In honor of Valentine’s Day, I bring you this silly post. The romance between Kandi and Juan spans three books, Liquid Death, Dawning Life, and Burning Space, and here I present to you the five moments I like the most.
Quick descriptions of each character:
KANDI: a 19-year-old girl who spent half of her childhood under her father’s knife. She has many abilities, the most debilitating of which is her ability to absorb pain, diseases, and injuries with a simple touch (or by mere proximity to people). She is 5 feet tall and has green eyes and long hair the color of polished gold. She lives with her “uncle” Jim in Sego Lily Valley, Utah and attends Sunny Days High School against her will so Doctor Hendricks (or Doctor L) can monitor her in the daytime. [Listen to her playlist on Youtube]
JUAN: an 18-year-old boy who spent his early adolescent years as a member of a notorious gang in San Diego, California. His membership came to an abrupt halt during his final “initiation,” and since killing his father he has been under Doctor L’s supervision in Blue Skys, a research facility posing as an asylum for youth. After his release, he is forced to attend Sunny Days High School, where he begins to investigate Blue Skys and the origin of Patient 1, or Kandi Levinson. He has dark, golden skin, black eyes, thick black hair, and stands between 5’10 and 5’11. [Listen to his playlist on Youtube]
[SPOILER WARNING: SINCE BURNING SPACE IS THE LAST BOOK, THE ROMANCE KICKS UP A NOTCH, SO IT CONTAINS SOME OF MY FAVORITE SCENES. READ THE BOOKS BEFORE THIS POST IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE ROMANCE SPOILED]
#5: First Kiss (kind of)
Mom and Sebastian share the tent with us, so I try not to disturb them as I tuck Kandi into her sleeping bag. Her eyes are still open as if she’s awake. I carefully move her hair from her face and plant my lips on her forehead, closing my eyes and briefly savoring the feel of her skin. I wish I could express how much she means to me, and how losing her would absolutely destroy me. For a moment I wish she could read my mind, just so she could understand.
I fall asleep again, curled alongside her on the ground, shivering under a thin blanket. When I reopen my eyes I find myself tucked under another, thicker comforter and turn my head. Mom and Sebastian are outside. I hear activity in the camp. I decide to bury my face in Kandi’s hair and sleep some more.Dawning Life, page 123
This is the first time Juan dares express his feelings with physical contact. Kandi won’t speak after a traumatic event, and Juan carries her back to their tent to keep her warm. Very sweet, haha.
The morning is brisk, so I have no choice but to savor the sensation of heat-radiating muscle surrounding my upper body while the beast soundly slumbers. I blink away tears when I hear Jim’s gruff voice crudely emphasizing the imperfections on my body while he meticulously carves into them. I know Juan would never say such things to me, and this knowledge brings me great comfort. Here, I feel safe. This feels more like home than home ever did.Liquid Death, page 218-219
The first time Kandi feels safe in her life is in Juan’s arms. Who wouldn’t, honestly?
Eventually, the fire dies, and she collapses, her charred fingers digging into the sand.
“Kandi, why?” I ask brokenly. “Please don’t die because of me. Please.”
Her body shakes as blood leaks from her eyes, nose, mouth, and what is left of her ears. Very soon her entire form is soaked in bright red. She coughs, spits, and cries tears of scarlet. “Juan,” she murmurs, a long string of fluid hanging from her lips.
Her eyes return to their usual unnatural green. “Take me to the water.”
I immediately scoop her into my arms. Her head droops against my shoulder, and her ashy arms wrap around my neck.Liquid Death, page 251
Juan is the first person Kandi willingly suffers pain for, after her father instilled fear through torture of this amazing gift she possesses. Even with her limitations, she recognizes a connection between them. Juan, of course, feels absolute guilt over the fact that she has to save him like this. After this moment, we know that they would do anything for each other.
Juan inhales and pecks the tip of my nose, lifting his head just enough to look at me. “Never,” he says, bringing his lips down to mine.
I moan and raise my back from the sand, longing to be as close to him as physically possible. I wonder why Juan is restraining my hands. All I want to do is touch him.
He pulls back, forehead creasing as he says, “Am I reading you correctly?”
I laugh, extricating my fingers from his and stroking the side of his face. He looks like a confused, hopeful puppy. “Would you like to carry me to our new home?”
Juan doesn’t hesitate. He smoothly releases my other hand and scoops me into his arms as he rises to his feet. The skirt of my dress deflates and drapes over his left arm hooked under my legs. It sheds silver sparkles that flutter in the shifting air.
“Is this okay?” I ask, looking up at him while he walks.
He smiles and lifts me higher, beholding me with the most unabashed heart eyes I have ever seen. This is the man who was dubbed a Hero on Bynivul for slaughtering fifty men in combat with ease. Cute. “More than okay,” he says, smile widening at my thought.Burning Space, page 330-331
My favorite part about this scene is that Juan is still doubtful that Kandi wants him, even after they are bound together (or married) by gods. The fact that he can read her mind sure helps. 😉
#1: Ultimate Trust
I remember what Kandi said about the dimension the Order inhabits: “Imagine a world in which everyone is perfect. Where all beings know and love one another. Where malevolence and tragedy do not exist. A world the darkness cannot touch.”
Should I give her body to Time and unite with her under this New Order? Is there I way I could acquire from him the key to her soul?
Well, yes. There must be one way, at least. Trusting Kandi. And destroying Time.
I take a deep breath. My core is beginning to burn again.Burning Space, page 391
It’s the final battle between Juan and Time, and Juan is facing defeat, until he remembers what Kandi told him. Although the odds are not in his favor, and Kandi is dead, he decides to trust her. No matter what.
Once he begins to trust her, his core begins to burn, enabling him to use his new powers again. Without that trust, everyone would be lost. Kandi’s sacrifice also shows that she has the same level of trust in him.
What are your favorite “romantic” moments in The Edinön Trilogy? Comment below! ❤ Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!