Explore Leira Blog Tour: N is for Nisus
Hello Everyone! I hope you're all having a great week, today is a very special day. Reason being because today here on Marrok Macintyre we are having our very first Guest post! Allow me to introduce Gillian Bronte Adams!
GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.
And today she is here for the one year Anniversary of her Book Songkeeper!
Thanks, Marrok, for hosting me here and helping me celebrate the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world. If this is your first encounter with the blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles (follow the tour at gillianbronteadams.com and find a list of all the stops at #exploreleira tour). And we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below!
Today, we’re looking at the letter …
N is for Nisus
“The Xanthen are the wisest scholars in Leira—except Nisus, of course, but he’s considered a bit of a bad egg really, more strategist than sage.” –Jirkar, Songkeeper
Nisus is a tapestry of contradictions. He is a dwarf of the Whyndburg Mountainsand has a twin brother named Jirkar. In matters of etiquette, his manners are impeccable. In fact, if he were here right now, he would be getting on my case for not properly introducing him.
(His full name is Nisus Plexipus Molineous Creegnan, Xanthen Chancellor to the Caran, just in case you were wondering …)
And now, that he has been properly introduced, we can continue. As one of the Xantehn, Nisus is a scholar and therefore held in high regard in the mountains. But he is more than a simple scholar. He serves as a strategist on the high council of the Caran, the ruler of the Whyndburg Mountains.
And yet, when we first meet him (in Orphan’s Song), he is sneaking through the forest on an undercover scouting mission with his twin brother. A roguish, restless streak breaks through his proper exterior from time to time. Though he does a far better job of squelching it than the known rebel dwarf, Migdon. Perhaps his restless streak is but a reminder of the years that he spent as an outlaw on the run from the Takhran with the Songkeeper Artair and the notorious Hawkness.
But even when he gives in to his more restless side, Nisus remains proper to the core, as evidenced by the fact that he packs his pewter tea bowl and kettle while on an undercover mission.
Nisus knelt beside the fire and set a kettle over the flames. “Tea?” from seemingly nowhere, he produced a pewter tea bowl, saucer, and a bag of tea leaves. He plucked a pinch of leaves, rolled them between his fingers, then dropped them into a mesh pouch that he set in his tea bowl. “Imported all the way from Langoria. Care to have some?”
Amos shook his head. He’d forgotten Nisus’s strange fondness for the watery, grass-flavored commodity. “I prefer a som’at stronger drink.”
– Orphan’s Song
Personally, my feelings toward tea tend to align more with Amos’s than Nisus’s. Now coffee on the other hand, that is my weakness.
In highschool, I fell in love with the stage and wanted to pursue a career in acting. My career was extremely short-lived—one play—but I enjoyed every minute of it. (I’d like to say that I awoke to reality but in all honesty, I simply forsook the siren song of the stage for the elusive white stag of the publishing world.)
Many of the tips and tricks you learn for characterization in acting can be applied to character development in writing. For instance, my director assigned us with the task of bringing one prop item that our character could carry on stage during the play, but we had to be able to say why our character would have that item and how it explained or symbolized an aspect of their personality. It was a super fun exercise.
I like to try it every now and then when I’m writing. Now it’s nearly impossible for me to imagine some characters without an object in hand. It is something that I as the author put a fair amount of thought into, so that it becomes something that readers accept as part of the characters and simply gloss over. It is most effective when it melts seamlessly into the story. So, in the Songkeeper Chronicles, Amos has his dirk, Carhartan has his pipe, Ky has his sling, and Nisus … well, Nisus has his pewter tea set. Perhaps it’s not as exciting as some of the others—although, I hear he can brew a mean cup of tea—but to me, it has become as much an aspect of who he is as his dark, curly hair and cropped beard with reddish streaks.
“Ah, there’s nothing like a spot of hot tea to complete the day.” Nisus pottered past with his arms full of tea things. “Would you care for some, miss?”
– Orphan’s Song
In addition to his love for tea, Nisus has an unwavering faith. He is steadfast. Loyal. Trustworthy. He speaks the truth without reservation. That makes him the sort of friend that we all need but all too often don’t really wish to have, because hearing unreserved truth can be a painful experience.
But sometimes, it’s just what we need.
Steam puffed from the kettle’s spout. Nisus lifted it and poured a stream of boiling water over the leaves in his tea bowl. He removed the leaves after a few moments and sat down across from Amos, cupping the bowl in his hands. “I am surprised you dare mention the old days. From what I have heard, you seem to have forsaken them.”
– Orphan’s Song
Do you have a friend like Nisus? Someone who can tell you the truth when you need to hear it, even when it hurts? Are you able to be that sort of friend to someone else?
Check out the links below for a place to purchase the books.
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War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.
Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.
Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?
Looks/sounds beast right? If your interested in this awesome sounding book series (like me) make sure to enter the giveaway and check out the links! A special "Thank You" too Miss Adams for joining us today and until net time... Stay True to the King!
Images and Gifs used are not mine and I don't clam them as my own. All created goes to their rightful owners/creators