Blonde, green eyed Kadrian Crossis comes from a very traditional Ithyrian family. Her older brother Jen was sent into military service, and as the eldest daughter, Kade has been raised since birth to serve as a priestess in the Goddess’s temple.
Kade is gentle, quiet, and very shy. She feels things deeply but doesn’t always express her emotions well – she has spent her life fulfilling others’ expectations. When she finds herself thrust into a very public leadership role, the transition is difficult and frightening. But her faith in the Goddess, and her love for childhood sweetheart Erinda, uncover a strength and courage she never would have imagined she possessed. When Ithyria needs her most, she will stand and fight no matter what it costs.
Spunky, sultry palace chambermaid Erinda is the fifth generation of women in her family to serve the royal family. She is responsible and clever, but her cheery flirting is really just a way to conceal the very deep unhappiness that she has carried for the past seven winters, ever since her beloved Kade left for temple service.To all outward appearances, Erinda is tough and capable. She is a good friend to Queen Shasta and Captain Talon, cares tenderly for the baby Princess, and spends as much free time as she can get riding and training the magnificent horses of the royal stables. As children, Erinda was Kade’s self-appointed protector, comforting Kade when she was frightened, and defending her from her bully of an older brother. They may be grown up now, but old habits die hard. Priestess of Ithyris or not, Erinda is not about to let Kade face danger alone…
|The Goddess IthyrisIthyris and her brother-god Ulrike have been waging war against one another for more than a thousand years. Legend describes Ithyris as inhumanly beautiful. She walks without Her feet touching the ground. Her skin glows with light, and Her voice sounds like music. She is wise, loving, kind, but also mysterious; few mortals are able to see or hear Her, and She must communicate with Her people through the handful who can. She has been quiet and nearly unreachable for as long as anyone can remember, ever since Her twelve holy warriors led Her people to victory over Ulrike’s armies a millennium ago. Yet in the past few winters, She has begun to speak again. And now, She is ready to create another warrior to carry Her Spirit among Her people.|
Teenage Pledged tag-along, who insists on following Kade around for most of their adventure. Myka is talkative, cheerful, irreverent and impetuous. Though pledged to become a priestess one day, she lacks the serenity and self-control of a typical priestess – she prefers boy’s clothes, swordplay and traveling to the stuffy monotony of temple life.
Mardyth is a barbarian warrior from Dangar, who has been charged by the god Ulrike to invade Ithyria and recover a prophecy written by one of the Twelve. She is cold, violent, and ambitious, but also a fierce survivalist.
|Queen Shasta Soltranis of Rane and Captain Talon
Two of Erinda’s closest friends, Erinda has very different relationships with each of them. Having grown up serving Shasta, Erinda sometimes struggles to appropriately balance her personal friendship with the Queen with her role as palace servant. Erinda is also one of the handful of people in the kingdom who knows Talon’s carefully-guarded secret: she’s actually a woman. Usually Erinda is the one giving advice and support to her friends, but this time around she may need to rely on those friendships more than she’d ever anticipated…
Qiturah is the Honored Mother of Verdred, which means she is the highest ranking priestess in Verdred province. She is a mentor to Kade, and is also the narrator of the Ithyria novels, as she is the kingdom’s scribe. In fact, each novel is an entry that Qiturah writes for the kingdom’s history books, so Qiturah often puts her own spin on things or adds a little commentary of her own before certain chapters. Qiturah is a wise and well-educated woman with deep devotion to the Goddess and an appreciation for the needs of Her people.