Reuben wasn’t in the original plan for Rizkaland.
He was a shoved in afterthought in the fourth draft. In the two finished drafts, I had given the five queens children, but not fathers for the children. (Forgetting fathers is something I have in common with Jen, the scene with King Merlin and Queen Tailya was indeed, a jab at my own habit.) So I did some major rearranging of families, established the Eight (Previously, it was just Queen Jane and King Ralph, and even he had taken his own sweet time in joining the series.), broke up the four sisters, and added five male leads.
Reuben, and his twin brother Paul (later renamed Robert), became the older brothers of Summer, Edna, Louise (Although Edna and Louise was later moved again when I realized I had too many characters.). Petra and her adopted sister, Ashley, gained an older brother, Tyler, and two younger brothers, Alex and Quentin. (Alex and Quentin have been similarly moved.)
Reuben has morphed into an ENFP over the years. I have no idea what he began as, beyond a hunk of cardboard. In fact, it has only been in this final draft of Lady Dragon, Tela Du that I’ve felt him flesh out and become a person.
I addressed his relationship with Petra yesterday. They’re best friends, having lived across the street from each other their whole lives. He’d personally like to be a bit more, actually having asked her to marry him at least six times. The first time, they were only six and eight. She has turned him down every time, with an “ask me again when we’re older,” and a “focus on school and work,” motivation she knows he sorely needs.
He's obsessed with her hair, by the way. Something she's alternately amused and annoyed by.
He’s an upbeat, adventurous soul. Readers have commented on Clara and Andrew’s reserve upon first coming to Klarand, and while Petra is quite of the same opinion as those two, Reuben was the kid who sat in his closet hoping that it’d turn into a door to Narnia as a kid. He was the one who invented his own imaginary country and ruled over it with Petra at his side as queen. He’s a voracious reader of all levels of fantasy, and, like Clara, he’s quick to point out the cliché and compare his adventures to the ones he’s read about.
Needless to say, though, he’s thoroughly thrilled at finally finding his way into another world and becoming tangled up in a prophecy. He’d prefer it if the prophecy was a bit more certain (he doesn’t want to loose Petra, after all), but hey, the staff and telepathy that he’s been given is pretty cool.
He certainly has his short comings, his laid back nature frequently translates into a lack of motivation, and his wild imagination needs, perhaps, a stronger root in reality, but with Petra at his side, I think it’ll keep him out of the worst of trouble.
My alpha readers have already fallen in love with him – I can’t wait until the rest of you can do the same.