Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s
Submissive to her father’s will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves–Lord Alistair, future king of the North Country.
But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair to the brink of insanity. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta’s tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the North Country into civil war.
And far away in a hidden kingdom, a fire burns atop the Temple of the Sacred Flame. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice…and for the one person who can wield it.
Enjoy meeting Leta & Alistair
Brief physical description
One of my heroines, Lady Leta of Aiven, is a pale girl with light-coloured hair which she wears up under a barbette and veils. She is young, only about seventeen, and looks younger than she is because she lacks confidence.
One of my heroes, Lord Alistair of Gaheris, is a tall, pale, redheaded young man, with a pleasant if not exactly handsome face. He is good-natured, but always looks tired, for he suffers each night from violent nightmares.
I picture Leta looking a lot like a young Samantha Morton.
I picture Alistair looking very much like Jamie Bell.
You can find out more about Leta, Alistair, and the other characters through this link: http://dragonwitchnovel.blogspot.com/p/who-you-will-meet.html
Strengths and weaknesses
Leta is very intelligent, quick to learn new skills, courageous, and determined. But sadly, she has been brought up in a society that believes women are meant for marriage, children, and nothing more. As a result, Leta has suppressed much of her real personality and strengths in a bid to fit the expectations of her family and friends.
Alistair is a kind and brave young man, willing to put the needs of others before his own. Despite his upbringing as the future king of the North Country, he is humble at heart. But he does not like to apply himself to academic studies, unable to understand the need for a future king to read or write.
Quirk (if any)
Leta often has internal arguments with herself. “Rebellious Leta” battles with “Practical Leta,” sometimes with comic, and sometimes with tragic results.
Alistair suffers night terrors every night in which he sees his own death again and again. As a result, he has to tread a careful line in the waking world to prevent others from knowing about his dreams . . . and his fears for his sanity.
Your inspiration for the character
Originally, Leta was going to be a minor, secondary character. But as I got to know her, I saw potential for an important story about her. I know too many girls who have been brought up to believe that their worth depends on who they marry and how many children they have. And I’ve seen too many girls let their lives slip away while they wait for Mr. Right or even Mr. He’ll Do to come along. I wanted to tackle that topic with Leta. Which is fun in the context of an epic fantasy adventure with dragons and monsters and kings and swords!
Alistair was another character who grew a great deal over the course of this novel. While writing this novel, I went through a few weeks where I suffered from night terrors, and I decided to give a similar malady to Alistair. It was at that point that he began to take on life and become a solid and interesting presence in this story, while before he had tended to be nothing more than Mr. Generic-Hero Type.
Background to the story
Long ago, the Murderer buried his sword in the depths of the Netherworld then vanished from all known history. One day, it is said, his heir will find the sword, and the Dragonwitch, firstborn of the Dragon King, will be finally slain.
These stories are no more than nursery rhymes. In a life of cold reality, what room is left for fairy tales? Lady Leta is pledged to marry a man she does not love . . . sleepless Lord Alistair struggles to unite the stubborn earls of the North Country . . . Mouse is lost, far from home, slaving as a kitchen drudge . . .
And the reclusive Chronicler, keeping the records of Gaheris Castle, bears a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and plunge the North Country into Civil War.
But when nursery rhymes begin to come horribly true, will these unlikely heroes find the strength they need to fulfill a prophecy of fire? For the Dragonwitch lives. And she has vowed vengeance on all who have wronged her.
Thanks Anne Elisabeth