I have a couple questions, first and foremost about Tortall’s government. From what I can tell there are restrictions set up on Jon’s power, such as councils of nobles. Yet what’s the specific arrangement? How many councils are there, and how are places determined? Is it a parliamentary monarchy, and are they moving more towards democracy? How many levels are there before laws are passed? Finally, is Tortall one of the countries with more restrictions on the monarchy or less, for example, in Carthak does the emperor have absolute power?
Tammy: At the risk of disappointing you, the mysteries of government will be revealed in the Tortall Companion when it comes out in 2013. The realm is a monarchy, but the king is obligated by law to listen to the councils, and if all of them agree that he has shown a pattern of ignoring their counsel, restrictions can be placed on his power. (Honestly, it’s easier and cheaper to rebel than to get all of these people to agree.) The Carthaki emperor can have more absolute power if he can terrify enough of his nobles into agreeing with him. In Tortall, the de facto rule is that if the nobles agree with the monarch, that’s that, unless the mages and commons band against them. It keeps everyone in line. Tusaine and Galla are more monarchies like Carthak, Maren like Tortall, and Saraine and Scanra can be messes. Tyra is a parliamentary monarchy. The Yamanis are an empire.
And how has her opinion on Jonathan changed from when she was a page?
Tammy: Her opinion of Jon is somewhat more balanced.
SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Fall 2011 Chat with Tamora Pierce!]