Some of the characters in The Avatar have their own special kinds of unhappiness. For instance, Ira Quick is a government official who seeks fulfillment through public power—a fulfillment he does not enjoy in his personal life. "On the crudest level," he muses, "hearing a crowd cheer me, seeing them adore me, beats taking a woman to bed." Even so, no amount of public acclaim makes Quick feel complete, a whole man.
On the other hand, Joelle Ky yearns for simpler fulfillment: companionship with intellectual equals. She has the ability to link her mind with that of a...
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