Kestrel is an elite Stormguard archer, trained to fight since she was a child. She grew up in the slums of a ruined city where the Storm Queen’s power held full sway. The townspeople were kept complacent by heavy taxes, taxes that were eased if the family had a child chosen for the Stormguard. This kept the people under the Storm Queen’s thumb, and made them less likely to rebel. The children of the area Kestrel grew up in, the Old Quarter, were trained for these tests as soon as possible.
When it was time for Kestrel’s test she was passing with flying colors until one of the questions turned out to be a trick. As soon as she realized what happened she refused to answer anymore. She kept quiet about it with her parents, sure she had failed. But when the Stormguard came to her house the next day it was with the news that she had been chosen, and had an hour to say goodbye to her parents.
She was trained by Catherine, and was fiercely loyal to her, even over the queen. Although her eagerness to fight led her to disobey Catherine’s orders when they stormed Julia’s home Kestrel still respected her greatly. When she found Catherine in the Winter War she didn’t kill her, as she should have done, instead bringing Catherine back to the rest of the Stormguard. They were reluctant to accept Catherine back at first but Kestrel reminded them that they all owed their lives to her many times over. Catherine explained that she had wanted to give them a choice in whom to follow, something they hadn’t been able to do since they were children. Most of the Stormguard chose to follow Catherine for that gesture, Kestrel included.