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Kaito, more commonly known as Kai, is one of the protagonists of The Lunar Chronicles. He is currently the emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth.


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.[citation needed]


In Fairest, Levana's story, Kai is mentioned by Channary to be a possibility of marriage to Selene. 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Recent events


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.

Wires and Nerve Volume 1

Emperor Kaito can be seen opening the first bioelectrical security block device facility in the Eastern Commonwealth in New Beijing. He also announces that he received the implant of the device as well to the media. During the private tour for him and Lunar ambassadors Winter and Jacin he shares his frustrations about how some Earthens are still under the impression the Cinder manipulated him into trusting her and having feelings for her. They also discuss the reports by Iko as well as how Cinder is doing, before meeting with Dr. Loi. Dr. Loi is one of the researchers who have been studying the notes of the device from the beginning and has discovered something about the program that created Iko and thought that Iko might want to have a look at it.

Wires and Nerve Volume 2

The second installment of Wires and Nerve shows the group of friends consisting of Iko, Kai, Cinder, Jacin, Winter, Scarlet, Wolf, Thorne, Cress, Tressa and Liam Kinney and how they must overcome the challenges and threats posed by the pack of rogue special operatives lead by Lysander Steele.



Kai is perceived to be kind and always having his heart in the right place. Despite this, due to his position as a world leader at such a young age, he often comes off as naive and irresponsible to those close to him, especially his head advisor, Konn Torin. He is very inquisitive, often asking series of questions in a rapid manner. Being the emperor of the Commonwealth, Kai always places the welfare of his country and citizens before his own, to the point of willing to risk his own life and happiness in order to stop the special operative attacks on Earth and acquire the letumosis antidote. He also possesses strong leadership skills and gives a confident and self-assured vibe even in times of chaos. Another characteristic is that he is rather sarcastic, especially when he is in a bad mood. As expressed through out all the books, he can get angry very quickly, but he is capable of self-control and overriding his impulses.

Physical attributes

Coloring book character profile Kai.png

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., although he would rather wear jeans and T-shirts. In Winter, his hair is longer and messier. Kai is known to be handsome; according to Iko, Peony, Pearl, and about every other female citizen of the Commonwealth, Kai is the man of their dreams.


Kai is skilled in ballroom dancing, shown expertly guiding Levana and Cinder across the floor at the ball. Kai also has excellent leadership and speaking skills, having taught himself to write and give speeches at a very young age, although 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.

Levana Blackburn

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 with Cinder's group.

Family tree

Unnamed ♀




  • Kaito is an Aries.
  • Both of his parents died of Letumosis but at different stages of his life.
  • He loves spicy noodles.
  • He dated other girls before Cinder, but it wasn't anything serious.
  • Kai had a crush on a chef in training (she was 5 years his senior) at the palace when he was 14 years old.
  • Throughout his childhood, Kai was featured on many cereal boxes.
  • He's featured on celebrity Holos (holographic) cards.
  • He wrote his own political speeches when he was 10 years old.
  • Kai was apart of every Peace Festival parade.
  • He does not have a last name
  • Kai's bedroom is on the sixteenth floor of the palace's private wing, but in the third book. In Cress, 14th floor is mentioned as another part of the private wing
  • His arms are too long for his body


See also: Images of Kai
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