A few weeks ago I saw fantasy author Gillian Bronte Adams do a call on Facebook for bloggers who would be interested in celebrating the one-year birthday of her novel Songkeeper. It sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun since she was planning to do it alphabet style.
Now I confess I haven’t read Songkeeper, but I greatly enjoyed book one in the Songkeeper Chronicles, Orphan’s Song. If you enjoy epic fantasy (or any fantasy in general for that matter), I definitely recommend this one.
Anyway, I was eagerly looking forward to it and definitely decided to participate, especially since her characters are fascinating (Amos being at the top). With that said, I’m excited to present not only Gillian and her introduction to Jirkar, but also her novel Songkeeper.
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?
Thanks, Laura, 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 …
J is for Jirkar
Ah, Jirkar, another one of my favorites. (I’m fairly certain that I make that claim about nearly every character—but it’s always true! I do have favorites. They just tend to trade places depending on which one I’m focusing on at the moment.)
Jirkar is a dwarf from the Whyndburg Mountains, where he goes by the full name of Jirkar Mundibus Icelos Creegnan, Commander of the Fifth Cohort of the Adulnae. (You can find out more about the Dwarves of Leira here.) He has a twin brother named Nisus. The two look quite a bit alike, sharing the same short, curly dark hair and cropped beards, though Nisus has reddish streaks in his hair and beard and slightly sharper features. Of the two brothers, Jirkar tends to be more cheerful and soft-tempered, though once his mind is made up, he can be fairly stubborn. Though from the web of criss-crossing smile lines around his eyes, you would never guess.
“My brother can be a bit blunt-headed.” Nisus spoke in the dry sort of tone one would use to make observations about the weather. “Once he’s seized upon a notion, he drives after it with all the force and precision of a battering ram.”
Of course, one can always trust siblings to provide unbiased observations. (SARCASM ALERT) Still, as brothers go, Nisus and Jirkar have a fairly close relationship—with all the teasing, judging, jesting, and hard-knocks that tend to go with it.
“It’s high time we left this place. More Khelari are sure to come.”
“And who was it said this would be an uneventful trip home?” Nisus chuckled and shoved a hand toward Jirkar. “Pay up. Two dicus as wagered.”
Jirkar sighed, tugged a coin pouch from his belt, and dropped two bronze coins into Nisus’s hand.
As a member of the Adulnae (the elite warrior forces of the mountains), Jirkar typically wears a bronze breastplate over chainmail and a bronze helmet plumed with sea-green feathers. Strapped to his back, he carries twin swords.
But despite their positions, both Jirkar and Nisus has restless feet. So it is that we meet them—in Orphan’s Song—in disguise, miles from their homeland, scouting the movements of the Takhran’s army. Perhaps their restlessness is but a vestige of their younger days, when as mere beardlings, they roamed with the roving band of outlaws who followed Artair the Songkeeper. The outlaws were hunted by the Khelari, cursed by the Takhran, and betrayed at last by a friend. Following the massacre of Drengreth where Artair was captured, the Creegnan brothers made their way to join the remnants of the band under the leadership of Hawkness (Artair’s second in command) in the town of Kerby.
There Hawkness vowed to fight against the Khelari until his dying breath. For nearly twelve years, the remnants struggled to maintain the comradery, bravery, and purpose of the old band, only to gradually lose sight of their cause and fall at last to greed and dissension.
Before then, Jirkar and Nisus had parted ways with Hawkness on good terms. After only five years in Kerby, they decided to return to the Whyndburg Mountains to contribute their skills and efforts to preparing the dwarves to stand against the final battle with the Takhran that they believed was coming.
A final battle that seems to be drawing near when the events of the Songkeeper Chronicles take place.
Siblings always make for fun characters, and twins make for extra fun! Who are some of your favorite sibling/twin pairs in books?
About the Author
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, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.
And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit www.gillianbronteadams.com to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.