Ziri is one of the last surviving members of the Kirin tribe, and - as one of the few soldiers to have never been killed or resurrected - the owner of the last natural Kirin body in existence. When he was younger, he was in love with fellow Kirin Madrigal. He served as a soldier in Thiago's rebel army, but has now taken over the White Wolf's body.
Ziri possesses the typical Kirin features: antelope horns and hooves, high-human aspect, and bat wings. Although he is several years younger than Madrigal, he appears fully grown as he is still in his natural body. He is lean and strong, with big, sweet brown eyes. He walks with the Kirin fluidity, and is handsome and graceful.
Ziri is a sweet young Kirin soldier who has always had a soft spot for Madrigal, now Karou. He is extremely altruistic and loyal, and willingly sacrifices himself for others; he withstood torture to keep his friends safe and even slits his own throat so that he can lead the chimaera in Thiago's body.
When he was merely a baby, seraph slave traders attacked and destroyed the Kirin Caves, killing the majority of the population; Ziri, however, was one of the few babes rescued and kept safe by the elder Kirin, and was whisked away to Loramendi , the Chimaera capital, with the remaining survivors.
Not much is known of Ziri's earlier years in Loramendi, besides Karou's remarks - based on her memories of Madrigal - that, as a child, he used to follow her around, causing Chiro to nickname him Madrigal's "little Kirin shadow" and say he had a crush on her, although Madrigal dismissed it saying it was a feeling of kinship that he felt, trying to reconcile with what he'd lost.
During Madrigal's execution, he made an attempt to save her, although he was quickly caught and put back in the crowd, where he witnessed the execution in complete silence, being one of the only chimaera there who didn't cheer when she was beheaded.
He gained the nickname "Lucky Ziri" from his comrades, due to the fact that in his entire life as a soldier he had not been killed once and therefore had kept his original Kirin body.
Because Ziri was in love with Madrigal when he was younger, he keeps looking at Karou and wanting to talk to her. He cannot, however, because Thiago has forbidden all the chimaeras from talking to her and has made most of them think that she will betray them at any moment because she was an "angel-lover." Ziri's opportunity comes after a torture session from Jael that leads to the former getting severely injured. Karou feels a sense of kinship with Ziri because he is the only other living Kirin, and she heals him despite never trying to heal anyone before.
After the two wake up the next day, Ziri tells Karou about Thiago's underhanded scheming to turn the chimaera against her. This causes her to realize that the White Wolf is planning on replacing her with Ten, which is why he has been pushing for her to take the latter on as an apprentice. After this encounter, the two are more friendly with each other, especially after the appearance of Zuzana Nováková, Mikolas Vavra, and Issa who make Karou feel happier. Knowing that Karou cares for Ziri and that the latter would do anything to protect her, Thiago send him away on a mission with Razor, a notoriously vicious killer.
Ziri returns after Karou has killed Thiago in self defense and offers up his own soul for her protection because she has to resurrect the White Wolf in order to protect the chimaera. To prevent her from refusing, Ziri goes as far as killing himself and Karou then puts Ziri's soul in Thiago's body. The only ones that know about this body swap are Haxaya, who now occupies Ten's body, and Issa.
Ziri, wearing Thiago's body, is pretending to be the White Wolf and guiding his "army" (the few survived Chimaera warriors). He forms a pact with Akiva to fight along with his angel brothers (the Illegittims) against the Dominion Captain, now Emperor, Jael (Akiva and Liraz's uncle), who is trying to get nuclear arms from Earthens to definitely destroy the resistence and conquer the Stelians (an angel tribe which is not part of the Empire). Since it is known that Thiago hates angels, his work becomes much more difficult, for his liutenants start to become suspicious. Neverthless, he manages to form the alliance, but a group of Chimaeras disobey him (believing that the order of attacking the angels came from him) and try to kill Liraz. It is the revenge of Haxaya, in Ten's body, who was once killed by Liraz. Luckily, Ziri discovers the plot in time for rescuing her, but Haxaya threatens to reveal his real identity so he kills the Chimaera. He then brings Liraz's unconscious and near-dead body to the healing baths in the Kirin's caves, where the mixed army has found shelter, saving her life, and reveals her his true identity.
Ziri gets killed in the battle against the Dominion's forces, but his soul is rescued by Liraz, who sings to it to guide it into her water bottle. He is then resuscitated by Karou after the war ends. Karou uses the top of one of Ziri's horns, which he had lost when he was still in his original body, to create a Kirin body that looks exactly like the "original" Ziri.
Ziri had a crush on Madrigal from the time he was a child. He used to follow her around was dubbed as Madrigal's "little Kirin shadow".
It is hinted in Days of Blood and Starlight that Ziri have had a crush on Karou like he did with Madrigal, since Karou and Madrigal are technically one and the same. Ziri is very loyal to Karou in the latter half of the book, and they consider one another to be good friends. After Thiago's attempted rape, Ziri finds a shaking Karou along with the souless husk of Thiago. To prevent Karou from reliving the experience again, Ziri forms a pact with her. The pact is his soul is to be put into the White Wolf's body and he will act the role to keep the real Thiago from ever returning. Karou feels indebted to him and develops a strong sense of affection towards Ziri as a friend for saving her from resurrecting Thiago.
Although he initially has a crush on Madrigal and then on Karou, Ziri develops a love story with Liraz in Dreams of Gods and Monsters, of course after he gets back a proper Kirin body. He saves her life when still wearing Thiago's features by avoiding Haxaya killing her and then bringing Liraz to the healing baths, whose curative properties heal her wounds. He is then "saved" by her, for she rescues his soul when he dies in the White Wolf's body.
Days of Blood & Starlight
- Jael: "Don't worry. We're not going to kill you."
Ziri: "No. I'm going to kill you." - Chapter 43, pg. 216
- Jael: "Who is it?"
- Ziri: "Come closer. I'll whisper it in your ear." - Chapter 43, pg. 218
- "Wait until my friends hear I killed the Captain of the Dominion. They won't believe it." - Chapter 43, pg. 214
- "I don't know why, Karou, but I think the angel saved my life." - Chapter 52, pg. 283
Dreams of Gods & Monsters
- Liraz: "You know who I am, and I know who you are, and-" Ziri: "-that won't serve."-Ch. 78, pg. 536
- Ziri means "moonlight" in the Amazigh language. Laini Taylor had considered using the name for a character during the early stages of writing Daughter of Smoke & Bone.
- Ziri is the second chimera, following Madrigal/Karou, to fall in love with an angel.