“We could mate… In a year our nestlings would be large enough to mob anyone we like. In two or three years we could have still more nestlings, until no hawk will venture near our territory. Shall I court you? Do you like grubs or ants better?”
What did you mean about Aly and Taybur leaving court at the same time? Did Aly leave the Isles too, and if so, why?
Keep in mind that part of the conflict was between the white luarin and the brown raka. As a raka ruler, Dove had to reestablish the raka as the ruling class of the Copper Isles. Her first task was to start moving raka into offices in her government, and with so many qualified people, she had no good excuse to keep luarin as head of her personal guard and as her spy master. It looked bad, people took it badly, and Taybur and Aly both knew that sooner or later Dove would have to replace them. Nobody wanted to do it, but it had to be done.
Facts About Aly, Thom, and Alan (and a bit of Neal)
Thom was a really chubby baby, like just
the fattest cheeks topped by a mop of red curls. V adorable. Alanna
found his chunk reassuring, because of how much she struggled with
breastfeeding (according to Tammy). She was really afraid that she wasn’t doing it right, but
seeing that Thom was so healthy calmed her down. He was also a very
quiet, giggly baby, easy to take places. He would cry and cry when
separated from his parents, so Alanna and George did a lot of baby
wearing. When Thom grew into adulthood he took after George physically,
very tall and broad shouldered, although since he is an academic type
he’s not muscled like George.
The twins were born a bit
early, and were a little undersized. For the first few weeks they
required constant, round the clock care (necessitating that wet nurse
Aly mentions having). Aly and Alan liked being together best, and hated
being restrained, so Alanna and George had to completely re-think their
baby-calming strategies. They were the kind of toddlers that absolutely had to be occupied at all times. Alanna and George got good at carrying on conversations while simultaneously tickling a baby with one hand and playing peekaboo with the other. George and Alanna obviously love their children but…the twins were a big reason why they decided three was plenty.
Alanna is like 99% happy her children are tall and healthy, 1% pissed that she’s so much shorter than everyone she knows, including people she literally created. “Why did shortness happen to literally only me? EVEN MY TWIN BROTHER WAS TALLER THAN ME!!”
It’s common knowledge in the family (including adoptive family) that when Aly, Alan, and Thom are all together…the whole is decidedly lesser than the sum of their parts. Like, they are such smart and capable kids, but they get into the absolute dumbest shenanigans when all together. The, “I can’t believe we survived, also there may have been a lot of property damage involved, so sorry” type shenanigans. Just two siblings together can be destructive, but usually in a much smaller and more controllable way. It’s like they are the kids from Captain Planet, but what they summon when all together are horrible choices and bad judgement.
Thom convinces himself to go along with these schemes because he needs to “watch” his little siblings, Aly likes to think she’s the brains and she needs to go along to control it, and Alan just straight up likes adventure and mayhem.
The Pirate’s Swoop kids have absolutely involved their royal cousins in these shenanigans, and have nearly gotten them into serious diplomatic trouble at least twice (but they did a decent cover up job, so parents don’t know about that part). Jon and Thayet slightly look the other way because they know their kids have an incredibly restrictive life, and their cousins are a small reprieve from that.
supposed to be the sensible one, but clearly he’s always getting dragged into the mess Aly and Alan have made. Thom is also usually the one
left holding the bag, but George has caught on to this fact so when he walks in on Thom neck deep in trouble his first question is always, “Where are your siblings?”
Alan and Thom recognize Aly’s tricks more than she realizes (Alan is
the best at seeing through her, just as Aly sees through him easily).
It’s just that they know that going along with Aly’s manipulations is
easier than not, plus it will always yield more interesting results than not getting involved.
Aly, Alan, and Thom are all
fiercely protective of each other. They’re the siblings that get in
fights and are mean to each other plenty, but as soon as some outsider
looks sideways at one of them IT IS ON. This is because they love
each other, of course, but also because they’re all too used to hearing
shit from other nobles about their parents (particularly Alanna). Each
sibling sees his or herself as having thick skin, but his/her siblings
as being sensitive. Insults to yourself are met with witty retorts and
comeback (or just ignoring them), insults to a sibling are met with an
They are also champion bickerers. How could they not be? The three of them have had petty arguments going strong for years. Like Aly comes home from the Copper Isles, all of the siblings are full adults, and then somehow the conversation ends up on “Whose Fault Was It Really That We Broke Grandma Eleni’s Vase Fifteen Years Ago?” and all hell breaks loose. This is a form of love though, make no mistake.
When Neal arrived at Pirate’s Swoop it took less than a week for Aly to manipulate him into getting involved in one of their shenanigans. He’s saved all their collective asses many times, all four of them turning to each other and saying, “So we’re not going to tell Ma/your mother about this, right?” The kids love Neal, and he enjoys them back, even when he pretends to be irritated/exhausted by them. He and Aly trade wits, and he was a great mentor to both Thom and Alan about university and knighthood respectively. Alanna is very grateful to him for that, even if she doesn’t show it easily.
Although I’ve always figured Neal and Alanna would eventually get on pretty well. She likes smartasses, she’s one and all her friends were as well. And I doubt she would have shown Neal any of George’s secrets (like the crossing into Scanra) if she didn’t trust him, or that he would be quoting Alanna back at her if he didn’t like her (that scene in Lady Knight: “’Good Question,’ Lady Alanna said…She and Neal chorused, ‘Next question.’” p.47). But I would also imagine it would be awkward for Neal to gush to Kel about how great Alanna is (and Neal’s not a gusher anyway), so I always figured his complaints about Alanna in Squire should be taken with a grain of salt. I bet he and Alanna may have had a difficult time at first, but then they would come to an understanding. I bet they occasionally would blow up at each other, but then one of them would say some snarky thing and they’d both start laughing and it’d mostly blow over (although I’m sure more than a few dust ups lingered on). I think he would have fit into the Pirate’s Swoop family really well, well enough that he checks up on Thom at school and Alan at the palace when he can.
Alianne is the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the Lioness of Tortall. Aly is bold and brave like her mother, but she has no wish to become a knight. Instead, she longs to follow in her father’s footsteps as a spymaster, an ambition her parents vehemently oppose.
After a furious argument, Aly runs away with disasterous consequences. Captured and sold as a slave in the Copper Isles, she discoveres that this whole nightmare has not come about by chance- her father’s patron, the Trickster God Kyprioth, has plans for her. If Aly can keep the Balitang family alive through the summer, he will grant her freedom-
-easier said than done when the family is targeted by an insane king and two rival gods…
This series is one I absolutely love and will always recommend! There’s even a gorgeous love interest with wings
it could have classes like knight (specializations: hero or commander), mage (healer or combat), soldier (regular or rider), and rogue (thief or spy). and you could travel through tortall completing quests, with expansions into the copper isles, carthak, scanra, the eastern countries, and instances in border skirmeshes and the divine realms. and the characters as quest granting npcs!!! and romancible characters with non-hetero options!!!
i need this. if we can’t get movies or a tv show, i demand a video game
Will we get to see stories in the future from the lands surrounding Tortall? Any continuation of stories from Tortall and Other Lands?
Well, right now we’re in Carthak. The project I’m thinking of for after Numair’s trilogy will be set either in one of the lands Carthak later conquered, or one of the northern lands east of Tortall. Qiom and Fadala’s story is set far to the west of the Copper Isles.
I made a Tortall map combining elements from Lioness Rampant, Emperor Mage, Lady Knight, and Mastiff
this is a super inaccurate map for a few reasons. some of these places don’t exist anymore/came in existence between books (ie Blue Harbor, and p much all of the Grimhold Mountains were Scanra in Lioness Rampant, and became Tortall between then and Lady Knight [probably around the time that Kel’s parents were given a barony]). Also, some of the shapes change from map to map. I did my best.
Also, we don’t know a ton about environments, besides the southern desert, so I guessed and forests and grassland
This was super fun, finding all the cities and fiefs and putting them all on one map. I would have put more in the neighboring nations, but decided to focus just on Tortall.
And I didn’t put the Copper Isles cause I wasn’t up to the task
I’ve been going through the Trickster book again and it struck me this time that I’m not really comfortable with Aly being positioned as impartial. It’s come up a couple times that she’s an outsider, sees things with fresh eyes, doesn’t have the hangups and loyalties of the people involved and therefor is more impartial and more likely to have clear and true observations. And that’s… kind of bullshit.
-Aly is a citizen of Tortall, which is often at odds with the Isles. Here’s a quote:
“A push from the right people might throw this country into civil war. That was news worth taking home. Too often in the past the Copper Isles had meddled in Toratllan affairs. Perhaps its rulers needed something to keep them busy.” (chapter 3)
That’s from Aly’s point of view. She’s not impartial because the politics of the Isles will have a direct effect on Tortall. And a direct effect on her life in Tortall since her parents are right up in the highest parts of the politics there and she assists her father. Aly also mentions in the second book that the rulers of the Isles hire pirates to raid Tortall, and Aly’s family’s lands are on the coast and are attacked by pirates on the regular. So Aly’s household is directly effected by decisions made by the rulers of the Isles. The more trouble in the Isles, the less trouble the Isles can make in her home.
-Aly’s mom killed a member of the ruling family in the Isles. She will have grown up knowing this since it’s part of a major recent historical event (Jon becoming king). So she’s grown up knowing that the Isles rulers send pirates to raid her home country, and knowing that one of the ruling family tried to kill her mom and was killed by her mom. That is not an impartial starting point!
There is also that Aly is white, and the Isles are a place where white people are in power primarily by keeping black people from having/gaining/keeping power, but I’m going to take some time to think before tackling that aspect. For the time being I’ll just say that being a white member of a primarily white ruling class does not make for impartiality in a conflict between a primarily white ruling class and a primarily black serving class.
There is also all that lovely disablism going on with the “madness” of the rulers, but that’s several posts all on it’s own. Suffice to say for now that considering an entire family “mad” without ever meeting them does not make for an impartial view.
Aly has preconceptions about the people in the Isles. She has vested interests in the actions of the rulers there, and through them in the actions of the populace. She has prejudices like everybody. She’s not impartial. I really wish she would stop playing like she is to try to add weight to her opinions.
(For the record, I do not think anyone can ever be entirely impartial in any issue. We all have preconceptions and prejudices.)
Just barely sliding in the time limit! Apologies if it's been asked before, but of the countries in CoM and the Tortall books, which would you most like to visit if it were a real place?
Hmmm. Tortall. Corus, obviously, and the River Drell. I’d like to go to Tyra and take rides riverboats. I’d like to voyage down the Drell. I’d like to see the City of the Gods, and I’d like to visit Carthak, but not for long. And the Copper Isles. And Pirate’s Swoop.