|This article contains spoilers! Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled.|
Throughout his life, Kai had been eager to take on the role of becoming emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth. He was studious, dedicated, and very focused. Unfortunately, Kai's mother died of letumosis when he was younger. His father, Rikan, who died of letumosis at the beginning of Cinder, was the previous emperor.
In Fairest, Levana's story, Kai is mentioned by Channary to be a possibility of marriage to Selene, but only after she excused him to be a possibility for her. A couple years later at age ten, he is seen with his dad and Konn Torin at a press conference, mourning the death of his mother.
Kai was the crown prince of the Eastern Commonwealth. After his father, Emperor Rikan, passed away due to letumosis, Kai became the Commonwealth's new emperor. Kai's mother had also passed away from the disease.
In Cinder, Kai first meets Linh Cinder when he enters her booth at the marketplace at New Beijing Market, in the disguise of a gray hoodie to avoid paparazzi, to have his broken android Nansi fixed. He then meets her again with Dr. Erland under the impression she is fixing a med droid. Because of their connection with Dr. Erland, they meet up several times. Every time they meet, Kai slowly begins to develop feelings for Cinder, asking her to the ball several times, even giving her the gift of beautiful gloves. However, since Cinder thinks her status as a cyborg and later Lunar makes her unfit for Kai, she repeatedly turns him down making up random excuses. Like Cinder, Kai faces decisions that can result in sacrificing his own life for what he perceives as the greater good.
Once Cinder learns that if Kai accepts the Lunar Queen Levana's offer of marriage she will kill him right after the wedding and coronation, Cinder goes to the ball to warn Kai. Levana sees her there and recognizes her because her glamour is similar to her mother's (Levana's late sister, Queen Channary). Kai, the rest of the people at the ball, and soon most of the world learns that Cinder is a Lunar and cyborg, and Cinder is thrown into New Beijing Prison. Kai seems to be extremely distressed by this, because he actually likes her and feels betrayed, for he does not know if his feelings for Cinder are just her messing with his mind or real. In order to keep peace with Luna and Levana because harboring a Lunar fugitive is against the law, Kai agrees to hand over Cinder for a "trial", when in reality she is to be executed. When Cinder escapes, Queen Levana is quick to blame Kai because of his feelings for her.
In Scarlet, Levana gives him three days to find Cinder. Kai is unable to find her at the end of the three days and Levana attacked, unleashing special Lunar operatives that she sneaks on Earth. As a result, 16,000 Earthens are killed. Kai then agrees to marry Levana in order to stop the attacks.
In Cress, after Kai accepts Levana's marriage proposal, it is evident that Kai still has feelings for Cinder. In fact, almost every time he thinks about her, he wishes she could escape. When Kai is planning for his wedding with Levana, he treats it more like he is going to his death. He is also very tired of the wedding preparations. On the day of the wedding, he is reunited with Cinder. Their conversation leads into an argument and results in Cinder shooting him with a tranquilizer dart. Kai then wakes up aboard the Rampion confused, hurt, and shocked. Cress leads Kai into the podship dock where Cinder was repairing Iko. After the two argue for a bit, Cinder finally admits that she is Princess Selene. Kai then asks Cinder to tell him all of her secrets. She apologizes to him and vice versa. The two then share a kiss, but it is interrupted when news of a massacre in Farafrah appears on Cinder's netscreen.
In the first chapters of Winter, Kai is completely out of his element while aboard the Rampion. He learns the terminology, eats the bland food, and wears the same uniform as the others. He and Cinder begin their new relationship, having conversations and sharing many kisses (18 in total). Although they find happiness in their relationship, it still has its flaws. He marries Levana and crowns her as empress of the Commonwealth. However, shortly after Levana is killed by Cinder. After all the events, Kai goes back to the Commonwealth, but he still maintains his relationship with Cinder.
Kai is perceived to be kind, with his heart in the right place, although he is under so much pressure he does not always come off as a responsible emperor. He is very inquisitive, asking a series of questions in a rapid manner. His curiosity and hope in Cinder perceives him to be rather naive, but his intentions are always positive and regarding the welfare of his country. Kai is also very confident and self assured in the most chaotic moments. He tries to find humor in every situation, no matter how difficult it is. But as expressed through all the books, he can get angry really fast but manages to control it.
Kai has black hair with bangs that always seem to hang unkempt across his brow, or in his eyes. He has startlingly copper brown eyes, and was described to be quite tall, having to bend down a good bit to be at eye level with Cinder, the first time they met. He wears very formal clothes like suits, silks, dress shirts, etc. However, he would rather wear jeans and T-shirts. In Winter, his hair is longer and messier. Kai is thought by many to have unbelievably good looks. According to Iko, Peony, and Pearl, and about every other female citizen in New Beijing, Kai was the man of their dreams.
Kai is skilled in ballroom dancing, shown expertly guiding Levana and Cinder across the floor at the ball. He says in Winter that being aboard the Rampion made him realize that he has no practical skills whatsoever besides talking, which is only useful in politics.
Linh Cinder (Selene Blackburn)
Kai and Cinder first meet on professional grounds. With Cinder being the best mechanic in the city, Kai confides in Cinder to help him fix his droid Nainsi. They surprisingly get along and Kai notes that Cinder is a very capable and charming girl who is easy to converse with. Kai soon acknowledges that Cinder is in touch with doctor Dmitri Erland, so they encounter each other more often than before. Kai gets to know Cinder better and starts having feelings for her. He tries to convey his feelings for Cinder upfront by attempting to ask her out to the annual ball, but Cinder declines his offers due to the fact that she is secretly Lunar, and a cyborg. After much turmoil, Kai hopes that his wedding with Levana Blackburn is stopped by Cinder because he truly does not harbor any feelings for Levana compared to those he has for Cinder. Fortunately for him, Cinder crashes their wedding and Kai wakes up from his unconscious state on the Rampion. Cinder reveals to him then and there that she is Princess Selene, and that shocks Kai but he is genuinely interested in knowing all about Cinder. In Winter, Kai and Cinder officially commence their relationship. By the end of the series, Kai proposes to Cinder and she becomes his fiancée.
As part of Levana's plan to rule the Eastern Commonwealth, she schemed to marry Kai. Levana was commanding of Kai but nevertheless tried to get along with him in order to make their marriage work. Kai was reluctant of this as he was blatantly unhappy with marrying Levana. In Cress, Kai accepted Levana's marriage proposal but hoped that Cinder would stop their wedding, or that he could escape. After that point he did escape, albeit taken by Cinder upon the Rampion. He looked at Levana as an enemy and was determined to bring her down along with Cinder's group.
- See also: Images of Kai
|Cinder / Levana / Scarlet / Cress / Winter / Kai / Thorne / Wolf / Dr. Erland / Iko / Sybil / Mech6.0|