2014 Release: Tortall Companion Book

Tammy: Thanks to heroic efforts by Julie Holderman, Tim Liebe,* and contributor Megan Messinger, the first draft of the TORTALL COMPANION BOOK is in! This includes a spy manual, documents on the military and university structure, bios of selected characters, a listing of and information about the immortals (including some you haven’t encountered), an exchange of letters between Wyldon and King Jon regarding Wyldon’s takeover of the training program for pages, the training of the Queen’s Riders, and much more!

Cara Coville is still working on coats of arms and I on maps, but the text itself is in the editor’s hot little hands.

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 Codex Derynianus by Katherine Kurtz is one of my favorite companion books. She also put out a book called Deryni Magic which details just the magic of her world.

Tammy: Katherine just blows me away. She’s a lot truer to real world history than I am, and does she know it line and verse? Oh, yes she does! That woman is a walking compendium of medieval history. Her books are the best furnished I’ve ever read. You walk into a Deryni book and you can feel the texture of the cloth and the grain of the wood. You hear the echo of your footsteps and smell the water and the plants on the air. I end up on at least a couple of panels with her every time I go to Darkovercon, and it’s always such a pleasure to listen to her and learn.

NOTES FROM Words of Tamora Pierce
*Tim is listed as a co-author of The Tortall Companion Book on Tammy’s official website (source).
**Release has been pushed back to Fall 2014 (source).

SOURCE: [LJ: 53884, 2065839; Random Buzzers – Fall 2011 Chat with Tamora Pierce!]

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Characters – Real People, Actors, or Photographs

Tammy: I base characters on people I know–the Lord Provost in LIONESS RAMPANT on my father, Alanna on my younger sister Kim, the Shang Wildcat on my stepmother, Thayet on my best female friend, Kyprioth on my friend Bruce Coville, Evin Larse on my husband, Sandry and Kel on fans.

Other characters I base on actors, the characters they play, or performers–Beka on the young Jodie Foster, Lady Sabine and Duchess Winnamine both on Sigourney Weaver, Tunstall on French actor Jean Reno, Daine on Trini Alvarada (Meg in the Susan Sarandon Little Women), Taybur Sibigat on Bobby Goren in Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Numair on Jeff Goldblum, Rosto on Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ozorne on Ozzy Osborne, Goodwin on a tough Russian cop from the Bruce Willis The Jackal played by Diane Venora.

Other characters come from photographs I have that strike a chord with me: Sarai and Dove, Ochobu and Junai (Ulasim was based on professional wrestler Eddie Guererro).

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Fall 2011 Chat with Tamora Pierce]

Tammy: …I believe, that I based Alanna on my younger sister, the hero paramedic. Well, I also based the Lord Provost on my dad, the Korean War vet–thus the similarity in wolfish grins between my lord and Alanna in the Hall of Crowns. And the Shang Wildcat is based on my stepmother, who has been known to say, “Some kids need more raisin’ than others.”

SOURCE: [MR:LR:EPI]

Kel vs. Aly vs. Beka

Tammy: You couldn’t really compare the fighting styles of these three–neither Aly nor Beka could beat Kel in a stand-up fight on Kel’s terms, and neither would try–both would use stealth methods to get the better of a full-fledged knight. Aly and Beka both would try to come at her from behind and go for her soft spots, and if Kel is armored and isn’t overwhelmed in the first few moments, both Aly and Beka would be in trouble.

As for Aly and Beka, Aly would once again have to hope to take Beka by surprise. Beka fights on almost a daily basis in the streets, straight up and when she’s taken by surprise, and she trains daily, as does Kel. Aly practices as often as she can, but she doesn’t always get to fight opponents who are trying to disable or kill her, as Beka does. That means Beka has the advantage in speed and stamina. Unarmored, with a staff rather than a sword, Kel could give Beka a run for her money, since Kel trains on almost a daily basis, and moves faster without the weight of armor and heavier weapons, but she is bigger than Beka, and she’s not a street fighter. If Beka gets inside the movement of Kel’s staff, Kel’s in trouble.

It’s all dependent on the combat arena, the weapons, and surprise. Each woman is a specialist at what she does. On her own terms, she would be very hard to beat. Each is used to fighting to live, which means all bets are off!

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Fall 2011 Chat with Tamora Pierce!]

Governments in Tortall Universe, and Kel on Jonathon

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!]

Alan and Co., University Life, Pacifists, Goodwin’s Religion, and Rosto’s Background

Tammy: Alan never wore a dress, but he got into his mother’s makeup once–as did Thom and Aly–when they were small. George caught them, cleaned them up, and replaced Alanna’s makeup. A good time was had by all.

University life, without the religious element, is the same as it was in the medieval universities in our world. You’ll find out more about that in the companion book when it comes out in 2013. And the blue hair thing lasted as long as most fads–a semester, if that.

If there are pacifists, they live far out of the way of most people. The medieval world was a rough, nasty place and pacifists didn’t tend to survive.

Goodwin has always been religious. These people don’t tend to link religious belief and behavior on the job unless it involves murder.

Rosto was a merchant’s illegitimate son whose mother married a man who hated him. Rosto finally ditched home when he was ten and took to theft and brawling in the streets, where he turned out to be good at both!

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Fall 2011 Chat with Tamora Pierce!]

The Cult of Gentle Mother, The Conté Look, Prince Gareth Has Siblings, and Pounce’s Hobby

Tammy: Right now I can tell you no one ever passed a law against the lady knights.* It was the rise of the cult of the Gentle Mother in this generation and the next that resulted in the turning of society against women in “rougher” occupations like the military, the provost’s guard, and knighthood. It helped that Tortall entered a relatively peaceful time when fewer warriors were needed. By Alanna’s day things were changing again, and sometimes it takes the force of will of one hero–and the approval of her patron goddess–to change things around.

…Roger and Gareth didn’t have the Conte looks/eyes, and was also wondering if they had any other children?

Tammy: Roger and Gareth both have brown hair, and there’s a lot of intermarrying to produce the Conte looks of Jonathan’s time! And Roger and Jessamine did have other children after these events.

Tammy: Pounce has actually always been a constellation who took an interest in human doings because they were such hapless things, rather like kittens, but far more amusing, because kittens eventually grow up. Then he observed that some humans tried to better the lot of others besides themselves, but a great many of them got killed before they could achieve any major changes. Because he was getting bored, the gods being selfish enough to eventually get on his nerves, he decided it might be even more amusing to help some humans achieve more than they might have normally. Everyone has to have a hobby. Some of us chase comets until they smack into stars or worlds; some of us groom heroes.

NOTES FROM Words of Tamora Pierce
*This seems to contradict what Tammy said two years before at Random Buzzers on the subject:

“Actually, they forbade the addition of more female knights about thirty years before the last ones died–the realm was overloaded with peacekeepers, the conservatives were in power, and the cult of the Gentle Mother was at the height of its popularity, so it was decided the realm no longer needed its women to help keep the peace. It was something that happened throughout the Eastern Lands” (Random Buzzers – Lady Sabine).

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Fall 2011 Chat with Tamora Pierce!]

Why Beka/Rosto Wouldn’t Last, and Development of Humanity

I really like Rosto but I have never seen him and Beka ending up together. They’re both too smart to deny that one of them would either have to make dramatic and, I think, unfair compromises or the relationship would end badly for one or both of them. Actually even with the compromises the relationship probably still wouldn’t work.

Tammy: I’m particularly appreciative of your understanding of Beka and Rosto. Alanna and George were not at all in the same position, and besides, George had to either turn against his noble friends or give up being the Rogue. Fortunately for everyone, the kind of work that would keep him from getting bored was available, or I fear he would have gone back to his old ways. Beka, though, for all her friendships, is not a loose Dog, and Rosto is a Rogue, blood and bone.

I loved Terrier, because it was so realistic about the atmosphere of the time – from bribery to children dying all the time to the vocabulary that substantially differed from the other books. I’m working in Legal History and I appreciate all the work that must have gone into researching how courts and law enforcement worked then. My personal pet peeve with fantasy is when our 20th century sensibilities are enforced on characters who just can’t feel that way.

Tammy: A particular thank-you for this! I have worked very hard to stay as true to the time as I can, crushing my own humanitarian impulses. I have to be so careful in writing about things like crime and slavery for that very reason. These people cannot react as we would. Even Becka’s own anti-slave feelings are rooted in her own near-brushes with it and her discovery that the trade breeds more crime, not a moral feeling that it’s wrong. Humanity won’t develop that for hundreds of years. My research has actually been fascinating. It never occurred to me, before these books, that our modern warehousing form of prisoners is fairly modern, and that prisons were just waystations in the past.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Bloodhound]

Dale, Pounce, Kora’s magic, and Elkhound to Mastiff

But Dale was sweet in his own special gambler way. And of all the times for Pounce to have to go play with the stars! What exactly was he doing up there, anyway?

Tammy: Wasn’t Dale fun? I based him on a professional poker player. I just kept looking at those hands . . .

No, we’re not to know what Pounce was doing up there. I can’t even understand the sounds he’s using. They’re all in electron, or gamma ray, or something.

Does Kora have wild magic?

Tammy: No, there are regular mages who work solely with animals because their magic bends that way–you’ll meet one who specializes in horses in MASTIFF. Kora’s just an all-around mage who’s a little better with medicines for animals. Don’t forget she can tag someone and find them when she wants to, as well. And I’m sure she has plenty of other little tricks up her sleeve that make her a very useful mage for Rosto!

One question though: Why did you change the title of the last book from Elkhound to Mastiff?

Tammy: I found out that while elkhounds are used to hunt big game, they don’t actually bring it down. They corner it for the hunter. In fulfilling Beka’s hunting track, I needed the kind of dog that expressed a truly big task before her, that she is instrumental in performing: thus, MASTIFF.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Bloodhound]

Latest on Future Releases (March 2011)

Tammy: I do have other Tortall series planned, though not one from Kally (yet).  After the next Circle book I have the first of two books about Numair in the time from the end of his friendship with Ozorne to his first great working with Numair.  I have another Circle book between those two, and then a book about Maura of Dunlath (WOLF SPEAKER) and how she finds her place in the world.  After that I have a number of ideas, including Kel’s next adventure, what happens after Aly and Nawat’s children are born (the birth is in TORTALL AND OTHER LANDS), a story about Sarralyn and Rikash (Daine and Numair’s kids), and one about Neal’s daughter.

So fear not!  There’s more to come, and I’m sure we’ll hear from Kally at some point!

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Races and Fan Toss

Tammy: The peoples (races) of Tortall are the same as those of our world.  I based the Bazhir on the Bedouin tribes on Africa and Arabic, and the Shang system is pretty much the same as the Chinese and Japanese temples where martial arts was taught (except mine admit women).

The fan toss game is real, but as far as I know, it’s done with wooden fans, not edged ones.  Still, it seems to me that if you were crazy enough, you could play it that way!  And it wouldn’t be done with separate knives.  Instead of wooden ribs, the fan would be made of steel ribs, very thin, and the outside edge is the sharp one.  You play the game by catching the hub where all the ribs are fastened together.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Qiom, Fadala, and the Shang School

We know what happened to Kylaia (though her story would be incredible), but does Qiom ever get to Tortall like they seemed to be planning at the end of his story?

The Shang show up in so many of your books, but are still so mysterious. They say that they are Shang before being of any nationality, but does this mean they do not have a central place where they belong, train, and meet together? All the Shang we have seen have been travelling or working to help train other young warriors such as the pages in Corus… do all their students get trained on the road with a single master or is there a school where they are eventually brought? How do you picture this?

Tammy: Qiom and Fadala are doing their best to reach Tortall.  It’s a long trip just to the the coast, and a lot of things happen to them on the way.  At some point I’ll get to write about them!

The Shang school is hidden in northern Maren.  The students train there until their ordeal in their late teens, after which they start their journey, serving their gods by helping people.  Sometimes the older Shang retire to serve as judges in the world, but more retire either to an everyday life in their 40s, or they return to the school to teach.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers; Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Zahir, Kara, and Kourrem

In the POTS series, what was the reason (or one of the reasons) Jonathan took Zahir Ibn Alhaz as his squire? What happened to him?

What became of Kara and Kourrom (from WHRLAM}? What happened to their tribe? Do Jonathan and Alanna still visit occasionally?

Tammy: Jon took Zahir for a squire for political reasons largely, since Jon is the Voice and he works hard to knit the Bazhir into the rest of the kingdom.  But kings do have squires if they want, and Jon always has one on duty as his personal attendant.

Of course Jon and Alanna visit the tribes regularly (they did as part of the progress in SQUIRE).  Kara married Halef Seif, and teaches magic as well as raising her family.  Kourrem became a wander mage.  She visits not only other tribes, but other places, teaching and learning.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Marinie of Tasride’s Disownment, Neal’s Mother, and Raoul’s Drinking Problem

1. Last time on Random Buzzers, you mentioned that Alanna’s mother, Marinie, was from Tasride. How is she related to Seaver of Tasride? Do Alanna (or her kids) have any contact/relationship with that side of the family?

2. What’s Neal’s mother’s name? 

3. It’s mentioned in Squire that Raoul has a drinking problem earlier in life. What was the cause of it, and what made him decide to quit his addiction?

Tammy: I think Marinie would be Seaver’s great-aunt, but she was cut off from the family when she married Lord Alan (she was supposed to marry a Gallan noble with lots of gold).  Alanna and her family probably do have contact with that side of the family, court life being what it is.

Neal’s mother is Wilina of Haryse.

Raoul’s problem was just that he didn’t know when to stop drinking.  He quit after a riding accident resulted in the death of his favorite horse and the injuries of a family of Players.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Drawing Characters from Real People

Tammy: I draw characters from real people, performers or actors, sometimes the characters played by an actor, friends and fans, and sometimes simply from photographs paired with the right name.  I’ve found that if I work with such characters for a short time, they will become their own people, independent from those I base them on, and in the meantime I know how they dress, what they look like, in the case of real people how they move and talk, and how I can check in on them if I need extra help.

Examples: my younger sister the paramedic became Alanna (only with red hair, not blond), my dad became the Lord Provost in Alanna’s time, and my stepmother because the Shang Wildcat.  My friend writer Bruce Coville became Kyprioth the Trickster; my best friend Queen Thayet, her mother a Stormwing queen, her dove a griffin, and three of her dogs became dragons, Achoo, and Little Bear.  (Actually, I cast a lot of animals I know in my books.)

Sandry is a combination of four of my fans; Daja, Lark, and Briar began as pictures that caught my imagination, and Tris is based on me.  Frostpine was my writing mentor and Crane was based on the assistant to a powerful lawyer in an 80s TV show (Duke Vedris was based on his boss).  Rosethorn is Major Kira Neryse from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and the captain of Dove’s guard is based on Bobby Goren, played by Vincent D’Onofrio from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”  Actor Jeff Goldblum became Numair; Sigourney Weaver is both Duchess Winnamine and Lady Sabine; Alice Cooper is Zhegorz in WILL OF THE EMPRESS, and Ozzy Ozborne is Emperor Ozorne.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Inspirational Women

Is there one women, either fictional or real, who inspired you to write about such strong women?

Tammy: It isn’t exactly one woman who inspired me, but many, starting with Maid Marian (from Robin Hood), and the Greek goddesses, particularly Athena, who oversaw knowledge and war.  Then there was a novel called MARA: DAUGHTER OF THE NILE by Eloise McGraw, which featured both a very gutsy slave girl and the real world Pharoah Hatshepsut, the only female among the great Pharoahs of Egypt (though she’s not exactly as the book paints her).  Then I discovered Mary Reade and Anne Bonney, the pirates, and Molly Pitcher (Mary McCauley), who look over her husband’s cannon when he collapsed during a Revolutionary battle.  Next came Helen Keller, Jane Addams (the founder of social work), and Louisa May Alcott, who not only wrote, but worked in the hospitals during the Civil War.

The woman who influenced me most, though, was Queen Elizabeth I, who survived so many perils as a child and did so much good for England.  A lot of Dove is based on Queen Elizabeth.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Developing Tortall

Tammy: Tortall actually just grew.  I started with the girl and her brother, and the destiny their father decreed for them, and I needed a castle.  Then I needed a ride to the royal palace, and a city to surround the palace.  After that came the palace itself, and the forest, and bit by bit I filled out the surrounding area until I realized I needed a country.  I’m not really sure how I came up with it, though obviously I had Spain in my mind somewhere.  As I wrote, I filled in the map.  I feel like every place ought to have something like a Mediterranean, and then an Africa, and I filled in island archipelagos becase I like archipelagos.  And the reason the Tortallan map gets more complex and detailed with each rendering is because I discover different parts of the countryside.

[…]

I first went back to Tortall because I wanted to see how things had changed with a reformer king and queen.  Then I began to wonder how the first known girl to try out as a knight would do it, and what problems she would encounter.  I knew there would be political issues to deal with as well.  You could say the universe has unfolded, like the map, as I realize certain questions in the way the world and the people grow simply demand answering.

SOURCE: [Random Buzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce – Tortall] (Archive by WebCite)

Alanna/George/Jon Triangle, Jon/Thayet, and General Thoughts on Love

Did you face a backlash from fans over Alannna choosing George over Jon in the lioness series?

Tammy: Not a backlash, prezackly.  People do ask me why, and I explain that Alanna would be a disaster as queen, which is a diplomat’s job, while when she enters any place where George is, she feels that she has come home.  That romantic love doesn’t last, and that it’s important to build up a lasting love and a lasting friendship for a relation to exist for the long term.  Sooner or later Jonathan would run out of patience with Alanna’s temper and her lack of graces, and she would always feel like she couldn’t put a foot right.  She can relax with George, and be herself.

The pro-Jon fan usually doesn’t like that explanation, and s/he usually goes away still wishing it had been Jon, but at least s/he understands my thinking!

George and Alanna still have plenty of romantic love floating around when she comes home. or is that the lasting love you mean.   personally, i think there’s a companionship love, a deep comitment type love, and then the physical romantic love that all have to work together to make a good match.

Tammy: But it’s not that swoony, hearts-and-flowers, I’ll-die-if-I-don’t-see-him/her, s/he-has-a-special-glow-to-her-him, fireworks kind of love, the giddy, dizzy, make-make-your-friends-yark-up-hairballs kind.  Haven’t you ever been totally caught up in someone at school, and come back the next year and wondered if you weren’t possibly on drugs or something the year before?  What George and Alanna have is solid.  When they fight, they don’t feel like their world is ripped into shreds.  They know it will continue because at bottom, they love each other.  When people are “in love,” every little spat is something that has to be mended with cement or the whole thing will go to pieces.

Thayet and Jon appreciated each other’s circumstances at first, and understood they would be a good match and a good solution to each one’s problems.  Then, as they got to know each other, they began to really like each other’s cool dispositions, their common sense about the problems facing royalty, and the particular elegance with which each dealt with their daily lives.  They had known the other was an attractive person before, but they had their fill of attractive people at some point in their lives.  But the other was . . . restful on the eyes.  Calm, and graceful.  Energetic without being frenetic.  Appreciative of elegant things, like art, music, and dancing.  Neither of them lost their heads over a wedding, even though everyone around them was going crazy.  Both savored their wedding night, and Jonathan handled it with tact and kindness, for which Thayet was deeply grateful.  She knew few men would have behaved as well as he did, or gone to so much trouble to make her laugh.  And so it went, day by day.

Love.  It’s a nice thing.

And what do you think of love at first sight, and eternal love, as well as only having One True Love, or do you believe there is more than one?

Tammy: Remember I’m a cranky Old Person with arthritis and a cynical world view.  Moreover, I usually ended up with guys that other women had passed over (because they were blind).  I tend to think that love at first sight is more like a brain-frying surge of hormones.  Eternal love–well, I don’t know about eternity, but for this time it has to be shored up by respect, liking, friendship, and shared interests, or eternal love will die.  I prefer the solid, less fireworky kind, the kind that makes you soup when you have a cold, and will search all the late night groceries for Nilla Wafers because you had a bad day.  The kind that will go with you to the hospital, when your love hates hospitals.

I don’t believe in One True Love.  I think it’s an agreeable fantasy that sells romance novels, but the real world gives us real people with their good sides and their flaws.  One True Love would be someone from the Doll House, someone who is entirely configured to reflect who we are and what we want, including “one true love.”  After a while you’d just want to smack them to see if there’s a human being in there.

Also, you know how it is when you’re having a really big day, like a major party, or a wedding, and there’s a lot of excitement, and it’s all good and fun, and by around five you wish you were four so you could just sit down on the ground and cry for an hour?  I can’t help but think that’s how my one true love would make me feel–great to a point, and then I’d get tired and fussy and I’d throw up all the candy I’d eaten.

I don’t even know if that makes sense, but I tried to explain!

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random: 1, 2]

Mindelans, The Noble Books, and Conte-Naxen

1. How many siblings does Kel actually have? The books mention three brother and I think three sisters, but there are sure a lot of nieces and nephews at Mindelan for just a few siblings that couldn’t have been married for that long.

Tammy: Let’s see–in descending order of age: Anders is the oldest.  He and his wife Vorinna have five kids, of whom Lachren is the oldest; Lachren’s now a page.  Patricine* is next of the sibs; she’s married to Toshuro noh Akaneru; they have two kids and live in the Yamani Islands with his family.  Inness and his wife Tilaine have three kids.  Conal is an unmarried knight.  Demadria** recently married Gavin*** haMinch; they have one on the way.  Adalia**** married Merovec of Nond; they have two, having ::cough:: gotten started early ::cough::.  Oranie married Ortien of Hannalof.  Avinar is a scholar/teacher at the City of Gods.  And Kel is the youngest.

2. How far back do the noble books (Book of Gold, Book of Silver) go? What’s the cut off date between the books?

Tammy: The Book of Gold begins 630 years before Alanna’s time, when Tortall, a state of the fallen Thanic Empire that once covered all of the Eastern Lands, set itself up as a realm of its own, setting down the names of the ruling families in a parchment book with gilded letters and plates of gold for the front and back.  Since the sheets of parchment were set it with no way to add unless the book was taken apart, the length of time and the number of families listed in it ran as long as there was space in the book!  The Book of Silver began 170 years later, with the same construction, only in silver.  Once that ran out of pages, 245 years later, The Book of Copper was begun, and they’re still using that.

3. Will we ever see any of the Yamani Islands firsthand? What we hear about them from Kel sounds interesting, as do the women from the Islands ;]

Tammy: I don’t have any plans, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever get there!

4. How far back does the Conte-Naxen partnership (for lack of a better word) go? How are the families related or have the Naxens always just worked with the Contes?

Tammy: They try not to intermarry too often, but they’ve worked together off and on for a couple of hundred years, what with one thing and another.  A Naxen was one of the Old King’s best generals, his right hand, and he married a Naxen third cousin.

5. Is there any map, even a sketch, that you have of the whole Eastern Lands? I would like to see Sarain, Maren, the Roof of the World, etc. in relation to Tortall.

Tammy: Not yet–I only have the overall one for LIONESS RAMPANT.  By a companion to Tortall is in the works, and I promise, there will be more maps!

NOTES FROM Words of Tamora Pierce
*This is the second time Tammy has called her Patricine, as opposed to Patrissa in Pronunciation Guide to Tamora Pierce Characters.  It is unconfirmed as to what her true name is.
**Demadry according to Pronunciation Guide to Tamora Pierce Characters, and Demadina according to this post on Sheroes.  It is unconfirmed as to what her true name is.
***Gelvan according to this post on Sheroes.
****Originally mistyped as Adelia, although Tammy has made this mistake before.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Champion’s Duties, Scanran War, King Roald, Duke Gareth, and the Bazhir

1. Did Trebond participate much in the Scanran War? In Afta Alanna mentions that Trebond deals with Scanran bandits most years – were Coram and Rispah heavily involved in the war too?

Tammy: They served as a supply depot and hospital, for one.  Jonthair fought as a knight; Alinna rode with the Queen’s Ladies,* helping Thayet keep the rest of the realm in order; Thomsen was squire to Emeric of Legann,** serving near the City of the Gods, and Mylec was with the Queen’s Riders, near Frasrlund.  Daran, Liam, and Thayine worked as scouts.  Coram is too old for combat or scouting, so he coordinated supplies and housed troops coming through while Rispah worked in the hospital.  Is that heavily involved enough for you?

2. How did the Scanran war end? After Kel got rid of the Killing Devices, was it just a series of battles when the Tortallans bit-by-bit kept on winning and killing the Scanrans, or was there one huge battle where they smashed them?

Tammy: It’s nearly impossible to stage a huge, set-piece battle in mountain country–there are too many places to hide, and no clear lines of sight that extend far enough to do any good.  No, the fighting piddled out over the next two years, a skirmish here, a clash there.  Killing Blaise just got rid of the killing devices.  It ended finally in the spring of 464.

3. In Trickster’s Choice you say that Alanna wields the Crown’s authority when neither Jon or Thayet are present, and you’ve said on Sheroes that her job basically means that she’s either fighting bandits or is by the King’s side 24/7. What does the King’s Champion actually do?

Tammy: When a serious issue of law comes up somewhere, something that must be settled in that place, by the monarchs, and neither of them can go, they send the Champion, who is permitted to speak the Crown’s justice.  This is pretty rare, but it does happen.  If Alanna is present at a quarrel of some kind where people refuse to take the matter to court, or if they can’t afford to take it to court and they don’t want a village court to decide, they can agree to accept the Champion’s ruling.  This is less rare.  Most often, a noble will be brought to court on a matter of law, and that noble will insist on trial under the original laws of that kingdom, as is every noble’s right.  It’s a risk, because everyone knows Jonathan wants everyone to rely on the courts of law and their judgment.  Under the original law, the defendant’s guilt or innocence can be revealed in trial by combat.  The defendant chooses his or her champion, while the Crown is always represented by the King’s Champion.  (This is where Alanna being glued to the king most of the time comes in.)

This choice is not as common as it once was.  In the beginning of Jon and Thayet’s reign, every noble with a grievance big enough to give them combat as an option chose it, because they were convinced the stories about Alanna were inflated and they would beat her handily.  After six deaths, Jon, Alanna, and Thayet sat down and worked out something else.  Now Alanna maims her opponent, and the requests for trial by combat fell by three-quarters from those first four years.  Apparently being handicapped for life is not nearly so romantic, or noble, as dying in combat.

Does she also involve herself in politics – convincing nobles and priests and merchants to agree to certain laws that Jon and Thayet want?

Tammy: I was just informed, very firmly, she does not.  According to her, that sort of nonsense is for people who care to waste their lives gabbling like hens.

Or is she just Jon’s slave? :P,

Tammy: I won’t pass that on, if it’s all the same.  I have to live here, too.

4. How old was Duke Gareth when Gary was born? Does Gary have any siblings?

Tammy: No, Gary’s an only child–his father married Roanna of Irimor when he was in his 40s, having spent most of his time until then soldiering.

5. How old was Roald (Jon’s dad) when he inherited the throne? and how old was he when Jon was born? Did Lianne have problems with fertility, or was Jon’s birth so bad that she was told she can’t have any more children?,

Tammy: Roald was 26 when he married Lianne, 19; Roald was 31 when Lianne had Jon.  Lianne had problems with fertility and a couple of miscarriages, then her pregnancy was so rough, and she had so many health problems, that she was advised not to try again.  She did anyway when Jon was three, because she knew her duty, but she nearly died, and after that she couldn’t get pregnant again.  That child was stillborn.

6. do the Bazhir still think that the Burning Brightly One and the Night One destroyed the ysandir, or have they accepted it was their Voice and the Woman Who Rides Like a Man?

Tammy: They have no problem at all with believing that the Voice and the Woman could not be both.

NOTES FROM Words of Tamora Pierce
*In an earlier post at Random Buzz, Alinna was a member of the Queen’s Riders, not the Queen’s Ladies.
**In an earlier post at Random Buzz, Thomsen was a knight who served in the King’s Own, not a squire serving a knight master.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

More on Future releases (2009)

Tammy: I plan on quite a few more Tortall books, and heaven knows what they’ll all be about.  Right now I’ve got two Numair books, then Maura’s book under contract.  After that will come one or two more books about Kel.  After that I’m not sure about the order, but the books I definitely have planned are ones centered around Aly, Dove, and Dove’s choice of a consort; the lives of Aly’s children, particularly Ochobai, who is a Little Person; Neal’s daughter, who will go for her knighthood in a time when there are far more girls training as knights than there were in Kel’s day.  There’s also Daine’s children Sarralyn and Rikash, who have to find their way.  Rikash will be telling that story, because I’m terrified of his sister, but he isn’t.

I think that’s all I have in mind right now.  There may be more with Irnai and Tobe from the Kel books, and Kaddar and Kalasin, and Alanna’s sons.  Certainly there will be requests from fans for other characters who appear in the books, and who knows who my brain will pick up and say, “You know, there is a story for this one.”  My brain lives a life of its own, wild and free.  I just try to keep up.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]