Turning Point

For Tathrelle, the turning point happens when she finally starts to learn the truth about what is going on around her. Life is continually changing, and it is most definitely not improving. At the climax of the story, she learns why.

Continuity/Easter Eggs

Given that this is a standalone novel and none of the characters are human, there’s very little to tie the novel to my other universes. About the only connection is the time element, which is also present in the Time Addicts inner trilogy within the Obolonk universe.

Future Plans

I honestly don’t have any for her, and I kind of can’t. About the only thing I can think of is to potentially write of her past, or maybe Ixalla’s? This is also a difficult universe for prequels. We’ll see.

Tathrelle: Takeaways

This character started off with strength but was quickly overwhelmed by the events in the plot. As a result, I wrote her meeker and more submissive. In Untrustworthy, the changes in society are also reflected by the changes in Tathrelle herself—the main character after all.

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