Samheed Burkesh is a classmate of Alex and Aaron, who arrived in Artimé at the same time as Alex, Lani, and Meghan. Despite his original resentment for Alex in The Unwanteds, they sort out their differences and eventually become best friends. He also becomes best friends with Meghan and Lani. Their group of four is rarely seen apart. In the third book Island of Fire, after he and Lani are captured by Warbler, they develop a stronger bond than ever before, which turns into romantic interest. He is also extremely good at acting and performing.
Samheed is taller than Alex, with orange eyes (as of Island of Fire), an athletic physique, and dark hair. In Island of Dragons, when Kaylee is revealing each origin and country she thinks they'd be from based on looks, she says Samheed has a "strong middle eastern look" to him. He is a former soldier-in-training for the Quillitary and an aspiring actor in Artimé. He is reputed to be very strong for someone of his age.
In the first book, Samheed was nothing but hot-headed and rude to everyone. When he became good friends with Alex, Meghan, and Lani, he was only a little nicer to them. During his imprisonment at Warbler, he becomes mellower. He still gets irritated easily, though, but he cares deeply for all his friends. He is also very sarcastic and brave.
He spent his entire life training for the Quillitary and was nearly accepted until Aaron reported him for boasting. This left him bitter towards Alex during their first months in Artimé. Samheed was also friends with Will Blair as a child, as Will was his neighbor, and Will's dad was general of the Quillitary.
The Unwanteds Edit
Samheed was first introduced as mean and hot-headed around Alex and his friends. Samheed befriended Will Blair, his former neighbor. They often were making plans and studying Alex from afar, which made him uncomfortable. Later, Will was killed when he infiltrated Quill when the gate was down. Apparently, Will was planning to kill Aaron and use magic to take his place at the university. Samheed was shocked, but ultimately wasn't gravely affected by this. He explained to Alex the reason he dislikes him was because Aaron accused him of boasting to an adult. He had been deeply effected by this throughout the whole book, despite the fact he was in a better place. He and Alex became friends, and he entered Alex's group of friends (Lani and Meghan), who reluctantly opened up to him later. During the battle, he undergoes fairly severe emotional trauma when he is nearly killed by his own father, leading him to realize that the Quillitary is corrupt.
Island of Silence Edit
Samheed soon begins to develop feelings for Meghan Ranger. Samheed quickly grew jealous when he found out Meghan was getting close to Cole Wickett. Later on in the book, he, Lani, and Meghan were trying to convince Alex to go with them on an adventure, but he refused. They left without him. After stealing Mr. Today's boat and going on a joyride, they got hit with sleep darts and woke up inside a surgery room on the island Warbler. Meghan, who's screaming had woken up Lani, already had thorns sewn into her neck and was too weak to move. Thanks to Lani creating a distraction with her spell components, Meghan managed weakly run out of Warbler and reach the boat, where she clung onto the ladder and awaited help.
Island of Fire Edit
Lani refused to leave without Samheed, even though he was knocked out unconscious on the other table. She attempted fighting the many Warblerians as they attacked her but it was no use. They knocked her out again and sewed thorns into her neck, also putting orange acid eye drops in her eyes. After Samheed had his thorns on too, they were put into a dark cave together and recognized each other by Lani forcing his hand down the length of her long hair. Throughout the weeks of being in the dark cave, they started to form a very strong emotional bond. After remaining blind and mute for weeks, (See Thornaments and Acid Faces) they formed a secret language based off of tapping and slapping motions. Later, Lani is taken away as a Warblerian notes she can see now. Samheed becomes depressed and cries, hoping nothing bad would happen to Lani. Slowly, Samheed regains his vision, and is taken out of the cave. They have him work as a builder for the ships. He starts to go nearly crazy at the thought of never seeing Lani again but eventually sees her one day they have sign language class. They are ecstatic and relived to see each other okay, and are even happier to know they'll be having the sign language class every day. He is constantly found wishing he could sit with her at meals and see her more than once a day. The times he does see her when they're off to their different jobs, it's usually just her long black hair turning the corner.
After Samheed had been on Warbler for a full month, Alex, Sky, and Meghan launch a rescue mission to get him and Lani back. The mission was ultimately successful, and Samheed and Lani are brought back. Eventually, the two have their Thornaments removed, and regain the ability to speak. Over the next few months, they are constantly seen by Alex holding hands and walking throughout the grounds together.
Island of Legends Edit
The rescue mission conducted by Alex angers the ruler of Warbler, Queen Eagala, leading her to go to battle with Artimé until they agree to give Lani, Samheed, its former inhabitants, Sky and Crow, back to her. Artimé doesn't agree to this, and beats Warbler in their brief conflict, actually managing to liberate a good number of their child soldiers.
Samheed and Lani continue to develop their strong romantic relationship in Island of Legends, which is strengthened after Samheed helps Lani through her mother's death, and even helps to save her life when she is injured on pirate island. Both of them go on the quest to save Sky's mother, and they both are seen swimming into the island. While Lani and Henry are gone on her mission to locate Sky's mom, Samheed constantly is worried sick until she returns. When they were inside the island, Lani notices a map and has Samheed pick her up to read it, which leads to them arguing like the old days. Samheed is later seen annoyed at Lani for this map and the fact there actually might be some other world. He constantly asks Alex and Sky if they believe it, getting more annoyed when they say "yes" or "maybe."
When he and the others on the ship fall down the waterfall at the end, he momentarily looks around for Lani and asks if she's doing okay, showing he still cares deeply about her no matter what.
Island of Shipwrecks Edit
After they all crash land into the island of Shiprecks, Samheed goes with the group inside the cave and they all introduce themselves, asking billions of questions about the island. Every day from then forward, he and his friends help clean up debris when they're able to go outside, and eventually get the ship to work again after many attempts. When they get back to Artime, a battle goes on between Quill and Artime. Samheed realizes with fear that General Blair was still alive all this time. When Blair is about to kill him with a throwing star, Meghan jumps in front of him and sacrifices herself for him. She dies, leaving her three best friends with a large amount of grief and sorrow.
Island of Graves Edit
Samheed is only seen in the beginning of this book when he teases Alex about not finding Aaron. Later, their gang comes up with a plan to destroy Gondaleery once and for all. Lani disguises herself as a driver named Sully and drives Gondaleery towards the entrance of Artime, despite the fact Gondaleery kept through fireballs at her. When they arrived, Alex, Samheed, and Sky were there waiting. Alex froze her into an ice block and was about to kill her but stopped. Samheed and Lani both yelled at him to do it but he refused. Over the next few days, Lani and Samheed stayed mad at Alex for this since Gondaleery got away. They each took turns yelling at him before eventually making up before making another plan to defeat Gondaleery, which involved finding Aaron. Alex didn't want to do it but knew it was his only choice, so he, Sky, Spike, and Charlie set out to find him.
Island of Dragons Edit
Samheed tests the wings that Alex and his friends made for Pan's babies. When Mr. Appleblossom dies in the battle, Samheed is mortified. Mr. Appleblossom told him before he died to take his place as theatre instructor.