Binur, Lianokami, Lady Roxanne, and More on Numair book (2009)

What is Kally’s son’s name? And is there a brother or sister on the way for Lianokami yet?

Tammy: Kally* and Kaddar’s son is named Binur.  No sibs for him or for Liano that I know of yet!

Was [Lady Roxanne] horribly ugly or rude or something? Did she end up marrying anyone? And was she Neal’s mother’s younger or older sister?

Tammy: She was bony and plain.  The sharp cheekbones, wide mouth, and pointy chin that make Neal’s face so interesting doesn’t work so well on someone with thin lips and sallow skin.  However, she did have a substantial dowry as the oldest daughter, and made herself a decent marriage in 441 with–brace yourself–Lord Martin of Meron.  And yes, they have five children, two sons and three daughters, but no, I don’t know their names!Wink (yet)

So, in future books, will be seeing more of Thayet and Jon?  And of their kids? I would especially love to read about Kalasin and Kadder and the challenges they face in ruling Carthak(?).

Tammy: I don’t know about the princes and princesses, but we’ll see a younger Thayet and Jon in the second Numair book, when he comes to Tortall.  That one takes place not long after LIONESS RAMPANT, so we’ll get an idea of how they handled themselves in the beginning of their reign.

We don’t see Kally, but we do see a bit of Kaddar in a short story that I wrote that’s being published in THE DRAGON BOOK, edited by Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann, coming out in November.  My story is “The Dragon’s Tale,” and while Kaddar, Daine, and Numair make guest appearances, the main story revolves around Kitten and Numair’s horse Spots.

NOTES FROM Words of Tamora Pierce
*Originally mistyped as Sarai.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random: 1, 2, 3]

Daine/Numair and Reactions

I was recently re-reading the Daine series and I have a concern to ask you about.  After you decided to pair up Daine and Numair, did you ever get anyone expressing doubt about it.  I mean, about the fact that a 30 year old man was in love with his 16 year old student?

Tammy: Occasionally I do, and my answer hasn’t changed.  In some ways, Numair is emotionally far younger than his age (he’s 27, actually), and Daine is much older than her years emotionally.  It didn’t feel wrong to me.  If their relationship had begun this way, it would have been beyond creepy, but it happened when Daine was no longer his student, but his traveling companion and co-worker.  He regards her as his magical equal, and in her field, she is.  Also, and this is something I end up saying time after time, this is a medieval period, when it was far more common for young women to marry much older men (who had established themselves in life and could afford to support a wife).  I mention as often as I can in the books that 16 is the age to marry among the lower classes, and some marry even younger.  I really cheat in some ways by having noblewomen marry at 18, when in our world they might marry at 9 or 10!  Very rarely was a woman able to marry someone her own age.

I’m sorry if this still makes you uncomfortable, but the truth is that none of my editors or my agent, who are very careful people, ever mentioned anything.  I have promised my fans I won’t have such a large gap between romantic characters again, though!  (Can I help it I like older men and always have?!)

Also, what was the reaction of Daine and Numair’s friends to them falling in love?  Were they surprised or did they see it coming?

Tammy: Buri turned to Onua and said, “Well!  Look who finally woke up!”

Apparently the only ones who were surprised were Daine and Numair.  As I say, marriage between an older man and a younger woman is common.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

How Neal and Yuki Fell in Love

I assumed that they got together or Neal started massively crushing as opposed to just crushing on her that night of the mages’ party, but what happened in between then and Neal’s Ordeal?

Tammy: They’d just run into each other here and there, have a dance at an occasional event, sit together when they were hanging out with Kel.  It was all small stuff over an extended period, but obviously it was enough!

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Daine’s half-siblings?

Whoa. WHOA. None of his previous grandchildren? So implying he’s had grandchildren before? Implying that he’s has other children? Implying that Daine has half-siblings?

Tammy: On occasion.  Depending.  The births are kinda hard on the mothers.

So was it not uncommon for Weiryn to crossover the realms on Beltane to meet woman and perhaps bed them? Does he have other children from previous lovers?

Tammy: Not living.  The last one was about 130 years ago.

Did other gods participate in this? Are their more god-sired people walking around?

Tammy: Well, yes, but they aren’t thick on the ground!  The few there are alive now are far apart!

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Neal/Yuki, Lady Knights, Queenscove’s healers, and Irnai

At the end of Lady Knight Irnai mentions that Neal will have a daughter that tries for knighthood (if I remember correctly). What’s her name? Do Neal and Yuki have any other kids? What do they end up doing? Do they have the Gift?

Tammy: Actually, I don’t know.  This is in the future of the last book in that time, TRICKSTER’S QUEEN, and I haven’t been able to think about any of that.  I only know about a year or two ahead of the most recent book in that time, you see.

Also, does the tradition of lady knights helping lady knights continue for the next generation, like Alanna helped Kel?

Tammy: I’m planning at least one, maybe two, books with Kel as seen by her squire, after the Maura of Dunlath book, and the squire is one of the three girls we see in the tournament in SQUIRE, so yes, I would say so!Wink

Do any of Neal’s other family members possess the Gift, besides his father?

Tammy: Baird’s sister is pretty good with protective charms and lesser healing charms.  Their father was a healer, and their great-grandmother.

What happens to Irnai, the seer-child? Does she stay with Kel at the post, or does she move on to better things since she has so much power? Will we see her again?

Tammy: I think so.  She’s been bothering me lately.  She’s going to have to wait her turn, though!

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Details on Maura’s book (April 2009) and Heroes

I just really, really, really wanted to ask if they’re anything you can tell us about the Maura of Dunlath book that you haven’t already shared? I’m insanely excited for them, I’ve become a real fangirl of Maura.

Tammy: Well, it begins when she’s 15, and her guardian, Sir Douglass, breaks the dreadful news to her that her aunt says it’s time she acted like a noble, and has summoned Maura to be her lady-in-waiting.  Since she’s blood family, Sir Douglass doesn’t feel he can refuse.  So Maura goes to her aunt, along with her counsellors, a wolf, a squirrel, and an ogre (a small one).

It sorta goes downhill from there.

She’s not a hero like Alanna, Daine, Kel, Aly, or Beka (or is she?). She’s just Maura, just herself,

Tammy: It depends on how you define heroes, and heroism.  Daja would tell you that her hero is a maidservant who gave up her life getting children out of a fire.  Kel would say that in addition to Raoul and Sir Wyldon, her hero is Lalasa, teaching the women of the Lower City to defend themselves.  “Just Maura, herself” has already proved herself a hero, blowing up a fort and fighting her sister.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Slavery and the Balitangs

It seems rather unfair (and not particularly conducive to political harmony) for those slaves who rebelled to be free, but those who didn’t to remain slaves. At the same time, abolishing slavery would cripple the Isles’ economy.

Tammy: Oh, no, Dove’s freeing the slaves, and even just the ones who rebelled, would give birth to another revolution!  What she does is give those slaves who rebelled a cash payment which they can use to buy their own freedom, or a child’s, if they pass a mage-test that they did take part in the rebellion.  Dove isn’t particularly against slavery–the Eastern Lands, except for Scanra, and stopping at Maren’s eastern border–are an exception, not the rule, and Maren’s system of bond servitude on the big farms doesn’t bear inspection.  Tortall, Galla, Tusaine, and Tyra–and supposedly Maren–are slave free because it’s not economical.  You need large farms to make slavery pay off, or a long-term slave economy.

Also, what sort of role will Petranne play in Dove’s reign? Is she a Princess, and considered Dove’s heir?

Tammy: No–she’s all luarin, remember.  She has no raka blood, and that’s what put Dove on the throne.  Petranne is a duchess, and whoever marries her will have her father’s lands, plus the close connection to the queen.

Will she make a political marriage (future aliance with Tortall? :D)

Tammy: She’ll marry politically, certainly!

Also, who succeeded Elsren as the titled head (Duke) of the Balitangs? Was it one of the girls, or did it pass to a male relative?

Tammy: Winnamine is guardian, and the title will pass to Petranne’s husband, since there are no other male relatives close enough in Mequen’s line.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Yuki, Birthing, Sarralyn, and Conte princes

Is Yuki Gifted? (Honestly, this has bothered me since a re-read of Squire.)

Tammy: I don’t believe so, or if she is, it’s a minor Gift.

A question about the birthing practices and customs in Tortall: Are men barred from the birth chamber like they typically were in the real world? (Essentially: are they left outside to pace and worry and annoy people?)

Tammy: It’s up to the woman, though since a lot of women tend to be Goddess worshippers, and since birth is one of the Great Mysteries–yeah, the guys get to wait it out.  I know Aly demanded that Nawat be there, not so much because George actually had to deliver her older brother Thom (he and Alanna were on a mission at the time), though it would be sweet to think so, but because Aly was terrified she was going to produce eggs and she wanted an expert on hand.

When Daine gave birth to Sarralyn, I can gather it was far from a normal birth… but who was on hand? Where was the baby born?

Tammy: The queen insisted on her own healers and midwives, since nobody could be certain that Daine could give birth on one of the great holidays so Sarra would help.  Daine actually gave birth in the palace, where she’d spent the last two months in the queen’s quarters, on bed rest.

Do Weiryn and Sarra approve of being grandparents?

Tammy: Are you kidding?!  They love being grandparents!  None of Weiryn’s previous grandchildren were such a part of his life, so he likes the novelty.  They spoil those kids rotten!

Are there foreign princesses in mind for the younger Conte princes, given there are political marriages in the works for their sisters? (Covered in another thread.)

Tammy: But of course!  Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and Jon is not going to miss any chance to build a long-lasting peace for the realm.  He’s looking at Scanra for Liam, who’s better with weapons for Jasson, and Tyra for Jasson, who’s clever.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

King Roger II and his Wives

What happened to King Roger’s first Queen (Alysy), exactly?

Tammy: She had breast cancer.  Cancer is one of those things that, if it gets far enough along, all the healers can do is make the patient comfortable.  It has an energy of its own.  And she was a bit of a depressive who hid the fact she was ill from her healers until it was too late.  She wasn’t exactly happy in her marriage, so she busied herself in good works, and wouldn’t let those go to get looked at.

Are Alysy and Jessamine foreign princesses or noble women? Where are they from (country/fief-wise)?

Tammy: Alysy was a Gallan princess, and Jessamine, as is mentioned in MASTIFF, is from Barzun.  (By Alanna’s time Barzun is the southern part of Tortall.)

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Royal University, Archaeology, Neal’s Family, and Carthak

If you had to write up a NPOV review on the Royal University of Tortall for prospective students, what aspects would stand out?


  • Mage instruction features instructors who graduated with honors from the University at Carthak and the City of the Gods.
  • Musical instruction includes lessons for traveling musicians, court musicians, noble musicians, and young ladies seeking to improve their skills.
  • Features schools of teaching, philosophy, geology, engineering, agriculture, music, magic, history, economics, noble arts (heraldry, swordsmanship for non-knights, calligraphy, needlework, etiquette), languages.
  • Grants of aid for promising students of reduced circumstances.

How does archaeology work in the Tortall universe/world and how has that impacted written history or cultural exchanges between the countries?

Tammy: They don’t really have archaeology per se. They have history, and traffic in ancient artifacts, and some of it gets covered in magical studies, but what we recognize as the study of archaeology is very rudimentary. Artifacts are bought and sold, and mage-historians are paid to peg the date of the artifact for wealthy collectors. Kingdoms like to hang onto their own artifacts, but things get taken outside borders constantly. People are a lot more careful about poking items, though. Given the magical component, some items pack a wallop.

The next question mainly revolves around Neal’s family (does insanity run in his family too? 😉 )

Tammy: Only when he incites it!

How are Neal’s mother, Lady Roxanne, and Glaisdan related?

Tammy: They’re siblings.

And how are Neal and Dom cousins? I can think of several possibilities (i.e. younger brother of Duke Baird, Dom’s father, married the Masbolle heiress), but I wanted to know what was canon.

Tammy: Actually, it was a male Masbolle, since Dom inherited the name.* And Baird’s sister.

Would you at all be interested in writing a book about Kally’s time in Carthak? You seem to have a lot of information about what’s going on in Carthak…

Tammy: I’ll have to study on it. At the very least, I could come up with a story sometime, don’t you think? But first the studying. These things always work out so much better when I do that!

I’m interested in Neal’s siblings.

Tammy: Neal’s older brother, Graeme, is deceased, and his younger sister is Jessamine. These days she is married to Balduin of Disart.

NOTES FROM Words of Tamora Pierce
*Belden of Dunlath seems to be either a misnomer, an exception to the rule, or follows a guideline yet to be explained officially

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Names: Suffixes

In your books, Daine and Kora and several others have names that end in sri/sra. How do those suffixes work?

Tammy: If you have “sri” after your name, it means the only parent you’re sure of is your mother–in other words, you were born out of wedlock, which some cultures consider a mark of shame (as Daine’s did). “sra” means you carry your father’s name, and your father was known; he was willing to acknowledge you as his child.*

In Nordic cultures suffixes like “sen” and “son” mean you’re someone’s son, while “datter” means you’re the daughter. I just gave it an extra twist.

NOTES FROM Words of Tamora Pierce
*Sarra Beneksri, Daine’s mother, seems to either be an exception to the rule or a misnomer.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

“Bright Star” Joren, New Hope, Baron Sir Cleon, Roald’s Champion, and Covers

Was Joren the heir to Stone Mountain? Lord Burchard is his uncle, yet he was the one to go after Kel in Squire when Joren died.

Tammy: Someone else mentioned Burchard is indeed Joren’s father. I apologize for the confustication in the scene.

And yes, Joren was the heir, their bright star. There are other boys, but he was their prize.

What happened to New Hope once the war was over? Was it disbanded and the people went back to their own villages, or did people stay there and make a new community?

Tammy: New Hope is still there three-odd years later, and so is its unhappy lady knight. The people had no homes to return to, and they felt much safer inside the town’s walls. There is still plenty of border trouble, you see. The lady knight and her healer knight friend are still running things, though the lady would like an assignment somewhere else. That’s the point at which I’ll pick up her story next.

Cleon. He seems to always be running the fief with his mother. His father is dead and there’s no mention of other brothers. Is he the Lord of Kennan, or is there some other thing going on?

Tammy: He wasn’t of age before. Now he is Baron Sir Cleon of Kennan.

If Roald (the younger one) were King, who would be his Champion?

Tammy: Honestly, I have no idea. It would be one of the older knights, someone in his thirties, in his prime (or her prime). Jon picked Alanna because he had a point to make, and because he knew Alanna could withstand the challenges that would come her way. He also did it to keep her safe from those who hated her just for being a female knight–her position would protect her. Anyone who tried to kill the Champion risked the Crown’s wrath. Roald wouldn’t have those problems to consider or that kind of friend to protect, so he might well choose somebody big and beefy who’s not one of his age-mates.

Which book cover is your favourite, out of all the many ones that have been?

Tammy: David Wiesner (who has won the Caldecott Medal for his children’s books) did the first three Alanna covers in hardcover, and David Wyatt did the first Daine covers for Scholastic in the U.K. I honestly couldn’t choose between these two, because both sets are wonderful! If you go into the galleries section on my webpage, you’ll see them. David Wyatt also did the covers for the most recent re-release of the Alanna books in paperback by Simon & Schuster, the ones with the black border and the very intense Alanna.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Lord Wyldon, Owen/Margarry, and Maren

How many children does [Lord Wyldon] have (boys/girls?)? Siblings? I bet he has a totally hardcore sister that used to boss him around…

Tammy: Actually, his sister Elasabenne was the baby of the family, and her brothers doted on her. It’s amazing anyone got close enough to marry her. She wasn’t sure Lady Vivienne was good enough for her favorite brother, so they don’t talk much.

As for Lady V, she gave Lord Wyldon four daughters, and Wyldon never cared that he didn’t have a son. He loves his girls: Eiralys (oldest), Sunarine, Cathrea (a priestess of the Great Mother), and Margarry.

Owen/Margarry: Any chance for a lady knight? Well, actually, any children at all?

Tammy: Give them time to settle down! They’ve married pretty young, and they want to have fun first!

I know that Maren/Tortall are “cut from the same cloth”, but are there any distinguishing quirks that define Maren?

Tammy: Maren tends to go for spicier foods and brighter colors in their architecture, interior design, and clothes. The women’s skirts are wider, and they wear their sleeves slit so their chemise sleeves show through. They also cut the necklines on their overdresses lower so their chemises show more on top, and they embroider their chemises a lot more than Tortallans do. The men have a chemise-like undershirt they like to show off. The ladies are also experimenting with woven wire crescent-shaped headdresses into which they can put ribbons, feathers, and flowers–it holds sheer veils in place over their hair. The men are starting to play with flat caps that they decorate with feathers and brooches.

The new fashion for ladies is making lotions and perfumes. Certain people’s products are in great demand, either because they’re good or because people want to curry favor with the lady making them. They have scent parties where they smell each other’s concoctions and go looking for new scents.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Security, Varice, and Maps

Were there any consequences for the folks who smuggled the darkings to Aly, even if it was just a stern talking-to or a “For Mithros’ sake don’t do it again!”? Giving the kind of surveillance magic(/technology, to continue the real-world analogy) that would make the CIA or even Mossad (whose tech makes the CIA jealous) drool seems like a pretty big breach of security.

Tammy: No one got caught. The only reason Taybur found a darking was because he saw it bouncing on the king’s bed, with the king. No spy magic picked up on them, because they weren’t made of mortal magic and they didn’t employ mortal magic to communicate. Frankly, I’m not certain that a spell could be made to pick up on their presence, given that Ozorne was a Stormwing working in the Divine Realms to create them.

Will we be seeing Varice in a, er, more flattering light in the Numair books than we saw in Emperor Mage?

Tammy: Mmmmmm . . . could be. Could be not. Could be both. }8-D

Is there a larger/more complete map of the Tortall planet/universe somewhere, or is what you see in the books really what you get? (The most complete map I’ve seen to date is the famous ‘Tortall and Hinterland’ map from an older release of Lioness Rampant

Tammy: I have several, though not one of everything (too big). However, Random House and some very talented people I know are commencing work on a Tortall Companion, so if anything is guaranteed to get me off of my butt to do a complete one, that will be it. (No, no publication date yet–they don’t even have a contract signed. Details on my webpage and livejournal––as they happen!

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Aly/Dove Books, Nawat’s Discovery, and Maura

Tammy: I certainly plan for other Aly/Dove books, now that I’ve recovered from my first go-round with Aly, and certainly the Darkings and Nawat will appear.  There are still the outer islands to be pacified, and Dove’s choice of a consort to be considered.  Nawat also makes a discovery about one of his children that makes a change in his life.  And I’m not sure of the ability of the triplets to shape-shift yet.  But those books won’t come until after the new Kel stories, which won’t come until after Maura of Dunlath!  Poor Maura.  Her place was always at the last of my current contract, so as other stories kept getting extended, like Kel’s, and now Numair’s, her story keeps getting shoved back.  But it’s one I dearly want to write, because it shows a very different part of Tortallan life than I’ve done before, so I’m looking forward to it.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Prime Minister’s Duties

I recently found myself wondering about Gary. What kinds of duties is he responsible for as the Prime Minister?

Tammy: Gary sits as governor (chair) of the Council of Nobles, the Grand Council (the combined Councils) and of the King’s (private) Council.  He reviews laws and issues currently under discussion by the Nobles and in the Council of Commons, deciding which warrant review by the monarchs (usually Jon or Thayet is with him during these meetings, so they can decide with him what they feel needs addition information before it comes to them for study).  He meets with the Chancellors of the realm (Treasury, Magic, Law, etc.) to hear what matters require Their Majesties’ attention and which can be handled by the original department, a combined committee from several departments, or by a particular council.  Again, Thayet or Jonathan is usually present for this.

In other words, his chief job is to mediate between the monarchs and their legislatures and their appointed servants to keep one side from driving the others crazy.  In, say, the reign of Roger, Beka’s King, the Prime Minister has a lot more work on his own than Gary does, because Roger likes to goof off.  Some monarchs want to handle it all, and the PM ends up being chairman all of the time.  It depends on the monarch and the minister.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Aly, Alan, Thom, and the Royal Heirs

Will we get to see more of the children, specifically Alan and Thom?

Tammy: I have no idea! I’m fixed in the past at the moment–the first chance I would have even to see them again is in Maura of Dunlath’s book, which I don’t have to worry about for several years yet.

Knowing that George is a descendant of Beka, does Thom have the ability to hear the ghosts like Beka? (It seemed implied that the oldest child got that bit of magic. Correct me if I’m wrong!)

Tammy: That aspect of the Gift doesn’t follow birth order. As I said above, I haven’t really had a chance to think about the boys’ lives yet. We’ll have to see!

Does Alan have any magic, either the Gift or Sight? Any clues as to why he split off from being so close to his sister in order to become a knight?

Tammy: Alan just felt that if Thom wasn’t going to be a knight, he ought to, and he rather liked the role. It had nothing to do with Aly or Thom or even Mother–the Crown just needed knights, they had a very nice life thanks to the properties granted to them by the Crown, and he felt they could use a knight in normal service. He likes to pretend that his other sibs are the clever ones, but he’s no fool himself. He just prefers to take the course of least cleverness. One day the gods will catch up with Alan and he’ll have to prove he’s good for something more, but until then, I’ll let him laze while he jousts and fights bandits and the like.

Will Aly’s child be at all attuned to the crows, or slightly non-human (part of the animal “People”), because of Nawat?

Tammy: Actually, all three of the triplets have something a little extra, but what it is will be anyone’s guess for a while. (Aly is actually relieved it was triplets–for a while there she was afraid she’d end up sitting a nest!) They’re still too young for me to tell!

How many children do Jon and Thayet have, exactly, and what are they all up to?

Tammy: There are six: Roald (married and studying rulership; he’s governor of one of the southern districts for training purposes); Kalasin, Empress of Carthak; Liam and Jasson, knights of the realm, and Lianne and Vania, riding and fighting with the queen’s ladies and waiting for their marriages to be arranged. No member of the royal family sits idle!

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]

Faithful/Fido and Many Names

Tammy: I based Faithful on my college cat Fido, who approved the pages he liked of the original Song of the Lioness manuscript by sitting and shedding on them.  My current black cat, Scooter, has been standing in for Pounce, and like Fido, gives me plenty of advice on how I should proceed.  The problem is that I couldn’t understand Fido and I can’t understand Scoot, since I don’t speak cat.  ::sigh::

Does he even have a REAL name, other then “The Cat”?

Tammy: He does, KACPDrummer, but I can’t pronounce it, not being able to speak cat or constellation.  In Eastern Common, his constellation is simply “the Cat.”

Our choices for his names amuse him.  And no, he hasn’t always been named in variants of what Alanna’s friends suggested.  I just liked the synchronicity of Beka’s Cat having a name that Alanna passed over for hers.  He’s had many names in many languages.

SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]