Every Name a Story

Copper Eyes. The Starmark clan is famous for their copper eyes, a trait they inherited from Radiance, who hails from the Ambervelte pack. She’s a buoyant, charismatic lady, and in many essentials of nature, her son Harmonious takes after her. Mikoto Reaver is more than a little in awe of her: “Glint’s bondmate was a force few knew they should be reckoning.”

Kyrie fiddled with a set of wooden shutters, and more light flooded the shelter. Enough that Lilya could now see the small, silvery star that marked the center of Radiance Starmark’s forehead. “Is that your blaze?”
“No.” Her eyebrows arched. “It’s a miracle.”
“Truly?” asked Kyrie, coming closer and bending down to see.
Radiance hooked his elbow and pulled him onto her lap.
For a moment, Kyrie froze. Lilya understood his surprise. Most people were wary of a red-eyed boy with horns. Not her. When Lady Starmark proceeded to snuffle his neck, he collapsed into gasps and giggles.
“She’s sniffening you!” Lilya exclaimed.
“Don’t mind me,” said Radiance. “Standard procedure for special guests. Especially wily, barrier-dropping dragons who may need tracking.”

Mikoto and the Reaver Village (Amaranthine Saga, #4)

Every Name a Story

Named for the Future. Harmonious is the firstborn son of Glint & Radiance Starmark, and he was named for the future hope on which Wardenclave was founded: peace between the Amaranthine clans and the reavers under their protection.

I think one of my favorite scenes in Book 2 is when Tenma Subaru sleeps over at Quen’s and wakes up surrounded by the Five. Harmonious gives peace such a personal touch.

What do you say, Tenma Subaru? Would you be opposed to my treating you as pack?”
“I must protest,” came a voice, low and lazy. “I saw him first.”
How long had Lapis been watching?
Harmonious snorted. “Eloquence’s claim is a matter of record. But if you crave kinship, I’ll claim you next, dragonling.”
Blue eyes widened, then narrowed. “Are you threatening me?”
“Let’s call it a promise. But this one first.”
Tenma’s stomach flipped at the intensity of Harmonious’ gaze. And the enormity of his offer. Dogs were reportedly friendly, Spokesperson Starmark more than most. So this probably wasn’t as important to him as it was to Tenma. But even if this dog made offers of friendship and kinship to every person who strolled through his gates, Tenma wanted this.
“Please,” he whispered.
“Good lad.” Harmonious leaned down to kiss his forehead. “Welcome home.”

Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal (Amaranthine Saga, #2)

Every Name a Story

Glint Starmark. When the “First of Dogs” takes a new name for himself, it’s star-themed. His first children, who are Kith, are given names that have significance to his life, his choices, and his hopes for the future. In doing so, he establishes the doggish naming sense that carries throughout the centuries (and the series).

His children never learned the name Loor-ket Highwind, nor did he hand down any wolf lore. When he sang, it was of the descent of an angel and the rise of a star. Though they had no crest, and their den was little more than a shed, they were a clan unto themselves. He took the name Starmark, and his children knew him as Glint.

Every Word Matters

Doggish Naming Sense. The Amaranthine dog clans have a unique naming sense, which I sort of based on those quirky virtue names favored by early American colonists. Glint Starmark is the one who actually began the tradition by setting aside his wolvish birth name (Loor-ket), choosing meaningful names for his Kith children (like Path, Pace, and Trio), and giving his bondmate a doggish name (Radiance).

Their firstborn son Harmonious continued the tradition. His five sons are named Merit, Prospect, Valor, Eloquence, and Ever.

Other wolves who “married into” the dog clans follow the established custom by taking a new name. A good example would be Sentinel Skybellow (head of security at New Saga High School), who left the packs when he took Harmonious Starmark’s daughter Rampant as his bondmate.

Every Name a Story

Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal. There are three wolves in Class 3-C at New Saga High School, all from the Nightspangle pack in America. They’re used to mingling with humans, having grown up in an urban enclave, but they’re less familiar with the language and culture of Japan. Even so, Hanoo’s leadership qualities shine through.

• • •

Say, did you catch this mention back in Bk2?

Lapis arched his brows. “You require taming, so I am throwing you to the wolves. They clearly understand the process.”

Hanoo said, “We do. It was our job back home. Although it’s been a few years since we had to deal with a strong aversion.”

“Not since Jiminy.” Yoota rolled his eyes. “What a handful he was.”

Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal

Every Word Matters

Stately House has changed quite a bit since the beginning of the Amaranthine Saga. That’s a trend I expect to continue. ::twinkle::

Stately House was refined and inspired, but it existed in such isolation. Like the emptiness clawing inside Argent, the building longed for a soul, for the liveliness and laughter of a loving family.

Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox

006 stately

•   •   •

“Orphans?”

“We’ve been converting rooms.” Michael seemed confused by his confusion. “You didn’t know?”

Jacques simply repeated, “Orphans?”

“Tsumiko has opened Stately House to children of mixed heritage ….”

Michael went into detail while Jacques tried not to be devastated. Argent would accept children simply because they were part-chicken or part-goat, yet shun someone who wanted a place just as much. Non… more.

Lord Mettlebright’s Man

Every Word Matters

Clan Names. I was just mentioning portmanteaux on Patreon last week with regards to Amaranthine “surnames,” which are more properly referred to as clan names. I use a tried-and-true system often found in fantasy books. Mash a couple of words together, and … voila! That means it’s possible to pick apart most clan names and look at their meaning. Argent Mettlebright is an excellent place to start. ::twinkle::

005 mettle

Sentient Beasts

“Kith and Kin” is an old-timey phrase that refers to ones friends and family, and it led to the name I gave to the sentient animals who are part of the Amaranthine clans. In the Saga & Songs, the Amaranthine refer to themselves collectively as “the clans” or “the Kindred,” with an imperfectly understood hierarchy. There are the so-called High Amaranthine, who are able to take human form. Then the Kith, who seem to be (unusually large) Amaranthine versions of known animals. And then the Ephemera … but that’s another word for another blog post. ::twinkle::

004 kith

“Children are precious to the clans. They need our affection, our protection, our attention, our guidance.” Offering a small shrug, Deece added, “This is true for Kith and Kindred alike.”

—Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox

•  •  •

Hey! Have you noticed yet that all Kith have four-letter names? That means that Kith-kin are often given a new name when they find their way into speaking form. What do you think Alder Woodacre’s birth name might have been? ::twinkle::

Fun Fact: Moon-kin Ambervelte, who is also Kith-kin, never changed his name. He still goes by Moon.

 

Reaver Classifications

Ward. The first reaver classification readers of the Amaranthine Saga encounter is ward, which is a bit of a catch-all category. Lots of subsets, depending on aptitudes and affinities. In a very general sense, wards are capable of crafting sigils.

003 ward

•  •  •

“Please, call me Michael. Ward is really more of a job description than a surname.”

“You’re a … ward?” That brought up unsettling images of wardens and prisoners. “I thought you were Aunt Eimi’s driver.”

“That’s certainly why I’m behind the wheel,” he said lightly.

Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox

•  •  •

I’m regularly asked to provide a comprehensive glossary of reaver classifications, but … I’m still making them up. ::twinkle::

Behind the Name

Argent. I often go with (what I consider) unimaginative names for my characters if I think they’ll provide a secure hook for readers. Argent is a good example of this. A silver fox whose name means silver? Perhaps trite, but it suited him.

002 argent

Since the release of Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox, I’ve fielded a few questions about Argent’s name. One was … why doesn’t he have a Japanese name? The answer to that is simple. He’s not from Japan. He landed there during his proving journey. In fact, his name is probably a mouthful for Tsumiko, who would likely pronounce his name AH-roo-GEN-toh. Reminder: Argent was named by his mother, Lady Estrella Mettlebright, whose long connection to the Silverprong clan suggests European origins. (But that’s another story.)

Every Word Matters

Word Nerd. I love words. I was thinking it would be fun to do a series of graphics that celebrate some of the key words (and names) in the Saga & Songs. Stuff like this will probably start cropping up here and on my other social media:

001 amaranthine

Naroo-soh

I think it would also be fun to do a series with the different varieties of Ephemera. And maybe even one for clan names. Time will tell. ::twinkle::