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Hesho by Jillustrations.PNG
Titles Your Normalness,[1] Unexalted One Who Is Not King,[2] Unexalted One[2]
Aliases Darkshadow
Groups Flowers of Night's Last Kiss Flight
Species Kitsen
World Evershore
Universe Cytoverse
Featured In Skyward (series)
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Cytonic and Evershore!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

I have been . . . overruled. What a curious experience.

—Hesho, after his crewmembers convince him to spare Spensa[3]

Hesho is a kitsen captain and the former king of an absolute monarchy of his species. Working upon a ship training in the Superiority fleet, he was transferred to the nowhere in a delver attack and joined with the Cannonade Faction, becoming the pirate champion for a short time.[4][5]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Though you have fought admirably, I will defeat you, and compose poetry for your funeral[...]for your retirement party.

—Hesho during his duel with Spensa[5]

Hesho has white fur with a pattern in red on his snout and ears.[6] He often wears formal-looking silk clothing, like others in the kitsen government.[7][6][2] His voice, at least as rendered by a translator pin, is surprisingly deep for such a small being and sounds aristocratic and regal.[7]

Despite the kitsen's change in government structure to a democracy, Hesho is still treated, and acts, like a king. His fellow crew members show him great deference; he has an entourage of other kitsen who feed him,[6] fan him,[8] and drive him around,[9] all of which he accepts unquestionably as his due. Although Hesho's behavior has largely reflected his prior status as a monarch, he does genuinely try to encourage his people towards democracy and making their own decisions.[2] He takes defiance against his decisions in stride and actively tries to listen to, and incorporate the desires of those around.[3] When faced with betrayal by Spensa, he drew on the opinions of the other kitsen and pushed through his hurt feelings to ultimately do the right thing and support her in battle.[3]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

All people must accept that we have the potential to do terrible things. It is part of seeing our place in the universe, our heritage, and our natures. But in that acceptance, we gain strength, for potential can be refused. Any hero who could have been a monster is more heroic for the choices he or she made to walk another road.

— Hesho [10]

Hesho has skill in poetry. He introduces himself as a humble poet and claims that he would have been a poet in another life.[11][9] His poetic background shows up in the elaborate names he bestows on things, such as Flowers of Night's Last Kiss (for what the Superiority dubbed Flight Fifteen)[9] or The Wind That Mingles with a Man's Dying Breath (for Vapor).[12]

Leader of the kitsen[edit]

As the former king of a considerable portion of his entire home planet, he continues to command great loyalty and influence within the nation and would presumably be able to get his government and people to do just about anything within their power for him.

He spent most of his life preparing to become the monarch of his nation,[2] and that history very much shows in the way he and the kitsen around him behave. Even though he is officially just one member of a democratic government by the time he travels to the Superiority's pilot recruitment program,[7] he is still treated specially by the other kitsen. In spite of that, he seems to genuinely believe that it will be best for his people to move away from a monarchy, at least given the Superiority's rules on the matter, and he makes efforts accordingly to help the process along. For example, he tries to encourage Senator Aria to make a policy decision on her own, but she is confused and unable to come up with any ideas that don't involve just doing what he wants.[2]


King Hesho[edit]

Hesho's kingdom took up over a third of the kitsen homeworld. Three weeks before traveling to Starsight, he stepped away from the throne, becoming instead a member of the kitsen democratic assembly and a ship captain.[12][9] Hesho's status as former king of his people is somewhat questionable, as he seems to bear the title in all but name,[6] and the new senate tends to unanimously vote against his wishes in an apparent attempt to prove that they are independent.[9] He is determined to convince all around him that he is no longer the monarch of his people.[8]

Captain Hesho[edit]

Hesho travels to Starsight with a contingent of around fifty of his former subjects, including his shieldbearer, Kauri, and a senator, Aria, to prove that their race is worthy of primary citizenship within the Superiority.[7][11] He forms a friendship with Spensa, which eventually morphs into an alliance. This alliance survives past Hesho's death at the hands of Brade during Winzik's attack on Detritus. Kauri takes command of the Swims Against the Current in a Stream Reflecting the Sun following his death, though it is unclear whether she was formally designated as his successor as the kitsen's captain or if she simply temporarily took command until the end of the battle.[13]

Rescue from the nowhere[edit]

To Spensa's surprise, he is revealed to have survived in his apparent death and was sucked in the nowhere, where he lost his memory. He became a starfighter for Cannonade, one of the pirate organizations of the nowhere, but later aided Spensa after she told him who he was. He successfully escapes from the nowhere with Spensa and Doomslug to Detritus.



After Hesho discovers that "Alanik" was actually the human Spensa all along, he becomes outraged and terrified and appears to be on the verge of shooting her. The members of his crew, however, talk him out of doing so -- the first seen instance of other kitsen going against his wishes in any meaningful way. Despite his kingly tendencies, he takes their desires into account and continues to work with Spensa, describing the experience of being overruled as curious.[3]

See Also[edit]


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