Tammy: My two cents. . .
Lianokami is a melding of societies and languages, which is why it doesn’t follow strict our-world linguistic use: Liano for Tortall (and the bow to the family name), -kami to denote the inheritance from the Yamani imperial (divine) line.
I am no linguist, but I have never gotten the jokes about Japanese turning L to a hard R sound in English or any other language. I have never heard Japanese speakers do this, and when I listen to Japanese language movies, I heard something that sounds very much like an L. I doubt very much the Yamanis called her “Rianokami.”
Liano would indeed inherit as her father’s firstborn, should the opportunity come. It may or may not. Jonathan is very healthy and in good shape, and I don’t see myself writing about the court that far in the future. I have plenty to write about around the thirty-forty year period I have marked out between Alanna’s arrival at the palace and Neal’s daughter’s career.
The thing with who inherits was inspired by the near-miss of Duke Roger’s rebellion. With one life between Roger and the crown, and only Roger as an alternate heir when the Sweating Sickness came, Jon has been determined that the realm’s stability shouldn’t rest on two lives, or one. He even convinced his conservatives to agree to female rule under those conditions, so there are options, since there have been cases in the past where the majority of a ruler’s children were girls.
I’m sorry people don’t like the similarity in names, but the truth is that noble families tend to name their children after their ancestors, and people who miss someone who died name their children after that person. And in real life there are name repetitions (how many Sarahs in your class? Davids?), but I don’t have the stones for that. My Random House editor gets on my case about too many names, period, let alone too many of the same name.
Cheer up. With Beka, the only name you’ll be familiar with is Roger, and he is a Conté king, after all!
Tammy: Liano would inherit as firstborn, before any brothers who might follow her.
I would imagine racism about Liano depends on how the Yamanis at court are perceived. If Shinko and Yuki are popular, they’ll make a dent. They’ll also attract other Yamanis to Tortall. They have mutual interests, after all, and mutual enemies.
As for putting a stop to Rogers . . . I don’t think so, not after his memory wears off the next few generations. Then people will be more aware of the actual kings, not a nutter rebel. There were three King Rogers. Mine (Roger II) is pretty much a merry monarch, or he was in his greener days, but the other two were pretty decent. That ought to count for something.